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How to spend time with Dad

How to spend time with Dad
My Dad when he was 28 years old

He didn't speak much of his past. Like many other fathers of his generation he was often absent - traveling abroad but also emotionally at a distance. There is a lot in his life which I know nothing of, but would like to hear about. Up to now, I have never asked. 

My father is now 82 years old and luckily very healthy. He can look back on a long life. Last Sunday we started to have a glance at his life. He dug out some boxes with old photos which I had never seen, a real treasure box full of memories! Slightly faded images of the grandparents, of his father all dressed up, his brother in short pants, a young military recruit, a gymnast receiving an award,  a lively celebration with friends in the French part of Switzerland and finally the portrait of a young lady. I think I know her ...! Then some wedding pictures and slowly the first scenes that I can faintly remember.  

We tried to organize the images in chronological order, luckily there were some dated school report cards among them. My father was evidently a very good scholar, a diligent and popular employee. We started to scan the photos and arranged them on a timeline between the years 1933 and today. 

That Sunday gave me an opportunity to get to know my Dad in another way. He was closer to me in these hours than in so many of the years before. I look forward to continue this project with him, and along with me, my sisters and my father's grandchildren, who now also have access to his timeline on liniaa and can what it grow step by step. 

The many wonderful photos and school essays that we also scanned, notes and anecdotes - there are many events to have conversations about. 

My biggest wish is that his timeline will continue to grow for many years and that we will still have time to make up for the lost opportunities together.

Günter Ackermann, July 3, 2015