Category Archives: Me

Unforgettable Jane Dutton

Bob Jane

I went to my friend Jane Dutton’s memorial service today to say goodbye. But somehow, I don’t think she is really gone from my life. Jane enabled me to talk with my children. I’ve had a different – and better – and happier life because of that. And for at least one of my kids, it probably saved her life. Thank you, Jane.

It all had to do with reading aloud to my children – even after they were old enough to read on their own – something Jane taught me was possible – even though not enough parents continue to do so. After reading tens of thousands of pages and hundreds of books together, once you’ve read the Funeral Oration of Pericles out loud to your eight-year-old, you can talk about anything – even the kinds of things no one wants to discuss.

I’m so happy for Jane and the courageous decision she had to make to move to the Netherlands a few years ago. But in doing so, Jane also pulled off something incredible: and that was that she didn’t abandon us – she was still here – and in many ways closer – from her new home so many miles away. And I was blessed to have a front row seat witnessing her having that same kind of different – and better – and happier life. I miss my friend: Unforgettable Jane.

Bob

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Active Shooter

As I came out of my late movie last night, the guy behind the concession counter warned me to be vigilant: there was an active shooter a couple of blocks over near MIT. So I went home a different way, not my usual route across Main and down Vassar to Mass Ave.

Here is a list of resources for children exposed to traumatic events. Adults might need them sometimes, too.

Bob

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I Be Irie

The DVD came out this week of a movie I particularly enjoy. I appreciate its moments of real living — despite whatever calamity is transpiring at the same time. It’s filled with a number of great quotes. Most people will remember the one about how, “Everything will be all right in the end… if it’s not all right, then it’s not the end.” But my favorite is Muriel’s retort to the complaint that, “Nothing here has worked out quite as expected,” when she says, “Most things don’t. But sometimes what happens instead is the good stuff.”

For me, things don’t usually work out as expected. However, I know I have the choice to be miserable or to search for some joy wherever I am. I try to choose the latter. This reminds me of the story Welcome to Holland. My family spends their time in that Holland. We’ve all moved in and have our resident visas.

I learned a new word this week, “irie.” But before I tell you what it means, we need to learn how to pronounce it … because it doesn’t work if you say it wrong. It’s pronounced “eye-REE,” just like the beginning of the name “Irene.” And it means to be at peace with your current state of being; the ultimate positive.

Here it is in a sentence:

I be in Holland. I be irie.

Bob

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The “Author Picture”

There is no better way to get to see yourself than to have your own caricature done. Keelan did a great job. What a dweeb. (Me, not him.)

Bob

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The First Draft

I finished the first draft of my book today. It’s been in the works for quite some time. It was only recently that we made it to an appropriate place to give it a hopeful ending.

This means that I’m no longer a pseudonym, but a pen name.

Bob

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I’m Bob

Hi. I’m Bob. I’m the proud father of Patricia, my no longer quite so suicidal daughter who still isn’t dead. Bob isn’t my real name, but then again, neither is Patricia’s. For those of you who know us, we ask that you respect our privacy. Please don’t post our true identities on the Internet. It’s not like we are superheros — we’re more like pack mules with some extra baggage that doesn’t need to be shared with everybody.

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1st Post

… create … d.

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