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Dear Mr. Buscaglia,
My mother is a school librarian and I am grateful for that because I have been around books my whole life. Occasionally in my school experiences, I have been asked to name my "favorite" book. Although I have always answered with one title or another as I was growing up, it was not until I read The Fall of Freddie the Leaf that I realized what "favorite book" should mean.
I am only 12-years-old, but a few years ago, I lost my grandfather who had nicknamed me "chapulin" ("grasshopper" in his native Spanish) since I was a baby. More recently, I lost a great aunt, who I could always count on for a hug. Your story of Freddie the leaf comes to mind not only when I think of them but during other quiet times as well.
I picture myself as Freddie, young and strong, and with so many questions about my future life. My grandfather was much like Daniel . . . wise, patient, and always loving. Like Daniel, he let go of life gently, without complaints or anger or bitterness. He accepted his time to let go. My great aunt fought to hang on, much like other leaf characters in your book.
Your story has remained in my mind. It made me understand that life is precious for as long as it is given, and I find myself wondering if I am fulfilling a worthwhile purpose. But death is part of life and needs to be accepted as well.
Now I wonder how your own death came about last June. I can only hope that you were able to let go like Daniel, that you did not suffer, and that you are now in a much better place.
Thank you for Daniel and Freddie. They will stay in my heart for as long as I am given the gift of life.
Marc D. Trust
© The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. (Used by permission.)