Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Book Reveals Parenting Lessons From A Tragedy
Reid Hollister was a rambunctious, handsome, and sometimes rebellious 17-year-old teenager. While he delighted many friends with humor, he struggled as a student and chafed at guidance. As he began his senior year in high school, Reid suddenly found himself accused of misconduct, which he vehemently denied. Several days later, while driving on a highway, Reid died in a one-car crash.
His Father Still: A Parenting Memoir (Published by Argo Navis, a division of Perseus Books, October 2015) is Reid's father's disarmingly candid account of the tumult of parenting Reid through his teenage years, and then confronting the unthinkable obligations of a father to a son after a sudden tragedy. But this book is about much more than parenting and grief: In the months following Reid's crash, as Tim Hollister worked to steady himself and his family, he found himself consumed by an accelerated need to answer two questions: Had he been a good father? And in raising Reid, had he struck the right balance between exposing him to life's risks while protecting him from life's dangers?
Answers came in large part from a flood of condolences conveyed through letters and emails, and also in social media posts – which at the time, 2006, were a brand-new phenomenon. From these messages emerged a mosaic of Reid's character and personality that was barely known to Tim while Reid was alive because, as parents raise teens by "letting out the tether," they see less of and know less about their kids. Thus, after Reid's passing, Tim learned more about his son than he had known while Reid was alive.
O Magazine said of the book: “May Holister’s soul-searching serve as a cautionary tale for every reader.”
”Eventually, it occurred to me that parents would benefit from a story of attending to a teenager’s legacy after a tumultuous life, a sudden death, a barrage of questions and doubts, a reassessment of what had happened and what might have been done differently, and eventually a wistful and new appreciation of my son’s life and a way for us to go forward as father and son,” writes Tim, “I considered that parents might be emboldened to say no and to make better decisions, or at least approach their choices with an added perspective and be more appreciative of what they have.”
Here is an interview with the author:
1. The title, His Father Still: A Parenting Memoir, gives us some idea of what the book is about – but what do you think it’s about? It’s the story of parenting a rebellious yet fearful teenager; the continuing obligations of a father after losing a child; and building a sustainable relationship after a loved one’s passing. I resist calling this book a “grief journey” or advice about how to recover from a tragedy. It’s about parenting. This said, the book is about a long list of things that don’t necessarily or logically fit together, but shaped my experience as a father, both before and after Reid’s passing. So, in no particular order:
For more information, please consult: www.fromreidsdad.org
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. Please note that Mr. Hollister is promoted by the company Brian works for. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015