Leaving Something Behind

  • This month I lost my father to lung cancer. I’m left with memories, photos, a voice on an answering machine, and something quite out of character which he left behind for my brother, my sister, and me — a bound memoir.
  • My Dad was the least likely author ever. He loved being outdoors, running, gardening, coaching soccer. Born in Germany, English wasn’t his first language and he never lost his thick accent. I can’t remember seeing him read a single book, ever. That’s why I don’t know what inspired him, upon retiring to Central Florida, to sign up for a writing class.
  • Now that he’s gone, I have an entire history of his life. I have pictures of the town he grew up in in Germany (I never even knew the town’s name before), a copy of his discharge from the army, stories of his travels, information about my extended family…A critique group would have a field day tearing apart the grammar and sentence structure, but now that he’s gone, it’s what he conveyed and not how he wrote it that matters. I used to smirk at the idea of a memoir, thinking authors of memoirs were total egotists. Now I realize the value of leaving a written history behind for your loved ones. Someday, maybe, when I retire and have some time on my hands, I might consider writing one myself.
    • by Diane Weiner



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