Monthly Archives: May 2016

It’s all about You.

When You’re your own celebrity

You like Yourself a lot.

You’re fun and full of levity

Cause Me is all You got.

You’ll sign Your selfie autographs

And send them to Myself,

“Thanks to Me for all Your laughs”

And hang them on My shelf.

Try it once and You may see

The star’s in Your own eyes,

No One’s as famous as You and Me

Nor adored more til We dies.


A complete stranger once believed you were worth it.

They never considered it a question of worth but always counted themselves lesser than the greater gain. Now free from a nation they freed, and lost to the lives they saved, they wonder from the heavens in valor and silence at those of this barbecuing, forgetful nation who merely consider it an occupational entitlement.

Memorial Day isn’t so much about being happy, but about taking a thankful moment of silent honor away from the grill to recall the merits of sacrifice at any price.

Then eat your burger, jump in your pool and be very, very happy that a complete stranger once believed you were worth it.

Hurry, someone call Maslow!

We now have compelling evidence that people need more to survive in this world than food, water and shelter. If these findings are true, Maslow will need to amend his hierarchy, science its premises, and boardrooms across the globe will rewrite employee manuals to embrace this new 4th force. The food pyramid, the flow chart, Venn diagrams, dietary labels, nothing is sacred here forward.

In huge numbers, people are dying to laugh.

Save yo wife, save yo children, malnutrition of the funny bone isn’t funny. It’s the new killer and literally, no joking matter. A high stress diet low in humor recently caused pile ups of 150 million viewers on YouTube to hear “The Laugh of the Chewbacca Mom” and other sillinessesess. Countless workplace millions daily risk it all for a single bellyful of breakroom laughter behind closed doors while cutting their cheese.

It’s time to come out.

HR departments take notice. A laugh at work beats a tiny raise hands down. Scrolling masses bring daily side dishes of giggles to share with other afflicted coworkers, and the sick are again discovering the healing truth that laughter is, indeed, the best medicine.

Since the 1950s, researchers have known that three episodes of I Love Lucy are more effective than a shaker full of Prozac. People everywhere are dying to laugh.
So if it seems life is a joke these days, the remedy before us is also within us, with equal access for gay, straight, transgendered, transfigured, and those who just want the right to pee in the stall of their choice.

So rise up, raise your memes, post your funnies and someone call an emergency summit to permanently revise the hierarchy so we can finally Make America Great Again.

We can’t survive without humor, the new 4th force.

Share this post six times and Jesus will send you four million dollars and a kitten. No joke.

Just like her.

She sees more good in people than is probably there. Everyone is her equal. Life is not viewed as her obstacle and she has never glimpsed nor found others much different than herself. Her sights are set on more important things. She envisions a world of hope others may never see and knows the value of a slow, certain pace to navigate it. Foresight is overrated and hindsight has taught her nothing. Sunrises are for feeling, moonbeams are for imagining, and the winds carry her to exotic, faraway lands of her mind. She has heard more stories and touched more people in her 82 years than in most lifetimes combined, faced more discrimination, and learned there are no rose colored glasses to change what is. And that love was indeed, blind, just like her.

Just like her.

Rest in peace, Margaret, and for the very first time, watch the heavens open just for you.

You waited blind for an entire lifetime to see this.



She had me at pterodactyl.

“Speaking of pterodactyls, I’m about as ancient.”

That’s how she introduced herself.

A greeting like that from the 91 year old woman who seated her brittle, fossiled bones in the chair across from me was pretty much all I needed that early May morning at an outreach I do for poor senior citizens.

“In paleontological terms, I’m a dinosaur,” she badabumped, and I slapped the table in unison as a drum in agreement like the bad sidekick in a vaudeville duo.  Together, our timing was damn good, and I miss her terribly.

She continued the schtick with a brief lesson of the Mesozoic epoch from which I’m now convinced she came, and told me how she expected to be just as extinct very soon.  In her era, she was a geography professor, but that was decades ago when she had a much larger wing span, the memory of a great Mammoth, and didn’t need a walker to get across her territory.  And indeed, this was her territory.

As much as I needed us to get down to the business that brought her to me, I gave her the stage and she earned every enthusiastic applause. She was masterful at mixing her dino-metaphors with the stories of her life.  She told me how she was deposited in the desert several years ago by loving family members whom she has neither seen nor heard from since.  A pittance would be a generous description of her social security income which pays the rent, keeps the lights on and buys her fewer groceries than she deserves.  This dinosaur had a story to tell.

It’s not unlike most I hear every day among the poor senior citizens who spend their final years scavenging to survive and fending off predators.

We sat and talked for at least an hour that morning. The stories she told me have since–like the dinosaurs–been buried for several months now.  She was one of my most entertaining mornings in recent memory and taught me to be a better storyteller because of it.

There are some people who come for just an hour,

and live with you for the rest of your life.

This one still has me at pterodactyl.




Always keep the door ajar.

I lost his phone number many years ago while in the throes of an 8 year Meth addiction I forgot to stop.

Desperately owing him a fourth step apology, my Facebook friend request went unacknowledged for the past three years, until yesterday.

He messaged me to say he was happy I finally got my life back together and would like to have lunch when he’s in town.

Recovering the worst mistakes of your life are rarely given such fortunate opportunity when you give up too soon or lose the humility that brought you to it in the first place and keeps the door to it always ajar.

I’m Don Miller, a grateful recovering addict for life.

Playing God

At this very moment, she’s next door deciding how her father will die. Just over the wall, I am begging insurance companies for a better way to help my mother live. Fourteen miles across town,  my 89 year old neighbor who, last week, I serendipitously found dying on his living room floor, is flanked by two sons in town to decide which of the two procedures Dad will get and doing high school math on the survival rates of each. None of us are doctors but each of us are involuntary enrollees in med school crash courses, playing God to save the lives and what’s left of them for the ones who gave us ours.

We’re out of paid time off, low on hope and tired. Hospital dining rooms are our kitchens, Googling medical terms are our Friday nights and everyone asks when we’ll be home again.

We’re not alone but that’s the way it feels if we can ever find the time to.

Life is a killer.

None of us are surprised by the fact. But none of us are prepared for it either. Helping our aging parents through their last years, months and moments is a part of being 56 that we hoped would come much later or not at all.

Some adult children in denial drop parents off at nursing homes and retirement communities far away to play bingo and spend their “golden” years apart and alone which are, at best, aluminum foil. But for the others who know that family is everything, they accept the challenge and fight for every last second of time to spend with the people who spent decades preparing us for hard times just like these..

For Lori, Todd, Vance, Shelly and the thousands like us in the world, we know that this is what life is all about. It won’t last forever. And when they are gone, we’ll be next in line. And like our parents who have come and gone before us, we will be comforted that we taught our own children differently.  And like us, they will have learned:

God knows, love’s decisions are the most painful.

What do couples do?

It’s been so long since I was two

I’ve forgotten exactly what couples do.

Hold hands in bed?

Watch the other one poo?

I really don’t know what couples do. 


Do they talk all night?

Is their love still true?

Now it’s all so different,

I wish I knew,

The kinds of things that couples do. 


Do they spend their Saturdays in the park?

Do they cuddle closely in the dark?

Do they still snuggle and coo

Like I used to?

Now I’ve no idea what couples do.


Spend their last red cent

Showing all that they’ve meant

To each other all of their years?

Do they know how they’re feeling?

Pray together while kneeling?

Do they still wipe away their tears?


Do couples still do what couples did

When each one was just one?

Or are coupling folk

Of which I’ve spoke

Now just one without a sum?


I’d like to know what couples do

Because one day it may be,

That again I become one

With another someone

And getting it right is important to me.

Don’t call your mother.

Don’t call her an old woman,
for she’s lived longer than you with more experiences at more important things in life than you have yet to even consider.
Don’t call her forgetful,
for she still remembers every birthday, anniversary and holiday with a handwritten card while you forget to even make a phone call.
Don’t call her stubborn,
for she’s a wealth of opinions years in the making and voiced for all the right reasons while you still worry what others will think of you.
Don’t call her old-fashioned,
for she can recite decades of memories by heart as though they were yesterday while you rely on Facebook reminders and smartphone photos.

This Mother’s Day, don’t call your mom anything,
just call her.
She’s absolutely worth it… while you still can.