Our relationship was innocent and pure. I think often that he will be 24 forever. As time passes and I grow older, I can live life for better or worse. I don't have to live a certain way anymore by numbing my pain. I can let go and move on. I'll do it for Dexter, but most importantly, I'll do it for me.
It's not just that I read and loved her novel To Kill a Mockingbird as a young woman. It's that I was given the gift of teaching it for many years, and in doing so, I witnessed my students' growth as readers and thinkers. As a teacher, there is really no better gift than that. It is immeasurable. I am so grateful to Ms. Lee for this gift.
Poppies have become the symbol for fallen soldiers -- all our soldiers, of all our wars. Charlie and Jack went on to lead long, productive lives after their military service. They left us peacefully. With every respect and honor for those who died in Flanders Fields a century ago, I dedicate McCrae's beautiful poem to Charlie and our mutual friend Jack.