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The Sweet Surprise

It is not the length of life, but the depth of life. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson When my friend Susan died unexpectedly, I of course went to her funeral. Check that, it wasn’t a funeral; it was an ice cream social. She made it clear that when she passed away, she wanted to be celebrated not mourned. I walked into an unfamiliar place filled with unfamiliar faces. But in front me, like a sweet oasis, was a long table smartly decorated with six different flavors and every topping you can imagine. I dug in…for her (hehehehe). Susan’s daughter, Zoie stood in front of everyone, choked back tears, and refused to speak of her mother in the past tense. Instead, she …

Reasons to Smile

The past beats inside me like a second heart. ~ John Banville Five months into the pandemic, I’ve entered a new coping phase. I’ve gone through fear and worry, anger and sadness, and now this: nostalgia — the desire to return, at least in thought, to a former time. With less noise in my life and fewer distractions tugging at me, memories bubble to the surface. Dad, pushing our rusty, old manual lawnmower on Witters Street. My Grandpa letting me steer the red boat on Sand Lake when I was six-years-old. Summer thunderstorms with my crackling transistor radio tuned to Tiger baseball underneath my pillow. Fall nights, my bedroom window open, listening to the leaves in the big trees blow …

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The Day We Looked Up

Three years ago, a total solar eclipse fascinated us. The moon cast its shadow and darkness fell over our cities. The world slowed, and in some cases, came to a complete halt. People stepped out of their offices, pulled their cars over, and gathered on rooftops for the chance to see something spectacular. I remember feeling excited, slightly unnerved and so very small. It was one of my favorite days. I thought about God a lot that day. I think about Him more now. I hate to say this, but COVID-19 had to happen. We were complacent and entertained —— lulled to sleep by the mistaken belief that we’re in charge. We’re not, and we’re angry about it. Have you …

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When I Was a Kid

Grandpa parked his white Taystee Bread truck in front of our house, opened the back door, and told every kid lucky enough to be outside at the time to jump in and grab a Mickey Banana Flip or Devil’s Food Cake. We played kickball in the street and yelled CAR! before scattering to the curb like bugs. Mom vacuumed at night after she put my brother, sister and me to bed. Somehow, I felt loved watching the vacuum’s front headlight under my bedroom door. When I was kid My dog was so big, I rode him like a horse. My friend John and I sneaked out of the house at 4am and rode our bikes all over town, dumpster diving …

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The White Man in the Mirror

I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. Don’t kill me. Please, sir. Please. I can’t breathe. Mama! Mama! ~ George Floyd Watching the video was horrifying. I watched knowing these were George’s final words — his final fears. I watched as he called out for his mother. She died two years ago. Read that again. He called out for his mother. Today, I’m taking a long look in the mirror because I didn’t want to believe that a cop would do that. I didn’t want to believe ANYONE would do that. There must be something more here; something else. There must be. There’s not. TRUTH: I Know Next to Nothing About the Black Experience. I was born in Saginaw, Michigan in …