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.


Candles lit for victims of Orlando shooting at Pulse nightclub, June 2016.

If Martin Niemoller Were Here Today …

If Martin Niemoller were here today …

They shot the high school students. And I didn’t speak out, because I wasn’t a high school student.

Then they shot the college students. And I didn’t speak out, because I didn’t go to college.

They shot the immigrants. And I didn’t speak out, because I’m not an immigrant.

They shot the midnight movie-goers, and the public employees. And I didn’t speak out, because I don’t go to movies at midnight and I’m not a public employee.

They shot the customers at Luby’s and MacDonald’s, and I didn’t speak out because I don’t eat at Luby’s or MacDonald’s.

They shot Parisians and Texans, and I didn’t speak out because I’ve never been to Paris or Texas.

They shot Tunisians and Egyptians and tourists, and I didn’t speak out because I don’t know any Tunisians or Egyptians and I’m not a tourist.

They shot Sikhs and Jews and the Amish, and I didn’t speak out because I’m not a Sikh or Jewish or Amish.

They shot black Christians in church, and I didn’t speak out because I’m not black or Christian and I don’t go to church.

THEY SHOT FIRST-GRADERS AND THEIR TEACHERS, and I didn’t speak out because I’m not a parent or a teacher.

Now they’ve shot Latino/a and LGBT club-goers and I’m not Latinx, or LGBT, and I don’t go to nightclubs.  Who is left to speak? Will I speak out now? Will you?

#NoBillNoBreak #DisarmHate #HateWontWin


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

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


Let me start by saying that I’m not proud of my feelings right now. But they are real and they are mine, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who has felt this way. In fact, according to Hello Grief and its post on “Grieving the Difficult Relationship”, I am not. The same post notes that:

It is human to feel ambivalent. The people that we lose often had very human problems – addictions, incarceration, gambling, infidelity. These problems are real and are prevalent, yet the unwritten rule of grief is “You don’t speak ill of the dead.”

However, if you can’t speak about it, where does it go?  The body remembers everything.

So I will write. A colleague of mine has died suddenly, leaving a spouse and children.  That alone is cause for sadness. They are devastated, understandably so, and I feel so sorry for them. Here is the ambivalence: this was a powerful colleague who spent the last few years openly bullying and undermining me at work. Continue reading

Mad and Sad

I’m having a hard time with the news this week. I was heartbroken over the terroristic murders at Charleston’s Emanuel AME church, but I felt uplifted by the families’ faith and courage. And I was encouraged by the community’s response, thousands of them walking in unity over the Ravenel Bridge to show that hate wouldn’t win in their city. Then the state legislature found the courage to stand up to bullies and got the rebel flag off Statehouse grounds. So I was still very sad but I felt strengthened by the stand so many people took against hate.

Then came this week. Continue reading

Sad and Mad

I was raised in a household where children were never allowed to express anger. Not that all anger was forbidden or unexpressed — just children’s anger. A child’s anger was wrong — and bad. So I spent many years not admitting even to myself when I felt mad, and instead feeling sad and bad. And when I had children of my own, I wanted to teach them to know their emotions: to name them, acknowledge them and cope with them. Sort of like mindfulness for toddlers.

So I did a few things. I always told (and still tell) my kids clearly that I love them, every day if possible, even if it’s just a text now that my oldest is away at college. And when they did something that upset a member of the family, including me, I would say something like: “You did ___. That makes me sad. And mad. I am sad because (fill in the blank: you broke something I liked; you said something hurtful; you pushed your sister). I am mad because (fill in that blank: you know better; you hurt someone; what you did was wrong and here’s why).”

Then I would work with the child to address the situation: offer an explanation, clean up the mess, apologize to the sibling, take some time out to think about what just happened, reflect on why the kid did it, think of better ways to proceed next time. The idea was to model that we can be sad and mad, but those feelings don’t make us bad. It’s how we choose to respond to those feelings that can turn a situation bad.

I was reminded of this, reading another blogger’s eloquent post about Pagliacci, and anxiety and sadness, and how those can look like anger: Pagliacci Is In Town Tonight. I would add that not allowing yourself to feel mad can make you feel really, really sad.  And THAT’S bad.

Illustration: Sad and Mad; found on