The Circle of Life

I’m brought to tears reading how Dave and Colleen note the tender time of role reversal as their parents age. 💔

A couple of years before Dad passed away I came for a visit. It was a few months after he had suffered a stroke. Our nephew Brad (or was it Christopher?) had driven Dad to pick me up at SeaTac airport.

Dad lumbered out of the passenger side of the Jeep and I started to walk toward him. But I stopped as I noticed he was walking with great effort dragging a foot, a somewhat useless arm dangling at his side.

It was then that I realized the extent of Dad’s recovery process, but more importantly I recognized how despite his handicap he was showing great love in welcoming me, his little girl. He had once carried me on his shoulders, and had taught me many things over the then 50 some-odd years of my life.

It was for me to wait as he showed he could still be my hero. And when we embraced I felt his strength was still there though somewhat waning.

Though he was oft times a grouchy lion of a man, I could see how he set aside his pride and used every effort to meet ‘My Pat’ at the airport. ❤️

And in the years that followed his mortal body suffered profound deafness and other challenges. But thankfully I could still be there to be taught at his knee.


I learned of his love and devotion to his “Blanchey-Babe.” I learned you can teach an old dog new tricks when he agreed he would stop the grouchiness and accept the home caregivers and nurses so we could bring Blanche home from the nursing home . (Long story there.)

I recall assisting her to sit on the glider with him on the porch in the background. I hope they know what a profound sense of belonging and a wonderful bunch of memories they gave us over the years.

IMAGE: Our beloved step-mother Blanche Myrtle (Jackson) Bennett Player when she could still walk without aid, and our father Glen S. Player, MD on the lakeside lawn of their Medina, WA home we affectionately call “Overlake”. Circa 2006.



AdobeStock_92927888 Peace Dove

I’m not Catholic or Muslim, nor do I live in the Louisiana communities where three principally Black churches were ravaged by an arsonist’s torch. But I care when others are hurting. 💔

Communities gather around houses of worship and cemeteries where loved ones are laid to rest. These sacred spots are the heart and soul of a community.

What prompted my writing? Several friends have said regarding Paris’ Notre Dame fire “It’s only a church – just stone & brick.”

So too, was another house of worship that burned yesterday – the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. (1)

They are all just made of brick and stone, but they represent the best hopes for learning to live a kind life by thinking of our Maker.

Happy to read in The New York Times “The fire at Notre-Dame cathedral on Monday prompted immediate pledges of millions of euros to help rebuild it. On Tuesday, it spurred donations to do the same for much smaller places of worship thousands of miles away that were recently destroyed by arson.”(2)

On a completely different level these are historical icons that were there, for good or bad, when our ancestors walked the face of the earth.


(1) O’Conner, Tom, “Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque burns at the same time as flames engulf Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris”, Newsweek, 15 Apr 2019 ( : viewed 16 Apr 2019)

(2) Zraick, Karen and Niraj Chokshi, “Donations to Black Churches Destroyed by Arson Spike After Notre-Dame Fire”, New York Times, 16 Apr 2019 ( : viewed 16 April 2019)

IMAGE: “Peace Dove with Olive branch” vector illustration, bphotoplotnikov licensed by Adobe to Pat Richley 19 Apr 2019. (https://stock/ : licensed 19 Apr 2019). [ file modified to .png format for this blog post alone.]


REACTION: AAPA Statement on Race & Racism

Please take time today to read the source document linked at the end of this post.

Responsible genetic genealogists recognize incontrovertible evidence that 99.9% of human DNA is the same, therefore we can no longer hold to age-old prejudices rooted in hatred and bigotry.

We then are free to embrace each other in full fellowship and together appreciate the beauty of biological and cultural diversity.

Today on Facebook, noted genetic genealogist Debbie Cruwys Kennett shared the link to a five page statement, unanimously accepted by the American Association of Physical Anthropologists Executive Committee, March 27, 2019 at the 88th Annual Meeting in Cleveland, Ohio.

Of particular note the statement includes the following text:

“Racist political doctrines should not receive support from scientific endeavors, but in practice racism has been co-constructed with inaccurate depictions of human variation provided by scientists. Over our history, the AAPA, and many of its members, have been complicit in producing and reifying racist ideologies via the misuse, falsification, or biased production of scientific information. We acknowledge this history and stress that we should not paper over it even as we seek to end these practices and prevent the reemergence of misconceptions about race in the future.”