This July marks the second anniversary of my father’s death. My relationship with my father was strained at times but he is the person who made me feel safe. Honestly, the feelings I have for my father are complex. Underlying all those emotions, I feel love and miss him dearly. Today, I wanted to share a story from my childhood that shows how affectionate he could be.

When we were children, my parents would do puzzles with me and my brother. My mother usually focused on games related to word play. We did lots of cryptograms together. She would also play hangman with us. This was great because it helped build my vocabulary.

With my father, it was different. I have very fond memories of doing logic problems with him. I would sneak into his office while he was working. He would take a break and we would work out a puzzle together. Logic was one of my father’s favorite classes at school. He was good at it too!

He told me the story of taking his logic class in college. On the day of the final exam, my father noticed that a problem on the test was flawed. He understood what answer the teacher was looking for but the problem was wrong. He went up to the teacher, pointed out this flaw, and left. Of course, he passed the class.

There was an awesome consequence of doing so many logic puzzles with my dad. In High School, my history teacher would give us extra credit for completing logic puzzles! I had done so many, and gotten so much credit, that it would have covered me failing my final exam. I didn’t need all those points to pass but I thought that was pretty cool.

Logic problems are still one of my favorite types of puzzles. I try to grab a puzzle book every month to keep my skills sharp. Mostly, it reminds me of good times with my father.

SUSAN SILVER

I’m the writer with a mathematical muse. I love words, numbers, dreaming big & helping others. I believe that whatever you imagine, you can become. They/Them.

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