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Published: Mon, 09 Jul 2007 12:15:04 GMT

 



Inside Out | Forgiveness is hard but it lets you heal
Joyce was abused by her father when she was 12 years old. She'd hated him ever since. When I met her last year, she was 50 years old and had a long history of difficult relationships with men, depression and overall inability to enjoy life. She blamed most of her problems on her father.






Inside Out | It's a small but poignant gesture
My last column was about four words I believed could make the world a better place. If a person could simply say to another, "Tell me your story," and then listen quietly, both people would change. Within days, I received hundreds of letters requesting "Tell Me Your Story" bumper stickers I'd promised free, and almost as many e-mails - all from people wanting to join a movement that could change the planet through the listening to others' stories.






Inside Out | Hard-earned wisdom, heartfelt wishes to brand-new grandson
Dear Sam, As your only living grandfather, I want to welcome you into this life. Always remember that you are the product of love and passion. This type of love is one of the many treasures life has to offer. Also remember that, despite its moments of pain and darkness, life is a gift and a blessing.



Inside Out | A grandfather's fears - and his hopes
Dear Sam, I last wrote you 27 months ago, on the event of your birth. In that letter, I shared some of the lessons I have learned and told you that life brings both joy and suffering.



Inside Out | Caring for special needs when school funds get tighter
Dear Sam, This is the third column I have written to you. The first was three years ago on the event of your birth. Since that time, you have become one of the most beautiful and gentle children I have ever seen. The second column was last year when I explained that you had been diagnosed with "high functioning autism" and, although you are an incredibly happy little boy, you would need a good deal of special help.



Inside Out | Remember with every loss, there's a gain, too
Dear Sam, Happy birthday! I have written you a letter each year since your birth; this is the fourth. The first was to welcome you into our family. The second was to tell you that when you were 20 months old we discovered that you had some autistic characteristics (pervasive developmental disorder). And last year I wrote about what your parents were going through trying to get you special education services through the school system.



Inside Out | When life throws you a wicked curve
Dear Sam, You frequently ask why I'm in a wheelchair. When I tell you my legs don't work, you ask why.



Inside Out | A life lesson, courtesy of a 5-year-old
Dear Sam, Happy fifth birthday. In your five years, you have brought incredible joy to many people. Your beautiful smile, kind heart and unusual compassion attract people to you like a magnet.