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Everything We Need

The home hospice nurse, Maureen, told us not to blame ourselves if we missed Dad’s death. She said that terminally ill patients often choose when to die and often do so when they are alone. But Mom and I were not concerned. Dad always wanted us to be together, regardless of circumstance. We all knew this would be Dad’s last Christmas; his final opportunity to see his young grandsons and my wife, Lindsay. His oncologist was good at the hard


How Stories End

I have been very lucky in life to experience less than my fair share of loss and grief. Being a rookie made the last two-and-a-half years that much more difficult. My father’s diagnosis of terminal Leukemia at the age of sixty-eight nearly melted me. I thought he and I had so much more time; that he would live to be influential on Silas and Arlo as they grew up; that he would teach them things I couldn’t say; communicate ideas


Dear Pandora,

You took the idea of the human genome project and applied it to music, right? Songs have a certain genetic code that allows you to group them together in various ways based on their attributes. If I put in “Manic Monday” by The Bangles, your algorithm searches the DNA of all the songs ever recorded, finds others that are annoying enough to fuel a genocidal dictator, and then creates a “station” comprised of just those songs. Then, if I’m playing that station, and you


“Who Wants to Watch a Guy Get Eaten by a Snake!?”

Our family doesn’t normally watch TV together at 7pm on a school night, especially when one of our kids has a friend over. But when our matriarch gets excited about something, there’s no stopping her. This was a special occasion after all. A man was to be “Eaten Alive” by an anaconda on television. There had been a countdown and a Twitter Hashtag #EatenAlive! She and our seven-year-old son, Silas, had been out to dinner where Lindsay sold him on


Enjoy Your Movie Seat!

Each time I shifted in my seat, I smelled something sour. I tried to dismiss it as a run-of-the-mill other-people-sweat smell but eventually had to admit it was urine. Was it on my shoes? On the coat of the guy seated in front of me? The woman two seats over? I sniffed my arm, my hands, my knee — I sniffed my knee during an IMAX showing of Interstellar. Getting no closer to identifying the source, I leaned over and whispered to


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