This “Skeptic’s” column tackles a subject that is both delicate and volatile: suicide. People who have known me for a fairly long time are well acquainted with a time in my life – during the time in Boston at Harvard and later at Seattle University during the equally ill-advised quest for the MDiv -- when I was undergoing episodes of very severe, quite arguably pre-suicidal, clinical depression. So – for the benefit of those people, for “my mariners, souls that have toiled and wrought and thought with me” – I want to emphasize that the following column does not describe me as I am now. Quite the contrary. I am not in crisis. I am not depressed. I am not afflicted with suicidal ideation – a term I came to know all too intimately during the “winter of [my] discontent”. So those of you
My boy Bentley went to Rainbow Bridge this week. He had only been sick a few days, but the vet found cancer in the x-rays. I didn't get to say goodbye to him because he lived with my ex. My heart is completely broken. He was a faithful companion to all of us. He still had what I called a "baby bark" when he got really excited--he reserved that most of the time for grandma. I loved how he would tell me he wanted his belly rubbed. He would nudge my leg with his paw. It made me laugh every time. When I was having trouble with one of my feet, he would come to where I was sitting and bathe my foot with what I always thought of as his "magic tongue." It always made the pain easier to bear.
All of us who knew and loved him miss him with all our hearts. I still have his sister whom I love ...
Monday of next week, 28 May, is Memorial Day. So the following is dedicated to those who fought in the Nation's wars, especially those who never returned home. In particular, and most personally, I dedicate this to the memory of my father, Cpl. Leonard Eugene Cowles, who served in Battery C of the 174th Field Artillery Battalion, and of whom I have written previously. The following poem by Walt Whitman was reprinted on the flyleaf of Dad's copy of We Did, the history of the 174th which was issued to every member of the Battalion as they left the Service at the end of World War II. (The title of the history was chosen so as to finish the Battalion motto: Possumus Et Volumus -- "We Can And We Will".) How painfully nostalgic to reflect that the men who received that Battalion history wen