The circle is now complete. My father went from invincible in my youth to obtuse in my teens to worthy of revision as a young adult, to my becoming more like him than I realized, to a source of memories that will continue to inspire me.
I had been trying to write my story for several years, haunted by one friend's comment. "Great," he had said to me, drinking a cup of coffee in my kitchen, "another memoir about a mother who dies from cancer."
Before teaching disadvantaged children to read, let's teach parents how to lend guidance and address their own problems, and create a real home. Maybe then, they'll show their children the value of reading.
All you have to do is make a conscious decision to slow down long enough -- not so easy this time of year, I admit -- to simply talk with your children about the grandparents they no longer have in their lives.
I tell stories about my mom and dad, cook foods they made, and point to pictures in photo albums. I keep their memory alive because I believe -- even in death -- my parents can still shape my children's world.
'Tis the Season to be Jolly, right? I see reminders everywhere that I should be happy! But what happens if the month of December serves not only to remind you of all things Merry -- but of all the people you've lost?