Lessons from Dad – A Father’s Day Challenge

My first memory of “quality time” with Dad ended with me in tears. The second left him wearing a protective eye patch for a week. In the former, I was four years old and Dad had taken me to see the Transformers movie in 1986. Optimus Prime’s death near the end of the movie pushed me to tears. In the second, I jabbed Dad’s eye with a toy Voltron as we battled robots on a lazy Saturday morning. Maybe this was early compensation for the angst the smart-ass man with the devil-sly grin would cause me later in life.

Thankfully, our relationship graduated from those early days of action figures and movie theater tears.

Dad was my best friend. He shaped me through his unique blend of humor, sarcasm, humility, and self-deprecation. In writing To Dad, From Kelly, I sought to capture the defining lessons I learned from my father through specific moments in our relationship. Big, small, expected, and unexpected, these memories illustrate the values I hold closest.

With Father’s Day on June 21, I want to celebrate the lasting influence that fathers have on our lives by hearing from all of you. To honor fathers everywhere, and in memory of my dad, I’m giving away three (3) signed copies of my memoir, To Dad, From Kelly, to anyone who answers this question:

What is the best or most memorable lesson you’ve learned from your father?

You can share your stories with me on:

1. My blog, by commenting on this post or by emailing me through the Contact link

2. Facebook, by sending me a message at

3. Twitter, by mentioning me (@kelly_lytle) and including #fromdad

4. LinkedIn, by mentioning or messaging me at

5. Email, by emailing me at

Share as many stories as you want as many ways as you can. Nothing is out-of-bounds, just be open, honest, and willing to share the best or most memorable lesson you’ve learned from your father!

I’ll select three winners by Wednesday, June 17, so winners will receive their books by Father’s Day.

Happy storytelling!