Monthly Archives: September 2014

a life

“Let your life speak

I love this old Quaker quote.  For me it says it all – simply and beautifully. I like to think that is what I try to do as imperfect and clumsy as my attempts often may be.

But my brother, George – he was a different story.  He truly did let his life speak.

It was a life of courage and perseverance, hard work, generosity, abundant love and caring, a  very funny sense of humor, humility, kindness and acceptance even in times of great personal loss and pain.  He was a devoted dad and grandpa, husband and brother.  He really was special.

My brother George died on Friday and a hole has been left in our family of six siblings.

But as has been my way whenever I’ve needed to take a deep breath and be brave, face the unknown, accept life’s twists and turns, challenging that they may be, I always think of my brother George.

His life reflected the true miracle of the human spirit – and so he will live on.

Comments Off on a life

Filed under Uncategorized

new beginnings

This past week was a week of new beginnings.

At the open house at the brand new Northside Elementary and Coulee Montessori School, I walked behind a little girl of about 6-years-old who was leading her grandparents on their own private tour of the school.  “You need to follow me and listen.  This is a very, very beautiful school, a very beautiful school”, this young student exclaimed with great elation.

And from what I gathered on my wanderings in and out of the bright classrooms and open spaces, this little girl was right.  And the most significant emotion that flowed throughout the halls – on every face from elderly north side residents to young families checking out their child’s first classroom, to a teacher I spoke with in his brand new classroom after teaching in the old north side schools for twenty years, to a passionate parent I admire whose children attend this school, and who labored so hard to help get the referendum passed – the most significant emotion was pride and hope.

A new school, a bright spot, for all the community to shine.

A new beginning.

Meeting our grandson for the first time this past week was all that I thought it would be – joyful, loving, fascinating.  Holding him, speaking to him, singing to him – with our eyes connected – enchanting!  Such a beautiful baby and such beautiful moments.

What I could hardly have imagined, however, was the thrill of seeing our grown-up son, hands-on, nurturing, so naturally attending to and adoring his own son.  It was like experiencing the passing of the parenting torch.  I had witnessed so many new stages of young adulthood as our son matured over these past ten years, including marriage.

But this one – this one was different.

Seeing both our son and his wife joined so powerfully in love with their first child and so supportive of each other was over the top for me.

It is truly a new beginning.


Comments Off on new beginnings

Filed under Uncategorized


“I think I’m feeling much braver now”, a five-year-old little guy told his mom before leaving for his first day of kindergarten, after quite a teary morning at home.

As distressing as it might seem to a parent who is ever hopeful that their child will glide through this separation with ease, what a positive stress reducer it was for this young boy to let his “feelings” be known, face them and find his courage.

For stress can come out in so many other different  and often negative ways – misbehavior, aggression, physical ailments to name a few.   How perfect for this little guy that he knew he could share his emotions with his mom, making their relationship that much more trusting and secure.

The honesty that comes out in moments like these can be so revealing and so poignant.  “I just want to stay here with you like I’m supposed to “, this 5-year-old told his mom.

So many new things to face – one foot in the safe, cozy nurture of family and the other foot stepping into the big world out there.  But this special boy took a giant leap, worked through his stress to discover his bravery and a wonderful first day of school as well.

It’s a lesson for all of us.  Pay attention to our strong emotions, share them, talk about them, cry if we have to, work them out.

We’ll all feel a little braver then.

Comments Off on Braver

Filed under Uncategorized

trust them

“I won’t leave without you.”, I overheard a two-and-a-half-year-old little girl telling her daddy as she walked independently behind him while shopping at Kohl’s.  Her dad kept stopping and waiting for her, and that’s when she would repeat, “I won’t leave without you.”

How many times probably has this little one heard that said to her and now when she repeats it herself to her dad, she can feel empowered and confident as she assures him not to worry.

It is moments like this that we know our words hit home, make their point, console, encourage, embolden our children’s young spirits.

And so, as many of our children head off for their first day of school, we can be sure that all of the words and good-bye routines and rituals that have evolved over the years between you will replay in their minds as they leave you at their classroom door.

Trust them to own them and be strong from them.

And so, in a way, “they won’t leave without you” – not even on their first day of school.



Comments Off on trust them

Filed under Uncategorized