Editor’s Note: Father Time

Liz Vaccariello Editor-in-Chief Liz Vaccariello
I lost my dad last year.

Sure, lots of memorable stuff happened to me in 2011. My daughters started first grade. I read and will never forget Unbroken. I did a pull-up for the first time!

But Dad’s passing? That defines last year for me. It signals a shift in all the many things uniquely us: Michigan football. Cleveland Stadium mustard. Knowing how to parallel park, change a tire, and balance a checkbook the “right way.” Handwritten letters on his Ludlow Antiques stationery to his homesick firstborn at U of M. An appreciation for Neil Diamond (shhh). And, did I mention, Michigan football?

“Good job on the Today show, honey,” he’d say. “Very informative. Was that a new blouse?”

I came to realize the expanse of the void when, late last fall, I got this job — the job of being the editor-in-chief of your Reader’s Digest, the most trusted magazine in America. I was humbled by the opportunity. Incredulous, really. I texted friends, war-dialed my sister. But first I told Mom, who said the one thing I needed to hear: “I wish your father were here. He would be so proud, honey.”

That’s my intent, as I shepherd Reader’s Digest and its website, books, and apps through the coming years. I hope to do him — and you — proud. Oh, and I’ll try to keep the Michigan football stuff to a minimum. Though Tom Brady? Michigan. I’m just sayin’.

Write to Liz at liz@rd.com

THIS MONTH I WANT YOU TO:

Laugh…at “It’s Been Fun, 2011.”

Cheer…for your town at rd.com/america.

Sigh…over these amazing love stories:

An unusual proposal sealed the deal for these frequent fliers »

Their divorce didn’t work out, so they did an “I do” redo »

She didn’t want to meet him, so their families concocted a scheme »

Become more interesting every week!

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26 thoughts on “Editor’s Note: Father Time

  1. if you’re going to print articles about reincarnation, I will be going off the register for receiving the magazine and we’ve taken it since we married 54 years ago and have just now become disappointed with the RD. How would a Christian believe such or wish to read it?

  2. Since I don’t know what else to do, I decided to ask you. My husband and I both renewed our subscription to Readers Digest, not meaning to. I do not know who to call to make this right. I only want one subscription! Can you please help me?

  3. I am still getting the regular size Digest since receiving the large print. Will you
    cancel the regular size? Thank you.

  4. I love your editorials, at least, since the new format. I don’t think I read them before. I’m touched by the subjects and find them on point and they make me think. My daughter has a similar talent though not a writer. She was the moderator for her church and weekly wrote notes for the bulletin that made similar observations. Anyway, cheers to you!!!

  5. Love the new format and content choices. Knew you responded to readers’ requests when you returned to having the jokes placed throughout the issue but your latest issue reflects RD’s commitment to its readers and their thinking.

  6. Dear Liz, I just wanted you to know that our READER’S DIGEST for January, has no print on pages 88;96-7. Otherwise, we really like to read from cover to cover! thank you for your attention. Respectfully, Elaine Clark

  7. LIz, just wanted to say how much I love RD but the part I guess I love the most is Editor’s Note.. first page I turn to. you seem so down to earth, an caring, so sorry to hear about your dad. lost my dad in 2004 , I know that don’t ease the pain, but I can understand how you feel.

  8. Dear Liz,
    I love your articales in Readers Digest. I have COPD and could you send me e-mails for foods that I can eat that don”t leave me short of breath from chewing. and
    better foods to eat please? I would appreaite it very much.Thank you. Donna Small.

  9. I Liz read your story about your day seems like a tipacle Italian. I made  sure my boys learned how to change flat tires and did there own repairs. I have a true tragic story I am sending to you and hope you will read it and hope you will print it as here is Syracuse N.Y. the press and TV media are doing there best to keep this event quit. You see on 4/16//78 I and my wife were told that our son Mark A. Spano was killed when he hit a tree at a high rate of speed. We went to two trial lost both trials as the defense produced false witness and  false documents. and intimidated the jury. There was no way we were going to win when the Justice system in Syracuse N.Y. is crupted. It wasn’t until Mar. of 2012 that a new witness came forward and put a new light on how and why Mark was killed. That the B’Ville Police who had claimed to have been iin one patrol car and got to the scene after have lied. As this witness put two B’Ville patrol cars abut 100 ft before the tree Mark  hit one in the southbound lane and the other in the northbound lane  with their headlight and spotlight blinding him and Deputy Edward H. Mc Avoy was along side of Mark pushed him into the tree. We now learned that at 2:45 am an A.P.B. was sent out for a black murder suspect. Mark had just passed Deputy Mc Avoy at 2:55 am that they believed Mark was the black murder suspect.. This is why they have keep this cover up How would it look cops kill wrong man. With the new evidence I was able to re= open my law suit. I was hoping that you would print my story I am sending in to you so the public can learn the truth. As they had my sonlook like a criminal stating he was speeding and drunk. Which are lies. Thank you Leonard C. Spano 54 Huntley Rd Phoenix N.Y. 13135 orccall at 315 695 5353  

  10. Liz,

    As I tend to read everything cover to cover. I read your Editors Note

    I am sure I am not alone in reading RD since I was a child.

    I started reading some of the stories but all the humor and single jokes throughout RD when I was 8 years old. I moved out of my parents home when I was 19 and have been a subscriber since. A total of 58 years so far and counting.

    It was maybe 10 plus years ago I started getting billed by another company but was constantly receiving bills only months after I paid up another year. It always seems to get right and I have never missed a copy, now i wait till the last minute when they tell me it is my last issue and then I pay.

    I was somewhat disappointed when the format changed and for a while you seemed to have less stories about real people but seems you are going back to that format

    Thank you

    Frank Stirrup 5859 Shady Lane , Nazareth, PA 18064
    fstirrup@yahoo:disqus .com

  11. As a visual impaired person (one of millions) I am finding I can no longer read the words on the articles because of all the colors being used on the pages..Could you please go back to the black and white and use the colors for ads.?? I know you think it makes the RD more hype..but for many long time readers  it is now impossible to read as it is being laid out now..

  12. I very much relate to this! My father passed in 1995 when I was just 25 and still young and naive. With the passing of each major life event, I regretted my former youthful transgressions. He was alive during years when I did things that would not make him proud, so for every wonderful accomplishment and stride I’ve made in life (and thankfully there have been many), I grieved the loss of his approval and involvement. When I bought my first house, when I met “the good husband” and when I’ve earned respect and reward for my writing, I’ve missed hearing him say, “I’m so proud of you!” His loss showed me to respect life and not take for granted those I love. I learned many lessons from his death, however, and that is the blessing which has come out of the trial.

  13. I have been with Readers Digest since the early 70′.  I recently received a pass due notice on a product that I had paid.  Had canceled check.  I called customer service and had a very bad experience.  After some discussion, I found out that my payment had been applied to a product that I had not ordered.  I tried over and over to explain that I had not ordered this product.  I could not explain myself any clearer, so I ask to speak with her supervisor.  I had to make this request many times before she finally transfered me to someone else.  This conservation was not any better.  (Hope the call was recorder)  My account was cleared after long discussion, thankful for that, but felt you needed to now that the outsourcing company that RD uses, did not respresent your compay very well. 

    Sincerely,

    Dennis E. Hall
    6104 Andrea Drive
    Lakeland, Floriida 33813

  14. I have been with Readers Digest since the early 70′.  I recently received a pass due notice on a product that I had paid.  Had canceled check.  I called customer service and had a very bad experience.  After some discussion, I found out that my payment had been applied to a product that I had not ordered.  I tried over and over to explain that I had not ordered this product.  I could not explain myself any clearer, so I ask to speak with her supervisor.  I had to make this request many times before she finally transfered me to someone else.  This conservation was not any better.  (Hope the call was recorder)  My account was cleared after long discussion, thankful for that, but felt you needed to now that the outsourcing company that RD uses, did not respresent your compay very well. 

    Sincerely,

    Dennis E. Hall
    6104 Andrea Drive
    Lakeland, Floriida 33813

  15. Dear Liz So enjoyed July/Aug issue. Must say this is almost the only issue I have enjoyed sinse all the changes in this magazine & I know it’s because of cuts. We have been married 60 yr. so we have been taking this magazine a long time.  We really enjoyed it way back then. Almost stopped taking it several time in the last three or so yr. but the come on of buying would make us decide ok one more yr. Maybe it will improve & this July/Aug was so interesting. I know the cuts make it hard for reporters to get more stories human interest so we are hanging on one more yr.
    I’m sure more rough days are ahead  as this is what the Bible says this so  I look up & trust Him with our future & pray the good clean magazines will continue.

    Thanks for you work. Sincerely Marylin Leininger Glendale AZ.

  16. I have been a reader of the Readers Digest for over 50 years (back when the contents were printed on the cover of the magazine) and now feel it necessary to let you know about a problem that I have with the magazine. I owned a company (with 55 employees) for 27 years and know how important that advertising is to the bottom line, but I just counted the ads in your June issue and found over 80 pages of ads !!!!! Thats 1/3 of the total magazine and unacceptable. I do not subscribe (pay in advance) to have to turn page after page of ads to get to the articles,etc. I understand that you have to make a profit to stay in business, but consider the customer a little more and cut the # of ads, so we can enjoy the magazine without the problem of so many ads. Thats my 2 cents worth – spend it wisely.

  17. Is the Readers Digest diet the same as the flat belly diet which you also wrote?

  18. Is the Readers Digest diet the same as the flat belly diet which you also wrote?

  19. trying to alert you to a scam using readers digest letterhead for a fake sweepstakes award, signed david williams. i just renewed my subscription and this comes to my home saying rd wins of $920,000.00 is waiting if i cash the enclosed check for $9589 after calling john o’brien at 1 778 714 1048 for further instructions.  lois theilmann 816 478 5160.

  20. As a former Corp.ADV/SP. Director I am fully aware that sales plus adv. make a profit for the Company. However RD has become a book of medical and drug ads, Count the ads and compare to the reading material..I read RD for relaxation and information about normal everyday situations    NOT about pain killers, indegestion cure etc. Since the magazune has deterioted into a medaical advertising book we will no longer renew.
    James Flowers
    497 Palmer Dr
    Southport, NC 28461
    jmf497@earthlink.net.  

  21. WoW !!! What a June issue. I cried on a few of the stories. Mosley the   Vets that come back form there services. I am appalled at the way our returning service personal are treated. Not only to find work in there trained fields, but they come back to find there credit in ruin. I work in credit repair and when I talk to a vet that has come home to no home, I get very upset. I think if you are good enough to die or be injured for us then when you come back your credit should be at 800. Our troops need to be treated a lot a lot better then they are. Our business and government need to take better care of them. Or no one will want to serve then where will we be??  Lenora Salt Lake Utah.. An Air force Brat..

  22. Dear Liz

    Your article brought tears to this old veteran’s eyes and a lump in my throat with pride that you wrote this article which will be read around the world. God bless you dear for your remarks that praise our military and honor your dad.

    I am a 22 year retired USArmy soldier that appreciates wonderful comments about our military and the American way of life.

    God bless and keep us in your heart and mind

    Gordon Gober

    Chiefgmg @aol.com

  23. Dear Liz

    Your article brought tears to this old veteran’s eyes and a lump in my throat with pride that you wrote this article which will be read around the world. God bless you dear for your remarks that praise our military and honor your dad.

    I am a 22 year retired USArmy soldier that appreciates wonderful comments about our military and the American way of life.

    God bless and keep us in your heart and mind

    Gordon Gober

    Chiefgmg @aol.com

  24.  Dear Liz:  I liked your editorial and I  the 150 words or less on Best Life Stories.  I wanted
    Nicole Malato to know that she doesn’t have to sit and wait on the breast cancer.  My cousin
    cured her own with the help of Hoxey center now in Tijuana as FDA doesn’t think they should
    be in the U.S. She alkalizes her body with foods like Pesto instead of tomato based acid sauces.
    This will help her reach her dreams sooner.  Having Xrays every 3 months tells you if you are on
    the right track.  She watched her cancer shrink, twice, 10 years apart in separate breasts!!!!
    She cured her husband’s melanoma on his temple with the same diet and they could watch that.
    Search for foods in the alkali side of diet to reach your goal.  Best of luck to get there faster!!
    Dixie Crompton  

  25. Many times I have said,to my family,myself and friends and others” I wish my dad was here to see this”. He passed away suddenly at fifty one while I was in the Navy, I was twenty one. Much has transpired over the ensuing years, marriage, children, graduations, weddings, etc., all the normal events of life we were not able to share. Yet as I look at his picture hanging in the family room, I see his smiling face looking down at me and I say,”Dad I sure wish you were here, I hope I have made you proud. I’m sixty four now yet when I look at his photo I’m still that twenty one year old sailor and I know that he is still smiling down at me and my family.

  26. Just read your note about your dad. I feel your what you are going through. I lost my dad too last May. He was so great. So mellow, a great teacher for life, a veteran of 30yrs in the Navy, so family. Our family misses him, but have learned so much from him. Remember all those things he taught you. Oh and our/his team was the Green Bay Packers. I was so glad he saw the Pack win the Super Bowl last year. My mom is with us now and we talk about him a lot.

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