SHOW 1. Begin Again

Michael Josephson, Character Counts, KNX Radio, 1070

S usan Whitmore’s only daughter, Erika, was busily preparing for her wedding when doctors told her that a large cancerous tumor was pressing on her optic nerve and brain. Though the first months were marked with spurts of hope during frantic efforts to find a medical solution, it eventually became evident that Erika would not survive the disease. Susan was consumed by fear, pain, resentment, and anger when Erika wrote her this poem:

TO MOM One of the best things we can do in our lives is this: Begin again Begin to see yourself as you were when you were the happiest

And Strongest Begin to remember what worked for you Try to capture the magic again Begin to remember how natural it was when you were a child

To live a lifetime each day

Begin to release the baggage carried with you for years, The problems that don’t matter anymore, The tears that cried themselves away

And the worries that will wash away On the shore of tomorrow’s new beginning Tomorrow tells us it will be here Every new day of our lives

And, if we will be wise We will turn away from the problems of the past And give the future and ourselves a chance to become the

best of friends Sometimes all it takes is a wish in the heart to let yourself Begin again Erika’s message, written out of love and with selfless courage, is an affirmation of life. Though grief, despair and selfpity are at first irresistible emotions, if we truly want to honor the lives of those who loved us we must not mar their memory with endless suffering. It is an act of love to begin again.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.