“Signal Grace,” by T.M. Yates, Tiffany M. Yates, Hartwood, VA., 207 pages, $11.95.

We human beings are not born with a booklet on how to raise children or be effective parents. Nor are we guaranteed that marriages or relationships that resulted in the birth of a child will last.

Success in marriages are often based on education, financial stability, age of parents at a cilld’s birth and even the state in which a family lives.

This memoir is a recounting of major events in the life of T.M. Yates, a daughter of divorced parents whose mother remarries multiple times. Her father who is in the military, doesn’t remarry until much later in life.

The book centers around her feelings toward her father as she grows up, spending the final year of high school living with him in San Antonio. She attends college at Texas A&M University at Galveston and begins her professional life.

As years pass, her emotional ties to him ebb. It is only when she learns that he is dying that she begins to comprehend the close bond they’ve always shared but not often spoken about with one another.

The shamrock becomes much more to them both than her high school’s symbol; it is the tie that will bind them beyond death.

Signal grace is a term meaning “that God is listening to you and directing you all the time. You see these moments by the grace of God. It indicates that you’re on the right path and that God is helping and guiding you,” her father explained to his daughter as they spoke for what would be their last time.

It’s a memoir of learning to understand what love, forgiveness and parental bonds truly mean. Tiffany, his daughter and the author, experiences the joy of knowing that her father knew his and her flaws. He accepted both, loved her and anticipated that she would accept and forgive his faults, too.

Most importantly, she comes to understand that he will always be with her and she will know his presence in a very special, predetermined way.

It’s a book teens and young adults need to read. Young adults struggling with parental relationships and others saying goodbye to dear friends about to transition to the next step in life, no matter what their religious beliefs may be, will benefit from reading “Signal Grace.”

Margaret Barno lives in Tyler. She is an avid reader, creative short story writer, mentor and enjoys crossword and jigsaw puzzles.

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