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DADS AND GRADS
A Tribute to My Father
Last month, I shared a bit about my mom and the amazing influence she’s had on my life. This month, I want to pay tribute to my dad, especially with Father’s Day in June. My father, James Berry, is an intelligent, caring man and someone I greatly admire. My dad is a professor of psychology, and he has incredible passion for what he does. As far back as I remember, he has encouraged me to pursue my intellectual ambitions. I am the type of guy who loves to learn new things, and I give a lot of credit to my dad for that. Even when I was young, he spoke to me as an equal and let me ask any question I had on my mind. As an undergrad, I studied both finance and psychology (thanks, Dad!). I may not be Dr. Freud, but I am curious about what makes people tick. And with my parents living four houses down the street, I have an expert just a short walk away. I’ve actually become an adjunct professor myself, and any time I’m teaching, I understand why my dad was so devoted to it. One of the reasons I wrote my book, “The Caregiver’s Legal Guide to Planning for a Loved One With Chronic Illness,” was because my dad always had a book idea on his mind, so I wanted to carry that torch, just like I did with teaching. Just like him, I consider myself a teacher and educator. It wasn’t just in the classroom where I felt the inspiration of my father. He was also my coach for many sports growing up, and he never hesitated to take the long drive to camps or away games. My love for basketball came from him, and I would visit the gym with him on Fridays
to shoot hoops and watch him play his weekly game. I always asked when I would be old enough — or good enough — to join them. My dad promised me that as soon as I was taller than the shortest guy on the court, I would be allowed to play. The first day that happened is one I’ll never forget; it was a rite of passage. Speaking of rites of passage, high school graduations will be happening this month. And before the start of college, there’s an important legal matter that should be addressed. Once someone turns 18, they need to give their parents power of attorney if they want to have access to
documents like medical records. This can seem like a trivial detail, but it can prove crucial in the event of an emergency. I urge you to discuss with your adult-age children, before they head off to school, the need for a medical and financial power of attorney.
Here’s wishing everyone a safe and happy graduation season.
– Christopher J. Berry
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