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Birthdays of My Dad and My Father

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Dad’s birthday is today; gone now nearly 5 years, he would be turning 92.

He hated Christmas.  Apparently his birthday was forgotten every year in the midst of Christmas preparations when he was growing up.  The pain of being forgotten never seemed to leave him.  He would not allow us to put up a tree until his birthday had passed, and even then did so grudgingly.

I know now Dad’s Christmas experience is only a tiny window into his life story. More

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Exposing Skeletons in the Closet

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With Halloween around the corner, ghoulish decorations are beginning to pop up alongside gargantuan pumpkins, bumpy gourds, and colorful leaves.

A plastic skeleton swinging in the wind recently reminded me of the saying about keeping skeletons in the closet.

My closet is no stranger to skeletons. Some have represented things done to me, others symbolized things I’ve done. Shame and fear were the hinges on my closet doors. Strong and secure, they kept my secrets tucked in the dark.

Or so I thought. More

Throwing Stones

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It would be easy to make a poster-child of Adrian Peterson.

A powerful man hitting a defenseless child?  What a lowlife, coward, and disgrace.  Let’s all throw stones at him.

But wait.

What if…

What if Adrian Peterson was simply parenting the way he’d been parented.

How can we be expected to do the right thing if we’ve never been taught what the right thing is?

I am in no way condoning or excusing this behavior, nor that of any version of domestic violence.

But I believe there’s more to the story.  Much more.
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“Mrs. M Died Today”

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Robin Williams’ suicide continues to touch raw wounds.

I have the honor of sharing a deeply touching story from “Mary” today.  She very eloquently describes what it’s like to be left behind the wake of a suicide.

 

“Mrs. M died today,” read my diary. 

That’s all that’s written.  Looking back, I just don’t think there was any more to say.  How in the world could I explain it to my diary when at age 10, my best friend’s mom died and left us all bereft, swirling in a pool of uncertainty?

Now more than 30 years later, More

The Lure of Suicide

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The world lost a great man when Robin Williams took his own life this week. A genius, really. But more importantly, we lost a man in pain. Someone who decided he and his family were better off with him dead.

It is human nature to want to fill in the blanks. Why did he do it?

Does it really matter? Do we need a reason so we feel superior that we didn’t do the terrible deed?

The bottom line is: Pain is Pain.

Desperate pain results in desperate ideas and choices.

 

When I was suicidal, More

The Difference Between Feeling Better and Getting Better

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Feeling better seems to be a universal goal of humankind.

When we’re experiencing physical, emotional, or spiritual pain, the instinct to feel better can take on a life of its own.  Most of us don’t even realize our subconscious is in overdrive doing whatever it takes to avoid bad feelings.

The problem is this:  what makes us feel better usually isn’t what makes us get better.

Feeling Better More

A 10 Year-Old Walks Into A Bar…

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Mom said, “Your Dad’s late for dinner because he’s at the bar.”  We didn’t have a phone yet, and she said I had to go get him.  So, off I went to ask him to come home for dinner.  The bar was only about a quarter of a mile from our house, but I wasn’t very eager to get there and took my sweet time.

Summer skies in Alaska are bright and fresh, but inside the bar More

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