DS: Yes, very real. And you have to remember that, for the final three months of her life, when she was sewing her baby clothes, she had been told by her doctor that she would not survive. I think she was able to keep going because she was so young and she didn't think she would ever die. Who believes at age nineteen that they are going to die? I think the remarkable thing is that she kept this from my father. He was an innocent.
JB: Your mother presented all of you with such a gift - to your father so it wouldn't interfere with his ability to connect with you two, and for you two to live and feel unequivocally her love for you. How has what you've learned affected how you look at your own family - your wife and four children?
DS: My mother at age nineteen was wise enough to know that if her babies had to go through their lives knowing they had caused their mother's death, they might not have gotten along very well. She also knew that my father would not have been able to be a good father to these babies she was leaving him to care for if he knew they had caused her death. All of this has made me a person who feels privileged to have lived a whole life. Privileged to have shared a love story with Colleen for 30 years now. Privileged to have been a father to four children. Privileged and grateful. Knowing my mother's story has left me feeling privileged and grateful. And that is a nice way to live along through one's days. You tend to stop asking for MORE all the time, and just to be grateful for all that you've been given. I think, by the way, that this kind of gratitude is the secret to growing old with some grace. However, I am still fighting to get my mother's movie made. That fight goes on. You can be grateful without giving up.
JB: Indeed, you can. And your love and appreciation for your family come through very clearly in your writing. Thanks so much for talking with me. Before we wrap this up, is there anything you'd like to add?
DS: Yes, for everyone out there who wonders about the love story that carried them into this world-- their parent's love story-- ask them about it while you still can. Learn as much as you want to know about it. Because it will inform your life, meaning, it will define and shape your own love stories. Thank you.
JB: Thank you, Don. I enjoyed this and am looking forward to the next installment in which we talk more about your latest book, Walking with Jack: A Father's Journey To Become His Son's Caddie [Doubleday, 2013].
DS: Very good, Joan. Same here.