Family

July 31, 2021

Disposing of a Toxic Family Member

I have a client — I’ll call her Joanne — who is a devout Christian. Joanne periodically contacts me and asks for my opinion about a faith-based issue she is struggling with. She recently asked me if I think she has an obligation to assist her husband’s mother — I’ll call her Frances — with her basic personal, healthcare, and financial needs.

July 17, 2021

Six Grooms for Six Daughters

A few years ago, I did something that was very unusual. At my daughter Christine’s wedding reception, I got up and told our guests what my five requirements were for a man who wanted to marry one of my daughters. Before I share my five requirements with you, I need to give you some background information.

June 12, 2021

The Destruction of Mickey and Minnie

This month (June 2021), my wife and I will celebrate 41 years of marriage. After we were married in June 1980, we spent a week in Florida for our honeymoon. We split our time between Disney World and the City of Clearwater. At one of the Disney gift shops, we purchased a little Mickey Mouse outfit that we wanted our first boy to wear. We also purchased a Minnie Mouse outfit for our first girl.

May 29, 2021

What They Thought About Me 50 Years Ago

Last week, in an article I wrote about the death of my Aunt Honeybee, I shared some experiences I had with her while I was growing up. After her funeral, some of my relatives who had read the article told me that they never knew about the affection I had toward her. At first, I was surprised by what they said. I had not anticipated that reaction from anyone. The comments prompted me to question why I really felt the way I did about her. If you didn’t have a chance to read what I wrote, you can read it here.

May 22, 2021

The Death of a Champion

The champion of our family neighborhood died last week. I’ve written before about how I grew up in a family neighborhood that included seven families. My grandparents, Tom and Effie Williams, lived next door to my parents. All the other families in the neighborhood were made up of my aunts, uncles, and cousins. While all the women in the neighborhood were generous, loving, hardworking Catholic women who did a magnificent job of managing their households and raising their children, there was one woman who stood out among all of them. To me, she was the champion of the neighborhood.

May 15, 2021

The Plan is Almost Complete

I graduated from high school in May 1975 and left home for college three months later. A week before I left for college, my dad said to me,

April 10, 2021

True Friendship and Mercy

When my three oldest daughters — Anna, Maria, and Laura — were teenagers, they got involved in community theater. In one of the first plays they participated in, they became good friends with one of the girls in the play. For the purpose of this article, I’m going to call their friend “Julia.”

April 3, 2021

A Plantation Hymn for Catholics

Did you know that there’s an old plantation hymn that Catholics traditionally sing in church on Good Friday? The hymn was composed in the 19th century by African American slaves and was first published in 1899 by William Eleazar Barton in his hymnal, Old Plantation Hymns. Here’s the first verse of the hymn:

March 13, 2021

Don’t Let Them Steal Your Joy!

Last week, while I was working from home, I heard a short phone conversation my wife, Georgette, had with our daughter, Christine. Georgette was in another room of the house, but I was able to hear the conversation because the speaker on her phone was turned on.

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