Life Without Judgment

The veil

Over the last few weeks as I have walked through the minutes and days of June, a thought has run through my mind. One particular thought – over and over – as I spent time with my brother’s family on his birthday, heard about tragic loss of life in Orlando, experienced a friend’s joyous birthday celebration, read a Facebook post from a friend about three sons lost in seven days in her town, watched my fifth grader wind up her elementary school experience, found out that a friend is facing cancer, had long talks with my sister-in-law, went to a game-changing educational conference, heard that a teenage boy died following a head-on car crash in a nearby town. This thought, over and over again:

To my (late) brother on his birthday

Here we are again. It’s your birthday, and you’re not here. For the second time since you were taken too soon from this earth because of a chance encounter with a drunk driver, your birthday has come around. See, this situation is new to me, and I’m still adjusting. For all but the last two years of my life, your birthday was one of those bright days of the year that made me smile just to see it show up on the calendar. It was a day when I had a job to do – find you and wish you a happy birthday and maybe even celebrate with you. When we were young this meant a cake and candles, adoring parents and grandparents, hugs and presents. As we grew older the cake and candles shifted to celebratory

The illusion of control

I have an old hot pink iPod Nano, just a little bit larger than a stick of Trident gum. I like to take it running because it is so small and light. I don’t have much freedom to select what I want to listen to on it other than setting it up with songs that I like. It has one slide button control with three settings – off, shuffle songs, and play songs in order. The earbuds that I use with it have a long narrow vertical control button. Hit the top, the volume increases; hit the bottom, it decreases; hit the center once, you pause; hit the center twice, and you fast forward to the next track. I prefer to keep the Nano on shuffle, because I like to hear a variety of music, especially because I n


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