What Matters

Life & Community, Life Coaching, Stories
It is the mornings I love most, when I can feel hopeful. My best days start when I slip out of the shelter early, walking to one of the many ethnic parts of the city, waiting for the shop owners to start their day. It is a practice I started while I was stationed in Europe. Loving the moment  the shops would spring to life; owners turning on light after light, and the sound of the broom on the concrete as the doorways were spruced up for the advent of customers. Today I watch the German bakery start to stir, but I am careful before I approach. When it is the woman who manages in the morning, I know I will be greeted. She may not say anything to me,…
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The Final Delivery

Life & Community, Stories, Stories
  The door takes a few moments to open. I hold the handle with one hand, shaking the key in the lock with the other, trying to manage the bundle of mail tucked under my right arm. I move into the dark apartment, keeping the mail and other items I have with me in balance until I reach the kitchen counter. The apartment is quiet, and it’s unusually quiet all through the building. Normally I’m here late in the day when the endless noise of residents, especially the kids, echoes loudly on the metal steps. This is not a life I would have chosen, nor one I even understand. It is my sister’s life, or, now, the remains of it. I’m here today to honor her request. “You’ll know,” were…
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Father’s Day

Editorials, Life & Community, Lifestyle
I check my watch, weighing the time. Just enough minutes to get in my morning walk before I have to shower and leave to get my mother. Once outside, I see the crowd gathering in the park down the street. I approach the park and see people in their running outfits, preparing for a race of some sort. I find a flyer on a pole. It reads: Support our Father’s Day Run, our fathers are important! Ah, Father’s Day. I had tried all week to erase it from my mind. I went out of my way to ignore the cards in the stores, the ads on TV, and, most of all, the dull ache in my heart. It is my first Father’s Day without my father, and I struggle to…
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The Umbrella

The Umbrella

Life & Community, Stories
I stood on the stair of the bus. The others had walked past him, ignored him. They never allowed his presence to register in their minds. He and I had history. Those chance repeated passings through the years—me on the way to the business world, him in his daily struggle for survival. He would ask for money, but the most I was willing to give was a nod, a hello. Never what he wanted, never what I thought he wanted. For five years I stepped off the bus and walked the few blocks to my office. The streets were filled with people taking their last steps outside before business took over their day. Within the cracks, among those of us with purpose, walked the street people. At first it was…
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A Good Start

A Good Start

Life & Community, Stories
I finish pulling my hair back, holding it tight, getting the rubber band around it. I want it to look neat. I catch my eye in the mirror. The reflection of my face stops me. I can’t help but smile, and the person in the mirror smiles back at me. She looks hopeful, maybe even happy. Today has started out as a good day. And I’ll keep it that way. Mr. Answers is right. I have the power to make it good. Months ago, it wouldn't have been this way. There were no mirrors or even a bed in my life. If I was lucky, there would be some piled-up boxes at the end of a quiet alleyway. You never really sleep in alleys. You can’t. I only rested, always…
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