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Archive for the ‘Remembering’ Category

It is sort of a sad day in my heart today as I learned that Jack LaLanne, fitness guru of my baby boomer childhood has passed away from complications from a recent bout with pneumonia.  Mr. LaLanne was 96 years old.  I remember him from the early days of my childhood; watching him on television encouraging housewives to get up and get moving.  My mother had us kids right along side of her working out.  This was a new idea for women to work out in a regular way.

The impact of that was the beginning of the fitness niche that you see today.  Exercise was not just a gimmick for Jack, like you see so many businesses pushing today; just to make money.  It wasn’t a fad for him, it was a way of life, each and every day.  Jack LaLanne I remember you and your wife Elaine’s career; and, I remember how you inspired a nation to get fit by setting an example with your words, your actions and your life.  If you would like to continue reading click here: Write Where You Are

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        There is a debate brewing about whether news media should have access to photograph the coffins of returning military men and women, killed in the line of duty, when their bodies are returned to Dover Air Force Base.  There is strong controversy about whether this should be allowed or not.  In 1991, President George H. Bush enacted a ban on the photographing of the coffins.  It just was not allowed to happen, by the order of the President.

         This has been a matter of contention.  Some people believe that allowing  the photographs could make an impact on the  minds of the citizens of the United States as to the cost of war; as the death toll rises from the wars in recent years.  There are many who feel that by not seeing the evidence of the coffins, people would not understand the depths of the sacrifice that our service persons were making.  In effect, out of sight…out of mind.  (more…)

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       Airplane pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger said today at a hometown celebration that he was just doing his job when he landed a jet with 155 passengers on the Hudson river in New York..he said actually,  all of the flight crew were just doing the job that they were trained to do.  He appears to be very humble and self-effacing.  I think that all of this attention is hard for him to deal with.  I also believe that he knows that even though they each did the job that they were trained to do…it still was a miracle that no one was killed or even injured in a debilatating life long way.

       The statements that the pilot made sure make you think though.  I got to wondering, how many people “just do their job”?  How many people do their best or go the extra mile in what they do for a living?  Emergencies happen all of the time…so, I find it comforting to hear that the  courage, wisdom and training that was exhibited during this emergency landing…was all part and parcel of the flight crew’s training.  Still, i think it says something about the quality of the persons on that crew.

         I personally believe that the hand of God also guided and directed the whole adventure.  Things went very well for an emergency plane landing on water.  It was as if everyone had practiced what to do including the passengers.  Things really turned out almost perfectly for an out of the ordinary landing.

        While the plane crew did their jobs, the ferries also did what they have trained to do…the whole rescue event could not have turned out better.  Let’s not forget that the pilots also avoided crashing into a major populated business or residential area, they avoided the bridge on the water…and no ferries or boats were in the pathway of that jet as it came down for it’s dramatic touchdown.

        Ahhh…i suspect that each of the person’s on that plane have a story to tell.  It would make some book.  Wish that i had access to each and everyone of the passengers…because i believe that it would make quite an awesome interview to get the perspective of each of the 155 persons on board.  How those moments took place in their heads and how it has affected them so far; as well as, how they think it will affect their future.  Why do they think they were spared a far worse fate?  Did they have any life changing attitudes before the event and after the event…is their mindset any different after the plane’s emergency landing? 

        I don’t know about you; but, i am thankful that flight crews are trained for such emergencies.  I don’t personally fly…but, i have loved ones who do fly…and they fly often…so; to all of the professionals out there in the mass transit areas of our lives…thank you for what you do each and every day…in emergencies and in the moments of routine procedures!

       

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         Dr. Susan Love has started a massive undertaking to understand the complexities of breast cancer by organizing an army of women.  She has partnered up with the Avon foundation to get an army of women to sign up to do research on a large  cross section of women to get accurate information on genetic links as well as environmental links to help the medical community understand breast cancer better…so that we can more effectively treat and PREVENT breast cancer.  Check them out: http://www.avoncompany.com/women/avonfoundation/overview.html

        She made an announcement on Good Morning America with Robin Roberts (cancer survivor) interviewing her in October of 2008.  You can see the interview here: http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=6118891.  

           I sort of envision an army of women all decked out in pink camouflage uniforms as they take up the challenge.  Breast cancer has stolen too many wonderful people from our world.  We have lost sisters, mothers, friends, lovers,aunts, daughters, grandmothers; as well as sons, daughters, fathers, uncles, grandfathers and friends!   If we can understand how it starts…then we will be able to figure out ways to prevent it.  If we can prevent it…maybe we won’t have to subject our loved ones to such difficult times during treatments.  It is a win-win situation.   You can learn more about Dr. Susan Love and about breast cancer by going here:  http://www.dslrf.org/breastcancer/content.asp?L2=1&SID=119

        Many people want to help…but, if they dont have money to give; they may say how can I possibly help?  This is an excellent way.  You can sign up to be a part of the army.  If nothing else….you can get information to help arm yourself in the war on breast cancer.  You can go here to sign up:  http://www.armyofwomen.org/  Surely you would like to see an end to breast cancer as we know it!

See possibly related stories here:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/08/27/stand-up-to-cancer/ or, https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/triple-negative-breast-cancer/

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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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     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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       I remember back when i was in high school, back in the 80’s, we had a class on social issues.  In that class we discussed high profile situations in our society; which underscored how desensitized our society was becoming to people in pain and misery.

       There was a case of a woman who was stabbed over and over again in New York.  She was screaming and people heard it and yet they did nothing.  Later, when the police were investigating…people stated that they heard it; but, they did not want to “get involved”. 

         I remember thinking, during that discussion, that that was crazy; an isolated incident.  Not so, as i have grown up and matured, I find that people really are becoming desensitized to other people’s pain and misery.  It is crazy but think about it…how many movies have put murder and torture out there for entertainment value…such as those horror flicks or slasher movies?  It is not only sad…but, it is immoral.   Those things desensitize our fellow human beings to the value of life.

         How many television shows continue to shoot, rape, rob, torture and victimize others and draw in millions of viewers each and every day?  How do we expect people to have compassion towards one another?  We need to reconnect to those around us; this is something that affects us all.  Children are growing up today who have great difficulty seeing past their own wants and needs.  Adults who are willing to commit violence to get what they want…no matter who they hurt or kill.  Parents who kill children, children who kill parents, siblings, neighbors or friends.  It is as if they do not know how to “feel” appropriately towards anyone outside of themselves.

        Today, i am brought to a deeper sadness than I have felt in a long time regarding our nation and the lack of compassion that our citizens show towards one another. 

         A young man in Florida committed suicide online while others watched and egged him on.  He posted a suicide note…he live-streamed his suicide online; while people WATCHED and did nothing to HELP him.  Not only that, they allegedly ridiculed him and said things like…that isn’t enough medication to kill you!  What amazes me, is that this went on for hours and hours before someone had the good sense to contact the authorities to try to get help for him.   It was too late; he was already dead!

         There are reports that this person may have attempted to kill himself in the past.  So what; so what if it was a false alarm…who and what does it hurt to contact the authorities and have it checked out?  If that person was faking it…he would have been sent somewhere for a psychological exam to find out why he would do such a thing.  Maybe, just maybe he would still be alive today if someone had made an attempt to help him; when he FIRST stated his intention to kill himself.   

         Unfortunately, the young man was not faking the suicide attempt…he was actually crying out for help.  There were many people who had an opportunity to get involved, save a life, make a difference…and yet…they did not.  How can a human being watch another person suffer in front of their very eyes and pile more emotional damage upon that person?  Even if they thought it was a prank, even if they thought the person was not serious, even if they thought it was a waste of time…they failed to react with compassion.  How much more of an effort would it have taken to pick up the phone…or contact the online service that provided the streaming video and asked for someone to follow up on the person’s well-being?  Someone finally did contact help…but…it was much too late for saving his life; but, at least they made an attempt.

           I sure would not want my mind filled with the image of that young man lying on his bed with his back to the camera; filled with despair and depression…curled up in defeat…knowing that he died as I watched and took no action to save his life.  Every life has value and should be preserved.  My heart aches for him, for his family and for his friends…and yes, even for those who watched him die.  They will have to live with the knowledge of what they saw, what they said and did; and, did not do to help a fellow human being in distress.

           Many people in our society are affected by mental illness, or by depression.  It is not a crime…however, it is a crime to fail to get someone help when they need it.  I don’t know if any of those who participated in this suicide by watching it will be held legally responsible or not…but, I do think that they had a moral obligation to get involved in a way that would have attempted to provide some emergency help for this individual.  Depression is a serious matter and so is a suicide attempt.   Please help to educate others on suicide prevention!  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/08/23/suicide-prevention/ or on what happens to a suicide victim’s loved ones after the suicide:  http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=6311509

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