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Counting Her Blessings


The cat died in Ben's arms. "I took Spike from him, and Richard found me on the couch the next morning. He said, ‘The kids understood and went to bed, and you're still sitting here holding a dead cat.' We wrapped Spike in a beautiful scarf, and we had workmen dig a grave," Vieira recalls. "Nobody explained to them who the grave was for. They thought it was for Richard and made it way too big. We put ‘Circle of Life' on, and danced around it, and everybody wrote something for Spike and put it in. I spent hours filling in that grave."

The Spike story is vintage Vieira: funny and moving, with a journalist's eye for detail and a mother's eye for italicizing a pivotal life lesson that the kids will remember. I'm trying to decide if I'd rather be her best friend or her child when I hear her use the words "roots and wings." I think she's back to her Thanksgiving menu, but no, the phrase turns out to be what parents are meant to give their children. "I can't take credit for it," she says. "We heard it when our kids started nursery school. It's bittersweet." And delicious, and healthy. Just the sort of recipe that works best for Meredith Vieira.


Originally published on October 10, 2007


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