Excerpt from Letters to Sam: A Grandfather's Lessons on Love, Loss, and the Gifts of Life: ”Your Birth”
Dear Sam, My life was changed the moment you were born. But your mother’s life, my child’s life, was changed even more. When the time came for your birth, we knew your mother would be having a Cesarean section, and we all came to the hospital. There we were—your father, his mother, and me—hanging out in Debbie’s hospital room, nervously, waiting for the doctor to call her. As we waited, I had the time to remember what it was like many years before when I waited in the hospital for your mother to be born, just eleven months after your aunt Ali. The moment each of my daughters came into the world, I made a promise to them, to myself, and to God that I would do everything in my power to protect my daughters and make their lives good. This is what almost all parents want for their children: a lifetime of happiness and an easy passage . . .

Your Life Calling
Being a journalist has its perks. One is that I often have the opportunity to preview bestsellers just before they are officially introduced to the public, either on the Internet or in a bookstore. Your Life Calling is the most recent work by Jane Pauley . . . yes, that Jane Pauley, one of America’s most respected broadcast journalists. Many of us became familiar with her when she cohosted NBC’s Today show from 1979 to 1989. When the suits (who were ultimately proven wrong) decided she no longer had the appeal of the new, fresh, and younger-faced Deborah Norville, Jane was forced to seek other options . . .

Spring Cleaning: The I-Hate-Fad-Diets Diet
I really do hate fad diets. For that reason, I never do them. I don’t eat a ton of only one thing. And, I don’t starve myself or otherwise abuse my body. Or do I? Do I eat nonorganic, GMO (genetically modified organism) foods? Do I include enough cruciferous vegetables (what kind of vegetables???) in my diet? Do I consume refined sugar? Processed foods? Farm-raised fish? Do I even know where my food comes from? Do I take supplements with fillers? Or toxic medications? Expose myself to pesticides or poisonous cleaning agents? How about things I put in my hair and on my skin—are they natural? Do I get enough sleep? Drink enough water? Use caffeine? Alcohol? Yikes! Anyone who knows me knows the answers to those questions . . .

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