20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


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A New Life

Hiccups and laughs,

Joy to be heard,

A crack of a smile,

a glance at a bird.

The baby is yawning,

mommy is aware

and all through the nap

noise is handled with care.

Now you’re up

and you smiling

no more fuss

no more crying.

The joy of new life

is a blessing.

 


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Laugh at Mistakes

In the moments when

You are completely out of your element

And you feel a bit confused

All you can do is laugh.

Let go of all you don’t know

Find something inside to hold onto

And just jump in.

Find someone who does know

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

And find a partner in crime who

Knows just as much as you do

So you can laugh together as

You muddle through and make mistakes.

Learning only happens

With a willingness to fail,

To makes mistakes

To not let those mistakes and failures

Get you down

But rather let them

Motivate you to get it right.

You gotta just keep moving

Laughter along the way just makes

For a more enjoyable ride.


What are they up to?

“Shhh they will hear us”

“No they won’t they can’t even see us”

“They know where we are…shhh you will spoil it”

“I will shhh but you must to”

“I am, I’m trying to stop you”

 

“Stop saying shhh then, you’re making a noise”

“But I’m quiet when I say it”

“No you’re not you are louder than me”

“Do you think they will hear us?”

“Maybe”

 

“Don’t laugh or you will make me”

“But it’s hard not to laugh when I want to”

“No shhh you must cover your mouth”

“Well that’s not much fun now is it”

 

“We are safe only if we keep quiet”

“I’m trying to but I can’t”

“Do you think we can stay here forever?”

“Well at least till dinner-time”

 

Every played hide & seek under the blankets with your best friend when you were little?

 

 


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Forgiveness

 

It isn’t very easy to forgive.

It isn’t very easy to forget.

Both both of these are necessary to live.

 

You have to find the truth of inner peace

and though it isn’t easy to forget,

you must if you’ve to gain that true release.

 

To live and love in comfort with yourself,

you have to have the courage to forget

or your pride festers into living hell.

 

There really isn’t any other way.

Just let the past go, take deep breaths, forget

and open-hearted face each brand new day

with genuine forgiveness, come what may.

 


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Captain of My Own Destiny

Math Mark

Math Mark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have to admit that I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my brain for as long as I can remember. Our relationship began to have trouble when I was in the third grade. Evidently, I was unable to keep up with the class when it came to math, and I was dispatched, to my utter dismay and humiliation, to a mobile classroom on the outskirts of the school for an hour each day. While the rest of my class stayed put, I would have to scoop up my flagrantly different math text-book, exit the class with my cheeks burning, walk the long distance to the Special Ed building, all the while feeling stupid,  and meet a sugary sweet teacher who would talk to me like I was not only mathematically challenged, but also having trouble understanding the English language. The whole experience was completely appalling to me, and I decided that I’d work extra hard on my own so I could get out of the Special Education Math Class.

To me, my circumstances have always been something that I felt I could change, if I could just figure out a plan of action.

Evidently, I have always been a control freak.. :-)

My plan was to get better at math immediately. Back then, though, there were no home computers, much less the World Wide Web, so I was a tiny bit unsure about how to go about becoming a mathematical genius overnight. Luckily, my mother had a set of Encyclopedia Britannica‘s, and I began my quest right there. Everyday after school, I would begin my research into a quick, sure way to improve my brain’s performance.  Often, I would get distracted from my mission, running across something entirely unhelpful, but way more interesting.

And in time,  I found a little excerpt from an old research study that stated  how the brain worked in general, and had come to the conclusion that people who write with their left hands tended to have better mathematical abilities. Ah Ha! I thought.  All I needed to do, in my own estimation, was to teach myself to write with my left hand. This, I surmised, would “wake up” the right side of my brain, and I’d be a mathematical wiz…Good-bye, Special Ed Math. Hello, Popularity and Wealth. Actually, I didn’t really care about the popularity and wealth thing so much..just getting out of that humiliating class.

I had this gut feeling that I’d just stumbled on to a little known cure, and that soon, I’d leave my classmates in my mathematical dust…

So, I did exactly that. I practiced writing with my left hand for weeks, then months, and then years. To this day, I will occasionally write with it just to make sure I still can. I have so blended my left hand/right hand capabilities that I made myself somewhat ambidextrous.  :-)

But did it help my math abilities? I did catch up in math during my fourth grade year, and then later, in high school, I was able to hold my own, and to get good grades. I scored higher than average in math on my SAT’s, though I always find English grammar, literature, and the like easier to learn and understand, and those scores were higher than my math scores. I ended up working most of my life in accounting.

I have no idea if my little quest tricked my brain or not. Maybe, because I believed that it would make me smarter in math, it did. All I know is that I’ve learned that the brain is exceedingly magnificent and complicated, and we can train it to do what we want. Too cool!

One teacher that I admired and respected once told me that I was unusually logical, always breaking everything down to its simplest forms, which was actually a mathematical skill, and he thought it was unlikely that I was ever behind in math, but instead just wasn’t being taught in a method that I could learn from. Back then, in the 1970′s, the multiplication tables were taught by memorization, and he theorized that this method would not have been something I could have kept up with. A bunch of numbers memorized for reasons I couldn’t explain would not have been easy for me to retain. Instead, had the teachers shown me what exactly was actually being done when you multiply 2 by 2, I would have kept up just fine.

I remember thinking that I liked that teacher’s theory about my brain, but a tiny part of me wants to believe that in elementary school, I figured out a way to trick my brain into being smarter in math. :-)

– Bird


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Dreams, Like Wine, Need Time To Age

Vicar

Vicar (Photo credit: Nick Kidd) A Man Who Isn’t Afraid to Dream!!!

So, I was strolling through the internet this evening, really rather bored, but trying to keep my hyper-vigilant brain from worrying to death over the fact that my husband has been on his motorcycle for 5 hours on a trip, and hasn’t called me even once to let me know he’s alive, and I came across this little nugget of delight:

Vicar Quits To Become Elvis Presley Impersonator

And it got me thinking about dreams. I may be mistaken, but I think it is safe to say that everyone in the world has had at least one dream while growing up. Of course, depending on where you come from, the dreams would vary drastically. I imagine if you are starving in a hut in a third world country, getting enough food to live to puberty would be a common dream. However, in America, the dreams are probably a little bigger and less life-sustaining. For me, when I was little, I dreamed of being an architect. My favorite uncle,  The Master Debater and All Around Most Awesome Uncle Ever, my Uncle John, gave me some of the tools an architect would use, and I spent endless hours designing fantastic mansions. Then, after a relatively small amount of time, I realized that I just kept designing the same mansion over and over again, and the luster wore off the dream. Well, that and the amount of math involved…So, I moved on to other dreams (tap dancer, stand-up comedian, Comparative Religion Professor), but the only other one that ever stuck was to be a writer.

In my family, there are several excellent, published writers, and even more just as excellent, unpublished writers. What is really cool about this dream, though, is that we all write different genres, and none of us write with the same kind of “voice”. For instance, my brother writes about his church ministry and how he and some other financially strapped guys were able to build a church from scratch. Yes, he and I have the same sense of humor, but our interests couldn’t be further apart and our approaches to life are spectacularly different. My mother wrote many, many romance novels. They are actually really clever, well written, and juicy… but have you ever read a graphic love scene written by your mom? :(   I can barely read a romance novel, much less one written by my mom, and to write one…I am not that gifted. Romantic I am not! I have an  aunt who writes young adult books, including some kind of strange book that lets you make decisions throughout the whole thing, which then changes the ending. Witty and interesting, but beyond my abilities…..And another aunt that wrote science fiction back in the 60′s and 70′s. I was told that one of her books was made into a story for some drama series back then, but I’ve forgotten all the details. Strange that our interests never once seemed to cross over with the number of writers in this family, but so far, that is the way it has all turned out.

I blew off my dream to write most of my adult life. I’d written a couple of fiction books as a teenager, but I cringe to even speak of them. They were horrible. I just figured that my writing career would go the way of my architect career…no where. I just didn’t have the imagination one would need to create a believable story.

So, I lived my life, married, had a family (not in that order), and worked my little accounting jobs and all but forgot my childhood dream.

Then, I set up my blog, and I started writing about stuff I was interested in, or things I felt I wanted to share about myself, and boom! The dream came back to life like Snow White being kissed by Prince Charming! And you know what? It occurs to me that I am now in a better position to be a writer because I’ve lived a whole life. I’ve endured this circus show called life, and now I actually have something to say. I have something I can write about from the heart, and with real honesty and conviction. The dying embers of the flame of hope have been fanned into a roaring bonfire, and for the first time since I was a little girl, I have a real dream to work towards!

And vicars who quit their jobs to become Elvis Presley impersonators serve as a MASSIVE inspiration to me…Thank you, Vicar! You are my hero.

You are the wind beneath my wings… :)

I just think we never get too old to dream, and we should go for it!!! What is your dream??

– Bird


A Pictorial Guide To Bird’s Latest Crisis

Bird:

Sharing my thoughts through pictures…

Originally posted on Everyone Has A Story...:

Lately, I believe it would be fair to say that I’ve been on the horns of a dilemma when it comes to this blog thing. One thing that I’ve really come to value about writing here is the therapeutic nature of getting my bottled up thoughts out of my head and in front of my eyes, and the eyes of others. It tends to make the monster in my head look smaller and less destructive than I’d originally supposed.

 

I’ve been dealing with two major problems in my marriage, and as I tend to do, I keep my secrets well guarded. It is one thing to blab my own shortcomings and failures to the world…I’m okay with people taking pot-shots at me, because I embrace my ridiculous mistakes and try to use them as cautionary lessons for others. But when you’re getting into the problems that a marriage goes through…

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The Red Carpet of My Mind

Bird:

Reblogged from Everyone Has a Story…

Originally posted on Everyone Has A Story...:

It occurs to me that making friends on the internet is kind of an odd exercise when it comes to me. I spend a lot of time watching people…how they speak, what they say, body language, tone inflection, etc. Last night, I spent a good amount of time talking with Sara, and we talked for hours about subjects I’ve almost never discussed with anyone in my entire life, except maybe with Audra.

When I first set up my blog, it never occurred to me to not put my picture on my gravatar or in the About Me section…But some of my new friends on the internet chose to keep their physical appearance a secret. In fact, most of my Blogosphere friends who opted for anonymity have been assigned a “look” in my head based on some pretty goofy criteria.

For instance, Sara looks like Katherine Heigl to me in my…

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Preventative Measures and My Panty Drawer

Bird:

A recent offering…

Originally posted on Everyone Has A Story...:

Panties For Peace

Panties For Peace (Photo credit: divid3d)

Yesterday evening, I swore offf watching the news. Forever. But, as my world often does, I was thrown a curve ball. My husband won’t jump on the anti-news bandwagon with me. I guess the upside of this latest little battle is that I would have missed the breaking news that is happening right here in Tulsa. A rogue exterminator has been caught rifling through a woman’s bra and panty drawer. It scares me to know just how close I came to missing this valuable little nugget of life. Here is the full story: Exterminator Caught in Bra and Panty Drawer.

I often ponder what makes people take the risks they do when it comes to decisions like this. For the life of me, why do men want to look at a woman’s underthings in a drawer?? I mean, I get it when men, being visual creatures,  want to…

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The First Time I Met Chef’s Entire Extended Family

Bird:

Chef introduces me to The Family.

Originally posted on Everyone Has A Story...:

Mariachi en la ciudad de Guadalajara, Jalisco,...

Mariachi en la ciudad de Guadalajara, Jalisco, México. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chef is from a very, very large Hispanicfamily. His mother is the eldest child of 13 kids. How incredibly awesome is that?? Basically, her parents gave birth to their own football team, with alternates. I love that…Anyways, Chef’s white father left his family pretty early on in Chef’s life, and left his mom and her very large, close-knit family, to raise their four kids. Sad, but it was what it was.

To introduce me to this large extended family, Chef thought it would be fun to take me to one of his family’s get-togethers. And these people throw a fantastic party. Good food, good locations, and Mariachi‘s for entertainment. And I was really nervous, but excited to be going. When we arrived, the family was really nice to me, especially my new mother-in-law. The only fly in the soup was that they all spoke Spanish

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Google Knows I’m God’s Worst Child

Image representing Google Images as depicted i...

Image via CrunchBase - Google Knows Everything!!

I just love WordPress‘s dashboard. It is fun to see the little map light up with color, or to see how many times someone looks up my gravatar. I love the breakdown of which of my many bizarre stories people have continually looked up…they are never the ones I think were my best! But best of all, is the search terms that people typed into Bing or Google that led them to my site. I have wonderful ones.

Without doubt, Disclaimer: I’m God’s Worst Child Ever is my popular article of all time. So, approximately 180 people have typed in “God’s worst child” and they’ve been directed to me. Out of curiosity, I’ve been asking random friends to type that in and see what comes up. Guess what! My article..no wonder it is doing well. My son typed the phrase in to Google Images, and my picture pulls up. I guess I’m seriously God’s Worst Child!!

Number two article is trailing behind the first one at 169 searches, and it is How My Own Brain Humiliated Me. The phrase internet explorers keep using to find this one, you ask?

Three boobs. :-)

I typed that one in, and thankfully, while it pulls up my article, I’m not number one, nor does my picture pull up under Google Images. I can live with being God’s Worst Child, but if everyone who has never seen me thinks I have Three Boobs, I’ll just die…

– Bird


Facebook Love Connections and Why They Fail

Bird:

Yes. I still got it. :-)

Originally posted on Everyone Has A Story...:

So, evidently Facebook changed some stuff up over two years ago, and I just wandered across several messages that have been sitting in there forever, patiently waiting for my attention. Sorry to all my friend who thought I was just ignoring them…I am not too tech-savvy, so changes don’t leap out me very often.

This one message, though, just cracks me up to no end. I think he’s trying to hit on me, but frankly, I am not really sure…

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

First, the grammar is lacking. I have said it out-loud a couple of times, and I sound like a gangsta rapper..But second, and far more humorous to me, are the advertisements underneath the guy trying to make a love connection with me…If these aren’t cautionary tales, then nothing is…If these same ads are showing underneath all of this guy’s romantic connections, I’ll bet he isn’t feeling any love these…

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Shit, Is It Easter Already?

Religious symbols from the top nine organised ...

Religious symbols from the top nine organised faiths of the world according to Major world religions From left to right: 1st Row: Christian Cross, Jewish Star of David, Hindu Aumkar 2nd Row: Islamic Star and crescent, Buddhist Wheel of Dharma, Shinto Torii 3rd Row: Sikh Khanda, Bahá'í star, Jain Ahimsa Symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is Easter weekend. And, as you know, I’m a Christian. Which is why I want to talk today about using bad words. I love profanity, when used in the right context.

Random, right? No. Not really. Let me explain why.

I follow a ton of fellow bloggers, and a good percentage of them are good, Christian people. And Easter is a very important holiday for us. Growing up in church, going to a Christian school, and being raised by a woman hell-bent on going to heaven, I have heard every single variation of the Easter story known to mankind. The only sermon I’ve ever heard my brother preach was the Easter sermon. Yes. I know the story, and I am not disregarding what Jesus did for me on the cross. But I’m not reading too many thoughts about Easter this weekend. In fact, I’m scouring for posts with profanity in them.

I can not stand religious…(not spiritual, mind you)…tradition. I have been an unwilling recipient of religious hypocrisy more than once. I’ve been used and abused by those who would call themselves Christian leaders in the light of the sun, but at night, were nothing more than users, twisting God and His Word into something ugly and warped. Making money and building up their own arrogance by hurting God’s people.

Early on in my life, though, I found that the simplest way to weed out the hypocrites was by using a bad word. It isn’t that real Christians don’t get offended by foul language. Most do. It is because religious people immediately decide you’re a heathen and will ruin their own reputation if they are seen with you. And since I am not interested in the overtly religious Pharasee-like Christian.. (or Mormon, or Muslim, or anything else resembling religion), this works for me.

The real Christians, I find, are more likely to skip over that little shortcoming of mine, refusing to judge my eternal soul based on my inability to control every word coming out of my mouth. And so, I use it as a gauge, if you will.

I imagine Jesus will eventually put His foot down about my sailor-like mouth, but at the moment, know this. As I have yet to achieve Jesus-like perfection, especially in the area of my big, fat mouth, I am not likely to have a problem with what you struggle with.

So, I hope you have a Happy Easter, find eggs, and candy, and all that fun shit

:-) Bird


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So, A Child Molester and a Little Kid are Walking into A Forest…

Update: I was confused about why the pope picture kept coming up on my search…I figured WordPress was goofing with me, or misunderstood what my post was all about.  HOURS LATER,  I finally get the Pope picture..I used the words child molester in the title..Sorry! I didn’t do it on purpose..lol. I don’t think all priests are child molesters…..OMG!!

So, I was reading this: Why Do Comedians have A Higher Suicide Rate and it reminded me of a therapist that I once visited.

Unimpressed with my witty diversions in our conversation, she point-blank told me that I

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI (Photo credit: Wikipedia) -- Evidently, WordPress thinks this pope uses humor to divert..Every time I ran search terms related to my article on humor, comedians, suicide -- this guy's picture showed up in the first frame. LOL...

hide behind my humor. I made some quick-witted retort, and promptly left her office, but I knew she was right. In the past, the more unhappy I am, the more hilarious people around me have thought I was.

What is this phenomenon that causes the broken-hearted men and women of this world try to make others laugh? You got me. I have no idea why. I only know that it is true, because I’ve watched it happen time and again in my own family.

Hands down, my father is the funniest man I know. He sugar coats absolutely nothing, and he is irreverent, crass, bold, and given to the darkest forms of humor I’ve ever known. And believe me when I say, I have laughed at some raunchy stuff. I can’t help myself…I know, I know. Somethings aren’t funny. But in my dad’s world, nothing is off-limits. If you were to look at his life, though, you would think this man should have been living his days in the fetal position in someone’s basement. A physically abused child, he became a criminal before puberty. The one time he tried to change his course in this life, and join the Marines, he was unable to fully assimilate to the life. He married my mom, a beauty queen, who left him high and dry for a guy who made more money. She hid his kids, bankrupted him in court and emotionally as well, and, in my perception, never gave him a second thought. His only son changed his last name to his stepfather’s name, and refuses to this day to even have a conversation with him. All he has is me… (personally, I think he is lucky, because I’m clearly awesome..but who knows?) His life has been filled to the rim with pain and hardship, and yet he makes every one around him laugh, even if it is somewhat nervously. Hands down, he had the hardest life of all of us. Does his pain decide what level his ability to make others laugh is at? I have a feeling that it does.

My brother Mike was raised in the same home as I was, but his journey involved different problems. He is very close-mouthed about our childhood, choosing to focus on his future instead of sorting through his past. Yet, as a fellow survivor of that household, I see the scars on him too. He has built for himself a successful and happy family, and he is a pastor of a pretty impressive church in Colorado. He even wrote a book called How To Knock Over A 7-Eleven and Other Ministry Training. You should read it if you ever get a chance, even if you have no interest whatsoever about churches or church building. The things that have happened to him are hilarious. The guy can tell a really good story. Again, I have to ask, would he be so funny if he had had a Noodle Salad life? Don’t know what a Noodle Salad life is? Read this: Noodle Salad People.

I am told I’m funny too. I have my moments, I guess. The more nervous I am, or the more I am trying to divert your attention away from something I find uncomfortable or painful, I am pretty damn witty. The difference, though, is that I am generally a happy, peaceful person. Yes, I bear the scars of childhood sexual abuse, neglect, and a ton of other painful experiences. But, those scars are healed up, and I find that when I get rolling, I’m genuinely happy to make others laugh, and in turn, I enjoy the happiness I am feeling because they are laughing. When depression rears its ugly head in my life, I generally ride it out by sleeping or coaxing my mind to pursue happier thoughts. I hope that is what Dad and Mike are doing to. Again, same question. Did my past have anything to do with this?

It is an interesting diversion to life’s pain — humor. Does everyone, to some degree, use this tool for coping as well? I’d be really interested in hearing your thoughts on this subject.

– Bird


5 Comments

Conversations With My Dad

These are some stories my Dad told me. I get a kick out of the way he tells a story. In fact, most of the people in my family can tell a good story. There’s always an underlying competition going to “out-storytell” each other. Dad is still winning –

Here’s some of my Dad’s recent offerings to me….

Abusive Employers:

After describing to my dad how my employer would lose his temper on me, then say not to take it personally–

Dad: Your grandpa Eddie told me this story once. One of the ole guys he got hired by told

Me and my Dad

him, ‘ Now, sometimes I lose my temper and I’ll cuss ya, but don’t take it personally. I don’t mean nothin’ by it.

And your grandpa told him, ‘ That’s okay. Sometimes when people cuss me, I break my foot off in their a**. But don’t take it personally. I don’t mean nothin’ by it either.’

The Debt:

Bobby was just one of those friends that gets away with s*** that I would beat anyone else’s a** over. Once I heard he was over somewhere gambling, and I headed over there to collect some of the $400 he owed me. When I left, he owed me another $20.

He got himself this motorcycle, and he came over to my house, and asked if I had a wheel, ’cause his back wheel needed replacing. I had all the motorcycle parts, so I said sure. We went out together and I took this wheel off this old bike of mine. He didn’t have any money, so I just let him have it.

The next day he came over and asked me how much for the whole bike. I said, “Well, how much you wanna pay?” He said, ” Well, it ain’t worth much without that wheel.”

Describing my grandmother’s side of the family:

The Kings were a dangerous lot. They’d cut your throat and tell God you died.

Chatter Box Daughter:

When you were little…about two or three, I’d say, I came home, and your mom was just tired. You’d talked her ears off all day. So, I said to myself, I’m just going to let her talk until she wears herself out. I said to you, “Cathie, come here. We’re gonna talk.”

A long time later, you were still going. I thought to myself, ” If I cover her mouth, her little rearend will blow right off.”

Handling Conflict:

Well, you know I didn’t get to spend much time with Michael. By the time I got to see him again, he’d forgotten who I was. Broke my heart.

He was pretty little, running around outside playing with some kids. He comes running in and says, ‘Dad, those kids took my ball away!’

I told him, ” You’re gonna be a man, someday. Go be a man and take it back from them.” I went to the window to watch him, in case those kids tried to hit him or something.

He ran outside and says in a loud voice, “That’s okay. Dad called the cops.” The little a**h*** kid that took Mike’s ball away threw it back at him, and ran away. Mike just kept on playing.”

I thought, “The kid is smarter than me…”

Our 2nd or 3rd Cousin Eddie - (This one is my favorite…)

Dad: Everbody’s got a story, Cathie. We have this cousin Eddie who had a mother who wasn’t going to settle for just one guy — she’s was tryin’ them all out first. She was hooked on dope, so the state gave her kids to her father. He wasn’t much better, but at least they ate. I think….

Anyways, he got money from the state for taking care of them. One day the mother showed up needing some money, and her dad wouldn’t give her any so she threaten to kill Eddie, and hit him in the head with a bottle. It didn’t kill him or nothin’, but it showed him where his place was in this world.

Eddie was a tough m****f****. Later, when he was twelve, he was hanging in a bar with his mom and one of his stepfathers. The sorry man started threatening Eddie, saying he was going to take him outside and beat his a**. Eddie told him, come on, I’m ready for you. Come outside and beat my a**. So, while the old guy swallowed the last of his beer, Eddie went on outside to wait for his a** kickin’. When ole boy walked out, Eddie hit him in the head with a two-by-four. Put him right in the hospital. Yeah, he was one tough little kid.

Me: This is a horrible story. These are our relatives, Dad??

Dad: No. But I wish they were.

Good parenting:

I don’t know if I would have been a good parent, Cathie. I just know I would have tried real hard.

 

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