“Once Again…”

On  Monday the 2nd of October we awoke to find “once agains.”

Once again, there are senseless deaths.
Once again, mothers & fathers are without; sons & daughters are without.
Once again lovers are without.
Once again, there are the questions of “why” and of “evil.”
Once again there is doubt and confusion on who and what and where to blame.
Once again there are the voices saying,” This is not the time to have this discussion.”
Once again there are sounds of tears as voices are silent; no more to speak.
Once again there are “thoughts and prayers” being lifted up.
Once again lives are horrifically changed.
Once again another chance for change.

My hope is that what happened in Vegas does not stay in Vegas. Can we put an end to “once agains?”



The Conflict of Franken Berry vs. Count Chocula

Let me set the stage. in one corner was my older sister Melissa. In the other corner was me, aka “the little brother.” The announcement from the referee, aka our mother,  was as follows: “We cannot get both cereals. So, whomever can do the most good will win either Franken Berry (me) or the “Count” (sissy).

Needless to say we both won our fair share of cereals (I really grew to love the Count more anyway).  Mom was just that …a referee, on many occasions. She sought out what was fair even when I could not see her logic at times (especially when sissy and I were tied at being good and we had to settle for Boo-Berry, yuck!)  She was a fair woman.

Yes, I said “was.” Mom is no longer with us. Its been 15 months now that we have to live in memory.  15 months to this day, she left this world on the 22nd. She lost her battle of 3 plus years to leukemia. This was not fair! However, what does that word “fair” actually mean really?

Webster’s defines the word in many ways:

  1. in accordance with the rules or standards; legitimate.
  2. (of hair or complexion) light;

  3. without cheating or trying to achieve unjust advantage.

    “no one could say he played fair

  4. a great place to have fun and amusement
    “he went to the state fair last night.”

    As I look at these definitions, I realize that my mother was every bit of everything that has been defined. She was “in accordance with the rules.”  She was legitimate. She wanted her children to abide by the rules and be legit and not be a fake. Mom’s complexion was light and had such beautiful hair unlike this writer now.  She did not cheat or play unfair due to her love for all people. Did she have difficulty with loving others at times? Yes. She did. However, despite what my mom thought of you, she would find something to relate to you about.

    The last definition about a “place of fun and entertainment” is what I define my mom at her best. Her dancing brought a smile. Her singing brought laughter. Her presence brought love to experience even as she was coming to the end of her life. Was she perfect? No.  But, she will be what I ascribe to even if my cereal is not chosen. Of course we will not speak of the Werewolf cereal that came out and got thousands of children sick…that is another story.

    On this 22nd, despite whatever cereal is chosen (yours or another), please look at what is fair and ascribe to be that person of legitimacy and playing fair and loving to play. Ok, sissy, I am running to get my cereal now.


“Is This Heaven…No, it’s Iowa.”

One of the most famous lines ever in a movie brings a smile to one’s face. Of course the movie was Kevin Costner’s Field of Dreams.  Now this movie was fiction and I am sure that there would be a discussion on what state could be equated with heaven, but for a little boy named Wyatt (and so many other), Iowa is a place of peace and of hope.

The University  of Iowa has started a new tradition with a simple wave to children like Wyatt. Between the 1st and 2nd quarter of Hawkeye Home football games, the entire stadium which is filled with thousands and thousands of people (see below)  turn and wave to the Iowa University Children’s Hospital which overlooks the stadium. Smiles and tears come as these children and their parents feel peace and see hope even if for a few minutes.

So, maybe…just maybe, the line should be: “Is this Iowa?…No, it’s heaven.” I am sure Wyatt would agree.