Tougher than the Rest: A Song, a Story, a Wedding

I do not want to get married again.

Yes, that sounds harsh, but before everyone cancels their RSVPs and returns their gift cards, perhaps I should clarify. The statement “I do not want to get married again” is a true statement, with the key word being “again.” That word, those two little syllables, imply Marriage the Reboot, which, simply isn’t the case.

I had accepted, even encouraged, the thinking that I would be alone the rest of my life. I’d become a hollowed out person, unable to allow anyone to come close enough to hurt me, let alone love me. Sure, I’d date, perhaps even attach a label to it, but I wanted that distance, needed it to survive, even though it was killing me.

In almost exactly one week from this moment, I will be huddled in a hallway with the woman who changed all that, and our small gathering of guests will be listening to a song that captures us. It is not a shock to anyone that it will be a Bruce Springsteen song, but what might escape everyone is just how on the dot the lyrics to “Tougher than the Rest” are.
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A touch of magic: “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible”

Many of you, particularly my social media friends, have already seen this story, but I’m sharing it here to reach a wider audience to celebrate the love that has been showered on my friends. To those who are familiar with my friend Kellee, her battle with cancer and her journey to Disney, I ask you to continue spreading this type of joy. To those who are just now discovering this tale, I realize what follows is lengthy, but the payoff is worth it as, at least for me, it has helped reaffirm my faith in humanity.


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Words carry weight; choose them with love

Our words carry weight, with messages both subtle and obvious. People are listening, often paying close attention, whether you know it or not.

Some choose to hide behind a message of hate, tossing off words without a care in the world who gets harmed in the process. It’s sad that all that’s being asked is tolerance; that’s not even acceptance. It’s merely the absolute least that can be provided – “yes, I tolerate you.”

There is, however, another choice.

Last week, the Georgetown News-Graphic published a column I wrote in response to a married couple’s letters to the editor bemoaning the fact that same-sex couples now share that same right to marry. The response, fortunately, was overwhelmingly positive, with friends and strangers alike sharing the love.

One, though, stood out, and it’s with the family’s permission that I share this story:

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A Scar is Born: 20 years later, a mother’s love continues

Her scar stretches across her skull, from one ear to the other, hidden at first behind a scarf, later by her hair, kept short partly for style, partly as a reminder. But it’s there, it’s always there, a faded smile left behind on her skin from the hands of doctors (or, if you prefer, the hand of God). The scar tells us to live and to love, to be patient and forgive, to pray and be thankful.

And so, I need to tell you about that scar.
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Remembering Bro. Rule: Community reflects on man’s lasting legacy


David Rule, known to Powell Countians as Bro. Rule, in a portrait by Tim Webb.

David Eugene Rule, better known throughout Powell County as “Brother Rule,” died Aug. 6, 2012. His influence on me, particularly my writing style, was tremendous. I owe him much gratitude; I’m thankful I had the chance to let him know this.

I can’t imagine how many others can say similar things about what he meant to their lives. He might be the only truly good man I’ve ever met. He didn’t just preach love, he lived it.

His impact will be felt for lifetimes.

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Friends’ support keep memories alive, or How a Reservoir Dog’s bite far outweighed his bark

My parents hadn’t given up on me, even though by all accounts they probably should have. I hated them, for no good reason, other than the fact I was in my early 20s and they weren’t.

They tried to reach out to me. I refused, time and again.

Then someone reached out to them, they graciously accepted the offer and I was fortunately too young and dumb to realize I was being parented by proxy. I’m not sure when Norman Watson called my mom, telling her he’d talk to me, try to make me be less angry, less sullen, less bratty, less negative.

I’m just glad he did.
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