Author: Dennis Ritchie

I’m Sorry For Your Loss

“Weddings are discretionary, funerals mandatory”. ~ Rudy Guliani’s father Rudy Guliani became America’s mayor because of how he handled the tragedy of September 11th. And the 12th and 13th. Not because of how he handled the 10th or the 9th. Now, imagine the days following if Rudy’s father had not taught him about funerals. We remember Rudy. No one but Rudy remembers when his father taught that lesson. Or how many funerals his Dad went to. I can’t count the funerals my Mom and Dad went to. They never made a big deal about it. They didn’t have to. They just went. Yesterday, so did I. Life is about showing up. You can never tell what a difference your life makes until the day you no longer can.   photo  of The Memorial Illumination of Antietam National Battlefield by kellygifford via...

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Losing Control

The average 18 wheeler holds 200 gallons of diesel fuel.

This shouldn’t matter to you. It didn’t matter to me until 7:30 PM yesterday.

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How To Live 7 Years Longer!

It matters who says a thing. Just try to soak in this paragraph . . . Dr. Harold G. Koenig MD, MHSc was trained at Stanford, UC and Duke University in psychiatry, medicine and biostatistics. He is board certified in general psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, geriatric medicine, and is a registered nurse to boot. He’s written 40 books and over 350 scientific peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. He is the former editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, and is on editorial boards of many more professional journals. He has been featured on over 50 national and international TV news programs (including The Today Show, ABC’s World News Tonight, and several times on Good Morning America), over 100 national or international radio programs (including multiple NPR and BBC interviews), hundreds of national and international newspapers or magazines (including cover stories for Reader’s Digest, Parade Magazine, and Newsweek), and is considered by biomedical scientists one of the world’s top experts in his field. He has testified before the U.S. House and Senate and has been nominated twice for the Templeton Prize. He the director and founder of Duke University’s Center for the Study of Religion, Spirituality, and Health. I feel lazy. But there’s more. He began this amazing journey after being expelled from U.C. for emotional problems and ended up living on the streets of San Francisco. Homeless, sleeping under buildings, he bathed with garden hoses...

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Being There

We spent yesterday in a hospital with family. It was all too familiar, except this time we were there for someone else. With all of our experience there was very little we could do. We have no medical expertise. We can perform no miracles. We cannot make the pain of loss go away. But still we went. That we could do. And we prayed. And hugged. We were accosted, annoyed and crowded by strangers. Nurses interrupted prayers and held loud, laughing conversations just outside the door. Doctors held out no hope and impatiently summed up test results. There were papers to be signed by one suddenly responsible for another who could make no legal decisions due to anesthesia. Rings were taken off for surgery and held. The waiting room was set to meat locker temperatures. News was on the television, as if anyone there really cared what happened in the rest of the world. Conversations distracted from the impossibly slow clock. It was all familiar. People were courageous. The horrible day was faced. Outcomes came. Heroes rose to the occasion. Tears were shed. Food was eaten. TV was watched. It could have been worse. Not the outcome, but the way it was handled. No one got drunk, threw punches or had searing arguments that would never be forgotten. No one was left alone to try to put the pieces...

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We Call It An Adventure

Ideas are easy. Even creative ideas. What’s hard is moving them to reality. To do that takes the courage to change something. Why does that take courage? Because . . . Even in the dark with my eyes closed, I knew she was wide awake and staring at the ceiling. Don’t ask me how this happens but after thirty five years of marriage I just know things. “Hey,” I mumbled. “Hey,” she answered crisply. Confirmation. “Are you awake?” “Yes . . .” Her tone that indicated there was more. “Are you ready to go?” “Yes.” This time her voice...

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