Thursday, January 5, 2012

"I had a father who read to me"

John was resident at the same assisted-living facility where my mother spent her last years. My brother would occasionally assist him getting back to his rooms. My brother and I have often since wished that we had talked more to those who were resident there. John would have been a good one. This week John's daughter remembered his delight in reading and reading to her. From the Milton Courier:
"I had a father who read to me." That is a derivation of the last line of a poem titled The Reading Mother, by Strickland Gillian. It's the piece I read at my father's memorial service last September. He was 95 when he died. after falling and breaking his hip. He had a book on the table next to his chair that he never had the chance to finish. ....

My fondest memories growing up are of sitting on the living room couch next to my father as he read to me. At first they were the Little Golden books, with characters like Uncle Wiggly or Donald Duck. But soon he was reading chapter books that required a week or more to finish. Even when I became a capable reader on my own we continued this practice until I became a teenager. ....

The love of books, for both knowledge and entertainment, is the best gift my father could have given to me. My life would be diminished without the ability to learn on my own or entertain myself through the power of the written word. ....

The final stanzas of this compelling poem are,"You may have tangible wealth untold; Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be. I had a Mother who read to me."

It's a new year. Please consider enriching your children beyond buying things that may break or lose their value. Give a lifetime of success and happiness to your children. Read to them!
I agree. I had a father who read to me.

Milton Courier, January 5, 2012