July 22, 2009

Thank you - from my sister

Pansies stand for thoughts...
Last weekend, my eldest sister's only son was killed in a car accident. A motorcyclist ran a stop sign and plowed into the driver's side door, killing both my nephew and himself. It was a tragic loss to both families; the cyclist's mother and my sister had each experienced the death of another child within the previous year. Jessie, my nephew, left behind his wife Kathy, who was injured but not as severely as their two children. Jessica (10) was in critical condition, and Chuck (13) had broken bones. A moment of inattention has lifelong side effects. Lives were forever changed in that one instant of impact. My sister had felt that there would be no one to remember her son in the way that a soldier's death is remembered -- there would be no lines of people with flags who came out all along the final ride to the funeral and interment. Jessie was everything to his family, but he had no fame, no glory. That tore out my heart, so I asked people on my group, Romance Lives Forever, to email her if they wanted to help her know that her son would not be forgotten. I asked everyone to pass on the message if they wanted. She received so many emails of condolence - from total strangers to her, pledging that prayers and thoughts were with her and with Jessie's family, and that her son was being honored in their thoughts and best wishes. She sent me a message to post on my blog to thank everyone, since there were so many. She wrote: "Can you put this on your blog for me for everyone who sent me messages of condolence? I don't know how many times I've received this message, but every time it comes to me I feel honored to know someone thought this much of me." From my losses, I gain the experience to create a brighter tomorrow. There comes a point in your life when you realize: Who matters, Who never did, Who won't anymore... And who always will. So, don't worry about people from your past, there's a reason why they didn't make it to your future.
'To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.' When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better. Concentrate on this sentence... 'The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.'
I also received many heartfelt emails and posts, and want to tell each of you -- thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers during this time.

img credit: rgbstock.com

July 16, 2009

I'm blogging today at TRS Blue!

My topic is "Cantfindit Syndrome", that dreaded disease that afflicts one out of every six Americans. We are incapable of folding - let alone reading - a map, can't follow directions worth c**p and yet we all think we can muddle our way through without asking directions... whether we're male or female. Read about my experience in the downtown maze of Atlanta GA where all streets are one way, all going the wrong way! Here's the link: http://trsblue.blogspot.com/ FYI - this syndrome is closely connected to the one that hapens when you enter a room and are suddenly afflicted with Cantfigureoutwhy. Read this tale and get help. If you can find a therapy center for it, that is, or remember why you called once you find it. Insidious syndromes, I tell you. Sneak up on you when you least expect it.

July 15, 2009

Vegas Churches perfect a simple means of collection

I grew up in the Las Vegas area, in a suburb called Henderson. Nowadays you can't tell where one city stops and the other starts, but when I was a kid, there were long stretches of desert between the two. However, I came to tell you something very cool that I recently found out. There are more Catholic churches in Las Vegas than casinos.
I can't believe I lived there so many years and never knew this. I was quite surprised. I'll bet you are, too.
FACT: Las vegas churches accept gambling chips in the collection plates. Since they get chips from many different casinos, the churches have devised a method by which to efficiently collect the offerings. The churches send all their collected chips to a nearby Franciscan monastery for sorting and then the chips are taken to the casinos of origin and cashed in. This is done by the chipmonks. See? I told you you'd be surprised.

July 6, 2009

The Most Awesome Rescue Award goes to...

This helicopter is hovering with only its back wheels touching down and the ramp extended. It landed only long enough for an extraction of military personnel in danger and need of immediate medical attention. This is one well-trained, brave, and amazing pilot, not to mention the crew that jumped into action on such a small space. I have no idea where this picture was taken, or by whom. But I thought you would like to see some of the daily work our troops deal with and keep on going. Anyone who knows the details of this is invited to post them!

July 3, 2009

Do What with America? ... er ... How's that again?

Happy Fourth of July!
Happy Birthday America! A favorite quote from Stephen Decatur made me look him up on Wikipedia so you'd know to whom I referred: Commodore Stephen Decatur, Jr (5 January 1779 – 22 March 1820) was an American naval officer notable for his heroism in the Barbary Wars and in the War of 1812. He was the youngest man to reach the rank of captain in the history of the United States Navy, and the first American celebrated as a national military hero who had not played a role in the American Revolution. Commodore Decatur is credited with saying, "Our country, in her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be right, but our country, right or wrong." He is often misquoted out of context. "Our country, right or wrong," became a battlecry that said America made no mistakes, which was far from his intention. Decatur wanted America's intercourse (a word that in his days meant discussion and diplomacy as well as trade) to always be right. He also felt that whether it was right or wrong, we should identify ourselves as Americans even when it was unpopular to do so. He prayed "May she always be right..." which implied he knew she wouldn't always be. However, he staunchly believed that it was a patriot's duty to not only stand up for America, but to fight for her, and to use the law to change what she was so that she would always be right. Nowadays, some of the things we're given opportunity to change, and some of the changes we have the opportunity to accept, are staggering in their sweep. Some are long overdue. Others are so radical they alarm certain groups and individuals. Some changes will change the face of America, others will quickly be forgotten. Some will (no doubt) be swept under the not-such-a-good-idea carpet and ignored. However all of the changes in our country may fare, I personally call all Americans to remember this young commodore's plea: that America always be "our country" and that we strive to make her "right" rather than blindly accept others' notions of what is best. I'm not one to get off on politics and religion - I believe I'm tolerant of other people. While I may not always support opinions of others, I'll fight for their right to express them. I also try to move past tolerance and into acceptance and reaching out a hand of peace and brotherhood / sisterhood. I say 'try' because I'm not always successful; sometimes things are so different that it's hard for me to understand. Some things I never want to ... suicide bombings, land mines, genocide, endless war. A friend sent me this link, and since it's so close to the 4th of July, I thought this was appropriate. Whether you think it's old-fashioned or outdated, I wish you'd give it a view and think about the bottom-line message. It was created by a well-established college and is about 10 minutes long. Think you can't spare 10 minute? Do it for America and see how very alike our kinsmen were 60 years ago. It's a good lesson in teamwork, willingness to speak out, and a plea for sensibility, the embracing of unity, tolerance, freedom, equality, and common sense. Can you spare ten minutes for America on the Fourth of July? America is what we make her. Let us make her right. Let us make her secure. Let us make her proud.
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