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Archive for the ‘marriage’ Category

        Donald Peters won, and he won big!  It was his luckiest day…and his most unlucky day as well.  On November 1st Donald bought a lottery ticket in Conneticut; and he won $10 million dollars.  Can you believe it?  He was a retired factory worker; I am sure that money could come in handy after all those years of working hard.  He bought two tickets…but, he didn’t cash them in.   Someone else did…and they did it just this past week.   It was Donald’s wife of 59 years who cashed the ticket in.

       Why her, and not him, you may ask?  Hours after buying the winning ticket he went home and  had a heart attack.  Donald died…and his family grieved; not even knowing of the winning ticket that sat unattended, in the home, while they went about mourning the loss of the man they loved.

        While some would say the man was lucky to purchase a winning $10 million dollar lottery ticket…others would say if it weren’t for bad luck….he would’ve had no luck at all.   You see, the purchase of these tickets was a tradition that he and his wife shared for 20 years.  While he won the lottery, he didn’t get to celebrate…he didn’t even know that he won the money, let alone get to spend a dime of it!

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     It was announced today that two of the professional dancers on Dancing With The Stars are now engaged.  This is a surprise to many as Karina Smirnoff was involved with former contestant entertainer Mario Lopez not so very long ago. 

      Karina is now engaged to be married to Maksim Chmerkovskiy.  They are both very talented.  They have been dating for most of the summer and are , at present, involved in the Dancing With The Stars tour.  They became engaged on New Year’s Eve. 

       The new season of Dancing With The Stars begins the second week of March.  This new aspect of their relationship should make for a very interesting season for viewers.  How will the competition between dancing teams affect their relationship….how will it affect their dancing?  In any case, we wish them well…may they live happily ever after. 

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     For those who have not heard the news story this past week; a man by the name of Bruce Pardo dressed up as Santa and went on a shooting rampage directed at his ex-wife and her family.  He was aware that they held an annual Christmas party.  He had been planning this for quite some time.   About a week or so before the shootings took place…Bruce Pardo and his estranged wife,  Sylvia, were officially divorced after 2 years of marriage.  This man who dressed up as Santa, needed help.   If he had gotten it…maybe this tragedy would not have happened.

        It sounds as if  the Pardo’s marriage was one of deceipt.  Mr. Pardo had not disclosed to his wife that he had a child from a previous relationship that he did not see, nor did he help support.  It seems that when this child was a toddler in Mr. Pardo’s care; the child ended up in a pool and almost drowned.  The young child is now around the age of 7 ; but, Bruce Pardo kept this child a secret from his wife.  She discovered that the child existed by going through tax papers and finding out that he claimed the child as a dependent.  He denied the situation and Sylvia called her mother in law who confirmed that a child did in fact exist and was disabled.   She filed for divorce…he did not want it.

       It seems that during this time…Bruce also lost his job and then was ordered, by the court, to pay support to his soon to be ex-wife.  By all appearances…Bruce did his best to follow through on the court’s dissolution of his marriage….yet, all along he planned his revenge on the woman who divorced him and those who were closest to her and helped her to leave him. 

        Bruce rented two vehicles and he had things planned out.  He had an extra large Santa suit made up for him.  It seems that at the annual party, Santa always showed up.  He went to the home with a gift in his hand…when the door was opened by a young 8 year old girl…he opened fire, shooting her in the face.  He then went about shooting and looking for specific people.  After he shot the people he went looking for…he then used a homemade device to set the home on fire; inadvertantly causing himself 3rd degree burns when part of the Santa suit melted into his skin from the incendiary device he used to start the fire.

         People in the home had tried to hide and some were able to flee.  A sister of Sylvia’s escaped to a neighbors with the young 8 year old girl who was shot in the face.  She was able to call 911.  After starting the fire, Bruce Pardo shot out street lights…allegedly to help further his escape. 

         People are speculating that he had plans to shoot his own mother who was planning on attending the Christmas party, at her ex-daughter in laws parents home.  She felt ill that evening and was not able to attend.  Bruce blamed his mother for siding with Sylvia in the divorce.    Also allegedly a possible victim of violence was the divorce lawyer who represented Sylvia.  One of the rental vehicles was sitting near the lawyers home. 

        It appears that Bruce changed his plans after he was burned.  It is thought that he was in great pain.  He allegedly had purchased a plane ticket for Illinois to go there and cross the state line into Iowa to see a friend.  He also had about 17,ooo.oo dollars plastic wrapped to his body.   Instead of implementing those plans…he drove approximately 30-40 miles to his brothers home and broke in and shot himself dead.

         What is hard to understand is; didn’t anyone who knew him or had occasion to spend time with him, during the weeks preceding the violence, see his mental breakdown?  Was he so good at hiding his wrath that he was able to misleed the people in his life?  Or did he isolate himself a this time?

         Those familiar with the divorce situation say that he seemed almost eager to have it over with.  The neighbors say that he was friendly and even wished them a Merry Christmas after telling them he was attending a Christmas party. 

          People who knew him said he was a friendly guy.  They are shocked.  And yet, a close friend of Sylvia allegedly said that Sylvia said he changed almost immediately after the marriage.  He became secretive.  Others say that Bruce had a secret guilt about the child that was gravely injured on his watch.  The mother of the child allegedly says that he was involved when the child was in the hospital; but then…he didn’t visit nor did he support the child.  In fact, he kept the child a secret from many…including his new wife.

         The thing is…people who struggle with mental health issues dont always get the help that they need.  Bruce Pardo needed that kind of help to cope with the feelings that he had from the tragedy that happened to his child.  He needed support and counseling to heal up from the guilt that he most likely felt after the child was injured.  He needed to have pre-marital counseling to help him break the news of this part of his life to his intended wife. 

          Sylvia needed a husband who could share this past with her.  She needed him to seek marriage counseling when their marriage appeared to flounder shortly after it began.  She needed some indication that the man she married was deeply disturbed and capable of such violence.  She needed protection from the man that she fell in love with. 

          Experts will tell you that people who are in a state of flux…or life changes are often the most vulnerable for domestic violence.  This is a dangerous time when emotions are raw and assets or custody rights are at stake.  Passions are running high.  It should almost  be mandatory to have to have some sort of counseling to help people through the maze of emotion and legal wrangling that takes place.

          I can’t help but to think of those that lost their lives and those who were left behind to deal with the aftermath.  God help them.  The things that they saw and heard will live with them for a very long time.  And what about those who weren’t there; but, were directly affected such as Bruce Pardo’s mother or his brother.  What about them?  People need to pray for all of them.  They are not responsible for his actions…and yet, they are directly affected by them as much as Sylvia’s family and friends.  His brother…can you imagine…how will he ever be able to go back into his home?  He has to wonder…why did his brother come there to commit suicide?   His mother…she was obviously friendly with Sylvia and her family; how will she relate to the surviving members?  They are all hurting…will they be able to help support one another or will it be too painful for them to see each other?

          So many questions and so few answers.  The thing is…unfortunately…people who are depressed or going through trauma often don’t think past the moment, about the long term effects of their actions.  It is the survivors that are left to cope with both the questions and the answers.

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       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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      Spending twenty three hours a day with yourself, in jail…would lead most people to do some real introspective deep thinking about the reasons you find yourself sitting behind bars.  Especially for a person who had been living the high life as Mayor of Detroit; it is a big lifestyle adjustment.  Kwame Kilpatrick will have just such an opportunity to do some of that self examination.  Yesterday, Mr. Kilpatrick began to serve a 120 day sentence for a variety of offenses.  He lied to the court about a sexual relationship with his Chief of Staff, Christine Beatty, he lied about text messages to the court which confirmed the affair and he also got into a scuffle with officers trying to serve a subpoena.  There were several offenses that the mayor had been accused of.

       At least two of those offenses ended with him pleading guilty to obstruction of jutice & no contest to felonious assault.  He lied to the court…effectively tying the hands of the legal system, for most of the summer, by using his legal team to fight his removal from office.  Michigan’s Governor Granholm had to hold a hearing to forcibly remove him.  After that hearing he was heard to say, “You done set me up for a comeback”.  This arrogance and defiance moved the judge to sentence him to the full 120 day sentence; typically, a person who exhibits good behavior can shave approximately 20 days off of their sentence, not in Kilpatrick’s case.  The judge was clearly put out by the demeanor of the former mayor throughout this whole process.

        The thing is…if someone has been publically shamed by their private and professional behavior; and then, goes on to be legally chastized and still continues to mock and make light of the situation…you have to wonder if they have learned anything at all about how to conduct themselves appropriately.  Will spending this punnitive time in jail help Mr. Kilpatrick to re-evaluate the direction of his life? 

        The things that he has sacrificed by conducting his affair(s) and lying to the authorities and the court, thereby, possibly harming his relationship with his wife and children, having to give up his law license, as well as his freedom; should be counted as natural consequences for living outside the bounds of legal and moral responsibilities to those to whom he was supposed to be accountable to.  And yet, from reading accounts of yesterdays events…it sounds as though Mr. Kilpatrick mocked the prosecutors by saying things like, “I love you man” and asking them “How you doing?  Can’t even smile”?  This doesn’t bode well for learning from his mistakes. 

          Some people would say that his demeanor is encouraged by his supporters; such as those who observed the former mayor being led from the court room, who shouted encouragement to him such as “Be Strong, We got your back, We love you mayor”.  Will he have a political future when he is free to pursue such goals  Where is the accountability?

          After serving the 120 day sentence, Mr. Kilpatrick will also be on probation for 5 years, give up his law license, and repay the city of Detroit $1 million dollars.

         So I say, if you are going to spend 23 hours a day with someone…it might as well be someone you like alot.  Only 119 days to go, Mr. Kilpatrick.  The people that i truly feel sorry for is his wife and children.  I am sure they are suffering more than he is.  They have had to move out of their home, they have lost a large part of their financial support, and, they have to endure the publicity for their husband and father’s actions for a long time to come.  Should he be allowed to run for public office ever again with this legal black mark on his record?

        

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         Did you ever go to a wedding and just observe the Bride and the Groom closely?  Today, i did just that very thing.  Oh, to be sure…the Bride was beautiful and full of smiles; and she looked the picture of what a Bride should look like.  Youth, beauty, joy and excitement poured forth from her face as she, who is normally very shy, looked everyone in the eye and took her vows.  This was her testiment to her pledge of love and commitment.

          The Groom also looked young and full of love and pride in the bride of his choosing.  There were awkward moments in the ceremony…such as a very loud train rumbling by the church…just as the bride was speaking her vows. Then, they did some wonderfully, unique things in their ceremony.  They took communion during the ceremony which was lovely.  The poor bride got a larger piece of the bread put into her mouth by her groom; which took her several minutes to chew and swallow…which caused her to be somewhat embarassed and caused some good natured laughter in the crowd.

          Part of the unique ceremony took place when the bride was given in marriage by her father to her groom; at that point…the bride and groom took the elevated platform in the front of the church; and the minister then, came out into the congregation and stood with his back towards the back of the church…he faced the bride and groom; who stood facing the spectators.  This viewpoint gave the advantage of watching the bride and groom as they spoke their vows, lit the candles, and smiled into each other’s eyes as they whispered affectionetly to one another.  Then, the groom played the guitar while one of his groomsmen sang a tribute to their love for one another.

           All in all, it was a trusting, loving, innocent step into the future as husband and wife…not knowing what the future holds for them…just knowing that they were taking the beginning step forward, together!  Hopeful for a lifetime journey.

        

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       The infamous Hugh Hefner, publisher/owner of Playboy magazine, is lonely but not alone.  His longtime girlfriend Holly Madison has left him.  She is still residing in the Playboy mansion for the time being as she is also part of his business…however, their personal romantic relationship is over.  The reason being is that Holly wanted & hoped for marriage and babies. 

        Approximately six months ago, Holly found out that Hugh is no longer able to father children at the age of 82.  Marriage also was not in the cards; as he is still married to wife, Kimberly Conrad.  You would think that a woman who lived with, at least, two other women in their relationship…that not only would she understand that marriage was not part of the plan…but, that bringing children into such an arrangement would NOT be a good thing. 

        Still, other than the obvious perks of living with an extremely wealthy man who could offer many material things in life…one has to wonder what, if any, benefit there is for women who range from ages 18-28 would find from being one of several romantic partners with an 82 year old man who lives such a public life of a player. 

        For his part in this debacle, Hugh says that he has been down in the dumps since the split.  At the same time, Hugh makes it a plainly obvious that he is moving on.  He is already looking for new partners to add to his female menagerie.  He says that he will NOT live alone.

        If a person was to think on the psychological side of this equasion…you’d have to wonder why a man who is aging is so bent on surrounding himself with young beautiful women, in large numbers all at the same time, and who is so determined not to live alone.  It is not as if these young women can keep him from aging or knocking on death’s door when the time comes.  It seems such an empty pursuit; a steady avoidance of anything deeper than a temporary commitment.  Hugh was married twice; one marriage ended in divorce, and the other in a long term seperation that continues to this day. 

        Still, there has been a considerable amount of interest in the life of the man who founded Playboy magazine and the business behind it.  There seems to be no shortage of women who are willing to become a part of his lifestyle.  Many of those women have gone on to make a name for themselves in the entertainment industry themselves.  Morally, many people have taken issues with the man, his business, and the message that is implied of living an alternative lifestyle that is in direct opposition to traditional relationships regarding men and women. 

        The image of Hugh Hefner and his life are rolled into a neat little wrap of sexual freedom, financial indulgences, celebrity dalliances and carefree relationships.  However, beneath the surface of such fairytales are usually layers of pain, anger, dysfunction, fear and abandonment issues. 

         In the end, only Mr. Hefner has the answers to such ponderings.  If there are such issues in his life, we will probably never know it.  I am fairly sure, buried in a file cabinet in a lawyers office somewhere, is probably a stack of documents; attesting to the fact of an agreement of confidentiality between Mr. Hefner and the bevy of beauties who have come and gone out of his very public life. Otherwise, don’t you think we would have heard lurid tales of love em and leave em situations from those who have felt jilted by Hugh Hefner, in the past?

        

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        Breaking news today of a plane crash last night about midnight that took the lives of four people in South Carolina.  Of those killed, two were crew on the plane, pilot- Sarah Lemmon 31 & co-pilot James Bland 52; and two were passengers, Chris Baker 29 & Charles Still 25.  We wish to give condolences to their friends and family.   Also involved in the plane crash is the famous DJ Adam Goldstein, known as DJAM; and, the ex-drummer of Blink-182 Travis Barker.  They had performed at an event on Friday night and were taking off from the airport when the crash occured.

         Travis Barker is a well known drummer who also was married to Shanna Moakler a former Miss USA and former contestant on Dancing With The Stars. He was known by his tattoos as well as his drumming skills.   He was involved in a rumored relationship with Paris Hilton, at one time, during his marriage which resulted in tabloid reports of cat fights involving his wife and Paris Hilton.  Shanna and Travis have had a rocky on again off again marriage and divorce.  They have two children together…Shanna had a child previously with Oscar De La Hoya.

          DJAM is an owner of the popular club LAX.  He has performed on musical albums for many artists and is well known as a disc jockey.  He was at one time engaged to Paris Hilton’s former best friend, Nicole Richie.  He has been romantically involved with other famous females such as Mandy Moore and Jessica Stam.

           Both Travis and Adam have been transported to a burn center in Augusta, Georgia where they are both listed in critical condition.  They are going to need alot of prayer and support to get through the healing process. 

         Update:  The executive director at the burn center in Augusta, Georgia said that he expects both young men to make a full recovery.  The injuries that Travis Barker incurred were restricted to burns on his torso and his lower body; while, Adam Goldstein was burned on his arm and on his head.  Investigators are still investigating however, the voice recorder from the aircraft was recovered and there was a sound on the tape consistent with a tire blowing.  That evidence, along with pieces of the tire tread near the take off point seems to point to a tire blowout just before take off, which could have caused the crash.

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Stand Up To (2) Cancer

        Do you know anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer?  Did you know that 1 out of 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime…1 out of 2 men.  So unless you are a family of one, with no friends and you are the luckiest person in the whole wide world…cancer is going to touch someone you care about, at some point.  If you haven’t had to deal with the enemy cancer yet…consider yourself blessed beyond reason.  There is a movement afoot to Stand Up To Cancer.  It doesn’t matter if it is breast cancer, colon cancer, blood cancers, brain cancer,ovarian, or any other kind of cancer…it is a destroyer and needs to be eliminated.  Please join forces to battle a plague on the world that we live in…help fight cancer.

        The goal is to Stand Up To Cancer and understand it…take it apart…so that we can more efficiently battle it and WIN!  That is the end goal.   Cancer is the enemy…it is a thief…it has stolen enough, artists, doctors, mothers, muscians, pilots, cab drivers, babies, teachers, clerks, lecturers, fathers, students, writers, researchers, husbands, factory workers, miners, fire fighters, sons, nurses, daughters, child care workers, politicians, sisters, waitresses, brothers, lecturers, speakers, wives, caregivers, grandparents, role models, athletes, neighbors, librarians, friends, social workers, police men & women, military men and women, designers, dancers, clergy, you get the idea…Cancer is not picky about who it chooses to invade and try to destroy. 

          It could be you next, or someone you care about.  Cancer claims one life a minute each day!  Can you believe that?  One person a minute per day is too many loses! That is 1,500 deaths per day… that is unacceptable.    Protect your health best way that you can, eat right, exercise, protect your environment, take your vitamins, stay away from contaminants, be aware and educate yourself.  Honor those who have fought with everything they have…help out someone in a health crisis with cancer…be a supporter to someone in need. 

          Once cancer strikes…there are many needs, physical,spiritual, medical, emotional, financial, transportation, and daily care needs.  Do what you can to lift someone up!  Life is precious.  Will you make a commitment to be a force to be reckoned with and help make an impact in the fight against cancer?

         For us to win the war on cancer it requires courage, support, awareness, education and funding.  The television networks are joining together to bring those tools to the public and try to create a historic event that will hopefully rev up the odds of winning.  http://abcnews.go.com/Health/StandUp2Cancer/  There are many celebrities who are adding their voice and their talents to the project.  They have a wonderful website that you can view here that will explain more.  In the meantime, look for the program to hit the networks on Sept 5th, at 8 pm.  You can go to the website and read up on the idea here:  http://www.standup2cancer.org/  Let’s not be idle and let others do the fighting…there is something that we all can do…what are you willing to do to help?  Let’s envision a future without cancer!!!

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          Suicide is not a pleasant subject.  It is a word that makes most people cringe.  People who have lost a loved one to suicide cringe too; they have more of a reason to be disturbed by the word.  Most of us don’t stop to think about suicide death on a daily basis…but maybe we should.  For those directly affected by a suicide…it is an especially difficult thing, to grieve…because there are so many added things to work through. 

          Loss is one thing; that is bad enough…but, add to that… justifiable feelings of abandonment, anger, denial, financial distress, shame, isolation, shock and even rage for being rejected by the loved one; for something as unknown and final as death, many times without any warning that suicide was being considered. 

           It is a hard subject to talk about because studies often have shown a correlation to discussions about suicide and the rates of suicides that have increased after say a media interview or article that is published in a large viewership.  So how do you address such a terrible thing as suicide without taking the risk of an outbreak of suicides?  I am not sure…but i do know…that listing some of the signs or risk factors is important…because it is possible to at least become aware of some signals that may alert friends or family to a person who is contemplating taking their own life. 

            Some of the obvious signs are:  sudden changes in personality or behaviors, drug or alcohol use, life changes such as loss of job or marriage, verbal comments such as life isn’t worth living…, depression, neglecting personal well-being or appearance, loss of interest in things the person previously enjoyed, extreme mood swings, sleeping excessively, giving away precious things, avoiding close friends or family, isolating themselves, gaining or loosing noticeable weight without trying, lack of effort at school or job, listless, a feeling of hopelessness or failure, lots of negative or sad comments, focussing on negative circumstances and obsessing about them.

             There are times when people are more at risk than others, for some it is during their teenaged years if they struggle with acceptance and sometimes depression, for others it is in middle age when possible sudden life changes are perceived as failures or loss such as divorce or forclosure, the elderly are often at risk of suicide because of health issues, isolation from friends and family and many times because of financial issues.   It is important to remember that some medications carry the risk of increased thoughts of suicide…so talk to your doctor about these issues if there is any concern at all.

            All ages and sexes are at risk of a potential suicide.  People must get better at listening to each other; and, they need to stay connected by communication on a regular basis.  No one wants to think of friends or family doing the unthinkable; but, it can happen to anyone. 

            Many people try to respect people’s privacy and back off when in fact, it is at these times that they are needed more than ever.  Fear of not knowing what to say or do is common.  When in doubt…it is always best to contact a professional.    Here is a national hotline to contact if you or someone you know is dealing with the idea or fear of suicide:   1-800-273-TALK.
www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

                The impact of suicide is long lasting on those survivors who are left behind.  Every life that can be saved is a gift…every person has value.  We must begin to find ways to open the opportunities to share with one another the hurts and disappointments in life and find ways of overcoming the effects of those things in our lives and in the lives of people that we care about.  Do you know someone who was able to turn the corner and avoid the tempation of suicide?  How did they do it?  Do they share with others about their experience?  Many people in schools, nursing homes, and professionals in your local communities could benefit from that knowledge so that they can help others.  How can those experiences benefit others?

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