Khizr and Ghazala Khan at the Democratic National Convention, speaking about their son Captain Humayun Khan

Sad and Mad Again

I simply cannot believe that there are more than a handful of voters on the lunatic fringe who can actually bring themselves to vote for Trump, even after his disgusting, disgraceful attacks on the Khan family, whose appearance at the Democratic National Convention was one of the most powerful, moving presentations I have ever seen on television. I feel so sad for them, while I can also see their justified pride in their lost son.

However, I am well aware that there are many of my fellow Americans who, as one put it, plan to “vote with their middle fingers” in November by voting for the GOP nominee. What they do not acknowledge is that by doubling down on their support for him after his insane attacks on the Khan family, they are also giving the middle finger to a Gold Star family that deserves nothing but all Americans’ sympathy, respect and gratitude.

What evil miasma has taken over so many of my fellow citizens? I didn’t think it could get much worse than the lunatics who have repeatedly claimed that the bereaved parents of little children murdered in Sandy Hook Elementary School are actors promulgating a government fraud, and that no one was killed. This may be even worse.

I have never voted a straight party ticket in all my decades as a voter, but I will do so this fall, for the Democratic Party, to send a message to the GOP that their embrace of this wicked charlatan at the top of their ticket is beyond the pale. I hope others do that too.



A beautiful expression by another blogger, “Another Old Guy”, of what Mother’s Day can mean to us middle-aged people going through the normal, but challenging, transitions of this stage of life:

A tribute to my Mom, as she deals with the impending death of Dad.

Source: Mom

Disappearing Fathers by Faith Shearin | Friday, January 15, 2016 | The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor

Disappearing Fathers by Faith Shearin

Sometime after I turned forty the fathers from my childhood
began disappearing; they had heart attacks
during business dinners or while digging their shovels
into a late April snow. Some fathers began forgetting things:
their phone numbers, which neighborhoods belonged
to them, which houses. They had a shortness of breath,
the world’s air suddenly too thin, as if it came
from some other altitude. They were gone:
the fathers I had seen dissecting cars
in garages, the fathers with suits
and briefcases, the fathers who slipped down
rivers on fishing boats and the ones
who drank television and beer. Most of my friends
still had mothers but the fathers
were endangered, then extinct.
I was surprised, though I had always known
the ladies lasted longer; the fathers fooled me
with their toughness; I had been duped
by their jogging and heavy lifting, misled
by their strength when they slapped
me on the back or shook my hand. I kept imagining
I would see them again: out walking their dogs
on the roads near my childhood house,
lighting cigars on their porches, waving to me
from their canoes while I waited on shore.

Source: Disappearing Fathers by Faith Shearin | Friday, January 15, 2016 | The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor

What I want you to know about losing your parent as an adult

I have been somewhat AWOL in recent weeks partly because I am in the process of losing my surviving parent. And I am sad. But this is a beautiful piece, so I’m sharing it.

Source: What I want you to know about losing your parent as an adult

“Raging As My Sister’s Light Dims”

Sara Lukinson has written an extraordinary piece in today’s New York Times, about her relationship with her terminally ill sister and her role as caregiver while her sister is dying.

“What can I do?” I ask feebly. “Be patient,” she says. And I want to hide my inner impatience with shame. Because for decades, I’ve bristled at her edge-of-fear look, that hesitancy before taking a step. Only now it’s longer and deeper. Watching it seize her makes me feel I’m being sucked out of the sky. Her life had become a full-time managing of her disease, hiding the next turn in the road.

But until death is in the room, it’s easier than you’d think to revert to lifelong habits of instant annoyances, petty bickering.

A turn of her head, a certain faraway look, and I could forget she’s sick and get mad at her. I yelled at her not long ago over some important tax forms, I can’t remember anymore why. Horrible me.

Raging As My Sister’s Light Dims

Ms. Lukinson goes on to write:

Sitting with her I am calm and furious, loving and angry, knowing what a gift it is to have such a sister. Wretched to be forced, again, into the slavery of disease. Of having to serve it, and bow to it. I want to escape and be in the light of life. Then, I feel gutted and guilty for wanting to flee.

But here is how her essay concludes:

Now, as the breath of life ebbs away, I keep close to her side. She has never seemed braver or more beautiful to me. Still herself, still my sister.

Extraordinary. Both sisters.

Image: Jon Han, The New York Times