(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, June 15, 2013) It’s 10 years later, dear Elizabeth, and it’s true: Home is where your heart is. You’ve said it now in plain words. Your heart, with your imagination, is in our African home. This is what I know you mean when you say with sorry sadness, “Daddy, the roads are too smooth here. Everything’s too perfect. I’d rather be in a place where the roads are bumpy but more interesting.”
SALZBURG, AUSTRIA ✦ I love my daughter, all 15 months of her, for many reasons. One is that she’s more like her mother than me. Especially while flying. My wife Jean and I continue to be aid workers in the Middle East and Africa, so this is often. In fact, diaper-clad Elizabeth Katherine has already been on more than dozen flights and four continents. The Squirt knows one word. Just one. It’s “hello.” But words can be powerful things.
(The Hamilton Spectator - Friday, June 20, 2003) Nobody knew. Prior to the birth of our first child, two weeks ago today at St. Joseph’s Hospital here in Hamilton, Jean and I kept her name, Elizabeth top-secret from absolutely everyone. “It’s from the Bible and it’s not Dorcas,” is all I would reveal, before adding, “If and when we have a boy, we have a biblical name for him too. And it’s not Nimrod.” So imagine the confirmation we felt when, prior to our return to Canada for the delivery, some western friends in Yemen said good-bye to us by reading the biblical story of Elizabeth.