Today is my father’s birthday. As many of you know, he has fought a long, painful, and difficult battle with a last-resort bone marrow transplant after the third occurrence of cancer in twenty years.
Many, many beloved friends and even complete strangers have sent love, strength, well-wishing, and requests for anything you can do.
After a day and a half of almost nonstop crying and a host of wonderful friends alternately listening to me cry and distracting me with topics ranging from silly to thoughtful, I’ve come up with a way to celebrate my father’s birthday that includes everyone. Young and old.
My dad was first an elementary school teacher and then an elementary school principal. He loved children, loved books, and loved children reading books. He was so proud of me because I loved to read. He was passionate about education for all children and wanted every child, rich and poor, to have access to learning–which most often meant books.
Today, on my dad’s birthday, could you do something for me? Could you read a book for Ron? In keeping with my dad’s love for children, please read a children’s book, whether that includes grown-ups or children. Any language!
If you have a child or a child nearby, please read a book together.
If you don’t have children or access to them, read a children’s book. To yourself, to a neighbor, to a friend, to a patient at a nearby hospital, or to someone you meet who could use a smile.
If you have the means and desire, give a children’s book. Doesn’t have to be to a child; we’re all children at heart. Give a children’s book (or books) to a homeless shelter, domestic violence shelter, library, church, or a kid who’s screaming in the aisle at Target. Even to yourself. I might buy myself a children’s book today. 🙂
I want to encourage caution when posting children’s photos online, so I ask you to please do this:
Please take a photo of the book(s) that you read/give and upload the photo as a comment here. Give whatever location information you feel comfortable sharing (at least your country, please.) If you’d like to post a photo of yourself reading the book and/or the ones who are being read to, go ahead. 🙂
If you read a book not in English, please tell us what language your book is written in. (And translate the title into English, if you can.)
Then tell a friend.
My dad would be so happy to know that children all over the world (big and small) are reading a book in his name.
Read a children’s book for Ron.
And receive thanks for keeping my father’s love alive for one more day.
I’m en route to see my dad one last time and say goodbye.
Blessings and gratitude,