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MEMORIAL DAY, Heroes On The Hilltop

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Memorial Day honors the Americans  Who’ve died for us. When they were called to do their duty  They didn’t look to see who was going to go with them.
They didn’t wait to see if people would say  It was a good war or a bad war. They stood up, and said: “I’ll go.”

Some of them didn’t come back.   Some lie in graves around the world whose whereabouts,  Only God knows.

As political as all conflicts are,  The deaths of these men and women  Lift them far above such mere considerations.
They’re up on that hilltop there,  Where the sunbeams are shining on them.
We owe these brothers and sisters of ours 
An understanding.
Of their bravery.   And you can’t talk about bravery  Without talking about fear.
May I tell you my story? I was a captain in the infantry.   I commanded a rifle company  In the bright green jungles of Vietnam.
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MICHELLE
She was a stunning woman. Sure, I fell for her, hard. We got married and we sailed our life through a sea of bliss. One year she gave me a picture of her, taken when she was 3. A lovely picture, intriguing. The thing's had me by the throat ever since.

I hung it in my office. I’d look at it and smile at her right heel, raised just so. I loved that. But I wondered, whose arm was that? And the guy holding the blanket, with the crazy tie…the Bogart in me had to know. But mostly? I was curious about the book she was reading. Whatever it was, it must have been a big deal.
THE ORIGINAL Years passed. One Christmas Eve I was looking for wrapping paper, I opened a box, and…what’s this? A Christmas card from 1947. It had a green bow and a little calendar booklet for the coming year, 1948. It was, unmistakably, the original photo.

I headed downstairs. She’d told me once that her grandparents, Bernice and Mike, spent summers after the war running the gift shop at the Old Faithful Inn in Ye…

MY WIFE HAS DEMENTIA. Now what?

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What Do I Do?
My wife and I heard that diagnosis six years ago. It was the worst news of her life. And mine. So, here's what I know: your immediate future will illuminate for you, and her, what kind of husband you are.

I’m not a doctor or therapist of any kind. But I’ve trod this path and maybe I can provide you some helpful insight. Here goes...

One day in 2013, my wife was her usual, lovely self. The next day she was in the ICU, being asked every hour if she knew what year it was. A week later we were home. There was lots of hope for rehab and how “this diagnosis affects everyone differently.” 

The fact is, your future will be what it’ll be. You won’t know how it’ll turn out until it’s all over. For now, the only thing you’ll have is your conviction that you’re going to help her deal with it, no matter what

“I Do?”
You don’t have that conviction? Then these next words are especially for you. 

Pardon my bluntness here. Your wife needs to know if she actually married a guy who’s going …

SLED DOG DWIGHT, HERO, AGE 5

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White Snow I met Dwight on a Sunday. He, his family and their dogs were at our sled dog races, on a beautiful day in Colorado’s high country under a cobalt-blue sky. Pure white snow, pure white Samoyeds, there’s nothing better.
Colorado mushers usually set up a racecourse somewhere, and they'd get insurance and arrange a safe place for their campers full of dogs and sleds. They’d flag the course, time the races and, late on Sunday, tear it all down and return to their homes and kennels.
If you were a kid and your mom and dad had a dozen Siberians, imagine how much you’d look forward to your first race. Just you on your sled, out there in a snowy forest. With a few fast dogs who could run like the wind.
Our Town In 1995, the little town where my wife and I lived held an annual sled dog race of our own to attract winter business. We did everything. The mushers only had to show up. Of course, they loved that and brought their families and lots of adorable puppies.
Ours was a “sprint” race,…