What Losing My Father Taught Me About Legacy
Thank You, Dads
By Rikard Steiber, CEO/Founder of GoodTrust
Father’s Day is a time to remember our Dads. Both the ones still with us and the ones we’ve lost. We acknowledge their love and wisdom and support. As a father myself, I appreciate being in the spotlight, however briefly, and gratefully acknowledge that Father’s Day is more an afterthought than the more important Mother’s Day. My father, John McLaren, passed away in 2020, and I never got a chance to know him very well; I first got to meet him on a school trip to London when I was 18 years old. We stayed in touch, and 20 years later he made his first trip to visit me in Sweden. He got to meet his new granddaughter, Alexandra, and we spent some quality time together during the glorious Swedish summer. Great memories together, albeit fleeting and brief.
I now have two daughters, and when they ask questions about my father, I realize how important it is to keep his memory and stories alive. As time passes the memory of our loved ones slowly fades if we do not take action. This is why I started GoodTrust so that we all can protect the legacy of our loved ones, their priceless stories, photos, documents, accounts, assets and more. To make sure everyone's legacy does not get lost forever and can live on for generations.
I also was incredibly fortunate to have a stepfather, “PG” Peterson, who was there everyday when I grew up. He gave me a hard time when I did not do my English homework, he got angry when I crashed his car, he thought I should take more responsibility and earn my own money. He was a tough, “know-it-all” stepfather that I did not think I needed when I was growing up. Now I see it differently. I realize that he spent time helping me with my studies, helped me learn to drive a car, and pushed me to become an independent, responsible person with good values and integrity. Just like a father should do.
I am guessing I am not the only one who did not say “thank you” enough times for what both my fathers did for me. The only difference is that I still have the chance to spend time with my stepfather and help protect his legacy and stories for generations to come. Some years ago we had a lovely over the top lunch here in Silicon Valley when he and my mother were visiting.
I will make sure to create more of these memories, protect his legacy, and say thank you for all that he has done for me and our family.
So this Father’s Day, take the opportunity to say thank you to your father if you still have the chance or help preserve his memory if he passed away. It is not the fancy gifts that matter, it is that you care and remember.