Find Your Advisor

I Wish My Dad

I recently heard Romal Tune, author of the book  I WISH MY DAD speak. The book, written with the help of his son Jordan Tune, talks about “unfinished business” between fathers and sons. Romal sat down with seventeen men to conduct interviews that went very deep into relationships between fathers and sons.

There are seventeen chapters in the book. Each chapter is an interview with men of diverse ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds. The men talked about “I wish my dad…”. The father/son relations varied greatly in each chapter of the book. The way many fathers expressed their love toward their sons was very different and not always easy to detect by these boys who were now men.

The men interviewed were able to recognize, at least in retrospect, the ways that their fathers showed love toward them. Still, in each case, they had an “I wish my dad….” Conversation. 

As I read the book, I thought about what I wish my dad had done or said. While there were some things that came to mind, I also recognized my own shortcomings with my daughter. I also had a few “I wish I had initiated a conversation or action with my own dad.

One of the chapters in the book talks about how, while parents provide for their children out of love, providing and love are not the same thing.

Thinking back, I remember my dad working more than one job when I was young. He was a provider. Having lived through the Great Depression, allowing an empty cupboard would never be an option for my dad. My dad’s mother passed away when he and his twin brother were eight years old. This would have been in the mid-1930s. Obviously, these were economically challenging times.  His dad (my grandfather) was a provider and hard worker. I knew this firsthand as I had the pleasure of visiting him on more than one of his construction sites. Providing and love are NOT the same. Still, depending on circumstances, it’s important to recognize the love that fueled the desire to provide.

In our business, we frequently deal with more than one generation when doing wealth planning.

The conversations can vary greatly depending on whether mom, dad and child are in the room or mom and dad are not present. Sometimes the office can be a bit of a confessional. On more than one occasion, I have said, “Have you mentioned this to…” (mom, dad, son, daughter)?  I have even been asked by parents to have a conversation with their child on the parent’s behalf and vice versa. On issues of finance, I can find a way to have that conversation. On more personal issues, I simply explain that I am not the one to have that conversation.

Relating somewhat to “difficult” conversations, I found the interview that Romal had with his son Jordan in the book to be fascinating.

Romal reveals that prior to the interview, both he and Jordan experienced anxiety. As I read the interview and imagined having that conversation with my own dad, I completely understood the anxiety. I won’t talk about the interview here. However, the conversation between Romal and Jordan alone is worth the cost of the book.


Even if you can’t have one of these conversations with your dad, I would recommend reading the book. You will likely find something of value that you can apply to the relationships in your life, both past and present relationships.

When I asked Romal what was the biggest surprise he experienced in all 17 interviews he conducted, he replied that in each case, both he and the man being interviewed cried.

Happy Father’s Day.

May 2024

Popular Posts