Addressing the 40 or so people who gathered over Father’s Day weekend for my dad’s memorial service, I thanked them for coming and said, “Who my sisters and I are and what we have accomplished are, in large measure, a function of who you are and who have variously been for each of us. Thank you for that.” What was true for our gathered family and friends was of course true for Dad and Mom: who they were and who they were for us largely shaped who we are and what we have accomplished. Father’s Day weekend was the right time but not the only time to say, “Thank you, Dad ... and Mom.”

Much of our leisure time over the summer will involve family and friends dear to us. I invite you, in the midst of the fun and leisure, to be intentional and say directly and clearly to them how formative they have been for your life, how significantly they have shaped your thought, how deeply they have impacted the way you feel. You may be surprised at the response you get. But we do not say these things for that reason. We say them because it is important and it is important for them to hear. It affirms a person’s life has made a difference in another person’s life – yours. That offering of truth is a gift that will not readily be forgotten. It is truth that does not have to wait for Father’s Day or Mother’s Day or a birthday. It can be given every day.

Here’s to more truth-telling this summer!