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Showing posts from January, 2013

March for Life 2013

I've warmed up and caught up on sleep so I can tell you a little bit about the March for Life 2013. It was so cold! But in spite of the frigid temperatures, an estimated 500,000 people joined in this march to mark the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, making abortion legal in the United States at all stages of pregnancy.

This March for Life is young. The vast majority of the marchers were under 30. This should bring hope to those of us who look at our culture and often wonder "Where are we going and why are we all in this handbasket?" The tweens, teens, and twenties are passionately pro-life. I think they see themselves as survivors. They know they are missing siblings and friends because of the holocaust of abortion.

The March for Life is joyous. People were cold and tired, but there was a joy pervading the March. Certainly, there is sadness and even anger over the way our culture cavalierly disposes of human life at all stages. But at the Marc…

I have never been so scared

Last night I had a most harrowing experience in which I am sure my guardian angel was very busy. I met my daughter and her fiance in Rockville, MD to check out a caterer for the wedding. We decided to have dinner after the meeting since none of us had eaten and looking at all that good food made us hungry. We headed for the nearby TGI Fridays and enjoyed a tasty (though a bit noisy since the bar crowd was watching the Ravens vs Broncos game) meal. We said our goodbye's and I went one way to my car which was parked not too far from the restaurant entrance and they went the opposite direction to their more distant parking spot. As we left I noticed a young woman, dressed in what looked like  TGI Fridays waitstaff clothing, smoking while leaning up against the restaurant building. I remember thinking it was odd that employees were allowed to take their smoke breaks at the front entrance. 
My Prius has keyless entry and push-button start so I never fumble for keys. I got in my car an…

An imprint of God on the soul

There will be no film crew or drama (at least I hope no drama) but today my daughter will begin her quest in earnest to find a wedding dress. Her bridesmaids and her future mother-in-law will join us as we head to a couple of boutiques today and two more tomorrow. I think we are both a little excited and a little nervous. I have never done this. When I got married I wore my mother's wedding dress. We pulled it out of the cedar chest a few months ago and after more than half a century, it just doesn't sing like it used to. With a little rehab it could probably be used again, but it just isn't my daughter's style so I am happy to let her try to find a dress of her own.

I am grateful that our parish has put down some firm guidelines. No strapless dresses. No spaghetti straps. No plunging necklines. All reasonable and my daughter has no problems complying with these parameters. However, if you have viewed the TLC show "Say Yes to the Dress" or browsed the wedding…

A handwritten touch

I enjoy electronic communication. I email, blog, tweet, and facebook. But you know what I realized this Christmas? I absolutely love snail mail. There is still something magical about going to the mailbox and finding real communication. Something that is not a computer generated missive with my name electronically inserted into the salutation. Something that has a hand written signature. If I am lucky, there will be a newsy note with the loops and whirls of a friend's unique penmanship. I have to admit that I have succumbed to the typed Christmas letter but I try to include a personal comment or two and I always sign my name.

Maybe that is why I have always insisted to my children that thank you notes must be hand written. An email will do in a pinch, but I think if you really want to show gratitude, take the time to select the stationery, write a note, address the envelope, and find a stamp.

Maybe this year I will send a few snail mail notes just to say "Hi!". Then aga…

Memories

One of the great things about being a grandparent is the opportunity to return to happy memories. I have so many treasured remembrances of reading to my children. "In the great green room there was a telephone, and a red balloon, and a picture of..." will be forever linked to having one or more of my children snuggled in my lap. What is interesting, though, is the power of smells to evoke memories. As a teacher of anatomy and physiology I know that the olfactory neural pathway is different than our other senses. It has more connections to areas of the brain associated with memories. Yet I am still amazed when a smell transports me to a moment in my past.
I had one of those experiences while playing with my granddaughter. We opened up a canister of Play-doh. Oh my goodness! This was a smell from my own childhood as well as my children's younger days. We rolled and shaped and cut with cookie cutters and just had a grand time. I hope in years to come when she pops the lid …

Cozy Chaos Bursting with Joy and a Hint of Sadness

Haven't been blogging much because I've been too busy living life to write about it. Just returned from an amazing Christmas in Missouri. All my children, grandchildren, and my dad gathered under one roof at my son's home. Ten people and four dogs made for cozy chaos and lots of love and joy. Four generations celebrating the Incarnation and Nativity of our Lord was the best gift I could ever receive.

This was the second Christmas since my mother died. Last Christmas did not seem as difficult as this one. Last Christmas my oldest son was in Afghanistan, my daughter-in-law and grandbaby spent Christmas with her family and my father stayed in Texas so there were only five of us at home. This Christmas we were all together and it seemed very strange not to have my mother there. All day long I had this impulse to give her a call and share the day with her. Then I would remember that she was out of my cell phone's reach. So I prayed. I said many Hail Mary's on her behal…