My father was my hero. During our summer holidays back in India, he would drive us to the town of Mussoorie, in the foothills of the Himalayas. As we passed lush, green forests, he would stop to show my siblings and me the dancing peacocks, kindling a love for nature and adventure. He also modeled grit – something that has helped me deal with my own tough times.

Father’s Day this Sunday will bring different emotions and memories for many of us. Joel Christensen, a scholar of ancient Greek poetry at Brandeis University, writes about how losing his father and welcoming two children into the world within a two-year period changed the way he read and taught Homer’s classic, “The Odyssey.”

Greek myths teach us that “we are shaped by the people who recognize us and the stories we share,” writes Christensen. He feared the loss of his father meant the end of their shared stories. But through children, these stories can find a new home and make an “impossible return less painful” – something that will bring comfort to many, including me, this Sunday.

Also today:

Kalpana Jain

Senior Religion + Ethics Editor

Odysseus reuniting with his father, Laertes. Leemage/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

What Greek epics taught me about the special relationship between fathers and sons

Joel Christensen, Brandeis University

On Father's Day, a scholar of ancient Greek poetry explains how he came to understand the father-son relationship and his journey of loss and yearning through reading the epics.

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    George Justice, Arizona State University

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