Man and woman.

I am not an “expert” on this subject. Given my past life circumstances, you might say with some conviction that I am the quintessential novice in such matters. So forgive me if I overstep the boundaries of common sense.

As I see it, there are four distinct types of man/woman relationships.

Type A: love, close association, and broken heart. These are generally relationships where man and woman meet, experience explosive sex and emotional support before diverse personality traits smothers the  fires of desire, and leaves only the ashes  of a broken heart by either or both of them. They walk away from each other, only to have “what if” occasionally flicker in the hidden recesses of the brain where we store things that cannot be forgotten.

Type B: love, marriage and partnership. A love that survives decades during periods of child rearing, career/work pursuits, and coping with the never-ending challenges of life. Somewhere, somehow along the way—amidst disagreements, inattention, neglect, and/or the monotony of living routines—the love subsides, sometimes even dies. The couple decides nonetheless to remain together not in marriage but in partnership for the children, to protect mutual financial interests, or because of the need for human companionship that is too great to walk away from.

Type C: love, marriage, and divorce. People sometimes marry, too often against their better judgments. Marriage becomes a slow dissolving sink hole in which the couple falls. Muddy, bruised and ugly, they generally blame the other for the sink hole. Their love, marriage, and most of the relationships entangled in their family and social orbit end in human bankruptcy. They walk away from the other, mostly in a mean-spirited way because of their joint failures, and neither is ever quite able to recoup their emotional (and financial) losses caused by the divorce.

Type D: love, marriage, and togetherness. People meet, often under the most unlikely circumstances, and they know, with every instinct born of all sorts of life experiences, that they have met the eternal love of their lives. They join together in an uncertain journey—one that will know spontaneous laughter, unbridled joy, happiness and contentment that will allow them to not only endure but overcome the inevitable disappointments, defeats, sorrow, and unrealized expectations life will bring. They join together, they live together, they grow old together, and they die together.

Life has blessed me with a Type D relationship.

Sometimes at night I can see and feel Jodie’s breathing after returning from a midnight jaunt to the bathroom. I ease back in bed, quietly lying for a few moments knowing to the core of my soul that if she passes before me, she will be waiting at the stream’s edge for me to cross where we can sit under an aged oak tree, holding hands while staring back at the known, all the while knowing that the courage of our love will see us through the unknown that awaits on the eternal side of the stream

I hear her laughter in another room as she enjoys another animal video, and I see her through amazed eyes as she looks out across the beautiful range of hills whispering “I’m home at last,” and I feel her touch on my neck as she reads the things I have written.

For a million different reasons, men and women cannot  live through some relationships but one thing is certain: man and woman cannot survive without them.


A Pandemic fear.

If I should die before you wake,


My every mistake

My every harsh word

My every disappointment

My every frailty

If I should die before you wake,


Our love began on the dark side of the mountain

We crawled through every ravine

We scaled every jagged cliff

And we reached the top together

Hand in hand

If I should die before you wake,


That every moment spent with you gave me joy

That every breath I took was for and because of you

That you gave me courage in the darkness

That your every touch and grace gave my soul meaning

If I should die before you wake

Keep close

To your heart that each morning

I awaken you was precious

To the very fiber of your being

That you were my moral compass

To your soul

That my whole life was defined by your grace

If I should die before you wake

Take care

Of my boys

They were more than dogs to me

Their undying love and devotion gave life meaning

They gave me peace, protection, and purpose

They were friends in the foxhole

If I should die before you wake

Do not

Mourn for me because I will be fine

On the other side

Recall all our precious moments

The pleasures, the happiness, the gestures, the kindness

The wonderful love and life we shared

If I should die before you wake


Put me in the ground

Cremate my remains

With your small hands throw them in the breeze

On our favorite cliff

And let the winds scatter them across the valley

We love

If I should die before you wake

Hold dear

To your heart that I will sit at the creek’s edge

Until you pass out of the tunnel of life

That you will cross the creek to me, I promise

And that, together, hand in hand

We will walk down the new path

God has given us

If I should die before you wake

I always loved you


Expressions Of Love From Prison

Prison is a world of caged humanity, removed and isolated from normal life. But this enclosed wasteland, with all its conscious and unconscious brutalities, cannot trap love in the heart.

In September 1981, I opened a letter to the woman of my life (now my wife of 37 years) as a prisoner with these words from behind the fenced world of a prison called Angola—a sprawling 18,000-acre plantation where thousands of inmates and former slaves were killed and buried beneath the soil of its rich Tunica Hills:

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