Frank McCourt died.
He’s one of my favorite authors. Non-blinkingly, I will put him right up there with Vonnegut, Salinger, Manning, and Hornby—all geniuses in their own fields. “Angela’s Ashes” is one of my favorite books. It even made me decide that if I ever have a daughter (ahem—ladies…) I’d strongly push to name her Angela. I always meant to write to him and tell him how important his work was to me. I didn’t. Whoops.
Frank McCourt came to fame late in life. He was an Irish immigrant. He grew up poor and nearly died a number of times from diseases the poor don’t have the money to fight. He overcame. He saved his money. He got out. He came to America and stood on his own two feet, eventually becoming a teacher. He taught for years. He grew in dignity and respect…
…but that was not his dream.
He started writing. He fudged some of the details and names to avoid lawsuits…and in 1996, after 30 years of teaching, at the age of 66, he published “Angela’s Ashes” and became a semi-household name. He dreamed. He wrote. And, older than most who “break through,” he succeeded.
I’ll miss Frank McCourt…but I’m not going to mourn him. A main thrust of his writing is moving forward and not letting anything stop you. It wouldn’t be appropriate to mourn. Instead, I will dream. I will KEEP dreaming. And if my name’s ever up in lights, or if it’s just in black and white in an obituary one day… I will live knowing that I have succeeded, because I never stopped believing that dreams can be achieved.
Thanks for giving me and millions of other readers that lesson, Frank. I hope you’re enjoying the rest you so richly deserve. Sorry that some people are only NOW going to read your work. So it goes.