In today’s politically correct world people are always demanding apologies. So when someone prominent voluntarily apologizes for something he or she said or did, it makes front-page news.
Last month there was a page one story in The New York Times (“Psychiatry Giant Sorry for Backing Gay ‘Cure'”) about Dr. Robert Spitzer, considered by some to be the father of modern- day psychiatry. Eighty years old and suffering from Parkinson’s, Dr. Spitzer can barely walk, sit in a chair or hold his head up. Still, on a recent morning at 4 a.m., he got out of bed in Princeton, N.J., and went to his computer, “knowing there was something he had to do,” the Times said. He wrote an apology to the gay community.
For 14 years I lived steps away from the historic Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston. I was reminded of the cemetery the other day, when President Obama endorsed same-sex marriage. I know this may sound strange, but hear me out.
Located in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood, the 175- year-old cemetery is where many of America’s most influential abolitionists are buried, including William Lloyd Garrison, whose newspaper, The Liberator, served as the voice of the anti-slavery movement for more than 30 years.
The other night I was talking on the phone with a friend in New York when she had what many of us know all too well as a “senior moment.” She was trying to tell me the name of a late-night comic, but couldn’t think of it. “It’s not Jay Leno or Letterman,” she said. “It’s, it’s. . .” “Craig Ferguson?” I asked. “Yes, that’s who it is!” she exclaimed. I nearly fainted.
So how did I come up with Ferguson’s name so quickly?
Shortly after my mother received her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, my parents sold their retirement house in the golden foothills of California and, to be nearer my brother, moved into an assisted living facility in San Jose. For Ruth and Clint, the place had a lot to offer: excellent meals, live concerts in the rec room and a professional staff that couldn’t have been more sensitive. The front-desk receptionist’s title was director of first impressions.