Helping My Daughter Celebrate a Father She Doesn’t Remember

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I know I have quite a few readers here that have followed my writing since it was published here almost seven years ago. Last year around Father’s Day I wrote a piece that in some ways seemed to continue my thoughts from that NY Times article. That piece was published this week.

As my daughter gets older, I often think about whether or not to share these writings, and at a writing seminar I went to two weeks ago at Princeton Seminary this topic came up a lot with regards to nonfiction/memoir writing. I really liked how one of the writers, Vinita Hampton Wright, described her thinking process on it. “I follow the rule of love,” she said. Would my daughter possibly one day enjoy reading this piece? If, in the words of another writer there, Mihee Kim-Kort, we write to become more alive and make others more alive, would this also contribute to “aliveness” in that way? That is my hope.

“Love, like loss, doesn’t reside in memory. It doesn’t reside in words or even in story, though those come a bit closer. I know because I’ve watched a little girl grieve and love a man she has no real memory of.” 

You can find the full piece here.

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3 thoughts on “Helping My Daughter Celebrate a Father She Doesn’t Remember

  1. i have never lost anyone so dear like you did, but was drawn to your writing and perspective on life, death, love and hope. This post/ article just warmed my heart so much as I read ways that Audrey knows and loves her appa despite his absence. Somehow the power of love always surpasses our understanding!

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  2. I have followed your blog for years and am often deeply touched by the beauty, grace and wisdom of your words. This piece and in particular, this sentence hit home… “Love’s true residence is more mysterious than memory—its perseverance wide and long.”

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  3. I’ve also followed your blog for a few years, coming over from the Audrey blog. I realised last year that I’d been longer widowed, than married. I’m normally quite unsentimental, and think: we all die in the end. But the stepping over that threshold made me weep.

    You are younger than I, and I’d hoped things would somehow work out for you both. Ah, the future is still there.

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