Flashback Fridays: If I had a day to give you, it would be a day just like today . . .

To all my readers:

I may or may not be taking a break for the next duration, but my Flashback Friday is of a different sort today.  It’s of a little more personal nature than I usually offer on this blog.  But it’s what’s going on right now for me.  I’ll be back to posting on other things hopefully soon.  I ask for your patience in the meantime.


Dear Dad,

Do you remember those nights you sat with us kids and read our nightly allotment of books.  I’m sure we as kids were terrible critics.  Mom was the primary reader at home and she did all the voices and inflections just right.  You were the stand-in reader for the times mom couldn’t do it.    I still remember you using that monotone falsetto, trying valiantly to read it the way mom did, and just not quite succeeding.  But you were there, reading to us.  You were there with us kids curled up around you, sharing our world of books and willing to put yourself on the spot to do something hard.  Not everyone is great at reading-aloud, but you proved that shouldn’t keep you from doing that.  And despite our complaints as thoughtless children who just couldn’t understand why your rendition of stories were so different, guess what I remember with love and fondness?  It’s the trying that counted.

Dad, you–like me–have always been a reader.  While my mother freely encouraged all of us to read and made certain to expose us to books, it was my you I always saw reading.  You read the entire newspaper or more than one on your lunch break.  You devoured books as I did–easily and eagerly.  It was your old science fiction stories I first pulled off the shelves.  I still have your copy of Little Fuzzy on my bookshelves.  I re-read it about once a year.   When I made it clear the kind of stories and books I loved, you were always supportive of me.  Dad, you never complained about taking this reader to the library when I ran out of books or had a research project.  I’m sure more than once I waxed long and exuberant on books you couldn’t care less about–but you continued to listen.  You made an effort to buy me books even when others would throw up their hands, unable to guess what books to get me.  You tried–and even when you got me a title I already had or wasn’t sure about, you tried.  And that means a lot.

Dad, you’ve taught me a lot.  But one of the brightest of those things is that trying counts.  We aren’t always  the best at something.  We don’t always get it right or perfect.  But we try.  And it matters.

In this next span of time I’m going to try to do one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.  I’m going to sit by you, and do my best to be there with you, even though things are hard.  Because I have to try.  Because it matters.

I love you dad.



About Stephanie Whelan

I'm a children's librarian with a life-long love of all things science fiction and fantasy.

Posted on August 1, 2014, in General Posts. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Tears in my eyes, Stef, and running down my face. Hugs for you and good thoughts for your dad.

  2. What a lovely tribute. Sending you caring thoughts on what sounds like a very difficult time…

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