From the Author

Monday, July 31, 2017


I was recently privileged to work with many children in a structured environment.  There was one young man about 9 years old who had limitless energy.  He was constantly wanting attention, climbed anything available and talked incessantly. I was irritated that all of the adults had to constantly keep him in view and try to keep his attention focused.  It took all of my patience to remember he was a child and obviously needed more attention than the other children.  I decided to give him as much time as possible and listened to his constant chatter.  He informed me that his biological father used to lock him in a closet.  His biological mother would not teach him to speak and refused to give him food when he was hungry.  He stated he was adopted when he was 3 years old and had multiple adopted brother and sisters.  I was immediately chastened to realize I had judged him without knowing his dark and sad history.  I was so happy that he was in a wonderful family now and was functioning well with speech, ability to draw and was learning to socialize with other children.  I was so sad that he had to begin life with such pain and horror and was able to love him for who he had become.  

I learned an important lesson about judgement of others.  I will remember to look for the rose among the thorns.  I pray that others will be open to observing the best in me as I take time to celebrate the excellence in others.  

"Make it a practice to judge persons and things in the most favorable light at all times and under all circumstances."  St. Vincent de Paul

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Weak But Strong

It is amazing about how many stumbling blocks happen as we go through life.  Many of them are caused by our own selfishness and stupidity. Our poor choices, inability to follow through, or laziness in taking on new challenges can hold us back. Others are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.  

Many of us rise from the ashes and take one step at a time as we crawl over our stumbling blocks and emerge triumphant from the pitfalls of life.  It is survival of the journey itself, not only the successes, that defines us. When we put the needs of others ahead of ourselves, we may be considered a worldly failure, but to others we are an earthly angel.  When we have self-respect and the respect of others, we are becoming the best we can be in this life.

Quote:  "The people I'm most impressed by are not the ones who appear to float through life, but those whose weaknesses and failures are exposed in all sorts of undignified ways and yet they emerge stronger as a result."   Sam Weinman, author of Win at Losing:  How Our Biggest Setbacks Can Lead to Our Greatest Gains."

It is the ability to learn from our mistakes, seek the advice of others, pray for courage and wisdom, and the tenacity to begin again that defines our success.

In my book, I express my love for the very ill, or dying individuals whose bodies are failing but whose spirits are soaring. There are those who willingly choose death to save others. They are all the true heroes of life.

Sunday, July 16, 2017


"When you pray, you only have to ask for two things.  You should ask for the light to see the will of God, and you have to ask for the courage to be able to do the will of God."
     Venerable Msgr. Aloysius Schwartz

Unfortunately the world is sometimes a difficult place to survive.  In some countries war rages and atrocities are committed on a daily basis.  In other places, there is simply a failure in society where it becomes fashionable to bully others for no reason other than being different in some way.  Regardless of the severity of the personal attack, pain and suffering are generated at great cost emotionally for both the attacker and the attacked. It is so sad that the world continues to condone these cowardly acts of anger, vengeance, discrimination, torture (mental and physical), humiliation, and devastation.

It takes acts of courage to do the right thing and stand up for the victims.  It is at great personal cost that individuals attempt to protect those who are unable to protect themselves. Some have even lost their lives, have become a victim themselves or become mentally, emotionally, or physically hurt because they have the bravery to stand up against peer pressure, society, lawlessness, and cruelty. Fear is a strong motivator to walk away and not "get involved."  We are already involved because we know about it and are silently permissive because we do not act, we hide.  It is a decision that we all have to make when the time comes and we have to take a stand or run away.  Every time we observe but do not act, we become an accessory to the horror of the situation.

Courage is defined as "Being scared to death--and saddling up anyway."  John Wayne, actor

I hope that if we ask God for help, we will all have "Grace under pressure."  Ernest Hemingway

Sunday, July 2, 2017

We Need One Another

As we approach the 4th of July, our celebration of independence as a country, I want to express my thanks to the men and women of action who have served and continue to serve in the military.  They create and maintain a safety net for us everyday.  Thank you to all the men and women who have sacrificed their lives, health, and future, sometimes leaving family/friends as they travel all over the world, with a goal of peace.

"We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for each other and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it."   Pope Francis

"There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risk and costs of comfortable inaction."    John F. Kennedy

"The ultimate measure of a man (woman) is not where he (she) stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he (she) stands at times of challenge and controversy."     Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our service men and women stand tall in times of challenge and controversy.  Thank all of you and your families for your life and the gifts you share with the rest of us!  You truly are our heroes!