The age of reflection

As someone who just acknowledged* the passing of yet another year since my birth, I couldn’t help but reflect a bit on how long I’ve been around.

I suspect some think I’m kidding when they hear me say I’m surprised to be here. While I am happily surprised, I am serious nonetheless. I would never have predicted this.

My written reflection will be brief, but the day and its inexplicable milestone status had me thinking more than usual about family and friends who died far, far too young.

I miss them. I hope to honor them this year by making it one of my best as a husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.

Out walking around...
Out walking around…

* Celebrated would be an exaggeration. My actual age in human years is irrelevant unless you’re going to offer me a discount on something.

Giving away a story of dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease

If you read to the bottom of my previous post, you might be surprised to learn that there is one book I am more than happy to just give to anyone who might find it useful.

Mom
Rosemary

Miles to Go: An Alzheimer Journal is free for the next few days on Amazon. Beyond that, since the platform limits how long I can offer it for nothing, it’s the minimum of $.99. Anyone who wants the book but doesn’t like buying online can just ask me for a PDF any time using this simple form.

I initially published the whole thing on a previous blog so anyone who came across it could read freely. Having it on Amazon makes it possible to reach more people.

Since the scourge of Alzheimer’s Disease remains an awful reality for so many, I hope others can learn from my family’s experience, as did the reader who included this in an online review:

“I even took notes because the emails showed subtle changes that many other family members could not see and yet is what everyone in this type of situation is going through.”

B.J.

Furious and done being polite

sunset-1720466_1920_1457
Midwestern sunset, via Pixabay

Most of you who are reading this don’t know me, but I want you to know I am furious that my daughter-in-law should be unwelcome or even feel unwelcome anywhere in this country.

I’ll extend that to her wonderful sisters and parents, and to my new granddaughter, who is too young to know about any of this, and to the rest of my diverse, extended family.

The discomfort, the fear described on her Brown Noise blog have heightened significantly since the victory of our new president-elect.

They are not entirely new feelings. I know this for a fact, because I heard about them long before the election, long before the latest campaign for president. They go back decades.

They don’t come out only in the rural Midwest, where the young family encountered the MAGA-themed McDonald’s ad described in that blog post. They can and do turn up anywhere.

The difference now is obvious and stark. Things are worse since the Republicans won. Bigots are out in the open, unashamed, and unafraid of the light.

I’m done being polite.

Damn the people who elected our soon to be pseudo-president, thereby emboldening his bigoted followers, and directly or indirectly contributing to this extra-toxic culture we now live in.

That is some harsh talk, coming from me. The people who elected him include some of my friends, acquaintances, and even family members.

They have disappointed me, and they need to know it.


First published on Medium, December 20, 2016

man and dog by creek

man and dog by creek
use your imagination and you can see the old yellow Lab on the bridge next to me as I trip the shutter on our final walk to this place

 

A Thanksgiving question: What are these?

What are family, friends, love, health, smiles…

…sunshine, starry nights, laughter…la différence

…coffee beans, winding roads, snowy peaks, music…

…imagination, forgiveness, presence, salvation?