As Thanksgiving approaches, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the calculus of what families might be thankful for this year. Those of us lucky enough to remain healthy and employed can focus on those two facts during this year’s feasts. But for many, it’s easy to feel there is little to be thankful for this year, given all that continues to be infected, affected or simply canceled — including many of those traditional feasts. In other words, cultivating a grateful mindset during this traditional season of thanks requires many us to dig deeper this year. For me, digging deep into history helps … [Read more...]
The following is an edited transcript, used by permission, of blog contributor Mike Dorsey's most recent episode of his podcast "Black Fathers, NOW!" He prefaced his podcast by saying it was "a quick message to encourage brothers NOT to allow 'Mental Terrorism' to set in" in light of George Floyd's death by police. He continued, "Carter G. Woodson said it best, 'When you control a man's thinking, you don't have to worry about his actions.' Let's NOT let systemic white supremacy, bias and hate terrorize our minds. Use it as fuel to MAKE CHANGE!"
+ + +The … [Read more...]
“I’m not going to lie to him,” my wife said, turning to me on an evening that now seems so long ago. “He should know what’s going on.” She seemed to expect a different reaction from me but I wasn’t going to argue. It was better for my son to be told the truth. I didn’t want to cover it up and have him start wondering what we were hiding. He didn’t need every detail but he deserved enough information to understand. “I agree with you,” I said. “He should know where we are going.” Our family's destination that evening wasn’t exactly a secret. We were paying a shiva call to a relative whose … [Read more...]
Losing a parent is something you’re never adequately prepared for no matter how inevitable it might be. My dad’s passing in December was both shocking and not. He had Parkinson’s disease for almost 30 years. Such a disease keeps mortality ever present in your mind, and his life had been increasingly difficult in recent years, but the end seemed to come like an afternoon thunderstorm during the Florida summer. Somewhat expected, but still completely jarring. His passing left the earth beneath me unsteady. I often feel like I’m walking on the rocks beside a stream. Usually the walk is … [Read more...]
If a near-death experience goes unnoticed, did it even happen? Yes, I can confirm, and for that we should always be grateful. I can explain. Recently, as I drove around my oldest daughter’s college campus, my mind returned to one of the best — but what could have been one of the worst — days of my life. It was just over 20 years ago, a few years before my wife and I started a family and I became a stay-at-home dad. At the time, I was excited about my new job teaching English at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Another comfort I enjoyed that day was our new leased car: a … [Read more...]