Pull of the Moon on the Tides


It’s a give and take.  Or maybe someone might think that it’s more like a push and pull.  The Sun and the Moon in a constant struggle.  The Chinese got it right with the yin-yang thing, two dolphins chasing each other’s tail for eternity.  Never quite catching up to the other, but never giving up either.

Calling relationships a simple give and take really undervalues what each person brings to it.  Economists would call it Asymmetric Information, one person usually having different knowledge than the other.  Experience, maybe education in a subject, possibly they just saw a news article and felt like sharing their new bit of the world.

My brother stopped playing basketball with me years ago because having a 6 inch height advantage limited his game.  I stopped playing tennis with him because I got tired of always losing to him.  So as adults, Madden Football on the XBox!  We adapted so we could keep a relationship, even one that most days is very strained because we are very different people.

The lawyer involved with helping me execute a series of plans wants to kill me before I get the chance.  Years of knowing each other has placed him in a strange position of caring about me as more than a client.  It’s a shift from when we were in college and might have gotten into a fist fight if either of us thought there would be no consequences.

And life is about consequences!

I went to him years ago when I needed someone who would protect my ex should something happen to me.  Being the one who brought the house and other things into the relationship, I didn’t want her to struggle.  That need became intensified when the kid came into the picture.  I didn’t like him, but I knew he would be the best thing for them.

After I was left to my own devices, he became more concerned with me.  Sometimes you learn more about people by the things they don’t say than by the words they chose to speak.  His wife accidentally mentioning a book he got from the library on my cancer was a big wake-up for us both.

For two guys who were never competitive about anything that crossed over, we butted heads far too often.  Never had a class together, didn’t chase the same girl, it never made sense!  But I have needed to rely on his abilities to help guide me through some of life.

He knows the cancer is terminal.  He doesn’t care for my exit strategy.  Giving a lawyer a stack of papers and asking them to put a plan in place rarely gets an argument.  The client is sometimes right?

After all that was done, we made a few changes in our relationship.  When we talk, it’s about his son or some news thing that we both know the other doesn’t care about.  I also know it’s because putting down the phone sometimes means silently hoping that a few days later they will answer.

By looking through my daughter’s eyes I saw things I needed to improve.  At the same time when I looked through other’s eyes I wondered about everything.  Was I right?  Were they?  Confidence is one thing, but my knowledge that absolute certainty is always a failure keeps me grounded.

During the day, the sun pulls the water in one direction.  Much like me trying to do the right thing for the right reasons.  Even when they fail, just hoping it works is sometimes enough.

At night when the moon is pulling the other way I’m alone with my thoughts.  The inner turmoil that doesn’t see the light bounces in my head like watching one of those tennis matches with my brother.  The ball going back and forth, but most times passing right by me.  I always reached out but sometimes my arms just weren’t long enough, my feet not quick enough.

I have doubts about how this all ends.  Picking a day sometimes means wondering if on the next something different will happen that I will miss.  Not a cure, but maybe something?  You can’t know that your doing this for the right reasons but can only hope you are.

Ghost in the Machine


28 years ago her aunt sat in a very different Volvo and had to learn to drive a manual transmission in a matter of minutes.  Patre might have been 16, but I was only 15 and my parents were willing to loan the car if she could drive it.  Nothing motivates teenagers who long for some alone time someplace away from their parents like the freedom of a car!

Yesterday Susie was driving an updated version of that Volvo down a country road while we hunted for ice cream.  This time she is 15 and well I’m a much older 44!  She knows the car will be hers one day.  The summer job has been helping her save money for the day she turns 16 and has to pay for fuel and a bit of her insurance.  I’m not going to need to car, and since I’m anal retentive about maintaining this thing; she’ll not have to worry about those issue.  The dealer knows to eventually send the maintenance bill to the lawyer [yeah, that whole estate planning thing.  She couldn’t afford to pay if something big happened, teenagers!]

There no manual to worry about.  The car has every safety option they sell.  And like most people in Massachusetts, a grey Volvo won’t surprise anyone.  So I get to be a hero for one last time.

Amusingly I let her friends come along.  A few are 16 already and have their licenses, this one barely has her learner’s permit.  I even put one of those giant red “L”s on the back window for people to know they should be cautious.

The fun thing about a bunch of teenage girls in a car is the music choices.  I hate Justin Bieber!  Most modern pop music all sounds the same to me.  Oh, I did mention I dislike Justin Bieber, right?  As long Susie can hear me yell stop, we’re good.  [bonus, those seizures that still pop up from time to time?  The ones that make hearing things difficult? Right now I’m slightly thankful for them.]

Susie knows all of the stories about her aunt.  At least the ones she should know, I get a few to keep private.  So she also knows I’m the one who taught her to drive a manual transmission.  What she doesn’t know is that we drive some of the same streets today that we did 3 decades ago.

There are some ghosts that float around me and they scare me.  Memories of people and events that haunt my waking hours as well as those when my eyes are gently shut for the night.  This isn’t one of those times.

That night, my parents would have easily driven is to the movies or any other place we wanted to go.  They also could have given us the keys to the car with an automatic transmission, but my dad was not parting with his 2 door convertible for crazy teenagers!

Just like that day, I held Susie’s hand and told her that as long as she was sure of her actions everything would be great.  Back then I might have made a few dirty jokes, today it is about building a confident young lady.

As I looked over that ghost of her aunt was looking back with the same smile.  The same eyes but slightly darker hair.  I couldn’t have been more grateful for the time her parents have allowed me to have.  [I also taught her father to drive stick, just on a different Volvo!]

I know I don’t talk about the parts of life I’m grateful for having.  It’s a shame that I don’t look at the world quite the same anymore.  I see the rainbows and all the colors, they just don’t bring out those same emotions.

Yeah, I bought ice cream and sodas, a couple of sandwiches for later.  We ate the ice cream there and I have no idea what they did with the rest.

The sound of their laughter was everything.  It kept the bad away and brought back all that was good.


Funny Little Icon

I must have forgotten that it was even still on my phone.  A silly addition my mother had suggested and since it didn’t take any space and definitely wasn’t worth arguing about, I installed it.  Some chat program that would allow me to remain relatively anonymous and yet be able to reach out when the need arose.  Leave out the things and only talk about the present.  Here and now was all that mattered and if something slipped out, well I could take it from there.

Assuming anyone was on the other end of the line…

While retreating from the world, I had closed it down.  The program and me.  So it really was a surprise when this afternoon it dinged and let me know there was a message.  It had my username, so it wasn’t a fat-finger typed letter that accidentally ended up in my hands.

I can’t recall when it last notified me that someone was trying to reach me.  The profile I set up wasn’t great.  Truly, I didn’t want to follow through and hoped that if you leave enough “code words” for damaged or I’m here because someone forced me, the icon on my screen would never light up.

One time, in some fit of either loneliness or just longing I had talked to a few people.  It didn’t last long, silence on my end can push away anyone who even needed the same thing I was supposed to open myself up for.  Just another voice to sometimes drown out the other voices that made me feel lonely in the first place.

When I lived away from all my family, it had been a choice.  I needed time.  I certainly needed to find me again.  My parents told me later they hated the idea of the limits I placed, but they knew I had to do it.  Forcing me to act differently wouldn’t have solved anything.

But now this icon still flashes on my phone.  This person was brave enough to place a photo for their avatar.  Mine is just a sports icon.  There’s a way to look up other information without someone knowing.  But that feels like an invasion to me.  Hiding behind a screen is one thing, tricking someone is something completely different.

Why can’t I just read their message?  My profile is very clear about having a terminal illness and that I wasn’t going to make the best choice for someone looking for anything long-term.  No dating here, but it didn’t stop me from talking up my dog or like of baseball.  [There are details I left out because I didn’t need someone actually finding out who I was in the real world unless I chose that!]

Curiosity has the better of me.  I could ignore it.  But some part of me sees it like a tap on the shoulder asking a question.  I’m not the type of person to turn away.  I’m the guy who has no issue holding the door while the entire crowd ushers themselves in while nodding or thanking me.  [my parents did a good job with the manners aspect.]

Maybe just a quick look?  Could be just a simple hello?  A person in the same overall situation needing their voice heard?  Lots of good reasons I can think of for this flashing icon.

The only bad one is if I can be what they need or if I’ve tricked myself into thinking there’s nothing for me to offer anymore…



Trying to turn a negative into something positive has been a challenge.  Finding the right activity, it was almost two years to the day before it jumped into my lap and screamed “This is what you should do!”  Someone had once tried to get me to work with small children, tutoring them in reading, but it hurt too much.  It wasn’t the right thing for me.  But now I have been able to dig into something that meets my requirements and also allows for a lasting tribute to many people.

The gift this group gave me was the foundation for learning to walk again.  To be able to get out of bed without immediately wishing I had just pulled the covers back over myself.  Running on what can generously be called a shoe-string budget, they make things work for far too many people who have sought them out.

Groups for helping people deal with the loss of children don’t advertise on television or a magazine.  It’s word of mouth delivered by some therapist or nurse who has seen that look before.  A parent who overhears about a loss and offers to listen, telling them about these others who have wandered in the darkness.

So I have been writing grant proposals for them.  A couple of thousand dollars would keep them going for years.  It’s that much of a self-help approach, helping themselves by talking to others.  Possibly picking up the registration fees for some conference held where people who have experienced the same gather to offer a light to follow.

The worst part has been getting people to write about the impact this group has had on their lives.  It means sitting down and exposing a very raw nerve.  Giving details that might not have been exposed in quite some time.  Having to relive a small portion of that pain in a narrative that others are going to judge.  In some ways it feels cruel, in others cathartic.

I keep being reminded of something from the Disney Channel, about how people change people.  This is supposed to be a good thing.  Their message is that helping others makes us better in small ways.  It’s also the voice that keeps me trying to build some lasting memorial to my daughter that will benefit the most people.  And since I do have all this training in economics, plowing through flowcharts and budget projections gives me a chance to do something towards my goal.

I’ve planted trees, paid for trees in other locations, sent up Japanese lanterns because we were celebrating a birthday.  All those cute things, but none will have the outreach that this potentially could.  If even one other person gains some help from this, all the time will be worth it.

It doesn’t even matter if anyone knows that I had anything to do with it.  Having written the grant and also an impact statement seems odd.  The first company that contacted me had lots of questions and it was good to talk about my daughter in a positive light.  It’s not easy allowing yourself to use the memory of someone to raise funds for others, but it also helps the people you are asking understand.  It’s not some faceless person who is taking a cut, rather you get someone like me who gets emotional and doesn’t try to hide it.

Locking away my daughter would deprive the world of what she could accomplish.  Her life changed me and maybe she will be able to help change someone else’s world so that they can do the same for another.  One person, making tiny steps, helping another.  It’s the best I can offer.

My Crazy Uncle

Quote Me

For years the books sat on shelves in my parent’s house.  Later my collection grew as they became a portion on shelves in my own house, their dusty covers torn and aged from relatives who had kept them safe.  It took me until I was in college to really appreciate why they meant so much to people, but now I proudly am the guardian until they are eventually passed on to the next custodian.

When Faith is Lost, When Honor Dies, The Man is Dead.” – John Greenleaf Whittier 

At some point I should have asked my mother to embroider that on some throw pillow to remind me of something very simple.  When I stop being who I need to be, get wrapped up in the expectations of others, my life loses all value.  Maybe not to the world at large, but if in the course of trying for others I forget to stop and try for myself, I might as well not try at all.

Someone else’s narrative had become mine because I chose not to fight.  Well I was fighting the wrong person and for the wrong reason, so lots of things were eventually lost.  Sometimes there is no honor in falling on your sword and letting others think the worst of you.  Sometimes you just end up hurting because you can’t get that blade from your chest and carrying that anger and hurt seeps into everything else you do in life.

For a very long time I thought of my cancer as being some additional punishment for not being stronger.  I convinced myself that if I died as a result, it was earned for prior actions.  (additionally I cling to the hope that it might at some point allow me more time with my kid, unless I head for warmer climates?)  No one should think that way.  It sends you into a spiral that is very hard to pull yourself out of.  It takes the efforts of other people that they shouldn’t have to make.

Lately I have let someone help in ways I didn’t expect and still don’t know if I’ve grown enough to accept it.  It hurts thinking of letting another person into my world.  The simple act of someone offering to take me to the store or just to a movie requires me overthinking that destroys too many things.  Someone offering to just sit there, in complete silence confuses me.  I’ve lost the ability to just let another person try.

My faith in myself is the question, not them.

I was programmed from a young age to shoulder the weight of everyone’s actions.  Some people have used that knowledge for doing good and others have just used it.  But that also falls back on me.  I’m not a people pleaser but rather someone who will accept the blame even when not in the room.  The term I love is “Sin-Eater”, but I picked that up from watching The Blacklist.

There is something I heard in a song this morning-

I’m waking up, from a life left behind.  To see what lies ahead, I’m waking up.

Maybe there is a chance that this quote can become something of a new guideline.  If I can’t find a way to let hope inside, to open my eyes and let someone see whatever light is left inside of me; then my uncle is right.

I’m dead.

Worse Case/ Best Case

Worst Case Scenario

In a very dark corner of my mind lives this concern.  It jumps to the forefront on my mind on plenty of weekends because of the additional people surrounding me.  During the week, they are in school and have different lives.  But come Friday night a completely differing set of fears enter.

When the doctor’s gave me that lovely time frame of less than a year I sat down and asked how people felt about my being at home rather than in some hospital or hospice situation.  There will be time enough for that later, even now there are pop-up overnight stays!  We are all scared of those final moments and to a person want to delay these conversations.

They linger for longer than the words spoken.  The emotions that go with being friends or family, however we are describing ourselves that day, run very deep.  For years it was my spot to mow the lawn or fix some broken shelf.  The tables turned and now they do their best to stem the flow of time.

The worst thing that could happen is that at some point my niece walks in with a smile on her face and some great event in her life she wants to share.  Only she finds me not able to reply.  She’ll sit quietly wondering if I’m just in that deep a sleep, but something will make her try to wake me in some manner.  And it won’t work.

In my fears of not being able to protect people, which is my biggest problem no matter the situation, failing to protect that situation from happening worries me the most.  It isn’t the worst thing imaginable, I’ve already faced that with my daughter, truly horrible stuff.  But later, when we are going to sit down and watch The Martian, I’d like to just laugh with them rather than wonder if only my “spirit” will still be in the room.

At the same time the best thing that could happen to me happens every Saturday afternoon.  Five people sitting in a room, sometimes there is an additional teenager or two running around; but mainly this core five.  We’ll SKYPE my nephew so he can put on his weekly review of his 7 year old’s perspective.  Play a game or watch a movie, just simple stuff.  For a few hours life is about as normal as Mayberry.

By dinner time I’m usually needing some rest.  So while people cook, actually cook food, I’ll take a snooze and hope that the best part of my day doesn’t become the worst part of theirs.

Beam of Light

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/this-is-your-life/”>This Is Your Life</a>

Knowing too much about the future?  There are some things that we accept in life as being unavoidable, the classics death and taxes come to mind.  And obviously with each passing day our personal history has already been written so those pages would just be a reminder of what has been.  Dickens explored that theme with his three ghostly visions of Past, Present, and Future, allowing Scrooge to change his future.

His pages hadn’t been written in stone, on paper, or even the words of legend passed from adult to child in parable form.  That apparition of the Future only gave him a glimpse of what possibly could be if he continued on his path.  So having a book, where my life is pre-determined, I’m not sure that I like that idea.

How might it change my days knowing how the story ends, that last tick of the clock before it strikes the midnight hour on my life?

The past is the past, or so some have told me.  We study it in classes so as to understand how society has ebbed and flowed into becoming the people we are presently.  Hoping that we correct our mistakes moving forward and learn how to better communicate with others different ideas without the need for violence or anger.  The past can’t be undone, but the future should be as flexible as possible.

I need to live with the idea that hope exists in the universe.  And having a story, complete with the details of how it all ends, means that at some point I have to give up on hope.  That all that is to come, just like all that will have been, has someone’s guiding hand telling my tale for me.

Those Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books of my childhood has limits, and you learned them as you read the story for the third or fourth time.  But you still had the ability to make the same mistakes or new ones, within a certain universe.  That’s the limit I want to place on the future.

Is there a part of me that would consider knowing when the cancer might win, maybe.  But that also means I have to accept that someone always knew my time with my daughter was going to be limited, that they could have warned me about the pain of that loss just by showing me a page already containing dried ink.

Rewatching a movie, knowing how everything is going to unfold, that is the limit I wish to place on experiencing some detail of another’s story.  There;s something satisfying about anticipating some scene that I enjoy while knowing that there might also be a scene worth fast-forwarding over.  The same with a music album, I know of few records that don’t ave a track or two I skip at times.  [Dark Side of the Moon and Scenes From a Memory are two albums I can’t do that to!]

The only thing in the universe that I can accept as having a definite starting point and moving in a straight line is a beam of light.  That only stops when it hits a body floating in the sky.  That warmth on our bodies ending it’s journey.  For me, I’m going to continue to chose free will.

Please Don’t Touch the Painting!

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/the-power-of-touch/”>The Power of Touch</a>

At some point in the early 90’s there was a display of Impressionist Art at the Philadelphia Art Museum.  That place too many people associate with Rocky movies, but contains some truly incredible works from just about every genre you can imagine.  This particular exhibit was centered on Monet and Manet, the former being my absolute favorite and my knowledge of the later was brought forward that day.

There is a piece by Monet, whose title I just can’t get right, where a young lady carrying a parasol along with a small child walk along a river’s bank.  Everything about that image is stuck in my head.  For years afterwards I would try to capture that same emotional set but with a camera.  And sometimes just from having seen someone I didn’t know recreating a portion of my vision.  The number of times I sat watching people along Boston Commons, it might have labeled me a stalker!

Over the years I have seen so many people walk along with their child.  Holding their hand while running errands, crossing the street, just going about the normal things that we see every day.  But in my head, I saw a variation on that Monet painting that always made me smile.  Even when I have seen parents walking their kids around the hospital, there is a small part of me that recalls that day in the museum.

Maybe it holds such a strong place because when I think about my mother’s father that is exactly the image that comes to mind.  Him walking me around a park, feeding the ducks or pushing me on a swing-set.  There came a time when we didn’t walk like that anymore, but the feeling of his hand gripping mine is something precious.

My nephew is a few years older than my daughter and when I would see my own father lean over [he’s 6’3″ so small children give that Hunchback reference to his spine!], it made me jealous.  When my nephew got older, he liked to go into the woods.  It meant sometimes holding that tiny hand of his so that he could make it up a hill or across some small creek running along the property.  It was fun.

That same feeling of a small hand, that was all of my own creation came along eventually.  My mind went to planning years worth of walks in the woods, to the park, just up and down the stair while she was learning the delicate nature of one foot in front of the other.  There are still times when I let my mind picture what it would have been like to walk her down the aisle, but then I snap back to reality.

Over the years that hand would have felt different with each phase of life.  Barely fitting the palm of my hand until we hit the point where she was digging nails into my palm because I was saying something silly to her friends.

At some point it should have been her hand holding mine for the last time not the other way around.  A different flash of memories flooding us both.

That painting hanging on the wall set a 21 year old college kid on a path for years.  First just finding a reproduction to hang on the wall [which I still have not found!], later setting a goal on how I was going to want to live my life.  You never touch art, but art touches you.  Looking for that hand has been a wonderful adventure, one I was lucky to share.

Trick of the Lens

The piece I wrote last year about kids terrorizing me hasn’t changed, nothing new to report on that front.  So let’s talk about the walk I took yesterday.  Actually I can show you the area I was walking in since I take my phone with me on these travels, just in case I need a lift back.

2015-10-30 17.01.44

Usually I just throw on a pair headphones if I’m by myself.  It doesn’t mean I’m listening to anything, sometimes I just want to be trapped in my head but outside rather than on the couch.  But most of the time I’m listening to some podcast from NPR or WEEI (it’s sports radio!)  The glasses are on and my hat is pulled down to shield my face from view.  One of those instances where ghostly white, pale reflections of my skin just don’t need to be recognized.

I’m coming down this small hill and look up at the sunset.  The leaves turn from red to brown, and fall to the ground. To be trodden down.  Lyrics from a song called “Beautiful” that talks about the absolute beauty in being different.  If they had been talking about snowflakes I guess they would have used the word “unique”?  The best line in that song, at least for me is, Are you wild enough to be Beautiful?  Captures everything you want to say to someone you love, friends count in this!

Living all but 3 years of my life in the Northeastern part of the United States, I’ve taken little notice on an emotional level how scenes like this can effect you.  I have always wondered why the leaves can’t be that color all year long?  Why at the end of their time they go out with such an amazing show?  Those years of teaching in Boca Raton, Florida I don’t remember a leaf falling.  But they had people in the neighborhood who would have written up the trees for littering.  The joys of retired executives with nothing better to do.

Not getting the road in the picture cost me the sun that was just settling in the upper right portion of the shot.  Trade-off I had to make.

This other shot just is for fun.  I promise I did nothing with any software to adjust it.  When my phone wirelessly synced with “The Cloud” it just showed up in the folder that way.  There was no breeze blowing, no car going by to disturb the quiet.swirling leaves

When I stare at it for any length of time I see several images.  An Eagle, oddly enough I see Dr, Teeth from The Muppets, but best of all I hear a little kid just running around in circles creating their own little vortex of joy.

I originally was going to title this blog entry “Beauty of the Lens”, but that doesn’t work for Halloween clickbait.  Plenty of times I’m writing about the negative side of my emotions.  Anger and loss being two constant companions.  But while I was on that walk, for some reason I felt compelled to take those pictures.  That the little voice I hear, that little girl whispering about the deer in the yard eating from a tree or how pretty the colors of a rainbow are and can we go chase it; yesterday I felt the joy of it, not any other emotion.

Yesterday I felt not alone on my walk, but some hand was helping me see differently.  I’m glad I went for that walk…

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Trick or Trick.”

Bigger Picture

This year my nephew started first grade.  And since it had been some time since anyone had looked over a math book for someone his age, we picked up a copy of the Common Core requirements.  Here are the list of highest level of education my immediate family has achieved, my dad has two Ph.D.s, my mother has Master’s in Applied Mathematics and Engineering, my brother an M.B.A. and I round out the group with a Ph.D.  This should have been enough brain power to understand what was going on in less than a minute.  But the way it is presented, it isn’t the math any of us grew up on.  people can’t wait until they see how badly screwed up Algebra will be!

My mom taught us all sorts of shortcuts when we were kids.  I had more than one instructor who was less than enthused by my not showing work.  Even when the answer was correct, it wasn’t correct.  Seems you can’t apply partial credit to an answer that skipped a step!  Eventually I learned to play their game, even when it bored me to tears.

Years ago when I taught high school economics I made sure that for one week out of the year those kids learned about how to read a bank statement and balance a checkbook.  Software might do that for them now, but back when you had to enter the numbers on a piece of paper it meant the difference between a return check fee or not having any money when you went to the automated teller.  Simple life skills that sometimes people just assume you have learned at home or seemingly by magic.

My point in all of this is to say that sometimes we need to make sure that we teach kids basic skills.  How to build a lamp out of a potato is great, but can that same kid cook the potato?  I agree that skills like writing in a cursive style are outdated, but kids have forgotten basic grammar when they are writing 140 characters on their phone.  It’s taken me some time to relearn how to write without it coming across as a lecture or even an attempt at infusing too many facts.  It’s not always the best thing to kill people with details.

There are always going to be kids who pick things up quickly.  There will also be kids who need a little more attention because they are having a hard time.  We have programs for kids with high I.Q.s and we have programs for children who are differently enabled.  But what happens when you at times mix the two?  Is it possible that everyone comes out ahead?

My senior year in high school was the first time I volunteered for the Special Olympics.  I knew enough sign language to be able to communicate (thanks to my aunt!)  We stood out in the rain watching kids just happy to make it across the finish line and get a hug.  They liked the medal, but what they really wanted was for someone their age to be there and tell them they did great.  Those same kids just wanted to feel like the rest of us, normal.  (I have no idea what normal is, we just throw that term out as if everyone understands it!)

Having been born in 1972 it means that I am the first year of what we call Title IX babies.  We had to enact a law that required educational institutions to offer equal opportunities to men and women.  You have a football program, you also need to provide some equal program for women.  It’s sad we had to make a law that says people are equal.  But then we have had to do that many times throughout our history, and continue to do that.

It isn’t about how to change what we teach.  And it isn’t about finding new ways to get material across to people.  The best thing we can do is make sure that every person has the opportunity to find whatever it is they are good/great at, and encourage them.  We aren’t cookie cutter people rolling off of a factory line at Volkswagon.

I have lots of strong women in my life.  Everything that I was screwing up in my understanding of how to raise a little girl was going to be balanced by them.  For every ugly braid, someone was going to laugh and fix it.  Those same women have taught me some valuable lessons on how everyone should be given every chance in the world to succeed and on their terms, not mine, not societies.

The world is full of talented people.  Hopefully there will come a time when we have learned to acknowledge the worth of every single person isn’t measured by a stack of degrees or money, but how they better themselves and us as a result.  Potential energy can build up forever.  But kinetic energy, the kind that moves things, burns out much faster.  It’s that potential in us all that I love to see!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The New School.”