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My Dad

date
Aug
01
2013

On Ten Years Without My Father

The last thing my father ever taught me was how to install a showerhead. I was twenty-five years old and taking care of him at the end of his life in a small condominium in Southern California. The cancer had gone to his bones by this point and he was unable to get out of Read more…

date
Dec
17
2012

Dear Dad: On the World We Create for Our Children

Dear Dad, I’m sitting here in my little house in Los Angeles, wishing more than I have in a long time that you were still here. Some terrible things have happened in our country and I don’t know which way to turn. I feel angry and confused and sad. So, so sad. I suddenly don’t Read more…

date
Aug
05
2012

Of Things Big and Small: Nine Years Without My Father

Dear Dad, Today is August 5th, 2012. You died nine years ago. Funny, it seems like it was yesterday, and also a lifetime ago. For a long time that evening stayed in my head. The balmy California dusk, the palm trees outside your bedroom window and the sound of kids splashing in the complex pool, Read more…

date
May
17
2012

The Places We Call Home

I spent most of Tuesday down in Orange County, first in Long Beach and then later in Laguna Beach to be part of the Pen on Fire Literary Salon, which was just fantastic. (Side note: I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to get to know the two other writers I was a panelist Read more…

date
Aug
05
2011

My Father, Gerald Robert Smith

My father died eight years ago today. Rather than focus on his death, I thought I’d concentrate on his life. Below is an excerpt from Chapter Two of my forthcoming book, in which I go into detail about the interesting man he was. My father, Gerald Robert Smith, was born in 1920 in Michigan. One Read more…

date
May
16
2011

On Finishing My Tenure With Hospice, After Almost 4 Years

The biggest difference between my parent's deaths was the circumstances surrounding them. My mother died in a hospital in D.C. at 3 in the morning. Her sister was with her, but my father and I were not. She had been in that hospital for 6 weeks, undergoing experimental surgeries for "last hope" patients. Two months Read more…

date
May
02
2011

On the Places That Shape Us

A couple of months ago while I was working on the last chapter of my book I came across some old papers from around the time my father died. In them I found a note I had written reminding myself that my father would like some of his ashes scattered in his hometown of Rogers Read more…

date
Mar
29
2011

The Last Time I Moved to California

The last time I moved to California I was twenty-four years old. I'd been living in Manhattan's East Village for four years, finishing my BA at the New School and bartending in Union Square. I desperately did not want to leave New York. I had an internship at Time Out New York magazine and had Read more…

date
Jan
19
2011

Writing For My Dad

Life has suddenly gotten very busy. Thankfully, I thrive on being busy so this kind of breathless activity only enlivens me more, but gosh, when I say busy, I mean really busy. For instance I'm going out of town twice in the next week. First to Nashville, and then to New York. (But more on Read more…

date
Jan
16
2011

Sunday Thoughts

I have a pretty personal essay up over on Courtney Kendrick's blog. It's about how all the loss I've experienced has affected my ideas about the afterlife. You can read it here.