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Ultimate Defense

On Thanksgiving I finally yielded to grim acceptance that my children—and four or five grandchildren—are permanently out of my life. Their choice, not mine. Whose fault it is, and whether I deserve it or not, are irrelevant speculations. This just IS, and apparently was meant to be.

Usually in this kind of event I’d be tapping out a torrent of curses and obscenities, but instead I was on a bus, taking shots of a deserted Newark Airport, then later of people and scenes I encountered as I wandered the streets of the city.

It’s peculiar: I felt Thursday and feel now no anger, no regret, no self-pity, no sadness, nothing. A numbed state—the ultimate defense.

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...my children—and four or five grandchildren—are permanently out of my life.

Not necessarily. In every generation, there's always a maverick. And if you live long enough (don't mean to be offensive here, I just don't know how old you are) sooner or later that maverick is going to come knocking on your door. That's how it works.

Thanks for the well meaning and welcomed positive spin. I usually do that myself, but lately I'm starting to see it as rather unrealistic, since I'll be 68 in March.

I didn't mention it in the post, but on that New York trip I was a guest of my best friend and his wife and their brand-new baby, Hunter. I took LOTS of pics of my new surrogate grandchild. But then not wanting to lay any heaviness on, I referred to myself as "Uncle John" on the photo CD I burned for them.

If I'm lucky, they'll love the pics and invite me again.

They will love the pix -- you're a brilliant photographer.

All any of us -- members of that scattered league of fallen angels -- can do is learn from our mistakes and resolve not to repeat them.

Kind of you to say, thanks. Yes. Resolved, determined, because payback's a bitch.

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