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The Lost Boy

Just like clockwork, there was a familiar enthusiastic knock on the front door. Nearly every morning, Jaylen the eight-year-old boy from next door would rap on the door looking for food, something to do or…well, really anything. “It’s Jaylen again,” Lindsey calls to her husband as she opens the door and he scurries in. Like most boys his age, Jaylen is a bundle of energy. He’s a sweet little boy with an enormous smile and an infectious laugh. He lives with his grandparents a few acres down the hill from Lindsey’s home. But he’s rarely there. He leaves the house in the morning, plays on the farm, gets lost in the woods, and hangs out at the neighbor’s house. One …

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Egg Salad and So Much More

My grandma made the most incredible egg salad sandwiches. She’d make me two: one for now, one for later. She’s been gone for fifteen years and I can still taste them. My cousin Katie has received an angel Christmas ornament every year for more than two decades. First from her grandmother. Then, after she passed away, from her grandfather. Today, just weeks after her grandfather passed, she received one from her mom. Sometimes the world brings me down. There’s so much heartbreak. It often overwhelms. But then, I turned to social media and asked people what they’re grateful for. Only minutes later… Hearing my daughter’s heartbeat. My son and my health. My wife’s face. I found a living donor who …

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Scarred and Thankful

It’s a shallow life that doesn’t give a person a few scars ~ Garrison Keillor July 29, 1979. For so many years, I wished I could turn back the clock and relive that sunny summer Sunday——the day a simple bike ride turned into a horrific accident that left me scarred and forever changed. I was twelve-years-old and I was on the same bike trail I’d ridden a hundred times before. Only this time, the culvert over a six-foot ditch had been removed. I found myself airborne, speeding head-first toward the sun-hardened clay below. Instinctively, I broke my fall by raising my left arm over my face. I heard a grotesque snap. My arm was broken in half at the elbow. …

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One Minute In The Road

Every choice you make makes you. ~ John Maxwell On June 16, 1984, I was at my high school graduation party. Tables decorated in Eisenhower High School green and white were set up in the garage, spilling out onto the driveway. I think my parents invited every person who’s ever been in their lives. It was a pretty good crowd and I was clowning around, manning the bar, serving drinks. Suddenly I heard someone say, “Curt, there’s an old dude out here who wants to talk to you.” I looked out front and saw a car idling in the middle of our busy road, an old man behind the wheel. I made my way down the long, gravel driveway toward …

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The Girl Who Runs Toward Danger

When you’re soaring through the air, I will be your solid ground. Take every chance you dare, I’ll still be there, when you come back down. ~ Nickel Creek It’s funny, but I knew my daughter would serve in the military before she did. After four years of watching her compete in high school JROTC competitions, I honestly couldn’t picture her in a dorm room studying economics. But she insisted throughout her senior year that she was done with camouflage, early morning workouts, inspections and obstacle courses. I listened to her reasoning and I offered a few of my own thoughts but ultimately, I knew she would have to decide the course of her life. Her mother and I would …