M y dad and I in front of the White House nearly 44 years ago. Appropos as I submit this Fathers Day, and credit this man, my father, for passing on his love and interest in learning, reading, journalism and politics. I often wonder what our conversations would be like now... vividly remembering discussions during the Carter and Reagan days, the many piles of various newspapers and magazines in every room, and the news on morning, evening and late night. I loved doing current events homework, miss my dad's insight these days ...

We took this trip with my mom and his mom (who passed a few years after and whom so many say I remind of). Visiting DC, seeing the White House, Washington Monument and other historic sites along the way so meaningful to my immigrant parents who had immigrated just 2 years prior, for all the better opportunities this country would afford them. My mom tells us my dad had planned to go back to India. I think he struggled with that sometimes, it wasn't always easy for him here.

He sacrificed much and gave selflessly to his family, friends and patients. I consider him one of the most intelligent and knowledgeable people I know who passed too early, too soon to realize his full potential. But in his short life he passed on these interests and qualities to countless people including us.

His inspiration perhaps summed up in this quote: "Work for a cause, not for applause. Live life to express and not for impress. Don’t strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt."

I miss him daily, and more and more as I have moved back "home" with my mom and I parent our children now ... I'm grateful for all he and my mom gave and gave up.

I was in DC recently and couldn't make it this close, but await a future road trip with my children. (Submitted a request to visit before the election but all requests were held.)

Sharmila Rao Thakkar
New York, NY
Photo Location
Washington, DC
Me and my dad (pictured), my mom and paternal grandmother

Share your story.

Help us reimagine this American tradition by sharing your photos and memories!

Get started