Sunday, April 03, 2005

Cruising through the blogosphere

In my daily cruise through the lit blogosphere, I found several posts from author Karen Spears Zaccharias at Beatrice. She writes about her experiences at a recent book festival, where she talked to readers about her new memoir, Hero Mama, the story of her mother's determination to pull herself and her three children up from the despair and chaos caused by the father's death in Vietnam.

I liked Zaccharias' voice and the way she wrote about her festival experiences, so I followed her to her own website and from there to an open letter to other grieving children of war (currently found at: A little taste:

You just need acceptance.

To find that you must remember your parent. The jokes they retold, the meals they savored, the way their arms felt upon your shoulders, or the way they smelled when they hugged you close. In other words, they way they loved and cherished you. Your parent died in an effort to bring freedom to others. Don’t misuse your own freedoms to self-destruct.

Even though I have not lost a relative to war (my grandfather's heart murmur excempted him from duty in WWII; my father was a National Guardsman during the Vietnam War; no family members are in the Armed Forces now), Karen Spears Zaccharias's letter touched a chord with me, about grief for lost parents. My dad died two and a half years ago of metastasized colon cancer, and I still mourn him. His absence is a hole in my heart and in my life, though I count myself lucky for having had him almost thirty-three years. It's so hard, though, to let go of one of the few people who loved me unconditionally, no matter how unlovably I acted, or unlovable I felt.

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