27 Feabhra 2008

Regrets - Nah!

'Often regret is very false and displaced, and imagines the past to be totally other than it was.'

The best rule of thumb for having regrets is, just don't have em. Don't mislead yourself about the feelings that you have for someone. Realize them for what they are, deal with them by either changing your frame of mind, or be up front about them. DON"T HAVE REGRETS.

20 Feabhra 2008

Sorry for the lapse - life goes on!

I've been working on the Emerald Isle parade AND ordering for the shop, and taxes, and getting ready for a buying trip...lots of things. I don't know how I kept up when I worked for Bell. I certainly FEEL busier, retired.

IF you are reading my blog, I hope that you remember our Emerald Isle parade on March 15. It will be a great Saturday, weather permitting. And if you'd like to be actually in the parade, just give me a call at 816 524-7151. We're looking for High School bands. None of the Lee's Summit Schools are interested in community events for some reason. We will have students from O'Hara, including their principal, Mr Bowman, who will serve as a judge for us, along with Mr. Dale Hartley, who was the Grand Marshall last year.

If you feel that the blog is of interest, feel free to let me know. You can reply from the blog screen. Buck - you have certainly been an uplift for me. Thanks for your encouraging comments!

Evereybody have a great day, and pray for no snow tomorrow.

14 Feabhra 2008

The Gift of Self

If you could imagine the most incredible story ever, it would be less incredible than the story of being here. And the ironic thing is that story is not a story, it is true. It takes us so long to see where we are. It takes us even longer to see who we are. This is why the greatest gift you could ever dream is a gift that you can only receive from one person. And that person is you yourself.

-John O'Donohue

In the wake of Cathy's passing, there have been many many instances where we've seen how she touched so many lives in such unusual ways...for instance, in her work, she made routine calls all over the United States. Simple tasks that she made GRAND. Clerks in California, on hearing that she passed away, tell us that they are so depressed. (Cathy has never met these people...she's never been to California.)

Her hairdresser, Vicky has been out of the country for 2 weeks. She called this morning to learn that her client of 36 years has passed. There isn't any way to fill in that missed appointment with someone else.

I guess that what I am trying to do with this reflection of John O'Donohue's is that Cathy had to know herself pretty well in order to leave so much of herself with anyone that she came into contact with. She could give the gift of herself to herself, and also reach thousands of miles away and touch folks in such a way that they are devastated with the news of her loss. That's a strong validation of a pleasant life well lived.

7 Feabhra 2008

Thank God for Family

I promised to make a blog entry every day. I knew that wouldn't happen. I know myself too well. But the reason isn't due to my proclivity to 'do it tomorrow - first thing,' which never happens...

We lost a very dear relative, Cathy Cullum, my sister - in - law passed away Monday night. Cathy was the oldest in my wife's family of 5 kids. She had the gentlest way about her. She WAS the typical oldest sister, even though I was not raised in the Cullum household. I met her by my employment at SouthWestern Bell in 1973. She had the run of the office, and I was convinced that we ALL worked for HER. She nurthured that opinion all through the time that I knew her. And I didn't mind it a bit. I came to believe that she was my big sister too. We took care of her, what she wanted, we tried our best to make it happen for her. As our kids came along, it was the same for them. She was an aunt to be reckoned with. And we loved her for it. She was going to become the 'Grand Aunt Cathy' that so many have in their families. She would be the one who would take the kids on great and grand excursions and expeditions....even if it would only be to the Plaza or to a mall.

We had such great plans for and with her. I know that she had plans too. She retired so recently - in September of last year. By Halloween, she began a serious spiral that ended with us saying the rosary around her on Monday as her breaths were numbered. By 8:45, she had left us...quietly, calmly, but certainly.

So, take care of your folks. Your aunts - leave none unkissed. Speak to your uncles. Shake their hands on greeting and leaving. They have vast amounts of pride in YOU that you don't deserve. Truly! They see things in you that you can't see yourself. They have expectations in you that you can only asipire to accomplish, and when you do, you'll never have better cheerleaders. And when you don't, they won't see the failure. They will only see the next opportunity for you to succeed. And they will pull for you all along that way!

Let's hope that once they pass from this life to the next, that they can pull even harder from the other side.

God welcome you, Cathy Cullum and take you into His arms and give you the greatest bear hug that I will miss giving you for the rest of my life.

3 Feabhra 2008

Superbowl Sunday!!!

"Negativity is an addiction to the bleak shadow that lingers around every human form ... you can transfigure negativity by turning it toward the light of your soul.' - JOHN O'DONOHUE, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

On a day like today, where there are NO Chiefs at the Superbowl AGAIN, and it's gray, bleak and spitting something like hail outside, and no one is shopping Downtown, what can I say from the light of my soul? - Well, I will say that YOU are reading this right now. And that matters to me!
Have a very sunny day today and take a look at your shining light! I felt it from here!


2 Feabhra 2008

John O'Donohue - a guide for life today

John O'Donohue, an ex-priest in the West of Ireland, was a philosopher and poet for our times. Sadly and too soon, he passed away recently. His memorial serevice was held today at noon in the Galway cathedral. He will be sorely missed by those who love the inspired written word and thought provoking poetry.

I appreciate - love the written word. One of my other poet - heroes was Sister Mary Faith Schuster, a Benedictine from Atcheson Kansas. I think that Sister Faith and John would have been great friends. I hope that their paths crossed at some time. I met and spent time with Sister at a retreat while I was in college. We spent the night in a high school chapel praying and just talking. But it was like talking to God Himself. Quiet, mostly dark, we sat on the marble floor talking while the candle flames flickered on the wall. We said the rosary, but it was slow, with some life affirming banter in between each decade. She was such an artist. She moved me back to the center that I had moved from, gently, calmly, using a whispered voice. What a gift she was. I miss her. Lots of people miss her. She had this affect on everyone she encountered.

John O'Donohue speaks the same way to me now, although I never got to meet him. I am reading his book, Anam Cara right now. I was afraid to tackle it. John is an academic, and I don't have a lot of patience (or intelligence) to read anything deeper than the newspaper. But his whole life's work has been the examination of the need for inclusion in this world that we live in. It is increasingly hard to belong to anything or to form much af an attachment to anything anymore, sadly. John says that it's because we've lost track of who owe are and where we are in this life. He provides some fantastic illustrations to help the reader recognize their place.

I'm going to try to include something from John in my blogs, and hope to help spread the word about this wonderfully brilliant, and spiritual Irishman.

Slan for now.