Suffering

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 26, 2021

My Run-ins with Homeless People

I’ve written before about Fr. Clair Bourdereaux, a Franciscan priest who was assigned to Sacred Heart Church in downtown Peoria in 1976. He remained there for 19 years, until his death in January 1995. Fr. Clair had all the qualities of a great counselor. He was holy, smart, wise, gentle, diplomatic, compassionate, and understanding. He had the unique ability to connect with people on their level and set them on a path toward holiness and happiness.

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 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 25, 2021

Do You Suffer Fools Gladly?

When I was growing up, one saying that I would periodically hear was, “He does not suffer fools gladly.” I thought of that phrase last week when I realized that we are wrapping up the month of April, which means that a third of this year is gone. The reason I thought of the phrase was because the month of April is associated with fools because of April Fools’ Day.

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.

Contact