Don’t leave a good time to chance. Experiences have to be woven with care and planning, like a tapestry. ~ Jim Rohn

The most frequent question I get at events?

How’s your dad?

Dad is a book-selling machine. I can no longer accuse him of having a recliner-tail or waiting to die. He gets up every day and accosts, I mean, persuades more people to buy my books….especially the Dad Book, his preferred name for Not Without My Father. 

His only problem? He can’t take credit cards.

But I had a plan. I called Mom to prepare her.


“I ordered Dad a Square credit card reader.”

“A what?”

“A credit card thing he can attach to a smartphone.”

Dad lumbered into view, his pajama top splayed open. “What’s a smartphone, huh?”

“See what I mean, Andra? Your daddy is hopeless with technology.”

I eyed Mom, a woman-of-a-certain-age who prides herself on her FaceTime savvy, her understanding of apps, and her hip usage of Emoji.

“Does your smartphone have BlueTooth?”


(See, I didn’t even have to explain what BlueTooth is!)

“You can use the Square.”

“But I’m not with him when he’s selling.”

“Here’s your excuse to spend more quality time together.”

“Do you want us to stay married?”

I chewed my lip and relived every Mom-helping-Dad argument they ever had when I was growing up.

“I’m trying to get it in the hole, Linda. You’re not holding it in the right spot.”

“I put it right where you told me to.”

“No, I said here.” Dad grunted and strained. “Golly Molly, Linda. You still can’t get it right.”

“Fine. You hold your own flashlight and try to drill holes at the same time.”

I rubbed my hands over my face and sighed. I wanted to help Dad close more sales, but not at the expense of our fragile family sanity.

What could I do?

I decided to make this a good experience. I’m smart. I could divine a foolproof plan, right?



This is part of a series of pictures about making memories. If you liked the story why not share it with your friends? Let’s meet on Facebook or Twitter. If you prefer pictures you will surely like my Instagram. I’ve collected inspirational things and more on Pinterest! Any comments? Write them below!

dreaded parental conversations

Ever dreaded parental conversations? I don’t mean the ones parents have with children. Birds-and-bees. What death means.


I mean conversations parents foist upon their hapless children, filling their brains with things they NEVER, EVER wanted to imagine, hear, or know.

Me: Mom, I’m really upset. A couple of my friends are splitting up.

Mom: Oh, that’s terrible news. What happened?

Me: The usual sad stuff, I guess. Poor communication. Growing apart. No sex in almost five years.

Mom: WHAT? Don’t they know that’s what Saturday morning cartoons are for???

Me: *shut down facetime as fast as possible and scrubbed brain*

Bugs Bunny will NEVER be the same.

Mom: Your daddy came in here the other night and asked me if I missed sex.


Dad: Tell her what you said, Linda.


Mom: I said, “YES!!!!!!!!!”

Dad: Tell her what I did then.

Me: *pounded iPad on floor until it almost broke*

Their calls have gone to voicemail
for a WEEK. ICK.

Dad: You sure looked good today, Linda.

Mom: *silence*

Dad: I saw how them men were looking at you, with your tight—


My Brother: Well, you should be glad you don’t have to live with them.

Me: Why?

My Brother: Because they NEVER wear clothes. If Dad stands in my bedroom door naked one more time and scratches himself while he talks about football—

Me: How did I turn out normal?

Don’t answer, Dear Reader.
Instead, give us a crazy parental
anecdote in today’s comments.


In the next two weeks, the audio version of Not Without My Father will be available! A special author interview! A Q & A with DAD! Almost seven hours of ME reading to YOU!

Click HERE to listen to the first chapter.


Thank you to everyone who supported my brother and my parents during our recent crisis. Since I shared my brother’s situation, I’ve tried to respect his privacy.

I write about him today
because he could use continued encouragement.

A person may walk away from a suicide attempt. He may be told his body processed an overdose without any negative long-term impact to his overall health. He may hear over and over again, in therapy and at home, how much he matters.

He hasn’t given up. Doctors are adjusting his course of treatment. Next week, he’ll be evaluated for a program we both believe will help him heal.

Whether you’re the praying sort or the positive thoughts sort,
please reserve a space for him.

The mind is a tricky thing. It usually fixates on whether or not a life matters to specific people. When those people don’t care about a life, it’s easy to believe no one does.

Every life matters. Every. Life. Whether an individual thinks he matters is irrelevant. Every. Life. Matters. If you know my brother, once knew my brother, or are a stranger with a few seconds, I know he would appreciate that message in the coming days.

Thank you again to everyone who contacted my parents, my brother, and me. Thank you for the cards, letters, calls, visits, and messages of encouragement and hope. Thank you for the continued requests for additional information. While I don’t want to make multiple posts about a private matter, I believe it’s important to acknowledge the efforts of so many people. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you again.