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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / A Fearless Fourth /   Editorial List

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A Fearless Fourth

It may not be too shocking of an admission to make, but I have always loved the Fourth of July holiday. I love the fireworks, spending time with friends and loved ones (usually at the beach), eating corn on the cob and hotdogs, and feeling tremendously patriotic.

Over the past 20 years, however, the Fourth of July holiday has taken on a significantly different meaning for me than when I was growing up. In 1990, The Fourth of July weekend was when we first learned of my dad’s rapidly advancing cancer. Dad was 61 years old and had just retired. He looked forward to working with my mom in the new business that they had just opened, traveling, singing Barbershop Quartet tunes with friends (not necessarily singing well, but enjoying every minute) and seeing what life had to offer. Unfortunately, life did not have much to offer past the first few months of his retirement. The week before, my mom noticed a lump on my dad's head and they went to the doctor to check it out. His doctor called a few days later and, although it was the beginning of the holiday weekend, told them to check into the hospital immediately. He passed a year later.

Conversely, it was on July 4th 1995, that I went to the loading dock of a local print house and stacked the first issue of Today’s Caregiver magazine into a rental truck. I spent the next few days driving to all of the hospitals in a three county region, delivering the publications to every family waiting room I could find.

Twenty one years later, I am still proud of the work that goes into each issue of Today’s Caregiver magazine and online at (now with the help of an extremely talented staff), and am especially excited when family caregivers write stories and poems to share what they have learned with their fellow caregivers.

These past 21 years have gone by in an instant, but I am most thankful for being able to spend time in conference rooms around the country talking with family caregivers. I always start my sessions by thanking the caregiver who will say something so very insightful during the event that it nearly writes my next newsletter column. Actually at most events, there is enough wisdom to fill a book. We’ve gone Web 3.0 around here with Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, but I still love the personal interaction that live events have to bring (I know; how very last century of me).

This year, we will also host our 175th Fearless Caregiver Conference as well as our fifteenth annual Today’s Caregiver Friendly Awards program. So I hope you can forgive me when I say that my favorite holiday has become somewhat bittersweet for me. I am grateful for all that has happened at Caregiver Media Group, but know that the one soul who would have enjoyed all of this the most, our dad, cannot be here to share it with us. Although I am sure he’s watching, smiling and maybe even singing a little “Sweet Adeline” with some of his old friends.

After all, it is the Fourth of July.

Gary Barg

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