Youth in stride

He spoke sharply at the Christmas table, that sturdy, self-assured youth: ''I hatem that stereo station, not my kind of music!'' But his dad's choice held sway in a more romantic vein. Later I thought, Dear David: Would you hatem a blade of grass, the song of a bird, a single star? No, not you. Your true self lovesm - meekness that bends when stepped on, the freedom of birdsong, the mystery beyond a star. While still in short pants you said, ''Birds are my friends. I hear them from my bed.'' And your brave, solo trip to Germany that summer, and you didn't even speak the language! Not hate, but lovem broke the language barrier, let Dad hear hism songs, breaks bread with loved ones, hand in hand sharing the same selfless prayer.

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