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A Match Made at McDonald’s

A happy marriage is a union of two good forgivers. On an April day in 1961, an 18-year-old girl and her mother pulled into a McDonald’s restaurant in Saginaw, Michigan in the family’s brand-new, powder-blue convertible Chevy Impala. There was a tall, handsome young man with a buzz-cut working behind the counter, hustling to fill people’s orders. No one is quite sure if Dad noticed the car, my beautiful grandmother or mom first, but something got his attention. He threw a few grins and flirtatious-glances their way, and Grandma said to Mom, “That’s the kind of guy I want you to marry.” That night, Mom hopped back in the car and went back to McDonald’s with the express purpose of …

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Are You Happy?

Her question threw me off a bit. It was bold, especially coming from someone I only recently met. She said it casually. She said it quickly. She stared into my eyes awaiting my reply. “Are you happy?” This week, I turn 55. I’m truly not bothered by that number. In fact, I look forward to getting older. I’m wiser, more self-aware, and more patient than I was when I was younger. I live a drama-free life, and I love it. I have learned that some things really matter; many things do not. So, 55? Cool. It’s just a number. “Well, are you…happy?” I hesitated and I deflected. “Don’t I look happy?” I laughed awkwardly. She saw right through this. I …

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Until We Meet Again

My friend Steve got to attend his own funeral. Can you imagine? His body was filled with cancer. His treatments were prolonging his life, but they weren’t going to save him. He was surely dying. He shrugged that kind of talk off. “We start to die the day we’re born,” he reasoned. “Life’s not done until it’s done” His co-workers at Family Christian Stores decided to “throw him” a funeral. He joked that he still planned on being at his actual funeral but he could really enjoy this one. “This is a time to laugh and cry,” he said. And he did. I couldn’t attend the celebration. I sent a letter which was read out loud. Someone sent me a …

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Hope and Shi

Like a comet Blazing ‘cross the evening sky Gone too soon ~ Michael Jackson Two girls on opposite sides of the country. Two girls with big smiles, big laughs, and even bigger dreams. Two girls I never met but would come to know. Hope is forever twelve. Shianne is forever nineteen. In 2003, Hope’s parents, Stuart and Shelby Stout got the most devastating news of their lives. Their happy little redheaded fireball had a rare and aggressive form of bone cancer. A few short months later, Make A Wish asked Hope what she wanted. A trip to Disney? A swim with dolphins? Name it. This little girl who loved kittens, stuffed animals, and cheerleading decided she had everything she needed. …

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It’s The Bricks

You are worth more than the worst things you’ve ever done and the worst thing that’s ever been done to you. A lot of things in life are complicated. This is not. My friend John says that every one of us is walking around with a backpack on our backs. And inside our backpack are several bricks, each representing something we’ve been carrying around with us for some time, in some cases for decades. The bricks are the stories we tell ourselves. Things that happened. Your hurts. Your mistakes. Childhood trauma. Guilt. Rejection. Shame. Broken relationships, whatever it is. I have my bricks. You have yours. And every morning we get up, get dressed, check our social, maybe grab a …