One Year Later: Steve Jobs, His Father, and What to Say to Your Dad
Few have been immortalized like Steve Jobs as we honor his passing a year ago on Friday. All of us have wanted to know as much as we can about this prodigy who forever changed our lives. Steve was adopted, and an interesting dimension to Steve was his lack of a relationship with his biological father. In 1986, Jobs began searching for his biological mother. He found his mom, Joanne Simpson, in Los Angeles. Through meeting her, Jobs learned he had a sister, Mona Simpson, the novelist. He and Mona then decided to go on a quest to find their biological father. Eventually, they found him. Abdulfattah “John” Jandali was managing a restaurant in Sacramento. However, during the search, Jobs “…learned a little bit about [his father] and [he] didn’t like what [he] learned.” So, when Mona went to meet Jandali, she did not mention her brother, Steve.
During the meeting, Jandali apologized to Mona and said that he and her mother, Joanne, had another child. Mona asked what happened to the other child. Jandali said that he did not know and that they would never hear from him again. Then, Jandali goes on to say he wishes she had seen him when he was running a bigger restaurant – one of the best restaurants in Silicon Valley. Everyone used to go there, he said, even Steve Jobs. Shocked, Mona still did not reveal who Jobs was. Jandali said, “Yeah, he was a great tipper.” Later, Steve recounted, “I was in that restaurant once or twice and I remember meeting the owner who was from Syria, and it was most certainly him. And, I shook his hand and he shook my hand and that’s all.” Neither man had known who the other one was at the time. One of the many idiosyncrasies of Steve’s life.
Jandali and Steve were not destined to reconcile, but it would have been pretty awesome if that had happened. Whatever your relationship is with your father, let it hit your heart like a freight train that he won’t be around forever. If you have something to say to him, there’s no time like now. Here are 5 things you may need to say to your dad:
“I Love You.”
When said with sincerity, these three words are the most powerful in existence.
“I am Sorry.”
Part of growing up is making mistakes, and we all make plenty of them. “Dad, I sure am sorry I put you through that. If I could go back in time and change it, I would.”
“I Forgive You.”
Every bit as important as repentance is forgiveness. Our parents made plenty of mistakes in their journey of raising us. Sometimes those mistakes caused real harm. Yet everything happens for a reason. Let your dad know he is forgiven.
“What Do You Know?”
Your dad is a treasure box full of valuable knowledge and experience. He is a great resource to guide you on your own life path, either because he did it right himself or did it wrong and has learned. He is a deep well. Draw from him.
Parenting is tough business. A simple “thanks” goes a long way. Consider how you would feel years from now by hearing your own child giving you a heartfelt, “Thank you.” It would mean the world to you. Do the same for your dad.
What are some other things you would say to your dad if you had the chance? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.