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’.