Some thoughts on my father

Various things over the last couple of days have brought my father to mind.  There are things that are hard for me that I believe he would have found easy (and, no doubt, vice versa).  I’ve mentioned before that his most extreme term of disapprobation was “unscientific.”  Going along with that, he had an almost pathological hatred for subjectivity.  Maybe to a degree that wasn’t entirely healthy—there are times, after all, when being subjective is appropriate.

I remember when we learned he was dying.  He took it as he had lived: calmly, objectively, with his mind focused on what work he could complete in the time he had left, and making sure he said good-bye to everyone he needed to, and seeing to it that we were all in agreement about the funeral arrangements. During the entire six months, I didn’t hear a single word escape his lips that could possibly be construed as self-pitying, except once.  One day he said, “I won’t be able to read the rest of Steve’s books.”

It broke my heart.


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14 thoughts on “Some thoughts on my father”

  1. I hope your father’s passing was peaceful. He sounds like a good man. My condolences.

  2. Peaceful is the way to go.

    I have specifically thought about your books, wondering if I will see them completed. If I die first, I won’t know that I missed them. I don’t have any other series that I wonder about completing that way.

  3. It’s a huge blessing to have had parents like this – people of principle, interested in your work, *and* totally badass. Their existence alone is a huge win for the human species, and for you. Loss is impossibly hard to bear, but still… I try to think of the existence of every awesome person as a victory.

  4. Well, that’s gut-wrenching. I’m sorry. From what I’ve read (here and elsewhere) it sounds like he had full life. I’m sure you still miss him like hell, though.

  5. That’s heart-breaking. It shows such pride in your work, that this was his big regret. For all that this is a sad memory, I hope that you are also able to find comfort in it.
    My condolences on your loss.

  6. Please send this story to G.R.R. Martin because at 49, I might die before he finishes those books! =]

    Seriously though, sorry for your loss. My father is 87 and wonder how I will ever live in a world without him. I also think perhaps, he is reading over your shoulder. Peace to you. What an incredible story of love between father and child,

  7. Having lost both my parents, I can understand your sadness.
    I am confused though–why would the highest form of approval (i.e. approbation) be “unscientific”? For someone totally objective, I would have thought it would be the opposite.

  8. We lost my dad in 2014 to the same exact thing. He only made it from diagnosis four months, but he handled the ordeal with great dignity and even humor. I didn’t have any books published or forthcoming, but he was sad to miss meeting my first child, a son I named after him, by two months. I got to tell him the name.

    I would prefer that he did not die at all, but those four months were a blessing in their own way. I spoke to my dad every day during that period, even when he could no longer answer. I guess his last lesson to me was teaching me how to go out. When my time comes, I will remember how he handled it.

  9. My condolences. My father died quite suddenly, after work one day. At 80, I am afraid I will not see the last of the Vlad series either. Get with it.

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