I’ve been thinking a lot this week about fathers, and daughters, and memories.
Partly because Father’s Day is this Sunday.
Partly because a dear friend lost her dad this week to pancreatic cancer.
And partly because my husband tore down my old basketball goal on Wednesday night.
Perhaps you’re wondering what a basketball hoop has to do with fathers, daughters, and memories. Well, in the case of my dad and me, this particular basketball hoop meant everything.
My mom said it was time for the hoop to go. In her mind the house would boast better “curb appeal” without it. My husband jumped on board, happy at the chance to save $100 in removal fees and an excuse to be destructive.
But for my dad and me, it was a sad decision. As I watched my husband pull and tug at the rusted poll and half rotten net, all I could see was a thousand memories being torn down as well.
It’s not like we even play anymore, my dad and I. To tell the truth it’s been years since we’ve challenged each other to a game of H-O-R-S-E or Around the World. A combination of my dad’s bad shoulder and my interest in other things brought our days of heated rivalry to an end long ago. But despite this fact, our memories remain and, in our hearts, we hate to see what has become a symbol of our time together, torn down and thrown away with the rest of Wednesday’s trash.
So what do memories like these mean to a daughter?
I can see us now, my dad and me, on warm spring nights, in the heat of summer or the chill of fall. Nearly every night we were out there, firing away, “Sweat Buddies.” It was fun, it was joy, it was a thrill to see my dad so proud of me whenever I made that net go swoosh or even prouder still when I missed shot after shot but refused to quit for the night until I could end with a made basket.
To me these memories are priceless because more than anything it was my dad and me together. Every time my dad put his wild schedule aside to spend time with me in the drive way, shooting hoops, he showed me that his love for me was wilder than any deadline, report or phone call that was waiting for his attention.
Isn’t this what we all need to know, that the love of our Father is wild? And when we stop and take the time to make memories with the people we love isn’t this what we’re saying? “My love for you is wild. Wilder than everything else.”
This is what memories mean to a daughter.
I’m not sure why and how but there is something unique and special about memories made between fathers and daughters, and now that I have girls of my own, I love to watch my husband follow in the footsteps of my dad.
Whether it’s a fishing trip, a walk around the block, or a family movie night with “pop-pop-corns,” I am proud and privileged to have a husband who refuses to let the demands of his work come between regularly scheduled time with his girls.
Time moves quickly, but memories hold time still. And the memories we make today are what will “re-member” us in the future.
Ann Voskamp writes about this term, “re-membering.” In her simple yet profound way she explains how the act of remembering God’s goodness to us, through the practice of thanksgiving, draws the fractured pieces of our minds and hearts together and makes us whole in Him.
I think it’s the same with memories, with good memories of the time we share and the people we love. Whether it’s with our children, our family, our friends, the special moments we share today, both big and small, will draw us together tomorrow. When our lives become fractured by time and distance, memories re-member us.
As sad as I am to see our basketball hoop go, I am thankful for the memories that remain. Precious memories that time, distance, and the general unraveling of a life can never take away.
And just in case you’re wondering what my dad is getting for father’s day: A half rotten basketball net that screams, “My love is wild too.”