There’s a little girl at the table next to me at dinner Thursday evening who makes me happy. She’s a second grader and I heard her telling her grandmother, “I have a thousand books and I’m going to read all of them.” A few minutes later, she asked her grandmother, “What does stupendous mean?” (I’m not sure I would have known that word in the second grade.) At one point, I asked her if she likes to read and her eyes lit up. “I’m going to write my own books,” she said. I don’t know what this little lady’s future is, but it made me happy to talk to such a bright and enthusiastic girl.
I doubt that even one single person will change his or her mind as a result of the Mueller report’s release today. Those who make excuses for Donald Trump will continue to excuse his bad behavior. Those who hate him will still hate him in irrational ways. Those in the middle will find whatever they want to find to support their existing positions. I have absolutely no interest in reading the report. I already know what Trump is, so nothing in the report could change what I already know is true. He’s a liar, a con man, a charlatan and a cheat — but we knew those things long before he was elected.
There was no dignity in my father’s death.
Edward Leroy McElroy died a year ago today. He had been admitted to a hospital in Anniston, Ala., about a month before that. He was only 87 years old and he had been in excellent physical health six months before this. But when I reviewed his journal entries from the 18 months before his death, he talked often of wanting to die — and of the possibility of killing himself.
I had several conversations with a hospital social worker while he was waiting to die. She told me there was nothing specific wrong with him. He had some minor infirmities that are typical of older age, but if he hadn’t spent the previous months starving himself, he would have been fine. The social worker told me that he was too weak and frail by the time he was hospitalized. Doctors couldn’t make him strong enough to survive.
He had given up long before this. He wanted to die. He got his wish about 4:30 a.m. on April 17, 2018. A nurse named Linda Anderson was the only human being with him when his life slipped away.