On July 11, my high school classmate, Randy Wolf, dropped dead unexpectedly of a heart attack.
This is not about the shock of a 49-year-old man dying unexpectedly; we are born to die.
This is not about my own mortality; I feel my body’s anarchy everyday. My time may also be nigh.
The best parts of growing older are experience, grace, laughter, wisdom and memories and growing older
itself because the alternative is death and I wouldn’t trade the
raggedy edges of my sometimes uncertain life for all the death I once
I talked to my kids about Trayvon Martin,
the flaws and intricacies of the American judicial system, about racial
profiling and about how the smallest of bad choices can keep them from
coming home at the end of the day.
We’re all, most of us, anyway, waiting together for 93-year-old Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela to go. But, really? How much can one man bear? How much beating? How much ostracization? How many lies? How much defamation, alienation and starvation?
There was this woman with a deep, slow
drawl spoken in something between a rasp and a whisper who had a
lightning bolt inked high on her right cheekbone not as thuggery, irony
or defiance but as a simple, stunning marker adding to the mystique of a
woman easily mistaken in her era-defying androgyny for a man.
What work ethic I have — especially the stamina and energy to plow through until the end — I got from her. Our mother never stopped. My three blood siblings and the four stepchildren she raised can all attest to the fact that she never stopped parenting us.