Pomp and Circumstance
Five Women, Three Hours, No Politics

Father's Day

My father died fifty years ago.  He was a heavy smoker, and died of lung cancer.  I remember him putting quarters in cigarette machines to buy his Lucky Strikes when I was little.  There would be three pennies (change) inside the cellophane wrapper that he would give to me.

About twenty-five years ago, I learned that Dad had a whole family before he married my mother.  I guess a parent's divorce wasn’t revealed to children back then.  Now, I am good friends with my half-sister’s daughter who is only a few years younger than I am.

My sons lost their father last fall.  I wonder what they will be remembering about him when they are my age. 

My guess is they will say he was funny and smart and loving.*

*You can watch Seth’s new interview with me on how to age successfully at https://bit.ly/3b6FWtW  (It’s in English with Portuguese subtitles.)


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Susan in Berlin

My dad died seventeen years ago, also of lung cancer, although he had not smoked for about twenty years by the time he died. I remember him as an exceedingly kind man who never said a bad word about anyone.

He never meddled in my personal life (much unlike my mother) and kept his thoughts about my boyfriends to himself (ditto). But six days before he died, he broke that rule and told me to "Do keep this one". And as you know, I have.


Lost mine from the same scenario...smoked Dorals and cancer hit him. So young. Wild to find about another family and double cool to gain more love in your life.

Lynn McClain

My father took his life in 2001. He had diabetes, Parkinson's, no sense of taste or smell (for four years) and days before was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. He shared his plan with his children (my mom died in 1990) and we were terribly upset, but understanding. We each wrote a letter telling him how proud we were of him and how much we loved him. He was amazing - a war hero with a DFC, a SAC pilot and a part of Mercury Seven. He overdosed on insulin and we found him sitting in his favorite chair with our letters in his lap, very peaceful.
My wonderful husband of 53 years died of metastatic prostate cancer in home hospice in 2017. I am grateful to have been with him during his last months, but his care caused me PTSD and I'm still grieving. I shared your podcast with my children and grandchildren this morning and they have encouraged me to follow your advice and get back out in the world. Thank you for your wisdom.

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