May 26, 2022 – So many looking for answers right now. I doubt many of us will find the right places to look. What if we all started by looking in the mirror, examining ourselves as individuals, as human beings? We have to start someplace, it might as well be in front of a mirror.
Who am I? What do I believe? Why do I believe in what I believe? How did I come to accept these beliefs? What influenced my beliefs? Who influenced my beliefs? How have I changed over time and why? There are many questions we can ask ourselves.
It is impossible to make sense out of the senseless so we might as well look in the mirror. All change starts with the person in the mirror. Stop looking to others to solve the problems. Look in the mirror.
In the days after the Sandy Hook School massacre I thought it would change our hearts and we would come to our senses. 20 of the 26 who died were 6 and 7 years old. Gone in a few moments their bodies ripped apart. Hundreds left scarred and grieving for life. 20 children, gone in an instant. Yet here we are. 19 children born within months of Sandy Hook and their hearts no longer beat.
How are we still in this place where we do not care enough to make the madness stop? Everyone has an opinion. No one has a solution. How do so many people simply go on with their daily activities as if nothing happened yesterday?
Today my heart is a lead weight. The Seattle skies are gray. I can’t stop thinking about my grandchildren and the world I’ve given them. How will I feel on their first day of school? It should not be this way But it is our reality.
Every adult in America is responsible for what happened at Robb Elementary School. EVERY ADULT IN AMERICA IS RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT HAPPENED AT ROBB ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. We have all contributed in some way to our society and now this is what we live with.
I can’t stop thinking about my grandchildren and the world they live in. I can’t stop thinking about my grandchildren and the world I’ve given them.
“Grief never ends… But it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith. It is the price of love.”
This was the last round of golf Paul and I ever played together. One day earlier we witnessed the eclipse in Madras, OR. When I look at this picture I wonder what he was thinking. He knew his cancer had returned. His mind must have been racing. It is hard to imagine the weight of uncertainty.
Another year has passed, four now since our friend slipped away from us. There are not many words left to fully express how much Paul is missed. He was missed deeply at Bradley and Jessie’s wedding last July. He would have been elated for the bride and groom and he would have been proud, very proud. Paul would have grieved with Lee and his family after the sudden passing of Beth. He would have been a comfort to them all. It’s just not the same without his laugh and kind voice.
Paul moved through life will all of its ups and downs. Regardless of what was happening in his own life he never failed to be kind to friends and strangers. Don’t get me wrong, he was not perfect, who is? He was intentional in his kindness and in his gratitude. Our world could use a whole lot more of his intentionality today.
Each one of us has the opportunity today to pass along a kindness and perhaps it will bring Paul back for just a moment. He would have liked knowing this is how we remember him. He would have loved it. Imagine how different our world could be.
I’m not sure how I found Joel Wentz while rummaging around the internet but I can say I’m glad I did. He recently did a series of 4 short videos on Critical Race Theory well worth anyone’s time who wants to look at the subject which we all should regardless of your current thoughts on the subject.
In addition to these videos he also does book reviews and touches on other subjects. His presentation is organized and Joel does not talk over your head. In short he is a great communicator. I hope you will take time to check him out. HisYouTube series is called Books & Big Ideas. Enjoy! You can also follow Joel on Twitter @JoeltheValient – Let me know what you think.
Everyone has a Mother and everyone knows a Mother. More than 100 Billion humans have been born in the world’s history. It still takes nine months and it still takes years before the child is able to survive without assistance. The world has changed greatly but motherhood has stayed the same.
It is a good day to reflect. My kids have a Mom who worked hard to get it right. My three grandkids have two awesome Moms. Proud of them all and all they do.
Paul loved his friends and loved being with them. He loved playing golf and eating with them. Paul’s friends loved him and he made us feel a bit better when we were with him or simply hearing his voice on a phone call. Knowing he had great friends takes a little of the edge off from the hurt of missing him. His smile was genuine and his laugh infectious, you could hear it from many rooms away.
Some of these pictures were taken at TPC Sawgrass in Florida. Paul loved this trip to play in a tournament benefiting The Fellowship of Christian Athletes. This year The Players Championship, played at TPC Sawgrass, ends on Sunday March 14, the three year anniversary of Paul’s passing. I am reminded of how much he enjoyed being with people he loved.
Enjoy the pictures and the reminder of his smile. I can hear his laugh just looking at these. If you have photos you would like to share please sent them to me and I will add them. Jdougmar@gmail.com
When I was young the day after Christmas was a downer of a day. It meant the thrill of the season was far away. Right after Thanksgiving I entered into the start of three separate seasons. The first was the short time from Thanksgiving to the first day of December and the beginning of Advent, the start of the Christmas Season. Then there was the twenty four days leading up to Christmas Day ending on Christmas Eve. And finally there was Christmas Day and in just twenty four hours it was all over.
I anticipated Christmas more than any other day of the year, even more than I anticipated my birthday. Every birthday you have represents change and moving on. Christmas is about renewal.
Anticipation is a complicated feeling/emotion. Anticipation can get you into trouble because it can be the cause of great disappointment. It can also get you into trouble because it causes anxiety. The anticipation of Christmas for me has largely been positive.
One of my favorite records growing up in New York City was A Christmas Carol. As you can see from the cover it was Narrated by Basil Rathbone. I just about wore the record out and one day the record was lying on my bed out of its cover and brother Scott caught the edge of it when he was swinging his belt buckle and a little piece broke off. I was devastated and I missed listening to it.
Those who know me know this is one of my favorite stories.
Years later in my late 50’s I received a large envelope in the mail from my cousin Paul Thompson. In it was the record. Somehow he had found it online, purchased and sent it to me. I don’t know when I even told him the story of the broken record. Looking at the cover brought back wonderful memories. It looked like the outside envelope had not been “handled with care” and when I pulled the record from the sleeve it had a piece missing in just about the same place and shape as the one which been broken in the late 1960’s. I never got to listen to this record because it too was damaged but I was always amazed Paul remembered the story and found it for me. I doubt he knew it was the same version from my childhood when he purchased it.