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I recently ran across this picture. It’s from 2016. It taken at a local CrossFit competition shortly after the death of my mother. When I see this picture, I recall how I felt, physically and emotionally, on that day. The heaviness of the moment.

My grandparents had died a couple decades earlier and my father a half-dozens years before my mother. …

Written: December 1997

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Top Nine Animals on Baby Caylee’s Clothes

9) Dogs (a lot of Huskies)
8) Sesame Street creatures of unknown origin (e.g., Elmo, the Cookie Monster)
7) Dinosaurs (No T-Rexs need apply)
6) Fish (preferably extremely cute ones)
5) Birds (Baby Chicks and Orioles…surprise)
4) Tigers (with a whole bunch of Tigger)
3) Ducks (but no Donald Duck yet)
2) Rabbits (but no Bugs Bunny yet)
1) Bears (Winnie the Pooh leads the way!)

Dad’s Top Nine Rules for 5-month-old Caylee Star
9) No flinging your doll into Dad’s Cheerios during breakfast.
8) No attempting to place teething ring in your nose or Daddy’s eye.
7) No rolling over, no back arching, and other new quick moves during hair shampooing in the sink.
6) No drooling on my PC keyboard or teething on my mouse pad.
5) No pooping immediately after Mom hands you over to me for “just a second”.
4) No making me feel guilty by looking longingly at my french fries when you’ve just had a tasty dish of rice cereal and butternut squash mush.
3) No peeing, pooping, or passing gas during the transition from dirty diaper to clean diaper. (Frequently ignored rule)
2) No crying during Sportscenter or Ally McBeal.
1) No smiling cutely at me as I’m just about to walk out the door for work (and , thereby, forcing me to stay just home just a little bit longer). …

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Written: Spring 1997

The Eagle’s Next Flight

Recently, a local TV news program has been running a series of shows about Firefighters. In one segment, they asked family’s members if they were nervous for their firemen due to the perils that are a part of this honorable career. Many of those interviewed spoke heartbreakingly of the apprehension they feel between the time that their family’s firefighter leaves for duty until he safely returns home.

My remembrances of those times are different. As a child, I certainly knew my dad was a fireman. Many days we’d pick my father up from work and, on special occasions, he’d even bring us for a tour of the firehouse. If we were lucky, we’d get to sit in the big, shiny red trucks and put on the oversized coats and helmets that seemed to weigh a thousand pounds and smelled of sweat and smoke. …

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