• Brimley kids having fun without parents
    Things That Suck

    It Can Always Get Worse

    Many years ago, when I had just moved to my current neighborhood, I went out to dinner with my new friend Becky, who I met through our kids’ preschool. I didn’t know her that well yet, but I knew she was fun and up for taking 4 kids under 4 out to dinner at our local Mexican restaurant. It was insane. Our 3-year-olds threw chips everywhere and wouldn’t stay in their seats. Her 1-year-old was crying and mine was drinking the salsa like it was water. We had both just worked all day and then were dealing with this. I looked at her, exasperated, and said, “my God, could it…

  • Jason Levine, an NIH oncologist, with his family
    Family & Friends

    Straight to Heaven

    About two hours after Shawn’s colon surgery began, the head surgeon came out to talk with me and my friend Jason about how everything was going. “There were a few complications,” he began. My heart seemed to stop and time slowed down. “After we put in the scope, we encountered pus, indicating an perforated colon,” the surgeon told me, “and so we had to convert to a standard open operation.” I looked at Jason. He looked calm. “Okay,” he said. The surgeon continued to explain what happened, assuring me that even with the changes, everything had gone well. I turned again to Jason, who looked at me and said, “this…