Counting my blessings

The year started off with me worrying whether or not our publishing business was going to have to file for bankruptcy. It ends with us busier than ever and doing better than we’ve done in our eight years in business.

There’s one.

I lost touch with my sister for a while. Then a strange thing happened – a song played at my wife’s twin sister’s funeral nearly 20 years ago playing on the radio as we sat at a stoplight behind a car with a personalized plate bearing her name. We decided it was a message from above, and that night got a phone call. My sister had tried to commit suicide. I took her home from the hospital. She’s doing OK now. I make sure she calls every so often so we can keep tabs on her.

There’s a big one.

My best friend since grade school, Brian, got married last month. He did so knowing he was facing a heart-surgery procedure, and not knowing that he’d have to undergo a second one. I’m planning to go spend some time with him next week. And damn glad that I can.

A huge one.

I lost my grandfather this past summer. He made it to his late wife’s birthday. Granny died almost two years ago. They were married 67 years. They’re back together now.

A sad one, but a blessing, still.

My three nieces have been through hell and back, but they’re doing great in school, one is driving (egad!), the twins are cheerleaders. I’m getting wistful over how it wasn’t that long ago that they used to pester me to pick them up, and that’s never going to happen again.

Seeing kids grow up is a blessing.

I’m happy, healthy, if not wealthy, well enough, a little older, a little wiser.

i feel blessed.

Column by Chris Graham. More columns by Chris at

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
augusta free press

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