My Father's Gift to Me By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

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When I was 12, my father came and spoke to my seventh-grade class. I remember feeling proud, for my rural school was impressed by a visit from a university professor. But I also recall being embarrassed -- at my dad's strong Slavic accent, at his refugee origins, at his 'differentness.' I'm back at my childhood home and reflecting on all this because I find myself fatherless on Father's Day. My dad died a few days ago.

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