Dear Son- You know now why your mother needs to hear from you, and why a kindly loving word from you counts so very much,

Needham father to his soldier son, 1945

Through dance I learned to embrace the pressure: it makes you wan to be the best you can be.

Football starts in August, and goes through November. It’s about being a part of something that’s bigger than you.

All I needed to do was listen - that’s when things started to happen.

We carry invisible wounds from the battles we’ve fought.

It was hard for her to believe that I was there for her, but I decided to just wait and I stayed alongside her.

We carry invisible wounds from the battles we’ve fought.

Sometimes you are happy, and sometimes you are sad.

Needham child, age 5

A picture of a man’s face is not a picture of his soul.

Needham High School yearbook, 1911

If I’m doing something wrong, my friends tell me…and that helps me to be better. ?

Needham child , Age 7

What can I ask that might help?

Everything works out in the end; if it’s not working out, it’s not the end.

 ... to value our fellow citizens not only for what they are, but for what they may become.

Needham High School yearbook,  1894   

I become completely focused when I draw. After, I feel refreshed.

I sometimes feel I’m trying to live in two worlds at the same time.

Needing help is not a racial, class, age or gender issue. It is real for all of us at some time.

We’ve been playing golf for twenty years.

There is more to being a good friend than taking care of others, you have to learn how to take care of yourself.

Prayer helped me. And then I could breathe.

The power of having my parents believe in me meant everything.


I never knew that you could seem fine on the outside and be hurting so much on the inside. 



 I tell my mom and she gives me a hug.

A considerable portion of bitter is mingled in the cup of every individual of the human race.

Needham Minister, 1806

 I counted on those Sunday dinners with my family.                  

It is the stranger, the cashier, the veteran sitting in the park, the child waiting in the doctor’s office , the lost pedestrian on the corner. These are the very connections we must seek if we wish to share kindness.

The story of war keeps telling itself inside you.

Remember, we’re just  across the field.

When I write in my journal, I am keeping track of myself.  Sometimes it becomes poetry, sometimes not.

 “… several of the Needham inhabitants were among the slain… I visited these families immediately, and with a sympathetic sense of their affliction I gave the first intelligence they had of the death of a Husband and a Parent."

Needham minister, reporting after the battles of Lexington and Concord, 1776

I was looking for any clue I could find that there was someone out there like me.

How do you let a child know that life can be wonderful even when it appears difficult?

 It made me think about the role I play on other people’s lives,

The truth turned out to be much less scary that what I was imagining.

It was not easy but we learned to talk honestly as a family.



Sometimes being kind means pausing  - even for just a moment - to touch the life of another human being.

It is surprising how very differently we are affected by the same circumstances when viewed at a distance or near at hand.

Needham minister, 1806

When I don’t feel good, I run around really fast till I feel better.

Needham child Age 4

Just having him listen was a blessing to me.

I’ve always thought that Needham is small enough to get your arms around but strong enough to make a difference.

Maybe if I tell her my story….

My wife... I have always found her in the trying circumstances through which we have passed... my best friend.   

Needham minister, 1806

It may sound simple, but what really makes me feel good is to cook, especially for others.

I know what it is like to stand up for someone.

As first responders, we aren’t supposed to look like it is affecting us.

But it is often the smallest acts that reach nearest the heart.

Needham High School yearbook, 1897

The best day ever because I’m going to see my grandma



I must again repeat that commonplace observation that we never know how a thing will affect us until we are brought to the test.

Needham minister , 1806

Feeling alone is part of being alive.

It wasn’t what they said that made me feel visible... it was that they noticed.

And that was when I found a part of myself that was stronger than I knew.

 It can be a difficult conversation, but what if no one had it?

 The zone is when you’re in the heat of the game and that’s all that matters. You don’t wonder what’s going to happen 10 minutes down the road or what happened10 minutes ago.


Every nerve was agitated on this occasion, and it was with some difficulty that I could command my feelings.

Needham minister,  1806

I’d like to hear your story.

We can always give each other the gift of our time.

Needham yearbook, 1908

I learned that asking gets you closer.

When I play, the pressure I put on myself drives me. It’s far more constructive than the pressure anyone else puts on me.

But there in the quiet was a bonding, and a sense of peace washed over us.

I felt alone. Because I was in such a responsible position I had to put my feelings aside. It wasn’t until several years later that I could actually cry.