Monday, May 30, 2011
By the time my sister and I were born, my father was in his late fifties and we were just coming out of World War II. He managed memories of that war by story-telling, at least the humorous parts and the parts that highlighted the discipline of the Army. We learned to make our beds with square corners, so flat that a quarter could be bounced off it. We were taught the Army song, to salute, to turn out and to march. He let us use his Army blanket for picnics and tea parties.
Stored away in Doc's Army footlocker were other souvenirs from his time in the corps, including a terrific black and white photo of his corps, which hung in his dental office for some of my childhood. He was a lifelong member of both the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, for whom we sold the poppies made by veterans.
Doc was buried in the cemetery in Buffalo Center overlooking the rich cornfields of northern Iowa with a formal military salute in 1970.
I am glad that he came home from that war and, later, as a widower, married my mother and had two daughters. So many did not come home from that war, or all the wars that have followed. If you see someone offering you a poppy today, take it in memory of someone you know who served our country in the military. Or on behalf of the thousands who no longer have anyone left to remember them.
Posted by Unknown at 10:03 AM
Monday, May 9, 2011
There are no words necessary to describe the joy and pleasure of friends who meet to do good works. On Saturday, we participated in the second annual "Inspiring Hope" 5k/10k walk run to benefit the Komen Foundation. It is estimated that we raised around $5,000 -- and had a pancake breakfast after the event as well. Here are a few photos. You can see from the smiles that we are all happy to be a part of this event.
|Carol and Ginny cross the finish line without breaking a sweat.|
Posted by Unknown at 12:09 PM
On Wednesday evening, I'm one of a number of residents attending an orientation for the Seattle Neighborhood Action Program (SNAP) implementation in our Ravenna neighborhood. I'll be responsible for the 12 homes on one block of 19th Avenue -- ensuring we have contact information and also can assist any neighborhood residents who might need extra help during an emergency event like a power outage or an earthquake. I like taking what I know professionally and applying it locally.
Posted by Unknown at 11:46 AM
Friday, May 6, 2011
I thought I would tell you a bit about each of the persons whose names are on my hat. On the front are Tracy and Diane, both breast cancer survivors, one my next door neighbor and one my former colleague at Washington Mutual who walks now each year herself, On the side of my hat that you can see in this picture are three other WaMulians -- Julie, whose humor and optimism in facing down advanced breast cancer was the inspiration for my first ever walk; Denise, who fought pancreatic cancer right down to the end with all the experimental treatments available; and Lisa, who beat thyroid cancer in 2006. The back of my hat is jammed with names added over time including five breast cancer survivors (Colleen, Cindy, and Judy from WaMu and Anne, guiding light for so many years at The Seattle Foundation), as well as two brain cancer patients, the composer/musician Andrew d'Angelo and my hero now deceased, Teddy Kennedy, Lion of the Senate; and my colleague Brian, who came back from a virulent form of abdominal cancer. The fourth side of my hat includes my sister Mary, a breast cancer survivor; my friend Jobeth, who beat uterine cancer; and my old friend Sabine, who was laid to rest last year of brain cancer.
Each of these names represents a real person, whose life was torn apart by cancer.
My hat does not carry the names of the survivors who are members of the Kindred Spirits team, but I wanted to mention our captain, Penny Kellam, who has led this team and walked for something like thirteen or so 60 mile events. She is the organizer of the "Inspiring Hope" event tomorrow, and a survivor of both uterine and cervical cancer.
This list is way too long. Our banners say "Everyone deserves a lifetime." I'll continue to walk and raise funds for screening, early detection and additional research that brings us closer to understanding how to eliminate this horrific disease.
Posted by Unknown at 10:55 AM