Friday, January 27, 2006

Pete's Prayer Card

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light, and
Where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born
to eternal life.

* * *
It simply had to be this picture of St. Joseph, and it also had to be the prayer of St. Francis. Pete was both a carpenter and a peacemaker all his life. Thanks to my dear daughter Kristine for helping me to get Dad's prayer card exactly right.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

For Pete

Go from me. Yet I feel that I shall stand
Henceforward in thy shadow. Nevermore
Alone upon the threshold of my door
Of individual life, I shall command
The uses of my soul, nor lift my hand
Serenely in the sunshine as before,
Without the sense of that which I forbore--
Thy touch upon the palm. The widest land
Doom takes to part us, leaves thy heart in mine
With pulses that beat double. What I do
And what I dream include thee, as the wine
Must taste of its own grapes. And when I sue
God for myself, He hears that name of thine,
And sees within my eyes the tears of two.

~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnets from the Portuguese, 6

Note to my readers: My beloved husband, Pete, died on Friday, January 20. My postings will be light for a while, but I'll be back soon. I ask for your prayers for myself and my children, Kris and Matt. Many thanks for your kind support.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Unfathomable Logic

She's not a relative, but Jill Carroll is one of my fellow Americans. When I see an innocent member of my national family under capture and in peril of death from Islamo terrorists, I get angry.

I can't quite understand why any citizen of the U.S. wouldn't be more outraged at Carroll's plight than at that of Jose Padilla or the Gitmo detainees. And I'm quite sure that nobody on the left could explain it to me. It's incomprehensible that some members of the "9/11 was our fault" left will rationalize Jill Carroll's capture as a defensive response to U.S. actions.

That has always been, and will remain, a mindset I simply can not comprehend.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Fight to Die

For everything there is a season...a time to be born, and a time to die
Ecclesiastes 3:2

Today's Supreme Court decision to allow Oregon's physician-assisted suicide law to stand is a reminder to us of the pitfalls of progress. Medical technology and scientific knowledge have expanded in our lifetimes to the point where dying has become a "right" that must be fought for.

In centuries past, people lived their lives much closer to death. Dying was simply an accepted fact of human life, an ever-present force of nature. There were no vaccines, no drug treatments, no sophisticated surgeries or diagnostic tools. People were born, and people died, each at their appointed time. Many people died of natural causes at a young age, because there was no way to block the march of illness. Women often died during or after childbirth, and children perished from illnesses that are no threat today, all due to modern medicine. Today, with so many dying agonies prolonged by the wonders of medical advancement, I sometimes wonder just how much better off we are.

Death is not a right; it is our destiny. The legal battle for "right to die" is like expending energy fighting for the "right to breathe." Death is something that is foreordained and unavoidable for mortal mankind. With our cultural focus today on increasing longevity, new cures, improved medical treatments, and healthy vigor into advanced years, we sometimes lose sight of where this journey called life is inevitably leading us. Death will come to each of us, regardless of how hard we fight to either hasten or prevent it.

Dying is a natural, often painful process that takes care of itself, if allowed. While I do not agree with the deliberate administration of a fatal dosage to a terminally ill patient, I certainly support the patient's right to refuse extraordinary measures to extend life and the right to as much palliative care as is necessary to be comfortable.

As for those of us who are well enough to pursue litigation and legislation on this subject, I have one thought: Perhaps our energies would be better spent concentrating on the benefits of improving our lives and living well while we are blessed with the time and health to do so.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Thoughts for the Weekend

It's Saturday morning, not usually one of my contemplative times. But it is such a gorgeous day outside, I'm compelled to share some introspection.

I'm fortunate enough to live in Southern California, where winter is more of a punchline than a force to be reckoned with. If it's a "nippy" 45 degrees in the early morning, chances are the temperature will be hitting 70 in time for a lunchtime jog. I'm getting ready to take the dog (black lab Riga) to the park for a run-around. I'll probably need to shed my sweatshirt midway through our workout.

I'm also extremely fortunate to have my two adult children living close by. They'll be over tomorrow for Sunday dinner. That happens just about every week that they're in town. Sometimes I wonder how often I would see them if I wasn't a decent cook! However, we always have such a good visit each week that I suspect their stop-ins would be just as frequent if they had to bring a pizza. How lucky can an old Mom get?

Everyone loves the weekend, all of us for different reasons. But I'm willing to bet that family time is a common denominator on most individual's lists. As well it should be.

I'm done with my coffee, and I'm off to the park. Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The SCOTUS Follies

This morning, listening to the radio before leaving for work, I heard a sound clip from Sen. Ted Kennedy referring to "Judge Alee-o-to" and nearly aspirated my coffee.

Earth to Ted: You're on the Judiciary Committee, Senator. Get a grip on the guy's name, for starters.

As the hearings progressed during the day, I heard various MSM reports solemnly describing the "grilling" that Judge Alito was enduring from the distinguished senators. Then, on my way home tonight, I heard clips from Senators "Ah-Oh-Um" Biden and Feinstein (HT: HH). Although I had to laugh, I was more embarrassed for them than amused by them. No wonder our national reputation overseas could use some burnishing.

The Senior Balloon From Massachusetts, Slow Joe Biden, and Ding-a-ling Dianne. An all-star ensemble cast, unwittingly providing entertainment in the 2006 SCOTUS Follies.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Most Reliable Source

If you want to obtain accurate knowledge of what the troops really think and how they truly feel about the war in Iraq, it is highly advisable to get your information from a member of the military. The troops have a very straighforward agenda--WIN. And they are very knowledgeable on the subject.

If you want to hear about Cindy Sheehan-type protestors, or Congressman Murtha, or falling percentage for Iraq war support, by all means consult your local alphabet networks and read the old media wire services. I prefer to get my war news from the soldiers who are actually risking their lives in the fight. It's a national disgrace that MSM isn't interested in what these heroes have to say.

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Twelfth Day of Christmas

There are many who don't realize that Christmas Day, December 25, is actually the first day of Christmas. Yes, as immortalized by a "partridge in a pear tree" in the popular carol.

On the second day of Christmas, also known as St. Stephen's Day, "Good King Wenceslaus" went out--maybe he was searching for those famous turtle doves at an after Christmas blowout sale. On the twelfth day, according to tradition, "We Three Kings," aka the three Wise Men or the Magi, visited the newborn Christ child.

The Christmas season only begins on Christmas Day. Why are people in such a hurry to finish with this special time of year? I, for one, am not. My Christmas tree and decorations will at last come down this weekend, after the twelve drummers have finished drumming. That "star of wonder" we call Christmas time that lights the close of each of our years can now be stored away until we reach the end of the 2006 calendar's journey.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Long and the Short of It

Mark Steyn's article in the Opinion Journal is a lengthy piece. But it needs to be read by every American who cares about basic survival, nevermind our children's future. If you don't have the time now, print it out and read it over your lunch break. As Mark points out in the very first line, "Most people reading this have strong stomachs..." So if you're fortunate, you'll still feel like eating when you've finished the article.

Hat Tips for this link go to: Hugh Hewitt, Irish Pennants, The Anchoress--a litany of heavy hitters in the blogsphere are pointing readers to Steyn's hard facts. Whether we want to accept reality or not, the bottom line is that we're in deep yogurt with this strange and ominous worldwide war, and we will be fighting it for a very long time.

Thanks, also, to my friend Rick, for e-mailing the article to me in a distribution that went to several other of his friends as well. The more Americans get educated about what we are up against, the better armed we will be.

That's enough from me. It's Mark Steyn you should be reading!