The Love of My Life

A wonderful memory…

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

It was springtime 42 years ago. I was single and young. I loved art and beautiful women so that Sunday I attended an open house at a charming art school.

After at least an hour, I had lost heart at finding someone unique to date. Then I saw a small set of stairs leading to the third floor of the school’s main building.

I walked up those stairs. There she was with her beautiful artwork and an even more beautiful smile. I offered to consider buying the work. She offered a card with her name and number. I still have it and we are still together.

I didn’t realize until we dated how lonely I had been. Kristine filled my heart with something undefinable I had missed. She was and is the love of my life.

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Oh, Those Scars

“Things don’t go away just because you choose to forget them.” Teju Cole, a Nigerian-American writer

So what helps to heal our souls despite the scars? It would seem a multifactorial process. One thing seems reasonably certain to me. We need all the help we can get.

What we are seeking in essence is inner peace. To me these changes are wrought by the grace of God. I think we all need time in prayer. I try to pray daily. I think methodical stretching, lifting (or resisting), and aerobics put us in a better place spiritually, physically and emotionally. Time in the Word of God settles me and enriches my own journey.

May you each find that peaceful place in your soul that despite the scars is a healing balm on your journey. May God bless you with a deep, lasting, inner peace.


Are we too attached to our stuff?

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

The late, hilarious, comedian, George Carlin, had a wonderful sketch about our stuff. Its humor benefited from how attached we are to our stuff.

I had a friend who when moving to a smaller place decided to store a portion of his stuff, a beautiful rug. Upon his return to the storage bin, years later, he found a rat-holed piece of trash instead of his stuff. Hey, it was only stuff. Why get attached to it?

Viktor Emil Frankl, MD, was a psychiatrist of international renown, who, survived the Nazi death camps. He actually lived into his early 90s.

Frankl believed those people who were focused on the material for meaning were the least likely to survive the camps. All the material things in their lives were stolen from them. However, those who found meaning in the non-material, this physician found, were more likely to survive.

Many people in our…

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My Memory of 9/11, now, 19 Years Ago


Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

At 9:02:57a.m., on 9/11/01, the second World Trade Center Tower was hit. Not long afterwards I was in our family room. My 89 year old father in law was visiting. We were near the television. I wasn’t watching, but simply listening across the room.

When I heard about a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center my mind went back to the explosive truck at the bottom of one of the towers that had done its damage a few years before. I thought the news was historical, not in real time.

Then I looked. It was horrendous. My heart dropped and my eyes saddened. New York City was under attack. Thousands would die.

I turned to my father in law and said you lived long enough to see this. He said, “I wish I hadn’t.”

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What a gift!

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

I first appreciated little ones when my two nieces were very small and I would come home from med school in the late 60s and visit them. They were such a grand relief from the pressures of school and so enhanced my life.

In 1980, Kristine and I had a daughter, Courtney, followed by a son, Chad in 1990. Courtney was bright, beautiful and full of love. Chad was as well. Kristine being an artist was struck that as much as she appreciated beauty, God had blessed her with beautiful children.

My memories are centered on how my offspring connection steadily changed for the better, except for 13-14 years of age for obvious reasons.

Courtney is a dear with like interests who makes my heart sing. Chad is the dearest, male, friend I have ever known. I am very close to both of them.

Today is the 26th anniversary of…

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Kristine, the Gym and the Wedding

Looking back…

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

When I met my wife, 43 years ago, I learned that she’d been doing aerobics since she was a competitive swimmer at eight years of age. Had I not been willing to run the circular track at a nearby high school with her at frequent intervals, there would have been no more dates and I would have never known my wonderful children and grandchildren. She is still in better shape than I am aerobically, despite my many hours at the gym in the 43 years.

My late mother’s question when she saw Kristine dancing at our wedding was, “Can you keep up with her?” To which, I said, “No.”

Then 37 years later we applied for Kristine’s Social Security for which we needed a certified copy of our marriage license. My thought, Sure hope we got one. We had per the folks in Maryland. They dutifully sent us a certified…

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A Meal to Remember

A wonderful memory…

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

It was a cool, March evening in 1977. Likely to testify as a Maryland State Medical Examiner at a courthouse, I was dressed in my best suit, a green woolen.

There was a new, beautiful, talented woman in my life, Kristine. She was an art student. Following several dinner dates out, Kris had invited me for dinner at her place. She bought scallops at Lexington Market in Baltimore, a market birthed during the era of the American Revolution in 1782. She also purchased some fresh greens for a salad there.

I arrived at her apartment. I sat down for dinner.

Looking at the table was like seeing one of her works of art. The greens, off-whites and grays were beautifully composed. Unbeknownst to Kris, to that point, I had never enjoyed scallops. But this time given they were fresh from an extraordinary marketplace and cooked to perfection, I loved the…

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“Bearing the Cross” by David K Garrow, a Definitive Biography of MLK, A Book Review

A definitive, beautifully written work on Martin Luther King, Jr…

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

Dr. Garrow has been in his distinguished scholarly career a professor of law and history. He won the Pulitzer Prize for this work in 1987.

Dr. Garrow digs deeply into Dr. King’s story. He mentions interaction and events one rarely hears about. The scholar covers the problems MLK had with some of the students he worked with as well as his colleagues. He touches on how Dr. King in a sense backed into this leadership position having just accepted a pastorship in Alabama.

The most stirring part of the biography covers his “dark night of the soul.” At that time the price of this leadership to Dr. King as well as his family hit him squarely. He made the courageous decision to proceed whatever the costs. Dr. King trusted the Lord had given him this mission.

His remarkable ability to negotiate, a gift from God, comes home when he deals…

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One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson, a Book Review

If my review of Bill Bryson’s The Body rang a bell, consider this other engaging work by Bill, as well.

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

Since I was a kid I was impressed with the impact to the sports and aeronautical worlds of the year 1927. Hard news was impactful as well.

Sports gave us Jack Dempsey’s loss on the “long count” to Gene Tunney and Babe Ruth’s 60 home runs. To be complete it gave us the entire 1927 Yankees team, arguably the greatest baseball team ever assembled.

Aeronautics gave us the first solo transatlantic flight by Charles Lindbergh. He’s still around in the Lindy hop by which Americans can still dance to rock music. Those of us in San Diego have spent many an hour at Lindbergh field as well.

Very hard news, gave us the era and year pathetically of eugenics and theories of racial superiority taken to their horrible extreme shortly by the Nazis. The Italian immigrants Sacco and Vanzetti felt the horrible sting of prejudice as well in their prosecution…

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The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams, a Book Review

A story well worth the read…

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

TheUnwindingoftheMiracle is a work about the richness of life and about facing our deaths directly, realistically and peacefully. The “Unwinding” is life’s process of dying.

In this case we have a memoir of the last five years in this brilliant, Chinese-Vietnamese refugee’s miraculous life on which to focus. The book is filled with beautiful memoirs about the richness and the agony of her last days as a Harvard law graduate with a lovely interracial marriage and two wonderful daughters, though legally blind since infancy.

Materially we learn about her tremendous physicality prior to a stage IV (metastatic) cancer diagnosis. Emotionally we are privy to a difficult childhood and her reliance on her family, friends and psychotherapist through the cancer turmoil. Spiritually, she believes in an afterlife, though not the Biblical view. She has some Buddhism in her spiritual life, though no specific religion is…

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