This morning as I drove to my brother’s house for a day of shopping with my sister-in-law, I sat in parking-lot traffic on I-5, happily listening to my favorite NPR programming. As “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” faded into “This American Life,” I felt proud to have been raised by parents who loved public radio. My father’s favorite show,was of course “Car Talk” and he would force us kids to listen with him on the way to Sunday School or while washing the cars–our favorite weekend activity.
We never had cable TV growing up, and rarely went to see movies. Instead, Dad preferred to use NPR as the soundtrack to our lives. Dad even left NPR running through the night, pumping through a small, round pillow speaker he used to keep his mind quiet enough to sleep. I sleep with my own pillow speaker now, and though I’d sometimes rather listen to music, I keep 94.9 programmed into the small radio on my nightstand table, if for no other reason than to keep the tradition going. This may be a small way to honor my father, but I find that I feel most at peace on these weekend mornings when I carry out some of the activities that my father loved. So today, I spent some time with my family, took the dogs to the park, worked on some writing, and will soon curl up with a good book–all things that my father loved.
I’ve learned that there is no grand gesture that will pay homage to my father in a single act; instead, it is the small stuff, the every things that we do that can keep our loved ones’ memories alive. Whoever that person is for you, and whatever it is that they loved, I encourage you to go out and keep the tradition moving forward. I promise that it will be the best part of your day.