It’s a statement you’ll see posted on social media and hear in a conversation among friends. Many movies and books have centered around the longing for one last “dad hug” too.

If you find yourself missing your father and wish you could have one last embrace, you’re not alone. If you’re fortunate enough to have your dad around still, here are some things those who have lost theirs would like for you to know:

Seize the moments

It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day grind. Time slips by while you’re meaning to spend some time with your dad. Good intentions don’t make memories. Be sure to take action and make those times happen and when you do, treasure the times together. One day, memories will be all that you have.

On measuring up

Parents are placed in our lives to guide us, especially when we are young. They make known what is expected of us. They discipline us when we don’t do as we are supposed to. When we get older, ideally we have a different relationship with them. It is common to carry some of the childhood feelings over into adulthood though. Fathers, even more so than mothers, tend to symbolized authority. If you feel your father expects more from you than you deliver or that you are missing the mark he has set for you, talk to him about it. Don’t waste the time the two of you have left together in feeling inadequate. Talking it out will help you now and after he’s gone as well.

Tall tales

Encourage your dad to tell you everything. Ask what his childhood was like. Find out what he learned in school, what his parents were about, who his friends were, and anything else you can. Don’t just listen with one ear, REALLY hear what he’s saying. Feel his joy and his pain through his words. Get to know him through his stories and write them down or record them so you never forget them. This is something you’ll never regret doing so the accounts of his life never fade. You can pass them on to your children and they can tell them to their children.

Small stuff

If you and your dad don’t have the best relationship, do all you can to change that before it’s too late. Make the first move. Swallow your pride. Forgive and forget. Look ahead and not behind. Whatever it takes to repair or enhance the relationship with your father…do it.

Many don’t have the opportunity to hug their father once more. There are those who are left with the pain of not being on good terms with a father who passed. There are those who wish they had taken more time out to spend with their dads. You don’t have to be left with any regrets. By taking the tips above to heart, you can embrace the days as well as your dad.

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