Thanksgiving Day: Berkeley 1964, family photo
Thanksgiving Day: Berkeley 1964

I used to feel awkward when I divulged that my entire family was dead. Well, pretty much dead. Twenty one years ago, the youngest of my three brothers woke up from a coma (after drinking our father’s cancer morphine), a bedridden quadriplegic. So out of the seven of us, I am literally the last one standing.  I no longer find this embarrassing, however. My family showed generosity to those in need, actively attempted in a big way, to heal racism right under our roof, and stopped the devastating cycle of poverty and injustice in the family line. I think that’s what kept us — the family members ourselves — and those witnessing us, enthralled. We were all at the edge of their seats, hearts in our throats with the hope of beating the odds. But as Joni Mitchell sang: “ That was just a dream some of us had…”

Download Chapter One – Waiting on Jack