Sacrifice

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 24, 2021

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother

The year was 1969. I was 12 years old and I had a paper route, money in my pocket, and a radio on the nightstand that was next to my bed. Back then, the world I lived in was as close to paradise that a 12-year-old boy could get. Other than 8-track tape players in cars, the only way we could listen to prerecorded music was on a radio or a record player.

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 9, 2021

Rising Against the Wind

Do you know when the best time is for a hearing aid company to sell hearing aids to an elderly man? Take a guess.

May 1, 2021

Revenge, Fear, Age, and Desire

I’m going to turn 64 years old this month. I hate to admit it, but I’m a paying member of a health club and I struggle to get there once a week to exercise for 30 minutes. Why don’t I get there more often? Because the burning desire to be strong and fit left me years ago.

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.”

March 20, 2021

The Road to Heaven is Paved With . . .

I had a dream last week about my grandmother, Effie Williams. I have a lot of fond memories of Grandma Effie. She passed away more than 34 years ago. She was smart, tough, resilient, industrious, organized, and patient.

March 6, 2021

Shut it Down!

I graduated from high school in 1975 (45 years ago). The school I attended was in a rural area of Peoria County. Most of the students in the school were from families in which at least one parent worked in a blue-collar job, such as manufacturing or the building trades. I came from one of those families.

January 9, 2021

Stupid People and Foul Language on Facebook

When I was 11 years old, every Friday my dad made me write a personal letter to a woman he hardly knew. The woman’s name was Miss Miller, and she was my sixth-grade teacher at St. Mark Catholic Grade School. I don’t remember if it was her idea or his idea. All I remember is that after she called him on the phone a few times to complain about my behavior in class, they developed a scheme in which I was forced to write the following letter on a blank sheet of paper every week:

Contact