A painful experience

My wife looked at me, but said nothing. Her hand, the one without the IV tubes, gripped mine like her life depended on it. The labor pains took their sweet time, but were now coming at a steady pace. We were having our first child and I was doing my best to try to help …

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Worst case scenario

I’m dressed in rags and I look pale and haggard like I haven’t eaten or gotten a good night's sleep in weeks. My wife has left me. My kids have turned their back on me. I’m homeless and wandering aimlessly through town. Of course, I’m playing out this sad scenario in my mind. In reality, …

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The moments in my life that I’ve been at my best as a father

I gulped down the last of my coffee. It was late in the day for me to be drinking coffee, but I had worked a full ten-hour day and still had five hours in the car until I reached my daughter’s campus. We’d probably grab some fast-food and then start our drive back home. My …

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Learning from failure

The teacher walked up and down the aisle handing out magic markers and brightly colored folders like you might find at an office supply store. I got a red one, the girl in front of me got an orange one. It was the first day of school, I was starting the sixth grade, and, of …

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Speechless

When an African-American friend of mine after the Ahmaud Arbery shooting in February said he worried about running outside, I wasn’t sure what to say. Arbery, an unarmed 25-year-old, was fatally shot near Brunswick, Georgia, when he went out for a jog and was pursued by two white men. I tried to find the right …

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A letter to a former teacher: Pulling me back from the ledge

When I was 11, my basketball coach, who wasn’t much older than my teammates and I, walked the sideline of the small town community hall where we played, yelling and throwing his hands up in the air when we made a mistake or he disagreed with the referee's call. A few years later when I …

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Ten things I’m looking forward to when the COVID-19 quarantine concludes

We’ve followed the rules, we’ve tried to stay home, we’ve avoided close contact with people who are sick. We've kept distance between us and others. We've washed our hands often throughout the day and avoided touching our eyes, nose, and mouth. We've covered our mouths when we coughed or sneezed and we've cleaned and disinfected …

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In the middle of a pandemic: Grateful for the little things

People who know me know that I try to write my wife a short note once a week. We met via long distance in the days before online dating and text messaging and it's been a good way to keep us in touch and grounded. The letters are a story for another day, but my …

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We’re in this together

When terrorists struck the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Northern Virginia., and a third jet that crashed in a small field in Somerset County on September 11, 2001, first responders, firemen, and police rushed to help the survivors. In the days that followed, we …

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