Doubly blessed! That’s what I think of on July 24.
In 1978, the newest member of our family arrived. Marcia and I were both 41 when Matthew Douglas was born. More than a decade had passed from the time we were heating baby bottles and changing diapers, and the other three kids were well along in life. Then came this dude.
As I’ve learned so many times in four-score years, there’s a divine plan.
In an era when some unsettling business and personal matters could have been disastrous, the possibility of troublesome and harmful thoughts was completely offset by issues and events such as baseball cards, Tigers games and Saturday hot dog runs. Our other kids may have been growing up, but there was still a little guy waiting for his dad at suppertime, no matter how disturbing the day’s events may have been at the office.
We’ve found that parents don’t love one child more than another, but Matt did make his mark as the one who not only followed me into the radio broadcasting business, but later into the field of prisoner advocacy.
26 years after Matthew arrived on the scene, the next big July 24 event took place: Maurice Carter walked out of prison! He had served 29 years for a crime he did not commit. Ironically, Matt covered that very story as a newspaper reporter. It was this prisoner, and our mutual efforts to obtain his freedom, that steered me into a third career. Thanks to the late Maurice H. Carter there’s an organization called HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS which is now touching the lives of hundreds of Michigan prisoners.
And so, on this July 24, I celebrate. A little white kid and an old black man, both of whom gave me some of my gray hairs; and both of whom---without a doubt---made an incredible impact on my life.
Happy Birthday, Matthew!
We’ll meet again, Maurice!