He had a picture of his dad in his wallet.

I went out with a guy in college, named Dean*, who carried a picture in his wallet of his dad. It wasn’t a recent picture. It had been taken back when his father was about Dean’s age–maybe 19 or 20 years old.Dean was always pulling the picture out to...
Mask Day

Mask Day

When I was a young teacher, my principal called me into his office a few minutes before the school day was to begin. He wanted to talk to me about James. But the thing was, we had just talked about James. The day before. We had exhausted the subject. And so I nodded...

Half Smiles and Whole Ones

Here in Grand Rapids, we’re hosting our annual Art Prize event, which always reminds me of this story, which occurred the first time our family attended:We were gazing at some of the outdoor sculptures when we bumped into some old family friends, the Smiths*,...

My Dad and the Jelly Shoe

Once, when I was about ten, my dad jumped into a river and swam among sharp rocks and white water rapids (at least that’s the way I remember it) to rescue… not me, but my beloved jelly shoe. The comfy plastic shoes were a beautiful red color, and I was quite proud of...

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