A Heartwarming, Emotional, Humorous Reading Experience, March 18, 2008 by Richard R. Blake (San Leandro, CA)
Karen Arlettaz Zemek has written a tribute to her father Harry Arlettaz in her book "My Funny Dad, Harry." The book is filled with short funny stories about life with Harry, his family, and his cats. Harry was recognized as a man of integrity, discipline, a wonderful craftsman, and his dedication to serving the Lord by serving others.
Cat lovers will enjoy the tenderness, care, and concern of a generous man willing to sacrifice for a needy animal. Karen gives detailed descriptions and the antics of Harry's cats: Blackie, Bootsie, and Diamond Jim, Razzle "Frazzle Dazzle, Fluff, Puff, Timi, Striper, Softie, and Sweet Thing to name only a few. Harry built a "Kitty Motel" for the stray cats in the neighborhood. He included windows and a swinging door for the cat's convenience.
As Harry grew older he maintained a spirit of independence. Even as he recognized his limitations he never complained but downplayed his own physical inabilities rather than allowing himself to impose on others.
Karen has captured the reality of the physical impairments of growing old. She has communicated a sense of the humorous even in the hard situations.I appreciated Karen's dedication to her father and her devotion and sacrifice in caring for him. Throughout the telling of Harry's story Karen was never "preachy" but wove a tapestry ribbon of God's love and grace throughout the narrative. In an appendix she has included a clear cut invitation to pursue a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as savior.
I smiled as I read of Harry's years of accumulation of tools, magazines, and every conceivable collectible. I was challenged to take a look at the clutter in my life, the unfinished projects, sentimental "stuff," and begin sorting out my own priorities.
"My Funny Dad, Harry" is a delightful memoir of a tender hearted man dedicated to
serving others. Well written, humorous, and heartwarming.
Here's another one:
By Sofia Steryo-Bartmus, Author "Paws of Wisdom", May 22, 2008
(West Hills, CA USA)
FILLED WITH EMOTION....is exactly what My Funny Dad, Harry is made of. Karen has done an excellent job in honoring her dad by telling his story in an easy to read, short journal-like fashion. Each chapter will make you laugh or cry, or do both at the same time. This was a very comforting book for me and I would recommend it to anyone who has ever been a caregiver for a loved one, is dealing with that responsibility now or will be in the future.
One of the things that stand out for me was when Karen was showing her dad how to use the computer (at age 88!) and she was "surprised" to discover that he had so many things wrong with him. She writes: "I didn't realize he had so many problems, because he never complained and kept his sense of humor and positive attitude"! You see, we remember our parents as being young and strong instead of what they have become; old, weak and fragile. Our duty is just to love them, care for them and be patient with them.
This book not only teaches us to endure some challenging moments with our aging parents, but also how to live our lives like Harry; Obey God, love your family and serve others.