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Teaching Their Daughter About the Grandparents She Never Met

David Alan Basche and Alysia Reiner are a Hollywood power couple. You know Basche from the TV Land comedy, The Exes, and he’s starred in shows like The Starter Wife and Lipstick Jungle, and appeared in such films as United 93 and War of The Worlds. What you likely don’t know is that he lost his father when he was six and makes the conscious decision nearly every day to bring him up in conversation. Basche wants to make sure his daughter knows the grandfather she never met. More on his amazing wife Reiner in a bit.

For Basche, the key to keeping his father’s memory alive is a tiny hourglass he’s saved all these years, a cherished object from his childhood. Here’s how he explained the loss of his father and this sentimental object to me:

As for Reiner, the actress who plays “Fig” on Orange Is the New Black and the district attorney on How to Get Away with Murder, she lost her father more recently, in 2002. A few years after he died, as a way to honor his memory, she created Speed Grieving, a short film about loss. Now, with Reiner’s latest movie Equity getting into Sundance and being sold to Sony Pictures Classics, the opportunity to celebrate her dad’s memory has taken on greater significance. 

She told me, “As much as Speed Grieving was in honor my dad, making Equity was in some ways more so. There was much more work involved, and all the skills he taught me — team building, leading, empowering others — all came into play. Making the film made me feel incredibly close to him. It’s a wonderful feeling that I talk about with my daughter. My father, like David’s dad, is a part of our daughter’s life because he’s still such an essential part of mine.”

Like Basche and Reiner, it’s important to me that my children feel connected to my parents. I tell stories about them and cook many of the foods they enjoyed. Have you found ways to share memories of your loved ones? Please share in the comments.

Best wishes,


Featured images courtesy of Alysia Reiner and 


  1. Tonya Moore says

    I try so hard to keep the spirit of my Unk alive for all his grandchildren- and for myself (yes, he was “technically” an Uncle, but way better, so therefore- was an Unk- and who along with my Aunt Kay, raised me but still treated me much as their grandchild- well, Unk did a lot anyway- I’m a just wee bit spoiled from him, and expect every man to have his knowledge, patience, skills and capacity to love). I have a few of his random little things… A bullet casing from his 21 gun salute (he was with the civil service over 50 years!), the first knife he ever made (out of a car shank and a leg from his mother’s kitchen table), and several of his old, beat up flannels and stained up t-shirts (he was an engineer, like Basche’s father, but since he was also a carpenter, he did repairs for anyone and everyone when folks couldn’t afford it- he said wood-working, construction, electrical and plumbing work were nothing but different versions of engineering). I want to do something special with his shirts for his grandchildren that won’t get to know him like I did, and to share my crazy memories of the hilarious, generous, thoughtful, smart man he was somehow… But I can’t figure out a way to incorporate even some of who he was for them. I’d love to read Past and Present. I’ve never lost a parent, and I feel like I’m very much wandering in the dark. But since I scrapbook, and sew, and craft in just about every way, it seems like it could be the book I’ve been searching for since his passing. I’m anxious for it to start selling. Thanks for sharing here, and for giving me a place to express *something* about it all.

    • Hi Tonya,
      Thank you so much for writing and taking the time to respond. Yes, I can’t wait for the book to come out, too! I think you’ll find many ideas for all those flannels and t-shirts. 🙂 Please keep in touch. I’d love to hear your thoughts when Passed and Present comes out in April.

      All best,

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