Susan Stamper Brown
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Life is messy and full of unexpected twists along the way leaving even the most obsessive control freaks among us feeling a bit undone, considering so much of the change introduced into our lives is rarely invited and not always good.

You see, I speak with experience, having been forced to join the ranks of the widowed some years back. Those of us left behind tend to cling to our loved one's last gifts, last words -- pretty much last anything. As I write, I am wearing an old brown Ann Taylor sweater, size "smaller than it used to be." It's the last gift my husband gave me. His last piece of advice before taking his last breath? "Susan, take a deep breath...just inhale." I feel as if I've been inhaling ever since. Over time, this radical event helped to mold me into a better version of myself, or so I've been told. However, this is not about me.

A handful of Americans learned a similar lesson as well, on what began as a normal Tuesday morning in September of 2001, when they learned the airplanes they boarded would not reach their planned destination, but would instead rocket them to an unplanned and final one. Most had no idea the goodbyes they shared with loved ones that morning would be their last. Nor did the rest of us realize the savage acts of a malevolent few would change our lives forever.

In an instant, American patriotism seemed to be resurrected from Ground Zero's ashes when people of all stripes laid aside their shallow biases to focus on things that really mattered, to wit, our unity as "one nation under God."

But that was then. Watching the Democratic National Convention last week, I found myself asking the question: How did we go from two mile-long lines to donate blood at Ground Zero to Democrats losing their minds over the insertion of the word "God" in the party's platform? Baby steps, I suppose.

For the past five or so years, President Obama has preached to the country about what he views as a dire need -- to bring fundamental change here in America. It really should come as no surprise to anyone that mentioning God's name at the Democratic Convention would inspire booing. I guess the sacrifice of his son wasn't enough for them; maybe they think God has not yet paid his "fair share." Hah.

Obviously, not all change is positive. The "change" that President Obama and now former President Bill Clinton espouse should give all freedom-loving Americans reason for pause. In case you are not quite sure what Obama's definition of change is, President Clinton spells it out in a new campaign advertisement. The part where Clinton says, "President Obama has a plan to rebuild America from the ground-up" tells us everything we need to know about what an Obama second term would entail.
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Susan Stamper Brown

Susan Stamper Brown's weekly column is nationally syndicated. She can be reached at writestamper@gmail.com or via her website at susan@susanstamperbrown.com. Her Facebook page can be found here.