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A Second Chance . . .

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Although I lost her fifteen years ago, the memory of my fiancée still lingers.

She was an aspiring model robbed of the opportunity to grace the world with her beauty. To this day, although her doctor assured me that the two were not connected, I still harbor doubts whether her desire to give me a child did not in some way trigger her cancer.

I can recall her fighting back tears as she looked in the mirror. The ravages of chemotherapy can be most unflattering, but she swore defiantly that she would be victorious against leukemia.

Gone was the long flowing hair, the voluptuous physique, the bewitching eyes, the melodious voice of innocence, and in spite of it all, it was then that the true essence of her beauty was revealed . . .

Her tragic death, and my inability to cope with it, left me despondent. I decided to never let another woman get that close to me again.

Her doctor suggested I join a support group. I had no desire to relive those two years filled with pain and anguish. Instead I opted to shut out the world and bury my feelings.

Luckily a coworker informed me that suppressed emotions were notorious for making their presence known in other ways.

My fiancée’s death rekindled my fondness for writing, and I recalled a desk and an old typewriter my mother had given me in my youth.

I began studying books on writing. I also developed a passion for classical and jazz music, dining at fine restaurants, museums, and late night drives to the beach. Although I was always alone, the prevailing thought that plagued my mind was that I would meet someone and fall in love again.

I started writing poems and short stories. It was a peaceful haven in which I could retreat from all my grief and sorrow.

Several years later, I was walking through Grand Central Station when an alluring young lady asked for directions to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. What came over me that day is hard to explain, but I convinced her that the MET was my intended destination, too, and that we should share a taxi. We sat at opposite ends, and it was my intention not to follow through with my farce, but when we got there, we never left each other’s side.

Our relationship blossomed to the point where I asked her to be my wife. I probably would have never told her about the love I’d lost, but I came home early one day unexpectedly and found her in tears. She asked for my forgiveness and explained that she had found my manuscript while cleaning out the closet.

From that day she has been my staunchest supporter and encouraged me to publish my story. Her tireless and unwavering devotion has illuminated the path from which at times, I seem to lose my way.

I pray each day . . . “May I always be worthy of her love.”

Bradley Booth

I Apologize by Bradley Booth

I Apologize by Bradley Booth Book Trailer

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Written by BBooth

April 12, 2013 at 10:30 am

Does Winning Really Take Care of Everything?

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Tiger Woods hits a ball 1.68 inches in diameter towards a hole, which is 4.25 inches, and 4 inches deep.

He has won 14 majors and 77 PGA Tour and trails only Jack Nicklaus and Sam Snead respectively. He became a global icon and one of golf’s most celebrated athletes.

His smile, his boyish grin was infectious.

He married Swedish model Elin Nordegren, and it seemingly appeared that Woods had it all; but the brighter the picture, the darker the negative.

The illumination of the Wood’s dark side came on November 27, 2009 when he crashed his Cadillac Escalade into a fire hydrant. The resulting backlash of where Woods was going at 2:25 a.m. led to the discovery of his infidelity with at least a dozen women.

An epic fall from grace as the media pounced, castrated him, and his sponsors moved quickly to distance themselves from him.

Through it all one sponsor remained loyal to Woods albeit preferring to stay in the shadows. It would appear as if their loyalty has been rewarded since Woods has returned to his winning ways and is currently rank #1 in the world.

“Winning Takes Care of Everything” is the new Nike Ad that has received polarizing views from the media and critics.

The ad depicts Woods analyzing a shot with the aforementioned overlay caption.

This has created a firestorm for Nike, which their marketing department should be please with due  to the amount of media attention the ad has garnered, since most people are associating the caption has a vindication for Wood’s past misdeeds and transgressions.

Coupled with the fact that he and Lindsey Vonn are dating. It would appear that Woods is on top of the world in is professional and personal life.

Kate Fagan on ESPN, The Word, stated that we like to live vicariously through our athletes.

Perhaps she was speaking about herself. Her statement gives credence to the fact that one should keep one’s mouth closed and exude the impression of being inept as opposed to opening one’s mouth and removing all doubt.

Admire Woods for his steely determination, his fiery competitive spirit, his unrelenting quest for perfection, and his unwavering composure under pressure.

Qualities that no doubt have enabled him to excel on the golf course, but in no way idolize him, make him a role model for your children, and worse live vicariously though him.

In the final analysis, Woods is merely an athlete, who through his prowess on the golf course provides us with a form of entertainment. To hold him to a higher standard because of this is ludicrous, especially when no one is absolved from shame in his or her own private life.

A wiser man said it best . . . “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to cast the first stone . . .”

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

In Search of a Diamond . . .

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I took my wife on a romantic weekend getaway. I have tried to plan a different venue each time we do this, but given the proximity of where we live, and our affinity to the history of this particular city, we find ourselves time and time again coming back to Philadelphia.

I normally reserved a corner room at the Hyatt Regency in Penn’s Landing, and a table close to the window at the Chart House, so that from both vantage points, we can take it the breath-taking view of the Delaware River.

Several events prior to the abovementioned weekend prevented me from making reservations, as I had grown accustomed to, and how fortuitous it was, since what transpired led this story.

First, I was unable to get a room at the Hyatt, and second, my wife elected that we should dine trying to unravel a mystery.

I made reservations at the Marriott Courtyard, ensuring that we at least had a view of the skyline, and for us to be guests at the Romano Bistro, where our proficiency as sleuths would be put to the test in solving a murder.

The murder mystery turned out to be anything but, since the clues that were given in no way indicated that the person they claimed committed the murder could have done it. They did however notify the audience that the killer changes with each show.

Needless to say, my wife will not be requesting that we dine at any more mystery murder shows in the near future.

The following morning while my wife was still asleep, I decided a visit to the pool was in order. I noticed a family of five splashing around in the pool as I entered, and decided to spend some quiet time, if possible, soaking in the whirlpool.

As guests came and went, I spent my time between the pool and the whirlpool. Finally settling on the whirlpool, since a gentlemen decided to read the paper and ignore his younger son’s vociferous request to teach him to swim.

I was resigned to the fact that this weekend would conclude with no intriguing events taking place when a stout man came in carrying a rubber rocket toy.

I had been paying close attention to everyone in the area and was quite sure none of the children in pool belonged to him. My curiosity however was abated when a woman and a young boy, perhaps no older than twelve came in.

I took a cursory glance as she approached the whirlpool, and immediately noticed she had two the band-aids. I wondered what kind of injury could she have sustained that would require a bandage on each leg in different locations.

She sat near me and began expounding to herself how hot the water was, and that she had no desire to do anything else but remain in the whirlpool. I smiled and looked at the clock, calculating how much time would elapse before the timer would turn off again.

Her husband and son soon joined her. The father became insistent that his son should go back to the pool, but he seemed intent on enjoying the extreme temperatures and kept diving into the pool and then entering the whirlpool.

The serenity of the moment lost, I decided to vacate the whirlpool before the timer went off, when I noticed a change in the woman’s facial expression. She stared intently at her ring.

Curious as to what had happened, it didn’t take me long to realize that she had lost the main stone in the cluster of diamonds of her engagement ring.

“Honey, what’s the matter?” her husband asked.

She hesitated looking at sadly at the water. “I lost one of my diamonds.”

“Where did you see it last?”

“I can’t remember,” she said, her eyes gazing at the bottom of the whirlpool.

Her husband try to appease her by asking if she wanted the stone replaced. She looked at him somberly, and asked if it could be at the bottom of the whirlpool’s filter.

“Diamonds don’t float,” he edged.

She asked him to look into the filter. He hesitated. She pleaded. He opened the filter, but found nothing.

“Perhaps it fell out in the room,” he said, trying to console her.

No longer content to remain in the whirlpool, she left without uttering a single word.

Overspread on her husband’s face was a look of total bewilderment and helplessness. In what would appear to be one of his wife’s most distressing moments, there was simply nothing he could say or do to right the situation.

I wanted a better vantage point to see what the husband would do, so I went back into the pool.

He stared intently at the bottom of the whirlpool, unaware that his son was beside him.

“Daddy, what’s wrong?”

“Your mother lost one of her diamonds, he answered, his gaze fixated upon the water.

His son shrugged his shoulders and went back to playing in the pool.

The father stepped out of the whirlpool long enough to retrieve his swim goggles. Over and over again he explored to the bottom of the whirlpool.

Exhausted that his search proved futile, he finally rested on the side of the whirlpool.

His son finally realized that something was wrong. He went and stood next to his father. Both stared painstakingly at the water.

I left and related the aforementioned events to my wife.

“How sad,” she said. “The husband’s biggest mistake,’ she continued, looking at her own ring, “was suggesting so quickly, replacing the stone.”

“Why?” I asked, not wanting to appear insensitive.

“It would make me feel,” she said, giving me her full attention. “That you thought our marriage held no significant value, and thereby anything attributed to our union, could easily be replaced.”

Perhaps I did underestimate the woman’s husband. Surely he must have understood the folly of his statement. Why else would he discard the embarrassment of appearing foolish and kept searching the bottom of the whirlpool?

I drew my wife closer to me. Whispered how much I loved her.

“What brought all this on?” she asked.

“Nothing really,” I answered. “I was just thinking how fortunate I was ten years ago to have found my diamond, and how no one could ever take your place!”

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

At Last . . .

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At last, Etta James, the iconic R&B and Blues singer, pain, and suffering is finally gone.

Ms. James, a venerable singer, whose fiery and soul stirring voice, enthralled audiences for over 55 years has succumbed to complications from leukemia.

Now finally . . . her soul is at peace.

Her rendition of “At Last” epitomizes, what one has been seeking, has finally been found.

Most people have characterized blues, as being very depressing. Songs of lost love, lost opportunity, and the turmoil’s of life are often depicted.

James was no stranger to any of these events. She battled a heroin addiction for over two decades. Her weight at one point had ballooned to over 400 pounds. This led to arthritic knees that forced her to perform sitting down.

She was arrested for in 1972 along with her husband Artis Mills for heroin possession. He assumed full responsibility and was sentenced to ten years.

James was entangled in legal trouble again in 1982 for heroin possession, drug addiction, forgery, and accusations that she cashed back checks. She escaped being incarcerated and instead was sent to the Tarzana Rehabilitation Center, in Los Angeles, California.

Up to the time of her death, James’ husband and their two sons were embroiled in a bitter dispute over her estate. The judge finally ruling in Mill’s favor to remain conservator of her million-dollar estate.

“A lot of people think that singing the blues is depressing,” she said in an interview for the Los Angeles Times in 1992, but that’s is not the blues I’m singing. When I’m singing blues, I’m singing life.”

Given the trials and tribulation she endured throughout her life, perhaps she was.

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

The True Essence of Beauty . . .

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I have written countless of articles, but nothing saddens me more than this one.

My prayers and condolences go out to the family of, Eva Ekvall. In the hopes that similar to me, the pain, and anguish of losing one so young, will one day be replaced by thoughts of happiness, for the precious moments that were spent together.

Ekvall, the former Miss Venezuela died on December 17, losing a two-year battle with breast cancer.

Her death, in some ways parallels the story of the young woman I lost at the tender age of 22, after a two-year battle with leukemia.

Similar to Ekvall, she was an aspiring model, who was robbed of her opportunity to grace the world with her beauty. To this day, although her doctor assured me, the two were not connected; I still harbor doubt if her desire to give me a child did not in some way trigger her cancer.

What brought these suppressed memories to the forefront were the pictures of Ekvall with no hair, and the fact that she discovered the lump in her breast during pregnancy.

I can recall seeing my fiancée fighting back the tears as she looked at herself in the mirror. The ravages of chemotherapy can be most unflattering, and she swore and put forth her most valiant effort, as she tried to hide her tears from me, that she would be victorious against leukemia.

Gone was the long flowing hair, the voluptuous physique, the bewitching eyes, and the melodious voice of innocence, and in spite of it all, it was then that the true essence of her beauty was revealed.

“As I reminisce,

The way I often do,

Trying to find the words,

To capture the essence of you,

The way you smile at me,

The way you make me feel,

I still can’t believe,

That this love is real.

You’re beautiful,

In every way,

You’re beautiful,

What more can I say . . .?”

Unlike Ekvall, who had the opportunity to be an advocate and a crusader for breast cancer awareness around the world, for my fiancée, there was only me.

It would take me nearly a decade to find a way to keep my promise of making her death stand for something.

My thoughts are shrouded in what others characterized as an emotional, and compelling novel entitled . . .

“I Apologize”

Graphic pictures from Ekvall’s book, Fuera de Foco (Out of Focus), which chronicled her fight against breast cancer, took me back into my fiancée’s hospital room.

The machinery is the same, the pic line similar, and the effects from the chemotherapy the same, but the one thing that is different, there are no pictures of my fiancée’s battle for the world to see.

Her pictures though, are alive within me . . . the ebullient smile, the vivacious personality, her youthful playfulness, and the last time I saw her, are a vivid part of my memory.

“Pushing the doctor aside, I went into her room. Nothing was wrong, I told myself. I’ll wake her. Take her home. She wouldn’t have given up on us. I don’t care what they said. She would never have left me.

Never!

If one of us had to go, it was supposed to be me. Not you, never one as young as you.

Wake up. Please wake up. Do it for me. Open your eyes. Please open your eyes. Falling on top of her, I cried until no more tears came.

I don’t know how long I stayed. A nurse finally came in. Putting her arms around me, she led me out of the room.”

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

Heed This Warning . . .

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Men, who frivolously shower women with outpouring words of affection, adoration, and endearment, should desist from such a deceptive practice.

Since women, who are hoodwinked into believing that the pleasing verbiage will lead to commitment and connubial bliss, have resorted to nothing short of murder, when the truth was finally discovered.

Such may have been the case that led to 30-year-old motivational speaker, and entrepreneur, Travis Alexander, being found lying in a pool of blood with his throat slit from ear to ear.

Telltale signs of his relationship with Jodi Arias becoming toxic were in plain sight to see, but infatuated with the beguiling 28-year-old blonde enchantress, Alexander heeded none of them.

Alexander met Arias, an aspiring photographer at a Pre-Paid Legal sales conference in Las Vegas. Although 400 miles separated them, a long distance relationship began to blossom.

They bridged the gap between them via phone calls, text messages, emails, and romantic rendezvous at the home of one of Travis’s closest friends, Chris Hughes and his wife Sky.

Exploratory trips to the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and New Mexico may have strengthened the young woman’s resolve to marry Alexander. This was clearly evident by the inordinate amount of pictures she took of him and of the two of them together.

From what I have been able to glean after carefully studying the photographs of the two of them, the broad smile that overspread Arias’s face, and the contrite expression on his, paint an unmistakable picture that she cared for Alexander more than he did for her.

In fact the only picture where he showed any real emotion, is when he stood next to the statue of Jesus near Amarillo, Texas.

The camera does not lie. It merely reveals what the naked eye is too prejudiced to see.

Perhaps enamored with the thought of being married to an up and coming, and one day famous motivational speaker, blinded Arias into believing that Alexander felt for her, what she obviously felt for him.

A lie cannot stand when the light of truth is shone upon it, nor will deception prevail.

Alexander was searching for something. What the elusive thing was, he may or may not have known, but through his actions, one thing was becoming abundantly clear, Arias was not it.

She suspected and validated through eavesdropping on his private conversations, going through his text messages that he was dating other women throughout their relationship.

Arias knew of his desire to become a Mormon and marry in the temple. So to save her world from being torn apart, she joined Alexander’s church and was baptized.

These attempts proved futile as Alexander kept seeing other women, and eventually the relationship between him and Arias ended.

“Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned,

Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.”

Perhaps if Alexander had kept up the façade, he would be alive today.

His jilted lover, who his closest friends admitted was overly possessive, became psychotic and seemed hell-bent on making sure if she couldn’t have him, no one else would.

Arias determined that no distance would separate her from Alexander. Shortly after their breakup, she shocked family and friends by packing all she owned and moving to Mesa, Arizona, just miles from Alexander’s neighborhood.

Such close proximity allowed her to not only spy on Alexander, but to stalk him as well.

Taylor Searle, another close friend, recounts a story in which, he was told by Alexander that he found all four of his tires slashed, as he was spending the night with a new girl he was serious about. The next day he fixed them and hid his car in a more secluded location, only to find that all four had been slashed again.

Was Alexander growing paranoid or did Arias break into his house and steal his journals. He swore she did.

The young lady that Alexander became fond of received cryptic emails, warning that if she slept in the same bed with him or allow him to sleep under the same roof, she was a shameful example to God.

The final straw came, according to a police report, when he found Arias hacking into his Facebook account. He demanded that she stay out of his life forever.

Just as a siren lulls unsuspecting mariners to their doom, Arias through a deception of her own convinced Alexander that she would leave Arizona.

Deceived that this nightmare was finally behind him, Alexander prepared to make 2008 his best year, evident by the affirmations posted on his blog.

What is most perplexing through this entire ordeal is how Arias, who Alexander steadfastly believed:

  1. Slit all four of his tires on two separate occasions
  2. Broke into his home and stole his journals
  3. Hacked into his Facebook Account
  4. Broke into the girl’s house, he was now seeing, when both had fallen asleep on an oversized bean bag
  5. Sent cryptic emails to his girlfriend, trying to dissuade her from seeing him

How did she ever regain entry into his house, let alone his bed?

The deleted pictures leading up to his death that were recovered by forensic experts, from the camera that Arias tried to wash in the washing machine, showed the two of them in provocative sexual poses.

The last three photographs, taken minutes after the sexual explicit ones, according to police report, depicted a horrific death. A young male was in the shower on his back, in a pool of blood around his neck and shoulder area.

Alexander had been shot in the face. His throat slit from ear to ear. He was also stabbed 27 times.

The coroner findings was that the stab wound to Alexander’s heart proved to be the cause of death.

What was the real motive behind this senseless and gruesome murder?

Did Arias plan a murder suicide?

Was she so insanely jealous that she seduced Alexander, and then took pictures of them together to show to his new girlfriend?

Is her self-defense claim true?

Will the defense try to plant doubt in the jurors’ mind by stating that Alexander was hurting Arias as he tried to retrieve the pictures that would depict him as an adulterer?

The truth may never be known.

Nevertheless this case set to commence on October 17 will garner national attention. Even now the media is stirring up interest in a case that is more than three years old.

Some are unequivocal in Arias’ guilt, while others are inclined and want to believe that someone else did it.

They can’t bring themselves to believe that an ethereal young blonde bombshell, with such an ebullient smile, and who seemingly could have her pick up the pieces of her broken heart, and have any man of her choosing, could easily have slit the throat of the man she loved.

I alluded to why a woman would do such a thing in “I Apologize”, and it is uncanny how life has imitated art.

Another tragic story of love gone awry . . .

“Jodi, you’re my hero.”

“I’m a little bit Jealous of Carruthers”

“You look beautiful in Sepia.”

“Those branches make you look like a hot Medusa.”

“I’d like to take pictures of you in the forest.”

When will men learn the errors of their deceitful ways?

As long as there are young, gullible women, who are taken in by such superfluous flattery, like the ones listed above . . .

Probably never.

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

Same Formula . . . Different Outcome.

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Although I wrote about this formula before, its destructive power never ceases to amaze me. It does not discriminate. It spins such an intricate web of deceit that it traps not only its victim, but the perpetrator as well.

Once in the tentacles of its malevolent clutches, most fall into an abyss where seemingly, there is no escape. Individuals from all walks of life, economic prowess, upstanding citizens with impeccable reputations, have all fallen victim to this formula’s unceasing calamitous power.

There is nothing new about this formula, D + A = Murder, only the victims it ensnares:

Scott Peterson failed miserably against it. His carnal lust drove him to murder his wife and unborn child.

Sgt. Edgar Patino was engulfed by it. Fear of exposure pushed him to kill, pregnant Spc. Megan Lynn Touma, and leave her decomposing body in a motel bathtub in North Carolina.

What makes the following incident so unique from the others I’ve mentioned is that this time, the deceiver winded up being the victim as well.

Deception:

Steve McNair, often frequented the Dave & Buster on Opry Mills Drive, in Nashville, and authorities believe that is where he might have met Sahel Kazemi, who worked there as a server.

According to Dave & Buster employees, McNair often dined with family and friends whenever he visited the restaurant. Kazemi as described by her general manager, Tony Farahini, was a solid worker, a workaholic with high energy.

Did this attractive, naïve, twenty-year-old woman, imbued with an unbridled spirit capture the attention of McNair?

Based on the events that followed it would appear so.

Adultery:

Kazemi’s neighbors, who knew her as Jenni, said that she had moved in six months ago, and within a couple days of her moving in, McNair showed up.

One neighbor said that McNair was seen so often at Kazemi’s place that he thought the former Tennessee Titans’ quarterback had moved in.

Another said, it was obvious that Kazemi and McNair were dating, and neither was trying to hide it.

Pictures have surfaced over the web showing the two vacationing together.

Murder:

What went wrong to make this high spirited, fun loving young woman, commit the heinous act of shooting McNair as he slept, and then turning the gun on herself?

The week leading up to these shocking events provides at glimpse into Kazemi’s state of mind:

  • Kazemi was pulled over for DUI on Thursday, July 2, between 1-1:30 AM. McNair and Vent Gordon (a chef at McNair’s restaurant) was allowed to leave the scene via a taxi.
    Kazemi refused to take a breathalyzer test and claimed she was high not drunk.
  • McNair posted her bail later that day.
  • Kazemi purchased a semi automatic pistol late Thursday night.
  • McNair and Kazemi meet at his condo on Saturday morning.
  • Later that afternoon, Kazemi shoots McNair as he slept on the couch before committing suicide.

A classic case of . . . D + A = Murder.

It’s the same old story, boy meets girl, marries girl, and when another catches his eye, tells one of two lies. Either that he’s not married, but as it would appear in the case of McNair,  he duped the unsuspecting woman into believing that he was filing for divorce and would soon be free to marry her.

From all accounts of this incident, Kazemi was in a relationship in which she was not only over head, but lacking the maturity to deal with the prospect that she had been deceived, made irrational decisions, which drove her to commit murder.

Two weeks prior to the murder-suicide, a Decatur resident claimed that Kazemi confided in her about the adulterous affair she was having with McNair.

According to Vera Buckley Mosley, Kazemi shared all the sordid details of how she and McNair met, and how her life was spiraling out of control. Kazemi had also confided to friends that her life wasn’t worth living and she should end it.

Family and friends knew she was dating a married man, but did nothing to dissuade her. Those who claimed to have loved Kazemi should have counseled her, letting her know that the odds were not in her favor that McNair would leave his wife and 4 children for a simple waitress.

McNair, known for his greatness on the football field, and charitable contributions, should have allowed his character and reputation to guide him in staying away from the flirtatious, high spirited young woman.

His legacy is tarnished forever. Some will try to only remember his heroics on the football field. Others for his philanthropic activities. While the rest will only remember him as man who succumbed to the overwhelming deceptive force that eventually cost him his life.

Kazemi wanted nothing more than to be McNair’s wife. Perhaps finally realizing that they wouldn’t be together in life, she planned that they would at least be together in death. According to ballistic evidence, Kazemi shot McNair in the head, twice in the chest and then once again in the head.

It is believed that Kazemi then staged McNair’s body so that she would fall into his lap after she shot herself. Even in death her desire to be with McNair wasn’t fulfilled. Judging by the evidence from the crime scene, it appears that she slid off McNair’s lap and landed at his feet.

How will McNair be remembered by his wife Mechelle?

To get through these harrowing events, Mechelle indicates that she will put her trust in the God.

And what of McNair’s children?

You can use most any measure when you’re speaking of success.

You can measure it in the fancy cars, expensive homes, or dress.

But the measure of your real success,

Is one you cannot spend,

It’s the way your child describes you,

When talking to a friend.

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

 

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