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I’m Not Who I Was

Youth is wasted on the young. ~ George Bernard Shaw I kept a journal in the eighties. Wait, let me rephrase that, I kept a journal for a few months in the eighties. I still have it. The other night I took it down from the top shelf in my closet, dusted it off and opened it to page one. My first thought is…fascinating. We’ll get back to that. My birthday is tomorrow. I didn’t think I would enjoy getting older; I do. Life has been a wonderful teacher and in recent years, I have become a more attentive student. I’ll gladly take the grey whiskers and wrinkles – sorry, “laugh lines,” along with the gained wisdom and discernment. A …

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Time Remains Undefeated

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. ~ Dr. Seuss Yesterday, my wife and I gave something precious to the United States Navy: our daughter.  The goodbye was swift.  The driver of her airport transfer van held the door open and our family surrounded Emily in the parking lot. I know my daughter. I could tell she was determined to hold it together. She wanted to make a clean getaway. If she could have, she would have blown a few kisses, dove into the van, and yelled to the driver, “Go! Go! Go!” Instead, she gave quick, individual hugs to her grandpa, her grandma, her mom, her aunt, her sister, and me. There was very little eye contact. …

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We’re Meaner

I guess I messed up on the road the other day. I didn’t turn on red right away, and the driver behind me took exception. She laid on her horn. About a half-mile later, she pulled up along side me and gestured to me to put my window down. I did. “Why didn’t you turn back there?!” she demanded. “Learn how to drive!” she screamed. This lady was livid. She wagged her finger at me, her voice, shaking as she spoke. The rest of my morning commute, I saw her face in my head and I wondered why that five-second delay in her morning so enraged her. I realize this encounter was minor compared to the profanity-laced road rage that …

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The Slow Let-Go

Parents have 938 weeks to prepare their kids for the world. 938. My wife and I are out of time. Our daughters turn eighteen this month. One is enrolled in college. The other has joined the United States Navy. They will dip their pens into the ink well of life and write a story uniquely their own. Meantime, we helplessly peer through the hourglass as the tiny grains of sand dwindle at startling speed. I want to reach for it and flip it over; reset it. Try again. Change. It’s equal parts exciting and excruciating. Weeks before he passed away, my friend Steve reached out to me and asked, “How can I pray for you?” Knowing Steve this didn’t surprise …

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My Time with Bill

I was sitting on an uncomfortable couch in the dressing room at Oprah; or maybe it was just me who was uncomfortable. After all, I was about to meet one of the most recognizable human beings on the planet—Bill Cosby.  I was his literary publicist. It was my job to accompany him to media appearances and book signings to promote his book, Come On People. It’s hard to describe how surreal it was to go from being a kid from Saginaw, Michigan to the representative for entertainment royalty. Until this moment, I had only heard Cosby’s voice on the other end of a conference call. Now I’m  in his dressing room. The bathroom door swung open and he appeared to …