Words & Banter

In Memory Of Bob Dole (1923 – 2021)

Photo by Brian Harris on Alamy

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I was so saddened to hear of the passing of Bob Dole, not because I followed his career or knew all his accomplishments, but because I knew enough to recognize and appreciate that he was one of the last of a dying breed – a true civil servant. Today, all too often, I feel that many politicians choose “public service” as a high-profile career path with great job benefits vs. a passion and commitment to America and to making things better for all Americans. For me, Bob Dole represented the best of what someone who goes into government is about – civility, commitment, honor, hard work, the willingness to work with others – and all to achieve what is best, not for themselves, but for their country.

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Bob Dole overcame serious World War II combat wounds, represented Kansas in Congress for 35 years as a bipartisan champion for all Americans, and unsuccessfully ran for president three times. Yet, he never lost his optimism or his wit. (Just three days after losing his bid for President against Bill Clinton, when David Letterman asked him what he was doing, he replied, “Apparently, not enough.”) But what most impressed me is that he continued to serve the American people, making the World War II Memorial a reality and devoting himself to disability legislation. And, I will never forget the moving image of Bob Dole at President George H. W. Bush’s funeral in December 2018 – being helped out of his wheelchair to stand and pay final respects with a salute.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. May he rest in peace.

Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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You’re going to roll your eyes, but lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about myself.

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That is totally out of character, unless you are thinking of New Year’s resolutions.

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Actually, no. For decades, my priorities, and therefore my life, have always been focused on the girls and Mom. But that’s all changing. And I’m not sure how to “change” with it.
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Wherever you may be … we wish you a happy and healthy ’23!

Photo by AlexRaths for iStock

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I remember when I was growing up and old enough to stay home alone (long before the movie “ Home Alone”) on New Year’s Eve. Our parents may have gone out to celebrate, but I had the perfect evening. Before they left, they’d get me my favorite takeout Chinese food (again, long before the days of food delivery services), and I’d savor the egg drop soup with wontons and a large container of pork fried rice, knowing that I didn’t have to share with anyone. Then, I’d settle in for a night of old movies on TV, only taking a short break to watch the ball come down in Times Square , before going back to watching movies for hours. (Long after my parents had come home and gone to sleep.)

Fast forward more decades than I care to admit, and my favorite way to celebrate New Year’s Eve is pretty much the same. Except now, what would be even more perfect would be to have my daughters home with me.

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I started to say that Red has always needed to get a life, but the reality is that I understand why she likes a quiet New Year’s Eve and has created her own “special” tradition. Over the years, I would celebrate New Year’s Eve by going out to a “special” dinner with my spouse or significant other (if applicable) and dear friends. The funny thing is the older we get, the earlier we return home. We tell ourselves it is because we do not want to be on the roads with the drunks, but that does not explain why we all admit we usually are asleep well before midnight.

Whether celebrating by yourself or with others … whether you find yourself feeling extra warm and fuzzy and reminiscing at midnight, like Red, or being pragmatically optimistic, like Black, who will raise a glass and toast her friends as well as the promise and hope that the new year offers us all … we want to wish you,

Happy New Year! And may 2023 be filled with health and happiness, love and laughter.