Gratitude Journal: Day 7
November 9, 2020

Happy 83rd bday, Dad!

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to get a hug, hear your voice, or have you tell me how proud you are of me. I miss you deeply, yet I know that you are with me every day.

For today’s gratitude, I’m dedicating all 10 entries to celebrating the life of Daniel Robert Goodman. I’m crying as I type this, and also filled with immense joy as I go through old photos to accompany this post.

1️⃣ I am infinitely grateful that my dad is my dad because he’s my dad!

2️⃣ I am infinitely grateful for all the times he listened without judgment or advice because that’s exactly what I (and everyone) needs … especially as a kid!

3️⃣ I am infinitely grateful for my dad’s passion for the New York Mets because it gave us something to bond over for decades.

4️⃣ I am infinitely grateful for my dad’s love of trains because it became our thing and now it’s a passion that I share with MY kids.

5️⃣ I am infinitely grateful to my dad for being such an amazing role model because so much of who I am today is because of him – especially in my goals as a parent. If I can be half as an amazing dad as he was, my kids will be in good shape.

6️⃣ I am infinitely grateful to my dad for the morning I woke up and found him playing a brand new copy of Super Mario 2 on the TV in my bedroom because NO ONE had that game and it made me feel so special and loved. (Plus, I got to brag about it at school!)

7️⃣ I am infinitely grateful to my dad for all the things he did when I was a baby that I don’t consciously remember because they inevitably shaped my entire view of the world and life.

8️⃣ I am infinitely grateful for my dad’s commitment to helping people through his work as a social worker and therapist because it taught me how important it is to make a difference in people’s lives.

Dad when he was 26 – looking cool as can be!

9️⃣ I am infinitely grateful for my dad’s endless support over the years (which came in so many different ways) because it helped me feel safe, secure, loved, accepted, and supported.

🔟 This last one took me a VERY long time to accept.

I am infinitely grateful to my dad for his decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s.

So much of who I am today is because of Dad’s sickness.

It’s easy to write a list of fun things we did together as a kid and how happy I was around him.

The true challenge is finding gratitude and love for all the ways that his death changed my life for the better. Once I look past the grief (still present after 14 years), I can see all the ways I have grown as a person because of it.

So much of my journey of personal growth is based on the dark places I went when he was sick and after he died. I had SO much sadness and grief bottled up in my soul that I had a choice to make:

  • Let it consume me — OR,
  • Cry, cry, cry, grieve, accept, move on, repeat endlessly every time a new wave of sorrow comes.

So that’s where I am today on my journey with this all.

So thank you Dad!

Thank you for everything. I love you so much and am so infinitely grateful that you were born! HAPPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

Today I celebrate my dad’s life by wearing one of his shirts, which you can see in the below photo of us at 6 Flags Great Adventure after I won a Paula Abdul poster from a dart popping game. It was June 1991 and I was 10 years old.


The photos on this page started the day as prints in a shoebox.  

I took photos of them using my iPhone. Then, I exported those photos into Lightroom, where I adjusted a few sliders and made them even better than the originals (IMHO). Below is a slider so you can see the before/after — and a video of me editing all the photos while telling my favorite Dad stories.

I’ve adopted a daily gratitude practice.

Every morning for the rest of November, I start the day by writing 10 things I’m thankful for. Then, to keep myself accountable, I’ll share my list on this website, Instagram, and Facebook.