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My Father and A Memory of Light


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A Memory of Light (while I liked the book the first time I read it, and loved it the second time) it remains a bitter-sweet fruit for me...


My mother introduced my father to the Wheel of Time back in the early 90s, and she thought I would like it as well, so I picked up book one in 1995. (I was a Freshman in High School at the time.)


The series would mesmerize my dad and me for the next 15 years and we would have discussions and theorize with each other on the plot, characters, the Last Battle, etc. We anticipated each book excitedly and my dad would always purchase the hardback when it came out and I would have to wait until he was finished with it before I could start. He would take the hardback to work with him and read it on his lunch. Luckily he was like me and would become so engrossed with the book that he would finish it within a few days.


This pattern repeated (no pun intended, haha) for a few years until I got my own money and purchased the books myself. We both enjoyed the conversations and looked in anticipation and counted down the days to book release dates. When Gathering Storm was published after such a long wait from Knife of Dreams, we were both very excited that the series was going to be finished and we both quickly purchased the book and read through it with a new vigor. But then something sad happened...


When Towers of Midnight came out, my dad didn't express the same desire he once had to read the book. He didn't even purchase it. This was the first book in the series he didn't purchase. I loaned him my hardcover and he read it in about a week, rekindling some of his desire to finish the series. But then it got worse...


I don't seek to lessen the seriousness of what is happening to my father, but what the medical world calls dementia and Alzheimers, I just keep referring to it as the taint privately. My father is not the same as he used to be. He used to read and delve into those books as deeply as I ever did (and still do). He used to look forward to the end of the series with as much excitement as I did. Then January 8th finally came...


My copy arrived from Amazon and was waiting for me at home. I then proceeded to finish the book in about 3 days. When I finished I told my dad he could read my copy. He took it from me, and seemed excited about it again. I was glad for that and was hoping he would get the closure on the series that I had been waiting since 1995 for.


I asked him about a week later how his reading of it was coming along.


He said he hasn't read it much and didn't even get through the prologue.


I asked why not?


He said he couldn't keep track of all the jumping back and forth from perspective to perspective and couldn't keep track of the story. He put the book on the shelf and said he would read it "later." He has never brought it up to me again and continues doing what he does each day as the taint continues to take away the father I once knew.


I didn't think I would cry when I wrote this up, but I needed to get this off my chest. My father LOVED the many perspectives of the characters in the previous books. He had no problem following the different lines of thought and constant jumping around. Now, he can't do it. I SO wanted to read and share with my father the ending of such a fantastic series and now I won't get to...


I am excited to read the Wheel of Time with my young children when they grow a few more years. I hope to share with them what I couldn't with my own dad. I hope they come to love the books as much as I do. 


But this write-up is for you Dad. I'm sorry the taint is getting to you before you got a chance to enjoy the ending as I and so many others did. I know you are still with us, but you are not the father I remember and it is incredibly difficult to see. But the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills...


May you always find water and shade, dad. You deserve it.

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What a lovely tribute to your dad.  I'm so sorry you have to see this decline. (I'm seeing a physical decline in my dad now - I'd always thought of him as kind of a Superman, but a lifetime of farming and woods-work is showing.)  I think it's great that you plan to take it to your children, and it can tie the generations together.

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I almost cried when I read this... I'm so sorry for you, and at the same time I feel so blessed that I can read (and finish) this series with my mom! She is not so addicted as me (and by far not as addicted as you and your dad once were) but that doesn't matter to me, I can at least talk with her about the ending. For us, and many with us, we got this wonderful website/forum and all these people to theorize with! It's not the same as with parents, or real friends, but at least we have something ;)


I hope your children will love the books as much as you do, so you can fantasize and theorize with them :) 


May you, your family and your father always find water and shade! 

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Thanks for sharing this.  This is a beautiful story even though your father hasn't been able to finish WoT.


I honestly envy the relationship you had, I've never been able to share my interest in stories, books, movies, art etc. with my family because they dislike fantasy and stories like the Wheel of Time.  I see a lot of bonding between families over these books, especially on this forum, and it's great that you were able to share what you could with your father.


It's also great to hear you will pass the tradition of reading these books to your children, too. 

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I also was introduced to this series by a relative; a nephew.  He gave book 1 to me shortly before Robert Jordan died.  I have bought/purchased the rest of the books after that.

Seldom talk about this series with my real-life acquaintances.  Mainly when they ask about this series.

This forum is the main place I talk about this series.


furthest I read has been Towers of Midnight.  skimmed through various parts of Memory of Light after I got it.  Am in my third time through this series; at Lord of Chaos.



If you do not mind telling, how old is your father?

And is he getting treatment?

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