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Archive for December, 2008

       Yes Oprah is rich and powerful, yes, people hang on her every word…but, with the recent memoir, “Angel at the Fence” written by Herman Rosenblat; some people are looking to point blame at Oprah after finding out that the memoir was based on a falsehood.   Come on, don’t blame Oprah!

        Look the thing is…Oprah gives her endorsement to books that move her.  So what, if this book was written as a work of fiction the story would still be good.  The alleged falsehood of how the couple in the book met; upon which the premise of the book was based, is not any reflection on Oprah.  Herman was a survivor of a concentration camp.  He told a version of meeting his wife as having taken place when the “angel” would bring him apples and bread to the fence of the concentration camp…virtually keeping him alive and helping him to survive the experience.  

         In truth,what was promoted as a love story extraordinare was a lie; they actually met on a blind date many years after his experiences in the concentration camp.  It is a terrible thing to tell everyone a lie about the roots of his marriage; expecting others to perpetuate the myth…just to sell a book.  The Rosenblat’s son did not agree with the falsehood and says he didn’t want anything to do with it. But think about this, when people that his family knew learned of the the writing of the book…and were complimentary….how did his parents expect him to act?  Was he supposed to swallow the truth and pretend that the story being told was the truth?  Or was he to contradict his parents whom I am sure he loves?  What a predictament to put your child in!

         Even though the beginning of the Rosenblat’s relationship is said to be untrue…Herman’s experiences of survival in the concentration camp would have been a very good memoir; one which would have stood up well enough on it’s own, without the lie.  But, the lie is on the author…not on someone who read the book and recommended the book to others not knowing the truth.

          So, again I say…don’t blame Oprah for something in which she had no way of knowing was untrue.  If anything, it should reflect back on the publishing industry.  They are responsible for how they publish and package a book.  If they are going to put a description of the book as a memoir…then they have the responsibility of determining whether or not it is in fact a memoir.  Still, a memoir is a recollection of how one remembers events from their past…and unless the person in charge of publishing the book was there in the past…there has to be some free benefit of doubt that the author is telling the truth.  Ultimately, it is the author of the book that is responsible for whether or not the truth is being published.  In this case, no one else carries the weight of the falsehood more than the person who KNOWS IT IS A FALSEHOOD! 

        The sad thing is that this experience and others like it…only make it tougher for writers to break into an industry that is already famous for being difficult to get published in.   Who deserves to lose the loss of respect over this book for an abuse of trust…the publishers, the author, Oprah or the agents , or the publicity people?

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      Wow, with Christmas barely under our belts and New Years right around the corner…i got to thinking about those who anticipate going home and dealing with disappointment when it can’t or doesn’t happen for one reason or another.

         These past few days the news reports were concentrating all the travelors who were struggling, despite the horrible weather patterns, to get home.  They were trapped in airports with flight delays and cancellations; they were stopped in their tracks because busses were grounded, those who wanted to rent a car had to be quick on the draw because most rental agencies were quickly out of vehicles to rent…and those who thought to take a train were disappointed because the schedules were either cancelled ; or, if they were lucky…they might have started their trip…only to find themselves stranded in another city because the trains couldn’t go any farther. 

        Not only were these circumstances disappointing, they were inconvienent and they were financially devastating as it cost the travelors much more money and time than they had planned.

          There is a young woman that i know who recently traveled home from another state because she was/is on holiday break from college.  She was slightly disappointed in the general demeanor of her friends and loved ones who were struggling to deal with hard economic difficulties at a time of celebration. 

           My own wonderful son, who was going to surprise his mother and come home for Christmas became very ill with strep throat.  Not only has he been very ill, uncomfortable and in pain…his heart was hurting because he didn’t get to come home and celebrate the holiday with his family…in fact, he was so sick…he didn’t even get to enjoy watching his own children open their family gifts.  His body was sick and his spirit was sad and filled with disappointment.

         I can completely understand.  While i was not aware of all of the secret plans for the homecoming…once i was made aware of them and that they had to be cancelled…i too was very disappointed…not only for myself, but for my son and his family.

           The human spirit has a hard time with disappointment.  It is very difficult not to feel cheated when our hearts and minds get set on a certain circumstance that we have nurtured and built up in our minds eye to be the goal to achieve.  When life’s circumstances don’t measure up to our hearts desire…we actually go through a sort of mini- grief.  

        It is actually a good thing…because it helps us to set a new goal.  If we can just accept the situation for what it is; and, acknowledge that yes we are bummed and disappointed…we can find the next best thing to set our sights on.  Focus on that and regroup…it helps to heal the loss a little bit.  So here is to making new plans…trying again…and replacing that disappointment with a new excitement, and making it happen!

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     As a Christian I am struggling with the line between fear and faith.  My parents are both cancer survivors.  However, right before Christmas they both had tests done that have come back with suspicious results.

       I listen to my mother say that she is not going to get worked up until she talks with the doctor about the results.  In general, I agree with that.   My mother is pretty much a positive thinker, which is a great thing.

         My father is cut out of a different cloth.  He automatically thinks negatively; he can’t seem to help it.  His mind goes to the worst case scenerio.  It is experience related…he has had the worst case scenerio happen to him before…so he just expects that to be his luck.   Both mom and dad will be meeting up with their respective cancer doctors before the first week of January is over.

          I am a product of both of my parents.  I am at times a positive thinker….and at times, automatically hit the negativity zone.  I don’t like it that that is true; but, it is honest.  I work hard attempting to focus on the positives.

           The problem is…fear.  I fear hearing the situations that they are facing will possibly return them to the medical world of tests, surgeries, treatments, complications, and hospitalizations.  This is a world that is both isolating and overwhelming, with people.  🙂  I realize that that sounds contrary….but, it isn’t.  

     You are surrounded with people in the medical field….this specialist, that oncologist, the anestesiologist (sp?), the radiologist, the pharmacist, the dietician, the family doctor, the nurses, the insurance company…the list goes on and on.  The isolation comes when you must seperate yourself from the general population because of the possibility of infection.  The isolation that the patient feels when heading in for the surgery or the treatment…no-one else can do those things for them.  It is in isolation that fear takes root and does it’s dirty work.  Discouragement can set in…thwarting all of the good and positive things that are at work in the healing process.

     The thing is, once you have been a survivor…your history can limit treatments.  It can also be eye opening to the types of situations you may be facing this time around.  My mother has  developed conditions that can be life threatening, since the last time around.  Both my mother and father had difficult side effects and complications from their various treatments, in the past.

     I am a firm believer that God is in control of everything.  I don’t claim to understand the mind of God.  But, i know that he allows things to happen that are very difficult to go through.  If left to our own devices…most human beings would opt out of the difficult things and shoot straight for the easy path…myself included.  My head knows that much can be learned during these hard moments in life…that God has things for us to gain in those moments.  I know he has things to be accomplished during those moments…he puts people in our path for us to connect with and to share with.  We will do our best to bring glory to his name throughout.  For he is worthy of praise in all things.

        So, I will work at praying that God will have mercy…that he will guide and direct us as we face these additional challenges.  I will ask for wisdom, clarity, patience, faith, courage, strength, healing, financial blessings, and any area of lacking; that we may need to overcome in the face of these trials.  

       What i am thankful for, is that we don’t have to pray for love or sharing; or, willing family members to help out.  We are blessed in those areas.  We are a family that knows how to support one another; and, whoever is in need around us, at the time.   Roomates have often been the recipients of the overflow of our big family.  There have been roomates that had no one to look out for them…they were alone in their journey.  My family is nurturing in nature.   I am thankful for that compassionate part of our family. 

     I am thankful for those in the medical community who also have compassion, skill, knowledge and who are sensitive in the way that they go about promoting healing to their patients and their family members.  They are our allies in the war that has been declared on our loved ones..they are on the front lines of battle trying to help our loved ones to have a full and healthy life; so we pray for all of them who will have contact with us.  We respect their skill and dedication.

     We have so much to be thankful for…and, we are.  Are we greedy to wish for health and financial blessings to meet the demands put on the family as we go thru these things?  I don’t think so.   I know that God has a purpose; I pray that we realize it and make the most of it as he would desire us to do.  I am just selfish enough to wish, as Jesus did on the cross, that this cup would pass from out of our hands; if God so desires. 

         Again…the line blurrs between faith and fear that these medical challenges may not pass from us!

           

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     Have you ever noticed how a baby can change the whole environment of a room?  You can be standing in line somewhere thinking that you would rather be anywhere else in the world…frustrated beyond belief; and, a mother or father can walk in with a baby and people just seem to smile a little more.  Babies have the ability to change the world.

        If the baby is old enough to interact with those around them…they can lift the spirits of the grumpiest person nearby.  Everyone is that baby’s friend and while they may not want to leave the safe and secure arms of mom or dad to let a stranger hold them…they will generally smile, coo and try to engage those around them.  That baby has already changed everything about life for both mom and dad; as well as those in the life of mom and dad.

         Every baby is special.  But there is one baby that is even more so; it is baby Jesus.  Today is his birthday and he changed the world more than any other child born.  He was born to bring life and love everlasting to the world.  He loves everyone and wishes for them to live in heaven.  For this to happen…we must accept him as our savior; and, live a life that is worthy of being saved-the bible is our road map…it teaches us the way to live.   We live to be of service to others and to worship God. 

         Babies are a gift from God…just as baby Jesus was a gift.  So this Christmas, please remember him in your celebration.  He is the reason for the whole holiday…celebrating Christmas without celebrating Christ Jesus seems like an empty holiday to me.  May you be blessed this Christmas and in this New Year!  Happy Birthday Jesus!  How do you plan on celebrating Christmas?

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     Here is an interesting story in the news…it seems that people who annoy others are now being held legally responsible and can receive fines for their annoying behavior.  Those who have been annoyed now have legal recourse against those who continually display behavior that is alarming, annoying, or serves no legitimate purpose.  Wow!  That is interesting.

     In Brighton, Michigan starting January 17, 2009…the new ordinance will begin.  It will also be against the law to molest anyone, to insult them,  annoy or accost them.  Hmmm, one wonders about the potential limitations, of such of a law or ordinance.  Who decides what constitutes legal annoyance?  Will there be guidelines as to what is just a frustration, and what is over the top and prosecutable?

       All that i could think of when i heard about this was; that it was a good thing that the law was not viable in my own home between my children….everything they do annoys each other some days!  🙂  I can just see it in homes across the nation, can’t you?  Mom…make him/her stop…they won’t leave me alone…so and so took my seat…he/she is annoying me…Mooooooooooommmmmmmmmmm!!!  Good thing we don’t have to pay fines against annoying each other in families…don’t ya think?  I mean…really stop and think about this law…is it going to have a positive impact on the community of Brighton?

       It would seem like this type of law has unlimited potential for frivolous lawsuits by people with grudges against one another.   It has a price tag of a $500.00 fine; which is no small thing.   I think that the courts will eventually resent having every little dispute brought before the bench…but, the fee that the court would levy against those violating the new law would help them to overcome the inconvience and  resentment associated with enforcing such a new law.  What do you think…will this be something that catches on around the country?  Should it?  Does a law like this have the power to be abused?  Should there be some kind of written guidelines or consequences to prevent someone from fraudulently accusing innocent people?

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      As we once again approach the end of a year and begin another one; it never fails to amaze me how often we repeat the same old patterns.  Oh to be sure…there will be the predictible year in review on the news programs…on the entertainment programs; and, even on the morning talk shows.  Does anyone else watch those things and think….that happened this year?  Why, i thought that person passed away longer ago than that…or did that much stuff really happen just this year?  We can learn from these things because time really does pass more quickly than we are aware of.

         As as we approach the new year…we will invariably have to hear about all of the new year’s resolutions that we may or, more likely, may not keep within days of making our comittments!  🙂  We will hear from all of those people who have the ability to “predict” the future; telling us their  version of the coming days and, how we are going to handle those situations around the world. 

          I say, let’s do something new this year.  Let’s live in the moment for a change…how does that sound?  People get so locked into the past that they can’t envision the future.  Those who have their sights set on the future…are so busy trying to forget about the past that they cant live for today.  When we live in a constant state of rewind or fast forward…we miss some of the greatest moments today with our friends, our family, our co-workers, neighbors and even with friends we have not yet met.

          Each day is a gift and must be truly lived in to be appreciated.  There is nothing worse than meeting someone who is bitter and corrupted from the past that continues to haunt them…or someone so bent on tomorrow that they can’t even take the time to realize that today is passing them by while they are so busy preparing for the next greatest thing that may be coming their way.  Regrets are a terrible thing to live with because wishing things were different doesn’t make it so. 

          People who get to the end of their lives either take stock and tally all the blessings in their life or they sit and review all of the missed opportunities and regrets of things that they could have, would have or should have been done better.  That is not a happy moment.  

          Our attitude or approach to life should be viewed as a whole life outlook or plan…not as in segments to be filed away for posterity to be reviewed at a later date; it is much too precious and passes way too quickly, we might forget to DO something important if we view life in small segments to be accomplished.  At the end of life, there are no do overs; I am afraid to tell you.  This is it, in this world that we live in.  If you get off of your chosen path…it is easy to re-route your footsteps and get back on track…as long as you are still breathing…you can change the course that you choose to follow.

         Many of us spend way too much time doing things that we don’t want to do…things that don’t make us happy; or, doing things that others expect us to be doing.  When it comes right down to it…no-one else lives inside of our skin…or our souls; we alone are responsible for our personal failures and achievements.  Yes, there are others who help us on our way but; no matter what…when it comes right down to it; we each have a responsibility to figure out how we want to live our lives…with both the beginnings, the endings and all that happens in our lives, in the very important middle.  Let’s make it a goal to make every day count for something special!

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     Every since young two year old Caylee became “missing”…her picture has impacted millions of people who found themselves caring for Caylee.  Thousands of volunteers looked for her.  News agencies kept her story in the news…every week.

     Each time that there was new information on the case, the media brought it to the public.  That picture of the beautiful young child, with the mahogony brown hair and the sweet chocolate brown eyes that look up so innocently from her preciously folded hands under her chin, is embeded in my mind’s eye for life.  

        Caylee’s spirit seems to call out to the person looking at her picture.  She was begging someone to find her with those big, beautiful eyes.  She deserved to be found; better yet…she deserved to live.  No child should have experienced what happened to young Caylee.

         This week it was confirmed that her skeleton was found less than a half of a mile away from the home that Caylee, and her mother Casey, shared with Caylee’s grandparents before she was discovered to be missing.  That is a horrible ending to the search for Caylee.

          Many believed that Caylee was deceased.  No-one wanted it to be true.  However, a meter reader found her remains in a garbage bag.   She was tossed away like she was garbarge to be dumped…that truly makes me sick.  I hope it haunts whoever is responsible for throwing away Caylee’s life.   News reports are not too informative ( i am sure that is for legal reasons  when Casey Anthony goes to trial for the alleged murder of her child).  What we do know is that the meter reader had called in to the authorities in August for them to search the area where Caylee’s remains were found on December 11, 2008.   It sounds as if an attempt was made by authorities to search the area but it may have been flooded at that time.   This past week, tests determined that the skeleton was indeed Caylee.  That skeleton was in pieces that were scattered around the area.  There was no flesh…and apparently, there was duct tape over the child’s mouth.  What kind of cruelty is that…the child was two years old for heaven’s sake!

        It is a horrible case; will the whole truth ever be known?  It is hard to tell; as Casey Anthony has told so many versions of “her” truth…that it will be hard to discern what really did happen.  It was decided that the prosecutors are not going for the death penalty, as they felt that the public would best be served by her serving life in prison; if indeed she is convicted of the murder of her 2 year old toddler.

         It is heartbreaking to know that a parent is even capable of such an evil act.  What is more heartbreaking is wondering if Caylee was aware of what was happening; and, if it is true that her mother caused her death…whether she knew who was causing her harm.    Earlier reports said that Casey Anthony had done internet searches on using Choloraform.  Whatever happened, it is a sad thing all around.  There are always plenty of adoptive homes that are ready, willing and able to care for a child such as Caylee.  Murder should never be an option; especially when it sounds as if Caylee’s parents would have gladly cared for Caylee. 

          As many grieve for Caylee…let’s remember those who were closest to her; those who loved her and cared for her.  Will there ever be enough information given to the public to understand why Caylee’s life was taken?  Probably not…however, any honest information would be welcome to those of us who have heavy hearts when we think about the death of Caylee.  It should never have happened!  Does her picture call out to anyone else out there?  She had a short life but made a big impact on alot of people.

       

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