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My mother lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Yesterday, thinking of her long marriage to my father who passed away more than a year ago (it was his birthday recently), I called her. She lives on the Mainland.

My mother and I have a few similar tastes. Years ago, after I had shown her a paper I had written for a college Philosophy of Literature course, I heard her gasp. My mother does not usually gasp. She went to a cabinet in her bedroom and pulled out a paper she had written for a Philosophy of Literature course she had taken in college decades earlier. Unbeknownst to us until that moment, we had not only both chosen the same philosopher, but our paragraphs for 10 pages were nearly identical.

Spooky, huh? Or reassuring in a “There is a God” kind of way.

What wasn’t reassuring, though, was the conversation with my Mutti yesterday. She had seen Donald Trump melt down at his press conference. She stated that she believed the world was in danger.

“Even more so than during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Mutti?,” I asked.

“Yes,” she said definitively.

I later watched The Rachel Maddow Show my mother had been seeing live when we talked. (We have a six-hour time difference in Hawaii and I usually watch a repeat of the show at an hour when my mother is asleep.)

“Tell me something pleasant and wonderful,” my mother said as we wrapped up our short conversation.

“We live in Hawaii,” I said.

“That’s all?,” she asked.

ellens-freundI did not have the heart to tell her that I find parenting difficult sometimes, that I’m learning more about life in my six years as a parent than I learned in all the decades preceding parenthood.

Today, though, I will send her this wonderful picture sent to me by my daughter’s teacher. It says a whole lot more about what the world should be than the world we live in now with Donald Trump leading — wait, that can’t be the right word — our country.

Read, Donald! Read some history. Take a Philosophy of Literature course. Look at the words written by my daughter’s classmate. Get over yourself. Try writing a poem. Start loving the world and doing your part to take care of it.

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