Wednesday, June 20, 2012

If I were stuck in an elevator with Paul Ryan....

The difference between you and me, Representative Ryan?  Choices.

You choose division over unity.
I choose to work for what is best for the country.
You choose stalemate over progress, filibuster over consensus.
I choose to vote for the best solution regardless from which side of the aisle it originated.
You choose the rich over the poor, the comfort of the few over the safety of the many.
 I choose to remember that it must always about the least among us.
You choose big business over education.
I choose to understand that without outstanding education for all American enterprise will disappear.
You choose profits over the environment.
I choose to understand that no amount of money will ever reverse the damage we are causing.
You have chosen to be bigoted.
I choose equality.

You have chosen to be heartless.
I choose to always care about my fellow earthlings - American or not.
You have chosen to turn a deaf ear.
I choose to always listen to all sides.
You have chosen to reject the teachings of your own religion.
I choose no religion other than that which teaches me to look out for those that cannot look out for themselves.

No one chooses to be poor.
No one chooses to be sick.
No one chooses to be chronically unemployed.
No one chooses to be homeless.
No one chooses public assistance over self reliance.
No one chooses a free lunch program over feeding their children.
No one chooses their sexuality.
No one chooses where they are born.

But we can choose to vote all of you out. And we will.

I hope those nuns choose to kick your ass.

Can some one get me out of here?  PLEASE????

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Father-Daughter Dance

I am an only child - yes I am Jim and Anna's only kid.  More importantly perhaps I am my father's only daughter.  My wedding was a mini royal wedding to be quite honest.  My parents eloped so my grandfather never had the chance to walk my mother down the aisle.  All my life I knew that was never going to happen to me - it was not an option.  I would have a wedding and it would be beautiful - the wedding my parents never had.  And, yes, dad would walk me down the aisle.

On more than one occasion my mother commented that she was completely opposed to the idea of a weepy bride walking down the aisle.  "No one wants to see a blubbering bride."  So I guess I have always known that the pressure was on to hold it together - which frankly is not one of my strengths.  My guess is Mom gave Dad a really harsh talking to about what he was allowed to and not allowed to say to me prior to our long journey down that narrow space.  As we were waiting for our cue we talked about the weather. Yes the weather. It was raining, pouring actually - it had not rained in months.  My wedding was knick-named the drought -buster wedding.  Luckily I suppose, since it did give us a topic distract us and keep the emotions at bay.  It worked - we both held it together.

My guess is my mother did not have a similar rule in place for the Father-Daughter dance though.  Clearly all bets were off and I have the blubbering dancing bride pictures to prove it.  I never told anyone what he said to me until now.

"For the rest of your life, no matter where you go or what you do you need to always remember you are loved.  Your mother and I will always love you.  You are our life.  Alway remember where you came from.  Always be true to who you are and never ever forget how much we love you."

We danced to an old Helen Reddy song "You and Me Against the World."  Jim and Anna only had one child.  They should have had more.  Such a shame that only one person calls them Mom and Dad.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

For My Boys.....

On the radio last night I heard part of President Obama's Father's Day message.  I was pleasantly surprised (OK absolutely thrilled) that much of what he said reminded me of what I wrote for my sons' blessing ceremonies.  Instead of a traditional "Christening" ceremony we had a non-demoninational blessing ceremony.  When the boys are older, and if they choose, they can make their own decisions about faith and religion.  Regardless of what they choose I hope these words always guide them.

For Nathan...

Being your mother is the most important thing I will ever do.  A wise woman once said that being a mother means that for the rest of your life your heart will live outside of your own body.  I didn't really know what that meant until you were born.  Now I realize how incredibly beautiful and fragile everything is.  I never knew my house had so many sharp edges and I never knew how slippery a baby can be when you lift him out of the bath tub!

My dreams for you are very simple.  I have no expectations of where you will live, who you will choose to spend your life with, or how you will make your living.  My only wish is that you become the kind of person who walks through his life with an open mind and an open heart.  Be the one with whom anyone can find solace.  Be the one to bring laughter where there is sadness, hope where there is fear and perspective when life seems overwhelming.  May you be proud to look back on your life.

I do want you to be an excellent student of history, especially your own.  You are the grand sum of the love, hard work and sacrifice of many generations from many different parts of this world.  Your ancestors crossed oceans, including your grandfather, with very little and built wonderful lives. Now you are standing on their shoulders.  I will do everything I can to make sure you are looking out toward a very happy and fulfilling life.

For Julian...

We have all learned from our Super Heroes: "To whom much is given, much will be expected."  Julian, much will be expected of you.

We expect you to always be kind. Always be generous with what you have - no matter how little.  Alway be willing to share your treasure, your time and your talent.  We expect you to be brave - never be afraid to be the lone voice that speaks up for what is right and what is fair.  Always be one of the good guys.

You have been born into an extraordinary place during an extraordinary time and we hope you don't settle for being a passenger on this journey.  The world needs all the help it can be ready.  Remember, anyone can do well but too few manage to also do some good along the way.

Today is your blessing but we are the ones that are blessed.  Thank you for being our son.

I always new President Obama and I were on the same page.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Ronnie Bucca - Prologue

There is a book that has been sitting on my nightstand for nearly ten years. Yes, ten.  That is not a typo.  1000 Years for Revenge by Peter Lance.  It has sat there, mocking me.  I pick it up, dust it, move it from here to there. My failure to read it has nothing to do with lack of time or interest. I fear that reading it will launch me into a new direction - some kind of strange point of no return.  I needed to be ready.  If I started this journey without being ready, it would have been a false start.  I have to, in my own way, tell the story of Ronnie Bucca - something I think I am supposed to do.  Maybe the way some people contemplate Everest or travel the world in search of the perfect wave or something. Maybe the way one might spend years trying to pull a mythical creature from a river. He has to. Now, I have to.

Ronnie Bucca was an FDNY Fire Marshal - the only one in the history of the FDNY to die in the line of duty. Tower One. 9/11.  On a floor higher than any other fire fighter.  Also, by all accounts, he saw the attacks coming and tried to warn the US intelligence community.  He knew they would come back to finish the job.  He was right.  I don't think enough people know who he is or what he did.  His entire life was truly extraordinary.

So this is simply my taking the step to commit to doing my own research and promising to tell his story.  Hold me to it.