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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What Are We All Waiting For?

What Are We All Waiting For?
Most of us are probably waiting for something to happen or for someone to arrive at any given moment in our everyday lives. Perhaps you are eagerly awaiting the birth of a new baby. Maybe some of you are simply waiting for the arrival of Phase Three; others are hoping for news of a job offer or an improved economy. Many of us are eagerly awaiting the November election during which time we can democratically fire or hire a political candidate. Some of us are waiting at the bedside of our sickly beloveds – hoping for a miracle or a blessed release from further suffering. Some of us had to stand in line today at the slowest checkout lane in a store; others were stuck in traffic jams awaiting a miracle or two in order to get to a meeting on time. Many of our children eagerly look forward to their birthday, the teen years, acceptance into college, or Christmas.

Many of us await the return of a son, daughter, grandparent, sibling, or friend at Thanksgiving.
In other words, we are all waiting! Waiting is an everyday occurrence with varying degrees of anxiety, joyfulness, anticipation or dread. Waiting can be grouped into two general categories: positive, hopeful waitings or irritating, challenging ones. Regardless of the type of wait we are either forced into or have full acceptance of, we are all called to love in and through this waiting – and therein is everyone’s challenge. How well are we waiting? How well are we loving through the wait? How much beauty are we creating through the wait? Conversely, how much bleakness, loss of hope, anger, or lack of faith do we generate through the wait?

Carl Anderson, author of Called To Love, writes that “our bodies are like an artist’s expressive medium; it is not a shapeless raw material but is a work of art waiting to be drawn out of the marble, the colors, or the musical notes. If human freedom were disembodied, it might have more room to play with hypothetical possibilities but it would be unable to create anything beautiful or to share such beauty with the rest of the world.” So waiting serves a purpose- it allows us to be drawn out by God; it can also become a disservice to God’s handiwork if we refuse to cooperate with His slow, patient, formation.

People of faith should have a better understanding that our waiting in lines, for people, for job offers, for anything is merely symbolic of the final wait. In fact, all earthly activities, nature, and dimensions are symbolic of our hoped for destination: Heaven. How well we wait for the smaller things in life may be a pretty accurate reflection of how well we are waiting for the Final Event. The good news is that once we go through the Final Event - we won’t have to wait anymore! The bad news is that the wait for the Final Event is filled with challenging, irritating, mini- waits that partially define who and what we are and how well we have allowed ourselves to be drawn out of marble, out of colors, or musical notes”.

May all of us always remember that God also waits – He waits for our assent to be drawn out by His hand during all of our waiting and during the “whatevers” in life. He waits as we learn to love authentically by His Hand.
God Bless .

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A New Way to Pay for College

We had the opportunity to hear Fr. Tad (he has a much longer first and last name) lecture about IVF and all of its variations at the recent CCL Convention in Green Lake Wisconsin. Fr. Tad is a young, dynamic priest who has garnered a lot of respect for his work, education, and training in moral ethics especially with regard to life issues including end of life, In-Vitro Fertilization, reproductive technologies, and other matters.

Did you know that about 20% of all American babies born today have been "artificially reproduced" via IVF and its sister technologies? All of these efforts disrupt the inherent dignity of giving birth to babies generated "naturally". During IVF procedures, both parents allow themselves to be used in order to "get" a baby - as if it is their inherent right to have/own one. Likewise the newly fertilized human person is manipulated into being which poses far greater dangers to his/her future well being, survival, life and personal dignity. Furthermore, the IVF technologies promote the practice of creating "designer babies"; this was the subject of an earlier blog. Over a half million fertilized eggs still lie "dormant" and frozen in "test tubes" around the US awaiting someone's decision about whether to allow them to be thawed out and implanted in someone's uterus, adopted, used for scientific research, purposes, or discarded.

So how is IVF linked to paying for college? Did you know that Ivy League women are currently targeted by IVF technology - related companies to donate their "fresh, young, superior DNA eggs" to egg banks. These egg banks then use the "donated" eggs for IVF - to create "test tube babies". The term- donated eggs - is completely disingenuous since most egg donors are paid over $5K to $100K for every cycle that they allow themselves to be hormonally "hyper-stimulated"; technologists are then able to harvest multiple eggs/person/cycle in order to produce designer babies for the couples experiencing infertility. Notice, only "superior", Ivy League donors are sought after; companies do not need the average- run of the mill, female attending mid-western colleges! And so everyone's dignity is insulted by the philosophy behind IVF!

While this is a very "common" procedure, there is nothing ethical about it says Fr. Tad. The Catholic Church teaches that every baby has the right to be conceived, protected, carried, and nourished within the body of his/her mother. While there are naturally ethical ways to help infertile couples, IVF is not one of those means.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Helicopter Parenting

Several articles have emerged noting increased concerns by “experts” about the negative impact that China’s one child policy may have on future generations, society as a whole, and the children raised by their doting parents. Most Chinese parents comply and/or conform to this governmental decree generating evidence that the statute will have negative psychological and sociological repercussions on that nation sometime down the road. For example, too many parents are fostering “narcissistic” and self centered offspring since they have only one child to “worry over”. China runs the risk of generating populations with severe shortages of females.
Lest America gets too smug about our freedom to be able to have as many children as we wish, it should be noted that most American parents willingly subscribe to the same philosophy that less children is better. And that is even more significant –we willingly take on the emerging problems linked to low birth rates. In fact, most Americans tend to have fewer children than required to replace themselves; we only have a “higher than European or Chinese” birth rate because of the higher birth rates among our new immigrants – legal and illegal. So, it follows that America runs the risk of raising youthful personalities who tend toward narcissism and self centeredness. It also follows that today’s parents may drift toward helicopter parenting – a parenting type that is overly indulgent, worried, involved, controlling, meddling, interfering, and pushy – as they choose to have fewer children to “worry over”.
Schools are beginning to realize this sociological phenomenon as well. Pastors, teachers, and school principals alike complain that too many parents are overly concerned about the popularity of child/ self and not as much concerned about being responsible parents who “effectively” parent. In fact, too many parents readily fit the mold of helicopter parents – they excessively concern themselves over their children’s affairs that measure external performance or affect social “standings” - like grades, test scores, position on the athletic team - rather than spending energy into forming the whole (the character and integrity ) of the child. Unfortunately, the helicopter parent isn’t limited to grade school matters; in fact this type of parenting does not change much even though the offspring mature. These types of parents march in droves to schools – colleges as well as grammar schools - to complain about the difficulty of their student’s courses and corresponding low grades; or they complain when their student sits too long on the bench during athletic events or fails to secure a starting position; some complain when their students failed to secure a top ten position or entrance into the National Honor Society, even though the students failed to rightfully earned these tributes. These same parents are too frequently bamboozled into believing their students’ untruthfulness over teachers’, peers’ or other parents’ truthful complaints and concerns. These types of parents believe that the world revolves around their child. Unfortunately the helicopter parent is able to wield a certain degree of power at different levels; after all, the “squeaky wheel is what gets the grease”. But the power that these parents wield is not respected or respectful of others.
Recently, our parish pastor told me that the problem is so great that someone needs to write a good book about effective parenting – one that exhorts parents to love parenting and how to parent well while admonishing those who fail to parent and/or avoid parenting at all costs.
On the other hand, too many parents are lumped into the helicopter parent category when they express genuine concerns about their student’s grades, performance, or behaviors. We know of a family who expressed legitimate concerns about their son’s lackluster academic performance only to be embarrassed into “letting go”. Two semesters and $40,000 later, the son flunked out of college due to the development of a drug problem. Had the college proffered up the information they had at their fingertips, an earlier intervention or positive solution may have been found. Most parents know their child better than teachers, coaches, and other people; we are frequently the first to sense a problem sooner than in loco parentis adults. In fact, one professor reminds parents that her own “hovering” saved her college son’s life. Nobody else had recognized the symptoms behind his emerging mental illness.
Yes it is true, that all parents need to be their children’s advocates but not at the expense of instilling narcissism or ego-centrism in their own child. While parents should encourage their students to “find their potential” we must always remind our students that their talents are God-given and not self-directed. As in all areas of life, balance is the name of the game. Watching over the infusion of character in all aspects of our kids’ lives including their spiritual, mental, physical, cognitive, emotional, and social life is important. Neglect or unnecessary concerns with regard to only a few developmental areas will result in the ridiculous hovering and over-parenting that is never effective.
Do we all hover at different times? Probably, but it is much easier to hover when we don’t have enough to worry about; conversely it is more difficult to hover when there is plenty to worry about!
Recently one young woman proclaimed to me that few women can effectively parent seven children in today’s world– there is simply too much to worry about. After badgering her for further explanation, she ended up concluding that maybe she needed to research her statement more. But her attitude is so typical of the social indoctrination that has been willingly “adopted” by our modern society which has unnecessarily over-medicalized natural processes including birth, birth regulation, menopause, fertility cycles, etc. It comes in part from modern day sociologists who suggest that motherhood and breastfeeding are just two more ways that allow males to have dominance over females! Or those who suggest that motherhood is so much more difficult today because new mothers are expected to be super heroes who have to go through pregnancy without drinking a drop of liquor, smoking cigarettes, maintaining low weights, have to use car seats for any other kids, all the while trying to break through glass ceilings. These writers forget that previous generations of mothers had to combine pregnancy and mothering efforts with gardening (by necessity), sewing (by necessity), cooking (no eating out for these hard working moms), and no babysitters or nannies for these moms, etc. And they also forget what real life is all about. For example, a recent article quoted Angelina Jolie as saying that having children and sacrificing for them is what has taught her the meaning of authentic love! Sounds to me like she is beginning to get the gist behind theology of the body and the family.
Let me conclude with one final story. Friends of ours have a single daughter – needless to say the mother worries constantly about her young adult more than I have time for with regard to my four adult and three emerging adult children and their spouses and children. By the way, we now have eleven grandchildren and life is busy and fun! One day I asked this mother to “babysit” our two youngest children; sure enough, that was the day Patrick fell down while riding his bike and got a bit “beat up”. This friend called to ask whether she should run Patrick to the emergency room. After asking a few questions, I was satisfied that he would be fine; I also told her we would be home within the hour as planned – needless to say we did not rush home! After arriving home at the expected time, we felt the brunt of her admonishment for being too casual about the whole accident. After all, we did not rush home or allow her to take Patrick to the hospital. She worried that he might have internal bruising or a broken bone. I told her that a broken bone was impossible since he was walking about without crying. I also reminded her we had quite a bit of experience with broken legs. Her look told me clearly that she wasn’t surprised to hear why!
This story paints the gulf that exists between those of us with many kids and varied experiences and those with few of either. It is the classic difference between those who “power parent” vs. “helicopter parent”. Time management theories plainly lead to the conclusion that parents of a large family have less chance of being and/or staying helicopter parents. While we all may overly parent our first several children, the chances that that flaw will linger dwindles as we get busier and busier with four, five, and six children and more. But I offer this advice to parents – all of us need to create balance between real concern and advocacy vs. over parenting or over casualness with regard to the precious ones that God has given us for a little while. And what a blessing they are. Take the time to consider whether your worries about your little ones just are one more sign that God is calling you to make room for one more!

Image and Likeness

We are all made in the image and likeness of God. This means that we ought to be able to see God's genius in His creation - and so we can with our limited intellect.

For instance the other day, we saw two beautiful full rainbows in the sky- the second one was not merely a reflection of the other. It was its own rainbow but a perfect duplicate copy.

We have had opportunity to witness great compassion in others. This is a taste of God's compassion. We have all been introduced to a person we think of as a genius - again they foreshadow the great genius of the Almighty. We have met people with incredible artistic talents - musical, painters, writers, or others. Again they represent the beauty and artistry of what we will see in Heaven. Then there is the immense universe complete with stars, planets, meteorites, comets, and more. They were put there to remind us of the immensity of God. Other times we glimpse the enormity of suffering. This is to remind us of God's suffering as well when we reject His infinite love.

It isn't a coincidence that all of life is some sort of imagery or reflection of God and His Greatness. Recently we were blessed with two new grandchildren. These new babies really do reflect God's purity and innocence.

If only I could always go through life seeing how all of life is related to God's handiwork.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Father's Day Tribute - To Our Real Men

A Real Man sacrifices and works for the common good of his family! But he does far more than that! According to John Walter Wayland, in 1899 a True Gentleman has many great characteristics but he especially upholds honor and virtue. This is Wayland's idea of a real man;

The True Gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of proprietyand whose self-control is equal to all emergencies who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty,the obscure man of his obscurity,or any man of his inferiority or deformity;

who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another;

who does not flatter wealth,cringe before power,or boast of his own possessions or achievements;

who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy;

whose deed follows his word;

who thinks of the rights and feelings of others rather than his own;

and who appears well in any company;

a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe.

Thank the real gentleman in your life today!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Emotions Aroused by Breastfeeding

Lately, there has been a lot of positive and negative articles written about breastfeeding - much of it is laced with emotion. It is hard to understand - now that I am "born and bred in the natural path" - how the simple act of breastfeeding can generate so much anger, emotion, and anxiety among women.

Recently a NFP student of ours wrote an email registering disappointment about the way I promoted breastfeeding in class. She accused me of being overly opinionated on the subject! Not sure if she remembered that I have written a book about breastfeeding! She also put us on notice that she and her fiance were no longer interested in talking to me (us) ever again - even about NFP - because of my zealous promotion of breastfeeding. An over-reaction? Certainly. Could I have been over the top by my explanations? Certainly - advocay can be a difficult thing to contain. But one thing strikes me as kind of odd - and it seems to be the sort of thinking that is happening all through our culture. Since when does lack of experience coupled with lack of knowledge allow someone to completely disregard years of personal expereince, research experience, and knowledge? Is it that thing called Pride? Is it not apparent to her that her accusatory positions also come across as insensitive, judgmental, and opinionated - of which I was accused of having?

Funny how much she reminds me of myself years ago when I also was very defensive and against breastfeeding. It was at that time that I had the opportunity to go toe to toe with a very big advocate of CCL, NFP and breastfeeding! His name was Dr. Herbert Ratner. Tired of my arguments, he came flat out and told me that I was self-centered, egotistical, and prideful. Do you wonder how that would have gone over in class? His comments stung but they also made me think! It made me answer the question: why was I so adamantly opposed to breastfeeding? The reasons I could come up with were just as he declared: pride, self-centeredness and selfishness. I could not yet imagine how much I would grow and change by giving (career, $$) all up for someone else.

Well his comments changed me! And to this day, I am thankful for those insensitive comments. Hopefully, God can use my insensitivies for such good purposes as well. Maybe one day this young woman will reconsider her "opinions".

One final point: have you ever noticed that many women fall back on the argument that "well, many women can't breastfeed?" They fail to realize just how few that number actually is! discusses how many Fiji women successfully begin breastfeeding! True, though is that this "number" mysteriously increases exponsentially in an unfriendly breastfeeding culture! For women who actually cannot sucessfully breastfeed through no fault of their own, infant formula and baby bottles was (and remains) an important invention for their baby's sake (and orphaned babies)! But in reality, technology has rendered the simple act of loving one's baby through breastfeeding into a battle that pits women against women! The abandonment of breastfeeding has itself become a battle of rights and freedoms! So much emotion is wasted because men and women fail to appreciate the simplicity of God's design for love and life. And for my poor ability to witness properly to those not yet ready to hear what the design entails. Thoughts and Comments?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"Kicked Out For Breastfeeding"

Today's paper (Pioneer Press; 4-6-2010) published a story by John Brewer that described the saga of a woman, her husband and two sons who were kicked out of Old Country Buffet because she was indecently breastfeeding her child. While the company denies that breastfeeding was the reason they asked the woman and her family to leave, it seems obvious that any other issues were actually secondary.

Things escalated quickly and the restaurant called the police to the scene. They claimed that the husband became beligerant and hostile and therefore they had to call the police. All because someone was "upset" about breastfeeding in public.

My book - the Art of Breastfeeding - talks about the breastfeeding buttinksis that oppose breastfeeding (especially in public) for more reasons than one! We can now add Old Country Buffet to the list. They may have been caught off guard by this woman however, as she seems to be a lactivist. Lactivists are those women who are so convinced about the benefits of breastfeeding that they will arrange for breastfeeding sit-ins at or boycotts of airports, restaurants, malls, and other places. Maybe she read my book? She certainly knows her rights! And she is right about her rights!

Boycotts can be a very effective means by which we express our disappointment, concerns, and justified anger at nitwits who dare to take away our legal civil rights. They are very effective means by which we partake in peaceful demonstrations and freedom of expressions. Maybe a boycott of this restaurant will show them that they shouldn't mess with lactating mama bears or human mamas either!

I have never been asked to leave any place except for one - because of breastfeeding. That was the steps of the Supreme Court building in Washington, DC. Although, I was shocked and tempted to assert my rights as this mama, I was reigned in by the fact that DC police were the ones who asked me to "stand up" claiming that there is no "squattering" on the steps of the US Supreme Court. They were simply daring me to breastfeed standing up and so I did. As you can tell, I sort of identify with this mama. I like her spunk!

While I always advocate for modest breastfeeding, I am certain that many more women and girls who have been significantly more scantily clad than mama bear have paraded the aisles of Old Country Buffet without consequence but equal attention!

So, just where in the world is objectiveness and real justice?

Certainly not in Old Country Buffet or the steps of the Supreme Court!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Responsible parenthood

Responsible Parenthood

NFP (Natural Family Planning) – the great fertility awareness tool that it is - allows us to successfully track biological information in order to know when to try to achieve pregnancy or postpone pregnancy. It essentially provides us with information that gives us “complete” autonomy over family planning matters. NFP frees us from having to rely or resort to man-made barriers or contraceptives that are environmental pollutants and personal/relationship robbers.
Since the use of NFP is always good – why do we still need to pay attention to the Church’s call for responsible parenthood? Simply put, NFP is mere knowledge, what we do with that knowledge still matters. Attitude is everything. As taught in the CCL class, couples may first begin to realize there is a difference in the way the world defines responsible parenthood vs. the way JP ll defined it.
The secular world essentially defines responsible parenthood as the balancing act that entertains both elements of vice and virtue: it is the act of “balancing personal ambition with parental/family guilt”. In other words, the secular world suggests that people will experience guilt over being childless or being absentee parents when they pursue lifestyles that put all their personal talents toward job-related functions. This effort is touted as the way to get ahead- the way; it yields maximum material benefits and personal reward. Simultaneously, the world acknowledges that adults who seek only “materialism” veer toward vice such as selfishness and self centeredness. So society urges adults to have children only to the extent that it mitigates any continued feelings of guilt for “selfishness” and “self centeredness” while allowing them to pursue personal ambitions that provide significant material abundance. These families are propped up as the model for society. Their achievements and family size are said to be the envy of many. But is there any Truth in this model?
My prayer group just finished a short Bible study of the First Corinthians; St. Paul wrote this letter to the new, faithful, Corinthians to urge them to abandon the ways of their secular world and to live according to the Spirit and not the flesh. His urging is just as important and relevant to us today – especially in these matters of sexuality and responsible parenting.
By the way, the Church also defines responsible parenting as a balancing act but one which strives to grow virtue while abandoning all vice. Responsible parenting is all about infusing blessings into and within the family; sometimes these blessings are additional children, always these blessings produce joyful coexistence. And always these blessings move us to grow in virtue and abandon vice. And that is why we must pay attention to whether or not we are practicing responsible parenthood even while using NFP. Responsible parenting is all about developing virtuous attitudes as well as actions; they go hand in hand. We grow in all Virtue in proportion to how we love God; quite naturally it follows that we grow in personal and spiritual virtue in proportion to how we love our spouse and our children.
Our family becomes either one joyful, happy circle of relationships that keep growing us and each other as well as growing our physical numbers; or family can become one that is a hopeless or unhappy and a circle of relationships that keeps its members from growing and loving each other (and God) more.
In truth, responsible parenting must first include a loving relationship with God; we must be open to receiving His enormous blessings before we can authentically love our family members and bring blessings into our family. When we learn to authentically love God first and then our spouse, we are fortified against the ways and opinions of the secular world which castigates couples for: having large families; for not pursuing material wealth; for not putting both mom and dad to work; for breastfeeding; for not aborting a baby with Special Needs, for having a baby when we are over 40, for …

Friday, January 22, 2010

Abortion debates- Contradictions in catholic circles

On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I think that it important to talk briefly about some contradictions in certain catholic circles with regard to abortion. They are the following:

1.While the Church clearly teaches that abortion is the taking of new life and always morally wrong, this message somehow gets watered down among catholics in schools and jobs over concern about guilt and the abortive mother. This concern is misplaced. Evidence shows that women without "religion" still have higher rates of depression and attempted suicides than birth mothers. This evidence comes by way of several Scandanavian studies which show that while abortion is very common and assumed to not have moral consequence, so is post-abortion depression. The evidence of increased risk for depressions also comes to us from a study that was conducted in Australia. Clearly, we have to worry about the state of the post-abortion mother but not by avoiding the discussion about the right and wrong of the abortion.

2. While the Church stands up courageously for all life, many catholic schools fail to educate all of our catholic children for a variety of reasons: lack of family money, large families can't afford high tuitions, special needs children, etc. Too many catholic schools - like catholic hospitals have become more elitist in approaching education and caring for the poor and the special needs children. Is it any wonder that society overall has become less caring as they watch the faithful become less involved and concerned as well. The axiom that the more we love God the more we love others rings so true today.

3. The ideal of sending our children to catholic schools leads many families to assume a two-person income . A long time ago, I remember reading a commentary from Pope JP II; he wished mothers would stay home before taking jobs that took them away from the family and loving and nurturing their young ones. Peer pressure is hard to overcome even for parents.

4. Many Catholic schools of all levels (grade school through college) seem oblivious to the mission and vision of forming well educated, exuberant, faithfilled, authentic, students so they can become "soldiers for Christ" as popularized in the 50's. Instead, colleges (catholic) seem more prone to generate soldiers against Christ. While many parents wring their hands over the lack of catholic formation occurring at their kids' schools, they continue to pay the bills and allow this lack of formation to continue.

5. Irreligious philosophers suggested that the way to turn out people who don't need "religion" is to lure them into sexual immorality. It turns out that adopting the irreligious attitudes and behaviors is part and parcel of why we continue to debate the morality of abortion in 2010.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

More About Things

Yesterday, a friend called me to bounce off a question. We all do that when unsure about things - that's one of the great value of having friends that we trust not to just "tickle our ears". True, sometimes we just want our ears tickled but not this time.
Her question was posed like this: "Her daughter (11 years old) was invited to a birthday party and wanted to buy her friend a birthday gift certificate from Abercrombie and Fitch? Anything wrong with that? Was A&F still into "bad advertisements", etc?"
My reaction was this:
First, I was struck once again by how young our children realize and yearn for what is considered hip by the hipsters!
Second, I reasoned that the daughter had probably asked her friend what she wanted for her birthday and the girl had told her about A&F regardless of the fact that it's merchandise isn't cheap. Whatever happended to the - "I don't want gifts- i just want us to have fun at my party" type of response.
Third, what happens when this girl fails to buy her friend this A&G gift certificate? Will she turn on her, shun her, make her feel less of a friend? Girls can be very mean to their "friends".
Finally, I responded to my friend that many advertisers cross the line as far as decency today. Even family friendly stores sport sexy ads so while A&F cross the line more and more extravagantly, I don't know that is reason enough to avoid them in this case. I think the more important reason to not buy the gift certificate is that it caves into that consumerism-materialism that seems to rule! I cautioned to buy a gift certificate from a more wholesome and cheaper store but that has nice clothes like Old Navy.

I think she liked the suggestion and plans on doing that.

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Breakable things

Happy New Year.

Over the course of time, I have lost many valuable things. These losses seemed devestatingly painful at the time. I remember clearly the day that someone stole (from my cubicle at work while a Co-Op Student at 3M) my wallet, my birthstone ring I had just received for Christmas from my parents and another ring from my boyfriend who is now my husband - Dave. I was very sad and hurt that a "co-worker" would dare to steal my beloved things.

My children have broken a few precious things over time also like my glass hummingbird, a few glass musical globes, glasses, dishes, and on and one. I have also broken cherished wedding gifts that I mourned over for at least a day. I have also lost valued earrings, and other pieces of jewelry. Just recently, my grandson broke my waterford salt shaker. At first I was angry that he even was playing with it in the first place.... gradually the anger was replaced with mourning and then acceptance - this rite was passed through quite quickly because I was only mourning things.

We all realize that things can actually be replaced- and over the course of time I have found I can live without these things quite easily! But what I couldn't live easily without is the love of my family. I am grateful that I have a loving husband and children.... so why is it that at times I make it seem that things are more important to me than they are?

Life is too short to worry about stuff - but it is the lives of our children and our husband that really matter. thoughts?