Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Old MacDonald had an....auto-immune disease?

So another doctors appointment yesterday and there was good news and bad news. Good news: the huge lump on my neck is not cancer or a goiter...pro-life values be-damned...if i ever get a goiter, I'm checking out. But I digress...Bad news: I have a sore throat and my lymph nodes are swollen and they are putting me on lifetime antibiotics, or at least for 6 months to a year. Really, isn't that what they do to the cows, just before they kill them. Don't worry about that fecal matter your are standing in, Bossie...we got a shot for that!
Bossie, its all over now!!

I had thought about writing some of this for my blog, but felt that it is all in TMI territory. I will share with you my kids lives, my political and pro-life rants, but this just seems kindof personal. And unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Then I read this blog article on one of my favorite blogs, and copied down these interesting facts:

  • 24% of women would sacrifice 3 years of their life to be thin
  • Girls as young as five have expressed fears of getting fat
  • 90% of high school junior and senior girls diet regularly even though only between 10-15% are considered overweight.

  • None of this seems remarkably interesting. I am sorry that girls and women like to compare ourselves to others. So what...its not earth shattering. I personally have stopped posing for pictures and looking in mirrors, shopping only when necessary. I was a thin kid. I always wanted to be thinner. I also knew that, on a scale of 1-10, my complaints were not even on the scale. My skin was good, too...don't hate me because I was beautiful :o)
    I was one happy chick, back in the day!!!

    Things change. It doesn't matter that I exercise or not. It doesn't matter when I eat good or make poor choices. At all...Sometime after my marriage, it all started to go down hill. Don't blame my husband--I actually did at first!! Wondered if I was allergic to him. I mean begin to get acne in my mid-twenties after never having had an issue. The only thing that had changed was my husband...he was suspect number one!! It wasn't that, oh my husband loves me for me and not my face...body...fill in the blank. I personally suspect my husband loves me for my mind, but that's just me. It wasn't anything I could define, but after meeting Shawn, it all started to go down hill. Right before we were engaged, I needed to go to the hospital for breathing treatments. Asthma, it turned out. Well duh, I was a heavy smoker and no asthma is going to stop me. Even the doctor treating me with a breathing treatment in the hospital stuck his cigarette on my tray table while he checked me...it was the 80's people...smoking was still cool. The night we got engaged, Shawn actually came to take me out for dinner but I was so sick from all the medecine. I declined and he was forced to get down on his knees in my mom's living room...ok, he didn't but he was supposed. We are still fighting about that!! Then I had some trouble driving...really tired in the afternoon. I put it down to the weight that crept on...But I had to drive for work. I quit. Depression...I am such a slug. And I don't even care. Then my eye went crazy...I went blind in one eye while on vacation in Ca. Optic neuritis...not so bad but the treatment was my first experience with prednisone...yuck! The doctor said, its no big deal. Six months later it happened in the other eye...this time the doctor recommended I see my physician. Well, you know that was Bossie time again! My doctor played it off...she does not believe in drama...yeah, it might be indicative of some things, but I am sure you are fine. Fast forward...after two rounds of prednisone, I was starting to look like Bossie. But a remarkable thing happened. My best friend in the world was diagnosed and consequently died from cancer. Sometime in the process, I began running 3 miles every day. It didn't help with my weight, but definitely with my mood. After Anne died...the next week in fact, I had to call my doctor. I was having some kind of seizures and it effected my handwriting...At class that week, I locked myself in the library at Marywood and by the end of the day had diagnosed myself with Multiple Sclerosis. I told myself Anne had died...if it was just a chronic disease with no cure, I was way ahead of the game. It was, and I was, and another round of prednisone in retrospect was no big deal. But it was life changing. We decided to get agressive if we wanted to have children.

    16 years later, and nothing has changed...except I am too tired to run anymore. I tried swimming. It wasn't great. After the kids, I had reletively few exacerbations. I was lucky. With my last one before I left PA, I was introduced to IV steriods, or the aldo novo treatments as I called them...you see, luckily, my brain is the last thing to go. I worry daily about my ability to retain knowledge. Early Altziemers...maybe. Grandma's a bit mad. I have encouraged my children to let me go and ignore the bad temper as much as possible. They just ignore me. Last Christmas I had Bells Palsy, a very unattractive design. I just keep smiling and thinking, God...I cannot lose the weight from PA and I am barely moving at all. How do I take care of these kids...This round of prednisone was no weight change at all. I only know this because, after having Shawn remove all the scales in the house, I had him bring one in...

    What was different? I was not exercizing at all. Too tired to even move. Whole food? That was the only change...could it matter that much?

    Last summer, I read enough information on whole food from this book, The Unhealthy Truth by Robyn O'Brien, that we went completely organic. Even with 11 children (and a few who resist still anything that doesn't have a Walmart label on it) our grocery bill, which was already high, did not go up. In fact, I am pretty sure it is lower. And I don't have to feed them every two hours. And our behavior is better. But something else I had read was that with all the genetically altered there was much that was untested and, even with the ones that were, results were negative or incunclusive. These types of foods that I have been raising my family on, and that I ate regularly, when a newly wed and all through college, are found to cause all types of problems. I will try and find some facts to fill you in, but the point of my sadness today was the increase in autoimmune disease. I wonder if this is, in fact, the source of my MS...I believe, as well, that I have an impaired thyroid...a thyroid that has autoimmune antibodies in it...All the horrible side effects I have had for 25 years...junk food?

    I feel so sheepish...

    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    The Most Hated Woman in the US

    I may be the most hated woman in the United States of America. I can't tell you the statistics or show you data that says that, but...oh hell, that is what got me in trouble in the first place..in my family we are taught that even if you cannot prove something, you should say it loud and with authority...I AM THE MOST HATED WOMAN IN THE WORLD...
    I have the habit of getting into arguments with people who do not wish to hear anything but their own opinion. If I wanted to do that, I would go on, say a site, where we are all discussing the same issue and all have the same opinion. No challenge there. Instead, I like to check out Yahoo articles and read what the masses have to say. Usually, it is not my opinion and often misspelled. So, occasionally, I type emails...tidbits of wisdom to bring them around to my side...not very effective. At any rate, I chimed in on one such issue yesterday. As of last night, I had such a significant number of thumbs down, they hid my post. That seem a little unsportsman-like to me, but whatever. That is what blogs are for.

    The issue in question was a senator...or some type of congressman, don't start hating me already...i didn't even tell you the name of the state, and i am not going to because I just don't remember. It doesn't matter...this elected politician decided to take his daughter out of girl scouts because they support Planned Parenthood. You can look it up...its documented and in little letters, but yes, your cookie purchases contribute to the annihilation of mostly black babies every day... Since Roe-v-Wade, more than all the Nazis killed in WW2. Now some of you may not care...just keep believing that Planned Parenthood is a nice non-denominational health care provider that additionally supports a woman's god-given right to her own body. Many of the people on the site where I am the most hated woman in America...I am really hated. No one questioned whether or not this man had a God-given right to choose what organizations his daughters belong to...he's a public servant, so he should just support the Girl Scouts and buy some cookies instead of wasting his constituents time on such trivial matters as life and death of babies. For all I know, this public servant may, in fact, be pro-choice, but just didn't like the fact that girl scouts were funnelling funds to other corporations without common knowledge...they do. No one questioned if the Girl Scouts do, in fact, send funds to Planned Parenthood. They do. They send money to the World Wide Organizations of Girl Scouts, and they do send funds to Planned Parenthood. So the Local Girl Scout Troops can dissociate from the baby killing. They can send letters saying that the Catholic Church does support Girl Scouts and troops. And local troops do much good. But the bottom line is...the local troops who raise the money with the cookies that we all love send their money to the world wide organization who then sends big fat checks to Planned Parenthood. But my haters, of whom there were many, didn't care about that. They were upset because I said that Planned Parenthood supports abortions. That is why they hated me. And I said a number, a high number, and in fact, I was wrong. That is what they were upset about. How could I be so stupid, or as one of my haters said, "does it hurt to be that stupid?" They told me I was a nut job. I can't remember it all... frankly, I'm too scarred.

    So, for all my haters out there, of whom they are legion...Planned Parenthood is a good, wholesome organization...mea culpa. They support the God-Given right of women to their own bodies...while the fetus (whoops, I almost said baby...again, mea culpa) is small the women can then um, terminate them for any reason...like this 6 week old fetus...
    My apologies if this in any way resembles a baby...it is not my intention. I understand that a fetus may be terminated for any reason, simply by swallowing a pill. If the president has his way, soon even the Catholic church will be mandated to supply the pill. Maybe, we can offer free samples in Girl Scout Cookies, but I digress...always thinking about marketing. Anyway, I understand it is a woman's God Given right to terminate a pregnancy at later times as, well, if you know...well, I don't know. Any reason, but I can't think of them right now. But they can. It is a little harder because, rather than using a pill, the doctor (is that what they call them...i am not sure and I don't want anyone to accuse me of disseminating wrong information)...anyway, the doctor then has to cut the fetus up and they need to collect all the parts...
    After that time, the um, doctors need to request the patient come to the clinic to drink/eat poison. I am not sure of all the details, but after a few days, the woman returns to the doctor to have the fetus um, partially delivered (trying to watch my language here...sorry). In order to make the WOMAN as comfortable as possible, they stick a needle in the area that would be the head if it were a baby, and collapse the brain. Then the doctor can deliver the remaining fetus easily. If it was a small sample, and they didn't need to collapse the head like area, the fetus might actually be delivered um, breathing. This unsuccessful procedure need not have any consequences as the health care providers are ordered to leave the um, body matter waste shivering and crying on the cold table until it quiets down.

    I am so relieved to have this off my chest. I am going to go apologize to those people on Yahoo that I offended with my stupidity. Then I am going to go comment on something I just heard. President Obama gave an interview before he was in office where he described sin as being out of alignment with his own values...but don't quote me.

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    The Daughter of the King

    google image

    We actually called it the Curse of Dad...my sisters and I. That something we knew we lived with, but could not put a finger on. The explanation for the un-dateable status my father's daughters found ourselves in forever, or at least during our teen years, despite being presentable, or as one possible beau put it, ordinary looking--what was I thinking, of course he is a monk now, so it might be excuse. The Curse of Dad may have been his budding Catholicism, his interest in the Cursillo movement in the 70's, or remembered actions of boys from his own youth. Either way, it effectively killed any romance in the Fils-Aime house during our teen years. That or my father's past as a member in the Haitian National Soccer team and the mean face he had to hone in order to play. Everyone was afraid of my dad. I often credit the Curse of Dad, whatever it was, that protected me from my self in my youth. While dad was interested in the minutia of our lives and our friends, he was not raised by his father...a fact that has hurt him to this day. His mother conceived out of wed lock. In Haiti, there were not many options for a beautiful young girl to change her station in life. When she found, what she believed was love, with a wealthy young man--and I like to believe he loved her-- he didn't have that many options either. He did not choose to abandon his son, and instead, sent money and things while he married a young woman from an appropriate family. This woman, and her children, accepted my father's position as the first son, however, he never felt his father's love...always felt like a beggar. His mother left her son with her own sister who raised him with her children and her husband. But he was always that fatherless boy...Being raised with that sense of not being enough was with me, so I was ready to believe that I was not enough.

    I wonder about my daughter, who was raised so differently from me. Always the princess...only until she decided to become a diva. But always assured of who she was. Though her father, my husband, is also a soccer player, he honed only his skills and a smile...no scaring boys off, for my girl. But, with only a year left of high school, my daughter remains single. She has bragged on her facebook page that she was sweet 16 and never been kissed. And not ordinary looking in the least, my daughter knows she is beautiful. While my husband did not have the best home life, he knew he was loved and was secure. He passed that easy assurance onto his children.

    These two men, with very different backgrounds had one thing in common besides a love of soccer. They both did not know their heavenly father as well as they should have in their early years. Both, however, raised their daughters the best that they could have with what they knew. This also proves what Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia: The Saving of our Teenage Daughters Selves, stated. Pipher believed that having a father who was interested in his young daughters' life--girls in the middle school age--directly impacted how they would view themselves, their lives, and their relationships. There was no right or wrong way, both my father and my husband were interested parents. Both are praying men. They did the best they could and trusted God to supernaturally fill in the spots that were lacking.

    What about the rest. I have many friends who did not live with their fathers or even know him. I have friends who were abused by their fathers. Some in sexual ways that prohibited them from ever having a normal relationship with another man. There are so many kinds of fathers that girls might end up with. One thing certain, however, is since the 1950's, they have grown up in a world that is influenced by Planned Parenthood. In fact, Planned Parenthood is targeting younger and younger children, right in that crucial middle school range...the years that we lose our daughters. In the school, in the media, and in the culture, we have seen its mark --much more drastically than fatherhood can impact it. We tell our boys that they should do not need to be in love or responsible. They just need to do what feels good. They in turn tell women that they are not interested in love. Women, who have not been trained in knowing that she is, in fact, a princess of great worth, believe that is OK. They give away that which is precious at an age before they are even aware that they have that is of great worth. They believe the lie of the enemy. They believe the lie that all they have to worry about is themselves. They believe that they have a choice. They do not know that the are the daughter of the King...our heavenly father. Each generation believing the lies and spreading the gospel of the enemy. In fact, as we head into later generations, the mark is much more noticeable. Bad parenting begets bad parenting begets our world...how did we ever wonder that the sins of the father would be on us.

    Luke 11: 29 - 32

    29 When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, "This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah.
    30 For as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nin'eveh, so will the Son of man be to this generation.
    31 The queen of the South will arise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
    32 The men of Nin'eveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here

    We don't pay attention. This generation is evil. So many live without regret for their actions. We laugh, and say how could we think that a 2000 year old book have anything to do with our lives or have any relevance with the world we live in. Father, we do not act like the royalty that we are. Father, we are sorry...

    Monday, February 20, 2012

    Why we don't eat meat on friday's, marry our siblings, and other things catholic...a FAQ

    So, if you are riding in a car with 7 children, the conversation can go in any direction....we only know that it can take us unexpected places. Hopefully, by the end of the ride, we will have some consensus on what the conversation was about and what the resolution was. Saturday was such a day. As we were riding to church, we asked if anyone had though about what they were going to give up for Lent. Blank stares...What are we going to abstain from? Abstain; yes, you know fast. After more silence, a brave boy from the back seat said, "What is fast?" Yes, in a car load of six new catholics who had only just been brought into a catholic home, we had some splaining to do...

    We explained that among other reasons, Catholics wanted to suffer along with Jesus' 40 days in the dessert. Jesus went without food or water so he was able to remain strong and resist the temptations of the devil. We try to give up something for Lent, to remain strong with Jesus. When we explained that we were younger, we would give up candy. My brave 6th grader said, "Yeah, that's what I am going to do." confidently, since we don't often have candy.

    We then explained to the children that we try to give up something a little harder, like football :o) Or we try to add something in. After some conversation, we decided to go back to doing our rosary every day for Lent since we kindof gave it up by the time everyone returned home at Christmas.
    We only just broached the idea of fasting...giving up meat...MEAT. We decided to save that for another day...My children like meat...a lot! So now we have some idea of the journey we will be taking this Lent...at least we know what we are adding and we have a vague idea that we need to give up meat. As for why we don't marry our siblings...that was my been Catholic since birth daughter. She was reading Genesis in the bible, completely unconcerned by the idea of fasting...couldn't care less and had never given up a thing in her life. She could not understand how Adam and Eve could have children if they were brother and sister. The best I could do, since it is a divine mystery, was that when God made their bodies, they were perfect. After years of being not perfect, it isn't such a good idea...Now our bodies have many years of abuse and imperfect genes to account for. We try to help our bodies by giving the best food possible and by trying not to pass on too many problems. And she really needs to think about what she is going to give up this lent, too. It is a family thing.

    I think I am giving up taking car rides with my kids...

    edited to add a link to the blog lent link up I shared this on...if you are interested in more...

    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    Who Dunnit

    from google images
    I would love to say that this is what my child's lunch looks like every day...I can't. Every night we have a routine where we assemble 8 lunches. One child no longer attends school. My two high schoolers insist on buying lunch from school. That leaves my middle, intermediate, and elementary students still packing a lunch. I realize by high school my 7th grader, if he doesn't home school will succumb to the appeal of the high school lunch, or at least a snack and divert the money to his Saturday nights, but I try to pack a lunch with fruit, a sandwich on whole grain bread, and some kind of snack, either organic or homemade. When I realized last summer that we had to go all organic, school lunches were what gave me panic attacks. While making lunches for 8 was never easy, making organic lunches for eight seemed insurmountable. Making it cute is just impossible!! However, the gains we have made in behavior alone made it all worthwhile. Until about a month in...then the phone calls from the school. Please put money in Nicolette's lunch account. She needs to buy milk...um, no she doesn't. At least not the milk that are loaded with antibacterials. Please send more food for Antoine...he is starving. Um, no he isn't. He just wants ice cream. We have explained to the school multiple times that the better behavior they are presented with from the Murphy kids has much more to do with the clean food that we serve them than on any thing else. And it is more filling than the food in the cafeteria, so they don't need extra to fill up. The school has a policy of leaving anything that is not eaten and still wrapped out for anyone to eat. I have thrown away full lunches I sent to school and left with wrappers from other children's discards, supplied from the school, sure that our children are starving to death. They aren't...

    So I was not surprised at all by the news story that circulated the web earlier this week...a kindergartner's lunch was confiscated by the school and served chicken nuggets by a social worker. The child in question had a lunch that contained a cheese sandwich, a banana, and a bag of chips. Yes, this is why I really want to home school my children. There are a million reasons why a parent chooses a child's lunch and the school has no business messing with any of them. I tell the children that I spend a lot of money on their food because it is better for them than the orange and purple stuff in the colorful wrappers. I just cannot yet find a helthy alternative that will agree to wrap it up in neon...But, mommy, are we poor? That is all they hear. Yes children...you will need to sell your season passes to Six Flags in order to make you funner lunches. I am so sorry..

    I am not at all surprised by the school reaction. I faced this last summer when the whole issue became so important to me. I get the health reasons, however, I was confused. God has led me to enlarging our family, possibly homeschooling and a whole host of other issues...why was this important to Him? Then I noticed the issue...how much is the packed food industry influenced by the eugenic movement? Started to make more sense to me the further I dug...
    gooole image

    The story of the FDA and the food industry writes like a great mystery novel...a thriller. Unfortunately, we are the unwitting victims...

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    Smote, Smitten...wiped out?

    I wonder if God really smites us? I wonder if that is even a word?
    Why do I wonder about this? My family is from Haiti...and if ever a people were smitten, well, it would be them. I was only there one, when I was in about 3rd grade, so my perceptions are colored by youth. I hated it. Didn't even go back for my grandfather's funeral. Even at a young age, I was able to understand disparity and need. My grandmother family had a home that was used as a school during the school year. In the summer it was a children's playground of chalk boards, toys, and playground equipment. But the most exciting part, for American smart-ass children...our backyard gate opened to the neighbors yard and was guarded day and night by an armed man with a machine gun. How often does that happen in the US in the 7o's... Our neighbor worked for the Haitian government--back in the day that was the Duvalier family. They were not very nice and I won't bore you with Haitian history lessons...

    I will bore you a bit with a Biblical lesson, however...Sodom and Gomorrah. These two cities were supposedly so horrible that God wished to destroy them. A writer discussed them in a blog post today in the National Catholic Register and he did a much better job with it than I would. But that got me thinking. I have been thinking about how much worse we are, as a society, than they could have been. Not only to we engage in the same type of behaviors--openly, we legislate it, wrap it in pretty, inclusive language, and applaud it as a right protected by the constitution. Haiti is said to have made an ancient pact with the devil. I don't have any knowledge of such a pact, though voodoo is entrenched in the society. I used to call myself a voodoo catholic...a joke referring to the acceptance of the magic practiced with the Catholicism in Haiti. But seriously, the country has a long history of tolerating the satanic practices as we do with "old wives tales." Did he smote them?
    google image

    Has this country endured political, economic, and physical penalties by a God who couldn't find enough good men left?
    google image

    Would God permit all the people to suffer because some didn't listen and practiced unholy traditions?
    google image

    Would God let the innocent pay for the sins of the wicked?

    I sure hope that we don't have to find out. But I believe in God's sovereign power. In His Justice and His Mercy...And I don't believe that He thinks that this world is as important as we do. Yes, I believe that He might smite us. I don't look forward to it. I pray that people seek Him before it comes. But He did give us a safety line...grab on!

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Its all about the romance...and a good morning after plan!

    Wow, that sounds cynical. I am really not like that. But love has taken a real beating these last, I don't know, 80 years or so. I can pinpoint it exactly, and I who it was who killed love. Wanna guess? It was Margaret Sanger...Yep! Margaret single handedly raised the idea of Birth Control for women. At first she was just that crazy lady who wanted to kill blacks. Many Eugenic initiatives were begun by Sanger in the early years. She published some papers along the lines of Disabled, Criminals, Negros, and Other Undesirables...nice. I am thinking of naming my book something along those lines, but I digress. After Hitler, eugenics kind of left a bad taste in the American publics' mind, so some of her PR people tried out some new causes for her. Not that she didn't want black people sullying her earth, but she just couldn't say it outright. Instead, her new message was over-population. That's the ticket...a great cause lots of white, middle class people could get behind. But the black community had to get on board too, or they might think she was trying to eliminate them. Black ministers were even better than regular black folk, and how about a first lady...Eleanor Roosevelt! After a while, Sanger was even a little to wild for her respectable cause, and she stayed in the background. By then Planned Parenthood was already established, there was enough support by the people, and Roe v. Wade was passed. They now took their message to the schools and that's all she wrote...fun sucker. Margaret Sanger killed romance. By taking it down to its most base, romance, responsibility, and love all lost. Even the kids don't get to think its fun. Its all about what they can do for each other, first, faster, and earlier. Don't believe me. Google PP for kids stuff...it is repulsive. And they have curriculum's for middle school, too...don't worry, Mr. Penis and Ms. Vagina are cartoons!!

    Planned Parenthood sent out a tweet today..."don't forget to show your love by using a condom..."
    Wow, I can't wait till my daughter finds "Mr. Right Now"...

    Monday, February 13, 2012

    I hate the dentist...

    Back in the time of the mighty Roman Empire, things were handled a bit differently than we do now in our modern age. For example, if a woman gave birth, the child was not immediately oohhhed over and given a name. In Roman times, the midwife delivered the baby and placed it on the ground. The father, as head of the household, then decided what would happen...if he wanted the baby, it was cleaned up, named, and the ooohhing commenced. If he gave the baby a thumbs down for whatever reason, the baby was then exposed to the elements and left for dead, usually outside the walls of the town. At that point, animals or the weather would finish the child. Unlike the pagans, the new Christians in Rome...members of Jesus' new Catholic church believed in the value of life. They began collecting these discarded babies and caring for them. These new Catholics didn't worry that they were pagan babies--God doesn't care. God blessed those efforts and eventually, the Catholics were to triumph over the mighty Roman Empire. It didn't happen quickly, but the Catholic church never let paganism--evil--triumph over it. God worked mightily in His oppressed people, and they persevered in doing His work and spreading His Good News.

    Today, we are living in a neo-pagan culture that again believes the right of people to choose for themselves which life is worthy of being given a chance.  Women and men decide at the babies conception or some time afterward if they want to be a parent. Sometimes the mother doesn't believe she has the money, time, or situation that the baby should be born into. Other times, the baby might have a physical problem that would prohibit a good life like down syndrome, a birth defect...the wrong sex. Whatever the reason, our society now condones...applauds the woman's right to choose life or death. We refuse to see that the baby is nothing more than an appendage of the mother while it is still inside her body, and so if we never see the smile, the laugh...the arm, we are not leaving it behind the city gates, so to speak. It is much more sterile. So we are not really killing babies like those pagan roman's--for pete's sake, its a surgical procedure like getting a tooth pulled. Really? Well, you decide.
    pulled tooth

    aborted baby

    This was just to remind you that the Catholic church has a long history of protecting babies and other defenseless people.

    Additionally, the Catholic church, since Jesus formed it more than 2000 years ago has been healing sinners and trying to bring comfort. In one of its sacraments, Reconciliation, the Priests are to act as a conduit through which Jesus' healing and forgiveness of sins is complete. Today, through groups like Gabrielle's or Rachael's Project, women and men who have suffered through an abortion can receive healing and mother's who are expecting can receive aid. In its 2000 year history the church has had some moments when in condemned, but much of it history has been bringing forgiveness and healing to its members and others.

    All this is just to say, hey guys, we have held onto this belief for more than 2000 years. Jesus himself appointed the first pope...he was the man. The others deferred to him. We still do, and through divine grace, a man holding this office ever since has made sound decisions regarding the issues important to Jesus' church. I am not saying that every Pope who has been in office has been a holy man, however, each has made decisions regarding important church teaching that have remained sound. Its like they may have been really bad men, but when it came to leading the church through its important decisions, they were able to dredge through the sludge and make the right decision. Jesus protects His church. On this mandate that President Obama is trying to pass, The Catholic Church will remain strong and not accept evil in continuing to do something good.

    The very sad part of this is, the American public will lose. Obama wants to pass a resolution that will change our constitution and rather than look at that as an evil, everyone would rather focus on those evil old men priests who abuse boys. I am not minimizing, but is that really the issue. The issue is being clouded by everything other than what it is...Obama, using the power of his government office, wishes to mandate a religious institution to abandon its 2000 year old beliefs and precepts. whatever happened to the separation of church and state?

    Friday, February 3, 2012

    night, little annie..


    Anne and Al at their Wedding

    17 years ago today, I lost my best friend. It was not unexpected...she was ill for almost 2 years with cancer. It had begun in her colon and metastasized from there when doctors did not immediately remove her colon. They were hesitant to remove it since she was so young, though she eventually had to have a colostomy and she died anyway. Anne was in her early thirties when she passed away, much, much too young. 4 months married, she was buried in her wedding dress--I think she was pleased with the effect it would have and, always clothes conscious, she knew she looked fantastic in it. Anne was very dramatic...she planned every detail of her funeral down to the songs that would be played and how her friends would grieve over her casket while we were getting ready to leave the cemetery...humming a little ditty we used to sing in our college days. Yeah, she loved her drama. It was all pretty exciting--and she lost weight!! Yes, her words...I didn't see the colon cancer diet gaining popularity until they could do something about the edema, or "that funky old edema" as Anne called it...ahh, good times. Up until the day she lost her ability to tell us how she felt. That night she laid down, after being carried to her bedroom, and never got up. She realized that afternoon that she could no longer communicate with us. Anne was very verbal...and if she couldn't use that way of communicating, she could write. That was almost better because then she would leave us a visual and lasting message. The day she could no longer write, she knew. This wasn't a drama, where she gets up, slim and beautiful...newly wed and lives happily ever after. A beautiful heroine in a story made just for her. Finally silent, Anne gave up. She cried silent tears all afternoon and then went to sleep. She woke up only intermittently after that and passed away the next evening. I am glad she only had to live in her silent world for little more than a few hours. I pray that when she woke up, she was in Jesus' arms and her pain was gone. That she got to tell everyone what an ordeal dying was but she was glad to be there...and that really is happily ever after.
    When Anne could no longer express herself, she lost her will to live.  I remember a show, few years back (ok, maybe more than a few, but its my turn to talk!!) about some talking dinosaurs...one was a baby and very obnoxious. I realized when watching that show I could never eat an animal if it could talk to me. Really, and I'm pretty sure I could talk any animal out of eating me if given half a chance. It just seems so uncivilized. If the bird I was fixin' to prepare for dinner said, "um, its cold in here...could I have a blanket while I wait?" all interest in dinner would cease. I imagine that he would be thinking that, but I can block that out as long as I don't understand what he is feeling. So does the ability to talk make us human? Is a voice we understand enough to make us relate to someone as an equal being? I wonder what the babies would say if they could talk to us from the womb? What if, when we did a sonogram, we could hear the baby say, "mom, eat your vegetables...I am feeling a bit weak down here." It worked for Bella and Edward. Edward believed in his baby and did everything he could to save her as soon as she spoke up and told him that she loved him. And she loved her mommy. Before that he only viewed her as a beast...something trying to kill his wife. Life lessons from Twilight and the vampires...whatever works. I love a good visual. Something else I got from Anne.

    Anne Boland Cushner
    Daughter, Wife, Friend...Hair Brush Singer Extraordinaire
    Gone, but Never Forgotten

    Angie, Me, Anne, Debbie, and Karen in what turned out to be our last portrait together
    Interesting side note; Best friends since day one of college for
    most of us (Deb wasn't from Scranton, but Clearfield, another Coal town in PA) within 10 years
    of graduating, each of us was either dead or had an autoimmune disease...coincidence? I
    think not...but that is a post for another day.