Parentless Parents: Best Tools for Remembering Our Parents

My dad would have been 73 in June. I often wonder what he would he look like if he were still alive. Would he still be working as an architect? Would he be traveling as much as he once did?

My father died just three days after September 11th -- his body, as I've shared here in earlier posts, was hijacked by a different kind of terrorist: Lung Cancer. Three months after we went out to dinner to celebrate his 63rd birthday, he was gone. That meal (Italian) was our last fun evening together. He coughed a little bit that night, but it seemed as if he just had a tickle in his throat that couldn't be washed away with the water.

What I miss most about my dad is something I only had for a short time -- experiencing him as a grandfather. My son was only 18-months-old when he died, and his younger sister never met him. I feel my job as a parentless parent is to keep my father's memory alive so my kids can feel as connected to him as possible. I do the same for my mother, who passed away before either was born.

I believe my dad's life and legacy can still impact my kids, who are now 11 and 9. In honor of Father's Day, for example, I shared some of my favorite ways to keep his memory alive on CBS.

How do you teach your children about their grandparents?

If you'd like some other ideas, please check out my Keeping Their Memory Alive blog. If you want to learn more of my favorite strategies, email me at and write "Favorite Ideas" in the subject line. I'd love to send them to you.