Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tear-Stained Pages

While reading the books will probably inspire hope, thinking about the two books by dads involved with their sons only brings (at least near) tears.

Norwegian literateur Halfdan W. Freihow wrote a book his son will probably never finish, although he did listen to half of it as an audio book. "Dear Gabriel: Letter From a Father" is the tack the father took to communicate what he couldn't to his autistic son. Amazingly, as he was writing the book, the then 9-year-old boy suddenly learned to read.

And a Los Angeles-area man is at work on the story he encouraged his son to start before a sniper's bullet ended the possibility of his finishing it. Darrell Griffin Sr. was recently visiting Iraq, trying to learn more about what his son went through there in order to give final shape to the journals of war his son kept as an infantryman in Sadr City.

Film rights have already been sold — with the proviso that it not be used either to support or denounce the war, only to tell the son's story — even as the Griffins' work continues. Says Sr., "I don't think you'll find a father and son closer than we were. He was the smartest man I ever met. I'm not writing this book, we're writing it."

** The father-child bond is most extraordinary when it combines both strength and distance. **

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