Editors Note: Father Time | Reader's Digest

Editor’s Note: Father Time

A note from Reader's Digest editor-in-chief, Liz Vaccariello.

By Liz Vaccariello from Reader's Digest | February 2012

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 »

  • Your Comments

    • tony caldwell

      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.

    • Donna Small

      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.

    • Leonard C. Spano

      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  

    • Fstirrup

      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

    • Colette

      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..

    • http://twitter.com/hiyacynthia Cindy Brown

      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.

    • Dennis E. Hall

      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

    • Dennis E. Hall

      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

    • Marylinleininger

      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.

    • Crgattyler

      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.