Catholic grandparents will want to follow Tom McQueen’s lead in passing their values to grandchildren

December 10, 2010

Bobz Book Reviews

Sacrifice.

Integrity.

Respect.

Friendship.

Happiness.

Forgiveness

These are just a smattering of the topics author Tom McQueen waxes eloquently about in “Letters to Ethan: A Grandfather’s Legacy of Life & Love.”

McQueen, a marriage and family therapist for more than 25 years, writes about things many of us have wished we’d have said to our own children or grandchildren.

They’re personal stories, intimate thoughts.

They’re original, they’re borrowed, they’re recycled from the Internet.

But combined into 150 some pages in a Seraphina Press paperback ($14.95), they serve to remind us that we who have live much have much to tell and comment on, much to add to the knowledge base of the younger generations and maybe, maybe help them enjoy what we have enjoyed as well as spare them from some of the grief that we’ve caused ourselves.

This is a book full of quotes to savor:

  • “You can read all of the books and study all of the principles of religion and behavioral science and become very smart scholars . . . but none of that really matters . . . because the single most important purpose for living is to know people, to engage people, and to uplift people.”
  • “All true heroes have one thing in common. They all want to do the right thing. Heroes value the sacredness of humanity and will sacrifice their lives to preserve the life, dignity and freedom of their brothers and sisters.”
  • “One of the shocking realities in this world that will take you by surprise when you least expect it is just how quickly your life passes. One day you’ll be sitting in math class looking at your watch and wondering when it’s going to end and in the blink of an eye you’re taking your vitamin supplement to help with that arthritis that’s been bothering you lately.”

There are great lessons McQueen hopes to teach his grandson through these letters, lessons about taking risks, about choosing a life’s vocation (as opposed to a job or a career), about faith and about prayer.

Each and every one is worth your time to read. Each and every one is worth sharing — maybe with your own progeny. — bz

, , , , , , ,

About Bob Zyskowski

Bob is the Client Products Manager for the Communications Office of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. A 42-year veteran of the Catholic Press, he is the former Associate Publisher of The Catholic Spirit. You can follow him on twitter or email him at zyskowskir@archspm.org.

View all posts by Bob Zyskowski