adventures in time

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

The Lonely Quiet

Since my last post, nearly two months ago, I’ve been looking for a way to get back into writing here. Once in awhile, I will read something or a thought will cross my mind, and I will momentarily consider writing about it. But, later on, I find that I simply don’t have the motivation, or I worry about getting the words just right. Then I think of how long it will take me to pen the entry, and I resign myself from committing the amount of time I think will be necessary.

While browsing my Twitter feed last Sunday, I came across this article, by Eli Saslow of the Washington Post. It’s not short, but you won’t really understand what else I am going to say in this entry until you read it. So, go ahead.  I’ll wait.

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The article is about a lot of things. It’s about the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. It’s about the efforts of some to see more stringent, meaningful gun control legislation enacted at different levels of government. It’s about the efforts of others to prevent such legislation from being enacted. It’s about the politicization of things that live outside, and beyond, the political cycle.

It’s also about parents who have lost a child.

I don’t pretend to equate the loss of our son, Matthew, to the loss experienced by the Bardens. The circumstances surrounding the loss of a child are tragic and especially gut-wrenching for the parents, but all circumstances are not the same. I would not presume to tell the Bardens that I was “sorry for their loss” because, although well-meaning, I know how hollow the words become after you’ve heard them so many times. Rather, in our situation, I think Erin and I would choose to maintain a quiet empathy for them. I do have a sense of regret for them that their loss was so highly publicized; perhaps that regret is misplaced, but only the Bardens could say. In reading their story, I am somewhat thankful that our own loss was not the type to be thrust before the eyes of a nation. I cannot imagine enduring such grief while being the object of a gawking public. Grieving privately is difficult enough.

On the morning of December 14, 2012, Erin and I were driving through the Newtown area on our way back to Arkansas for Christmas. Matthew was with us, Erin being about five months along in her pregnancy (if I remember correctly). I remember that it was a cold, New England morning — though not brutally cold — and, after some recollection, I think that we were probably just a few miles outside of Newtown around the time that the shooting there occurred. Of course, we knew nothing of what had transpired until we heard some initial reports on the radio later that morning. By the time we had stopped driving for the evening, we finally saw the media frenzy of interviews and speculation flowing across every cable news channel.

Months passed, Matthew was born and died, and on our next trip to Arkansas — for the funeral — we found ourselves passing through Newton on the same morning as the Connecticut legislature was preparing to enact a highly-publicized new set of firearms regulations in the state. It occurred to me how coincidentally Erin and I were connected to what had happened at Sandy Hook Elementary just a few months prior, if there is such a thing as coincidence. The two dates felt like a strange set of bookends to our own loss. So, these months later when I read the above article about the Bardens, I saw in it a small reflection of our own experience.

The circumstances of losing a child may not be the same, but the order of events tends to be similar. There is the immediate reaction to the loss: shock, disbelief, and gripping sadness.  Then comes the immediate response: an outpouring of support, generosity, and caring favoritism. Next follows the parents and family trying to reclaim some semblance of normalcy, resuming their daily functions, and trying to rest after an extended period of activity and anxiety. Losing a child is exhausting for the parents, both mentally and physically, as you attempt to appropriately respond to all those offering help, make arrangements, and generally try to maintain your composure while being the center of attention, albeit unwanted.

Finally, you enter into the place where the Bardens now reside, and where we reside: The long, lonely quiet of loss. The immediate upheaval in the family has died down, the flowing generosity has slowed, condolences come less often, and your “routine” becomes more routine that perhaps it ever was. That is not to say that I or any parent expects and endless stream of cards, phone calls, or gifts of support. Do not mistake me as complaining about things slowing down; that’s just how it goes. It is a welcome relief.

For the Bardens, their lives include the gap that Daniel’s absence has created in their daily routine — one that they struggle to fill, and are probably unsure whether they want to fill at all.  For myself and Erin, our lives include waking each day thinking about how our routine might have been different had Matthew lived. We live the same lives each day as we lived before Matthew was born, but we are stuck with the residual thoughts and feelings built up by the natural inclination of parents to prepare for the arrival of a child. We sleep later and longer than other parents we know; we don’t worry about buying diapers or taking our baby to the doctor like other parents we know; we don’t discuss plans for the weekend that include finding child care or visiting relatives; we don’t make memories our celebrate milestones with our child.

We just are, and Matthew is as he always will be, for the rest of our lives.

Just as the Bardens are, and Daniel always will be, for the rest of their lives.

“What do you want to do?” Mark asked, and in that moment, the answer to both of them was clear.

“What can we do?” Jackie said.

“Nothing,” Mark said, and he sank down next to her on the couch.

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Words And A Name

After Matthew’s memorial service last week, a few of those in attendance asked if I would share the words I had written about my son for the service. I have decided to share those words here so that anyone who wanted, whether they were in attendance or not, could read them. ~ JTH

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“This isn’t a eulogy. A eulogy is a chronicling of notable words and deeds; it is the final reconciliation of a life’s balance sheet; it is the lasting tribute of love and admiration we gift to a soul as it departs this life. A eulogy is meant as an ending, not a beginning.

But what can I say about the life of my son, a life whose beginning was so brief and whose end sudden?  I have given eulogies for others – I know what is expected here – but I simply cannot shoehorn how I feel right now into that mold.

It seems as if something must be said, and the only things I can think of to say that make any sense to me – if anything makes sense anymore – are the words I have for all of you who gathered here, and the words I would have said to Matthew that I will never be able to say to him in person, in this life.

First, to all of you: Thank You. I don’t need to further embellish the sentiment. Just know that both mine and Erin’s gratitude for your outpouring of love, concern, thoughts, prayers and assistance comes from the deepest and most sincere place in our hearts. Our families, our friends, and our community have been standing with us during every hour of our loss, and we are continually comforted to know that you are still there for us as we grieve and heal. Your thoughts, prayers and presence give us strength. Knowing that many of you were already moving to provide for our comfort and care from the first moment you learned of our tragedy, even when we were so far from home – well, that is a gift of greater value than almost anything else you could give to us.

One of our great regrets through all of this is that we did not get the chance to introduce our precious little boy to you. We didn’t get the opportunity to play the role of the proud parents, and Matthew won’t have the chance to know and love the many, many, many people in his parents’ lives who have done so much for us, and who continue to do so much more for us today. But if Erin and I are products of your own friendship, love, and support, then Matthew was the embodiment of that. We are who you all have helped us to become, and Matthew was the best part of both of us.

You will see us out and around, and you will want to talk to us. It may be difficult to know what to say, but allow me to tell you now something that might be helpful to you later: If you’re afraid to mention Matthew to us because you think you might make us sad by reminding us that he died, I can assure you that we will not have forgotten. You’re not reminding us of that. What you are reminding us of is that you remember Matthew; you remember that he was and is a part of our lives. We do not want to forget him, and knowing that you also remember him – that is a great, great gift.

Matthew came to us at a time in our lives when his parents were both struggling. We were living and working in separate cities, in separate states, trying to chase our dreams while also holding our relationship intact. Before Matthew, it was hard to know what to do – we both knew that whatever choice one made, the other would have to sacrifice greatly. Once Matthew came into our lives, so much of the doubt, indecision and stubbornness fell away, replaced by renewed hope, joy and love. Our little boy, still in the womb, brought his parents back together from over a great literal and figurative distance,. He helped both of us to understand that all that really mattered was our love for each other and for the new, tiny life that we would soon welcome into the world. Maybe that was Matthew’s purpose, and maybe having accomplished that purpose was why he left us so soon – we cannot know. But, we will love and cherish him every day for the gifts he gave to us.

Matthew came to me at a time in my life when I was in doubt about everything. I was struggling in my relationship with Erin, and I struggled to find my place in the world. Even after moving back to Boston, I fell into a deep despair, unable to find any real joy or hope or promise in life. I had very nearly given up on myself. I was resigned to live life as it commanded me to, rather than to be the captain of my own vessel. But, in those last few months before Matthew’s arrival, when it finally sank in that he would soon be a part of my life, and that he would be depend on me not just to provide for his needs, but to be his father, a sudden rush of renewed purpose and resolve washed over me. If I could not find purpose for myself, I could find it for him – because of him. I realized that my own success, however small, could lead to greater opportunities in Matthew’s life. I promised myself the same promise that I believe most new fathers make: that I would move heaven and earth if necessary to give him the best life I could. Armed with this promise made and his new life in my hands, I was ready to take on the world again. I felt like I had been given a chance to start over, but with a better reason to try.

And in a fleeting moment, that reason was gone. Snatched away, with no warning; no great pomp or spectacle. I cannot describe the exact feeling. I cannot offer a comparison. Only those who have lost a child will ever truly know. Erin and I were shocked, we felt helpless, we asked questions that remain unanswered. We were angry, but not sure who to direct our anger toward. We felt robbed, cheated, like the victims of a cruel trick. Even today, we still sometimes think this is all a bad dream, that we will wake up and Matthew will be sleeping quietly beside us.

We are left to mourn not only the literal loss of our child, but the loss of all the experiences and memories of his childhood and his adulthood that we will never know. Not just the joys and celebrations, but all of those things parents often take for granted, ignore, or even lament – we will never know with our Matthew. To say we are not envious of the several other young parents who have welcomed new children into their lives, or are about to, would be a lie. We are left to wonder why our Matthew was chosen to be taken; a question that will never been answered.

Matthew, I wanted to tell you so many things. I wanted to tell you the stories of our families, of our lives growing up, of our towns and our history. I wanted to tell you about the places we live in, and why you should be proud of them, without being boisterous. I wanted to tell you someday how proud I am of you and your accomplishments, and of who you had become. I wanted to tell you how much you are loved and how many people loved you.

I wanted to teach you so many things. I wanted to teach you about the natural world and all the miracles of nature and the wonders of science. I wanted to talk with you about the world that exists beyond the veil, beyond what we can see and understand, but that we sense must be there, either through faith or some other means. I wanted to teach you to ride a bike, to tie his shoe, to catch a ball, to read a book, to drive a care. I wanted to teach you how to pick your battles, how to stand up for yourself, and how important it is to stand up for others. I wanted to teach you about trust, patience, loyalty, and kindness.

I wanted to share so many things with you. Your first trip to the beach, your first trip to Arkansas, your first trip to Disney World. I wanted to take you to your first baseball game, your first football game, your first visit to a circus. I wanted to be there when you tried new foods for the first time, for your first day of school, and your last day of school. I wanted to watch the first time as you figured out how to fasten two Lego blocks together, and then see what you could imagine next.

But as I write these words, Matthew, I know that none of that will ever be. You are gone from us, and your mother and I – along with your entire family and the community of people here today – are left with a deep, sometimes overcoming sadness that words cannot properly describe. Still, I am thankful for the time we did have together with you, the great joy you brought to us, the hope you left us with, and the ways you helped your mother and I. While I cannot live my life for you, I can continue to live it because of you. As I held you in my arms for those last few moments, you gave to me two other gifts: a love for you, set in my heart as a sword that will defend me through life’s battles; and your memory, as a shield around my soul, knowing that if I can survive losing you, I can survive any assault.

We love you. We miss you. From wherever you are, I ask you to watch over us, your mother and I, as we travel life’s road together. We will see you and hold you again someday, with all eternity to share.”

Given April 8, 2013 at Mountain View, Arkansas. A special thanks to my good and loyal friend, Joshua Collums, who, with great resolve and composure, delivered these words on my behalf at the memorial. I can only hope that I am eventually able to repay him in some small way.

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Epilogue: One thing I didn’t remember to address in the above was how we finally chose Matthew’s name. After weeks of floundering back and forth between the two names we had originally chosen, and months of others nearly chastising us over having not chosen a name so that they could give us embroidered gifts (a nice gesture, but not something we were terribly keen on to being with), we were still stuck on two possibilities. Erin and I decided just to wait until our little boy arrived so that we could see him, and then decide which name fit best.

Then came that sad moment after Matthew’s deliver when we knew he would not be staying with us, but we were still left with the task of naming him. Rather than having to choose between the two names we had come to love, Erin made the decision to go in a different direction.

Erin had always liked “Matthew” as a name, although it was not one the two names we were considering. Matthew means “Gift from God” in some traditions, and in that moment it seemed particularly appropriate. He was our gift — our greatest gift ever — and even though we had to give him up, Erin and I knew that we would never think of our little boy as anything other than the most beautiful and perfect gift we had ever in our lives been given.

I chose “Charles” as his middle name because of the Charles River that runs through Boston. Although we knew that we might not always live in New England, I wanted to somehow memorialize our firstborn child’s connection to the city where we had lived when he was conceived and born. Growing up near the White River in Stone County, I knew the powerful symbolism that a great watercourse can have, and how its course and flow can affect a place and its people. Naming our baby “Charles” seemed to be the most appropriate and vivid way we could to capture what he meant to us.

The Charles river, though its flow is only a short, 24-mile long course, quickly becomes powerful and wide before it reaches the ocean. The success and livelihood of Boston and other great cities in New England are built upon that waterway, which itself has carved and shaped the land over millennia. So it is with our son, Matthew Charles. Though his life was short, the impact he has had on us is powerful. He has carved out a place in our hearts forever, shaped us both into something new, and we hope to build the rest of our own lives on honoring his memory.

In Memoriam

Matthew Charles Henderson

Matthew Charles Henderson

Matthew Charles Henderson, son of John Tyler Henderson and Erin Marie (Nelson) Henderson of Melrose, Mass., was stillborn on March 26, 2013.

Matthew was born at 3:01 p.m. at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital in Melrose. He weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces, and was 21 inches long.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his grandparents, John and Marsha Henderson of Mountain View and Doug and Patty Nelson of Conway; great-grandparents, Bob Teague of Mountain View, Lorene Henderson of Mountain View, Norma Larsen of New Braunfels, Texas, and Richard Ring of Naples, Fla.; uncles and aunts, John and Larah Joyner of Little Rock, Michael and Jennifer Wood of Conway, Braxton Henderson of Melrose, and Brandon Nelson of Atlanta, Ga.; and godparents, Vanessa Brewer of Little Rock and Steven Blackburn of Bentonville.

He was preceded in death by great-grandparents Elaine Ring, Geneva Teague, and Carl Ray Henderson.

A memorial service is planned for Monday, April 8, at 3 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Mountain View. All family and friends are welcome.

The parents would also be happy to receive family and friends at a reception at Smokin’ Country Grill & Buffet in Mountain View, following the memorial service.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made in Matthew’s name to First Candle, a national nonprofit health organization uniting parents, caregivers and researchers nationwide with government, business and community service groups to advance infant health and survival.

One Down, Nine To Go

A friend tells me that at last night’s Stone County Quorum Court meeting, the assembled Justices of the Peace voted to approve a resolution affirming the Court’s endorsement and support of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. JP Jim Qualls presented his “Revised Resolution endorsing the Protection and Preservation of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America and the Right to Bear Arms as provided by the Arkansas Constitution for Stone County, Arkansas.” The resolution was approved unanimously.

I am glad the Stone County Quorum Court has taken the time to publicly affirm its continued support of one of our constitutional rights. Regardless of how you may feel about the Second Amendment — and my feelings are not the subject of this entry, though they may surprise you, and I may discuss them later –the Right to Bear Arms is enshrined within our Constitution and should be given deference by all governing bodies. We can debate the context, the intent, and numerous other aspects of the Second Amendment, but we cannot escape the fact that the Founding Fathers clearly intended some right to bear arms to flow to the people explicitly.

That said, I wonder if the Court gave any thought or discussion to endorsing the rights and liberties listed in the other nine Amendments that compose the Bill of Rights? Perhaps so, but I’m not aware of it.

Surely freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and the freedom to assemble are no less important than the right to bear arms? What about the right of a person to be free from unlawful searches and seizures by the state? And the right of a person to not have to testify against themselves? How about the rights of the accused to a fair, speedy, and public trial by a jury of your peers? What of the rights of the convicted to be spared from cruel and unusual punishment?

And, my personal favorite, the right to not have to quarter soldiers in your home, because I already don’t have enough bed space for my invited guests as is.

Again, I say that I applaud the Stone County Quorum Court for their public affirmation of their support and commitment to our constitutional rights. However, picking and choosing particular rights to publicly endorse, while giving no mention to even the existence of others, is at best political grandstanding, at worst pandering.

Endorse all the rights, or don’t bother to endorse any of them. Either way, they will still exist. I challenge the Quorum Court to “complete the set” with a more complete resolution.

[Bl]ock The Vote

A word about Arkansas Senate Bill 2, the Voter Suppression ID law that passed the AR House on Wednesday, and was previously approved by a supermajority of the Arkansas Senate:

Acceptable forms of photo ID under this bill will be those with your name and photo issued by the United States, the State of Arkansas, or a post-secondary educational institution. Examples include a valid Arkansas driver’s license, Arkansas photo ID card, Concealed Carry Permit, U.S. Passport, Military ID, Student ID (postsecondary, see above), Public Assistance ID, or Voter ID card. An estimated 80,000 voting age Arkansans are thought to be without possession of any of the acceptable forms of photo ID.

The folks lacking such photo IDs — mostly seniors, African Americans, the disabled and Latinos — would be required to obtain a photo Voter ID card by traveling to, or getting someone to drive them to, their county seat/county clerk’s office if they want to continue to exercise their constitutional right to vote. No doubt some, if not several, of these voters will likely be discouraged and just quit voting at all.

SB 2, as with other similar Voter ID bills in other states, establishes a way for an individual to get a photo ID for free (if the state were to charge for it, such charge would likely be considered a poll tax and illegal under both federal and state constitutions). The Secretary of State must now purchase photo ID equipment for all the county clerks in Arkansas.

This bill deals with one — and only one — type of election fraud: in-person voter impersonation at polling places. Simply, that is when someone goes to a polling place and casts a vote with the intention to impersonate an eligible voter. There have been zero substantiated cases of in-person voter impersonation fraud in Arkansas, and fewer than a dozen nationwide over the past 10 years or so. As an example, Texas has more than 600,000 registered voters without a photo ID, but had only four alleged cases of voter impersonation in the past two elections.

Attempting to impersonate an eligible voter is already a felony-level offense in Arkansas, which carries a significant potential fine and up to 10 years in jail. Why any sane person would take such a risk to add a single vote, highly unlikely to change the outcome of any state or national election, is beyond my ability to comprehend. Even the likelihood of a single rogue vote affecting a local election is small (though certainly not impossible, as those of us who lived through the saga of the tie in the 2010 Stone County Sheriff’s primary can attest).

One theory is that SB 2 violates the Arkansas Constitution. Amendment 51, which outlawed the poll tax and established a system of permanent voter registration, prevents the legislature or a local government from adding new requirements for voting beyond the lengthy procedures in that amendment. Indeed, Amendment 51 addresses the very problem that the bill claims to attack — people trying to cast someone else’s vote.

Additionally, the plain language of the Arkansas Constitution says that any measure which impacts the requirements of Amendment 51 requires a 2/3 majority vote by the legislature to enact. This bill obviously impacts the requirements, as it imposes an additional requirement of presenting photo ID. However, the House Rules Committee found that the bill only required a simple majority vote, and the vote in both the committee and on the House floor fell largely along party lines, with most Democrats in opposition and Republicans in support.

The bill may be vetoed by Governor Beebe, but as we have seen in the case of other vetoed bills, a majority necessary to override any veto does exist and can be called to action. In the face of the new burden created by SB2, it is up to all of us who do not care to see others disenfranchised to provide whatever assistance we can in making sure that each and every eligible Arkansans who wants to vote has some sort of photo ID in their possession. This will require an effort of outreach, education, and being a good neighbor and citizen. In order to make sure everyone who wants to exercise our most sacred civic right remains able to do so, we must care enough to begin working now.

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Epilogue: My personal opinion on the subject of this type of Voter ID law is that it is both arbitrary and unnecessary. I won’t go in to what motivates such laws, but it doesn’t appear to be any honest effort to preserve the integrity of the voting process. Moreover, I do not accept the argument that “you need an ID to drive a car, take out a loan, rent a movie, etc.” These are privileges, not rights. Driving on public roadways is a privilege bestowed by the state whose roads you drive on. Loans, rentals, and similar transactions are generally offered by private entities, and they are free to attach whatever requirements to such transactions as they deem necessary in the course of business. While you must show ID to board a plane, and you do have a right to travel, that right does not grant you the unencumbered ability to utilize any particular commercial means of travel you might choose.

I will admit that this argument breaks down when you begin talking about the government requiring ID for things like public benefits, use of government-owned facilities, etc. I contend that such things are still merely privileges, as you are utilizing public systems and infrastructure that is owned and financed by the public at large, with the government acting as the caretaker and/or administrator. But a vote is a right that belongs to you — and you alone. It is inherent, inalienable, and requires no grant of authority from any other person or entity. You are asked to demonstrate your eligibility to exercise your right within a particular jurisdiction through a process of registration, but realistically this is for purposes of electoral organization; formal elections provide the medium through which we exercise our voting rights.

Voting is one of the great gifts bestowed upon our citizenry by this Republic we have created and cultivated over the centuries. It is the cornerstone of everything we stand for. We should always be vigilant to protect the integrity of the voting process, but there is bare little evidence that Voter ID requirements such as those laid out in SB2 provide any real protections; rather, they seem to address a problem which largely does not exist. Perhaps our elected representatives underestimate exactly how greatly the general population respects voting rights, illustrated through the relative rarity of in-person voter impersonation. Certainly, there are other ways in which the voting process can be (and is) compromised. Legislation should do more to address those problems, and less to create barriers around one of our most basic and fundamental rights.

Manifesto

As I have only begun this new writing project of mine, now seems like a fine opportunity to address just what sorts of things I am likely to discuss within this space, and why. Consider it a favor I am doing by telling you now, so that you can decide for yourself whether paying further attention is a worthy use of your time.

Most people think attorneys argue for a living, and any truth that attaches to such a notion depends on how broadly you are willing to define the word argue. We, of course, prefer the term advocacy… and much of that advocacy is done through the written, rather than spoken, word. An attorney who cannot write is, simply put, only half a lawyer. In my admittedly brief experience practicing law, opportunities to make (& win) your case via some grandiose speech before a judge or empaneled jury are few and far between; it is quality of written motions and briefs that carry the load for your client’s cause.

So, a lawyer’s gotta write. To write “good,” you must first write well, and practice is how you get better at writing. My written work improves the more often I write; the more often I see the way I have chosen to structure my thoughts on a page; the more often I review, revise, reconsider, and reword. Thankfully, I also happen to enjoy the process of writing in general. I believe that my professional writing gets better when I try writing about other, non-legal topics. So, this blog provides a space for me to write outside of my work, sort of like an ongoing “free writing” exercise such as you may recall from your days in high school English class.

I actively seek out criticism of my writing. If something I’ve penned makes sense to me, the only way I can be sure it makes sense at all is to put it in front of someone else. I have been told by a few people that I have a unique (peculiar?) writing style, and that’s a badge of honor I happily wear. I think I might describe it as “conversational,” because as you read what I’ve written, my hope is that you actually hear it spoken in my voice as if we were conversing across from one another. That said, a conversation usually has at least two participants. So, after I’ve said my piece, I hope you’ll say something back. Critique, criticize, tell me I’m not making sense — or take what I’ve said and run in a new direction with it. I am writing, in part, for the opportunity to engage in a conversation with you who have taken time to read my words.

And starting a conversation with you is the best part of this type of writing for me. I’m not simply sharing my thoughts and ideas because I necessarily believe they are more correct, or even entirely developed. In my experience, my best ideas have come from long interaction with others, after lengthy exchanges of information and exposure to a variety of points of view. That’s not to say you’ll change my mind on a subject if I’m firmly entrenched within a certain perspective, but I don’t necessarily have an immovable opinion on everything under the sun (perhaps hard to believe for some of you who know me). There are lots of things I just want to “talk out,” and I think that’s something we as people — as a society — don’t do often enough anymore. We pronounce our ideas as judgements of the way things should be, but we avoid talking about why we think about things the way we do, in the very purest sense. Maybe we don’t ask “why do you say that?” often enough out of some fear that we will meet the same fate as Socrates for asking too many questions too often. Politeness precludes our understanding of each other, but it’s certainly possible to ask “why” in ways that are earnest and respectful of the person being asked.

I need to write to get better at writing. I need to talk with you to better understand you; to better understand myself. I intend to write things here that are sometimes challenging for me to say and for you to read. I will probably even talk about a topic or two that is somewhat uncomfortable, though thanks to my Fine American-Southern upbringing, I will endeavor to say it politely. Whatever comes out on these pages, you can be assured it is honest, sincere, and with malice toward none (and you should hold me to task if I fail in that regard).

Thank you for reading. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I hope to be able to share mine with you for quite awhile going forward.

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