“Much as the sea and morether” was the declaration of love made by a friend of mine to her parents when she was very little.

It reminds me of my favorite and cheapest Father’s Day gift — a big piece of paper with your memories spilled on it. Write your dad a letter that lets him know what he means to you in specific ways, not just much as the sea and morether, but why.

Not “I love you blah blah so much blahblahblah,” but “You filled me up with memories like jellybeans in a really big bowl”: Your pancakes at 3am when I couldn’t sleep…your hand squeezing my neck when you introduced me to people like I was Princess Di or Bella Abzug (anyone really special)…pretending I was a pillow that needed to be fluffed up by tickling it…thinking that I was worth talking to for hours about real ideas no matter how young (and stupid)

I was…disciplining me only by saying “I’m disappointed in you” (O the Sting!)…other kids asking you to be their dad for father-daughter/son activities and all the other dads saying you were their best friend (and meaning it).

The silliness, the fun, the belly-laughing, the life lessons learned — these are the memories I would thank my dad for if he were still here. Just don’t wait too long to write your letter.