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Editor’s note: Steve and Kathy Doocy’s brand new “The Simply Happy Cookbook,” is not only a filled with easy, delicious, stress-free recipes—it’s also a family memoir with heartwarming and sometimes hilarious stories. Here’s one of them…
When I was growing up, my parents had a standard they tried to apply to all their five kids. They wanted to treat us all equally— always. They didn’t want to give a compliment to one without complimenting all of us. This probably seemed like a thorough-enough plan to them—but a kid can never hear enough parental praise. That need for parental affirmation doesn’t end at childhood—we crave it our whole lives.
Now that my parents are both gone, I miss that a lot—although I must admit that my dad, Jim Doocy, came very close to effusive praise… once, when I was in my forties.
My mom died on Christmas morning 1997. Our whole family was a wreck for the longest time because her death was completely unexpected. I tried to comfort my father (and myself) the best I could, with phone calls to him at least once or twice a day. We’d run out of things to talk about, but it