Posts Tagged ‘CNN’


We’re Still Losing This War…


Warning: War & Peace was shorter.

If you’re hoping for a book review or book announcement or something humorous from me today, you came to the wrong blog. Sorry! But, as I said on Wednesday, I’m still in my grief fog. Thus, I’d like to do something productive with it, so here goes:

The reality is that even though many, many types of cancer are now virtually curable, there are some other forms of cancer that still are, basically, a death sentence for its victims upon diagnosis. Yes, a death sentence.

Now, I want to be absolutely emphatic about a few things before I launch into specifics:

1. ANY battle with cancer requires tremendous courage on the part of the patient, curable or not. Even for these cancers, our treatments for them are still barbaric, if you ask me. We either chop off a part of your body, nuke it, or poison it. In many cases the treatment plan includes all three. NBC News just did a report last night on how chemo may not be a wise treatment for many breast cancer patients because of its long-term psychological, physical and economic ramifications. Thank goodness–for breast cancer patients, there ARE other alternatives, in many cases.

2. I am not bringing this to your attention because of what happened to my brother. I’m bringing it to your attention so that you can make better decisions about how you participate in the solution to these deadly cancers. In fact, esophageal cancer has a better rate of survival than several others. If you ask me, the ones more deadly than esophageal cancer need to be addressed first.

3. Don’t assume that you can target your donations to a cancer research or fundraising organization for the most deadly cancers. I checked on this for the most known cancer organization in the U.S.—you can’t.

Now, with that being said, here’s what I know and have learned:

1. Cancer is about to become an epidemic in this country in a few short years. When I would tell people about my brother, most people’s responses were: “Geez. Everyone I know seems to have cancer.” And they are right to feel that way. If it hasn’t touched your immediate family yet, consider yourself one of the fortunate few.

2. We still know very little about what agents in our universe cause cancer. Even if we do know, we seldom alert the public about it enough for anyone to change their lifestyle to limit their risk. For instance, did you know that drinking alcohol is a risk factor for esophageal cancer? My brother quit drinking cold turkey the day he learned that. Too bad he didn’t learn it sooner.

3. Deadly cancers are deadly cancers because there is far less money donated to these cancers than others.  The reason why that’s so is because we, as a society, decided that these more curable cancers, at one time, were so deadly and killed so many people that we had to attack them with a vengeance. I agree with that philosophy and I am thankful that I’ve been able to enjoy the presence of so many of my family and friends because of that philosophy.

4. When less money is donated to a particular type of cancer, that means fewer scientists want to research ways to treat it. This isn’t mean or greedy on their parts–they need to pay the bills, too! If you’re being paid through a research grant, you have to research whatever the grant wants you to research!

5. When fewer scientists work on a particular type of cancer, there are fewer odds they will find innovative ways to fight it. Let’s be honest–the more brainiacs we have working on a kind of cancer, the greater the odds something brilliant will happen to find a great treatment.

6. When there are fewer ways to fight it and diagnose it early, then the chance of you dying upon diagnosis is much, much higher. Why? Stage IV cancers are much more complicated to fight. This is, largely, what happened to my brother. In esophageal cancer there isn’t even a Stage IV because you’re dead before it’s diagnosed!

7.  Even if diagnosed early, fewer treatment methods mean fewer chances for remission. Even if you go into remission, the chances are far greater it will return for deadly cancers.

So, which cancer is the most deadly? Here’s the top 5 and their mortality rates:

1. Pancreatic cancer – 94%.

2. Liver cancer – 83.9%.

3. Lung cancer – 83.4% and it still claims the most lives every year.

4. My infamous buddy–esophageal cancer – 82.7%.

5. Stomach cancer – 72.3%.

Notice anything about the top 5? 4 have to do with digestion. Think about that for a moment. If you get cancer in your digestive tract, isn’t that going to lessen your chances for survival? Uh. Yeah. Because you can’t get proper nutrition while you’re enduring this barbaric way we currently treat cancer! And that’s exactly when your body needs the most nutritional help!

My brother’s tumor was located at the junction where his esophagus meets his stomach. The tumor so blocked the stomach that he couldn’t even swallow his own saliva. And if chemo made him nauseous, things didn’t go the other way, either. Gross, but true.

Now, let’s look at the highest funded cancers for research per the National Cancer Institute:

1. Breast Cancer.

2. Lung cancer.

3. Prostate cancer.

4. Colo-rectal cancer.

5. Leukemia.

What does that mean for our Top 5 Deadliest Cancers? They are not as likely to find cures as quickly. Now, since lung cancer takes the most victims, I am very, very thankful it’s # 2 on the funded list. And I’ll agree that we need to throw money at leukemia, too. Why? It’s # 8.

Want to know where breast cancer, prostate cancer, colo-rectal cancer and leukemia fall on the deadliest cancer list? Here’s the most curable cancers:

1. Prostate Cancer

2. Thyroid cancer

3. Skin Cancer.

4. Breast Cancer

5. Uterine Cancer.

Want to know where the deadly cancers rank for funding levels? Pancreatic cancer is # 10. Liver cancer is # 12. Esophageal cancer is # 19. Stomach cancer is # 28.

When I was a kid, breast cancer was definitely a death sentence. But because of the Susan G. Komen model, it now has an overall survival rate of 89.2%. Stage 1 breast cancer is at 98%! Here’s even more good news: There are Stage IV survivors who have survived for 2 decades! When I was walking the 3 Day for Susan G. Komen in 2009, they announced that the Komen organization had been responsible for nearly all of the great advances in breast cancer research over the last 30 years. They seem to know who to fund, don’t they? That Komen model works!  My suggestion? We need to replicate it for those deadly cancers. And fast…before that cancer epidemic.

And, I think we need to be smart about taking care of our bodies and knowing what cancers are in our family history. And we should “choose wisely” when sending in our cancer donations.

When I realized that you couldn’t target donations to a well-known general cancer organization and realized that my brother was going to die, I decided to look for an organization that targeted funding towards esophageal cancer for those who wanted to send a donation in his memory. I found one that’s working on genomic testing for esophageal cancer. Genomic testing could lead to earlier diagnosis and thus, better survival rates. This organization is quite young, but it’s very well organized and pretty creative about fund-raising.

If you, like me, wonder how much of your donation goes to actual research, you can check out your favorite cancer organization at Look for cancer charities with a 4-star rating. A 3 star rating is also good. But, if it has less than 3 stars, please consider giving to an organization truly worth your hard-earned money or asking that charity to take the necessary steps to earn a 3 or 4 star rating. Or suggest that they take a page from the Komen model and find ways to get that money where it most needs to go.

Why? You and your family may be the very beneficiaries of that.  And here’s a thought: Most of us can spare a dollar a day without really suffering. If we did that every day for a year, each of us would have  $ 365 that could be spent on cancer research. If just half of the U.S. did that this year, we would raise over $ 58 billion dollars for cancer research. Let that marinate in your vast brain for a while and then go make me proud.

Monday’s Post: The return of WOW!!!!!!! Can I get an Amen?

You might also like: Why I Stopped Writing, Another Kind of WOW, A Real Scare, and Lessons Learned from the 2009 Breast Cancer 3 Day


26 Tuesdays…the Finale!


If you have been following the 26 Tuesdays series on MIP, you may feel, as I do, that it sure took a long time to honor the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. The sad thing to realize is that many more have lost their lives in service to their country, through disease, and through other acts of violence while we were working on our own acts of kindness in this series.

Each and every day there are many, many people who deserve to be honored and remembered by each of us doing an act of kindness for them. That saying, “Kill them with kindness,” is ringing in my ears today and perhaps that was what was behind Ann Curry’s campaign for 26 Acts of Kindness. If we truly want to turn our world around, each of us needs to be intentional about getting out of our self-absorbed “cocoons” and doing something kind for someone else. Do some resort to “acts of meanness” because the world has not taken enough notice of their suffering? Of course. That is the cost of us being self-absorbed about our own pain. But, each and every day people rise above that very real pain, choose to be victorious survivors and turn their real horror stories into stories of triumph. If we can use them as our role models and meet evil with good as often as we can, perhaps a better world will result. And even if it doesn’t, perhaps we caused a few people to stop and think and maybe change a behavior or two here and there.

The movie, Pay It Forward, depicts how 3 acts of kindness by 1 young boy resulted in a massive movement across the U.S. All he requested from the recipients of his acts was for them to do the same. He didn’t even request 26 acts as I have asked of you and me. So, my dear readers, I hope you will make acts of kindness your new habit and simply look for opportunities to do things for others as often as you can. Who knows? We may change a country if we do, and maybe given enough time, change a world.

I am not going to spend today’s post by telling you all about my acts (yes, plural) of kindness for this week, but suffice it to say, the final MIP count now stands at 103! Not bad, gang! You deserve a pat on the back! Thanks for participating in this little campaign and keep going!

Thursday’s Post: The Weirdest Diet in the World?

You might also like: 26 Tuesdays: Allison N. Wyatt; 26 Tuesdays: Benjamin Wheeler; 26 Tuesdays: Victoria Soto; and 26 Tuesdays: Mary Sherlach


26 Tuesdays: Lauren Rousseau

smiling teacher

Last week we honored Avielle Richman, who had a loose tooth and loved horses. Since we had had a horse lover the week before, I didn’t want to repeat what I had done for Jessica Rekos, but I found it a little difficult to find an act of kindness that had to do with loose teeth! Somehow I think I might get arrested if I were to volunteer to help a kid yank out their loose tooth!

Fortunately, two media concerns helped me discover other ways to help others from my very own home. When I was in the hospital, I was given a magazine to read (because I was getting totally bored!) and it’s one I grew up with: Woman’s Day. My mother religiously read that magazine every month and I occasionally indulge in the same avocation. Believe it or not, this issue spoke about Help from Home has a pile of ways people can help others without ever getting out of their P.J.’s. So, this week I clicked on some links that edged “click tallies” closer to a target goal. Once met, corporations will donate money to worthy causes, such as providing more trees in areas where they are sparse and feeding impoverished children in Peru.

I also grew up with 60 Minutes in my living room every Sunday evening and this week they discussed this past Sunday evening. sends ships to African countries where people still believe that tumors are spiritual curses. They believe this so vehemently that people with tumors can be cast out of their homes and communities. People in these countries are also often blinded by cataracts. Thus, the nurses and doctors on a mercy ship provide much needed surgeries to remove tumors and cataracts and deliver basic medical care to those who need it most. They are a Christian concern, regularly praying before and after surgeries for their patients, but will help anyone in need (regardless of religious belief) for free. In fact the doctors and nurses there actually pay for the privilege of working on these ships–they raise their own support. The ships have their own fire departments, schools and other needed services. Because of this, romances often bloom and marriages and families ensue!  Some children are raised entirely on the ship to the point that they don’t even recognize mailboxes when they are on vacation in the U.S.! Many plan to live and work on these ships for the rest of their lives.

If you haven’t yet done your act of kindness this week, may I suggest you go to these web sites and see what you can do to help these organizations? And then, please take a moment to let me know how you helped! So, this brings our MIP act of kindness to 68!

This week we honor Lauren Rousseau, a permanent substitute teacher at Sandy Hook. Here’s what CNN said about her:

Lauren Rousseau, 30

Rousseau, a permanent substitute teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary, “wanted to be a teacher from before she even went to kindergarten,” her mother said in a written statement Saturday. “We will miss her terribly and will take comfort knowing that she had achieved that dream,” Teresa Rousseau said. She grew up in Danbury, Connecticut, and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Bridgeport. Rousseau “worked as a substitute teacher in Danbury, New Milford and Newtown before she was hired in November as a permanent substitute teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown,” her mother’s statement said.

Thursday’s Post: A surprise for one of my readers…

You might also like: 26 Tuesdays: Avielle Richman, 26 Tuesdays: Jessica Rekos, 26 Tuesdays: Caroline Previdi, and 26 Tuesdays: Noah Pozner


26 Tuesdays: Avielle Richman


They often run the program on a shoe-string budget, relying heavily on the public for donations of horses, feed, and equipment. Volunteer students often act as the “guides” for the horses and riders. Thus, this week I decided my favorite equine therapy program deserved a small infusion of cash from our household. Hope it helps provide therapy for someone like my son very soon.

This puts our 26 Tuesdays Acts of Kindness Count at 66! This week we honor Avielle Richman. I have to confess that I’ve never heard of the name Avielle and it may have to find its way into a novel of mine some day, since I like how it just rolls off the tongue! It sounds French and since I adore all things “Francais,” it just appeals to me. Here’s what CNN said about the young lady with the pretty name:

Avielle Richman, 6

Avielle was happiest when she was on a horse. Her trainer, Annette Sullivan, told the Connecticut Post that Avielle would “giggle when she trotted.” Like kids her age, her first wobbly tooth was a sign she was growing up. “She showed me her wiggly tooth, she was so excited,” Sullivan told the newspaper. “She was the most delightful little girl you ever met in your life.”

Hmmm….sounds like I might need to increase the aforementioned donation, hunh? What did you do to honor Jessica?

Thursday’s Post: Some excavations just shouldn’t take place…

You might also like: 26 Tuesdays: Jessica Rekos; 26 Tuesdays: Caroline Previdi; 26 Tuesdays: Noah Pozner; 26 Tuesdays: Jack Pinto; and 26 Tuesdays: Emilie Parker


26 Tuesdays: Jessica Rekos…

wild horses

Happy belated birthday to Olivia Engel, who would have been 7 yesterday, had she not been a victim of the Sandy Hook shooting. As we welcome a royal baby, let us remember that some families this year will not be able to celebrate with the bundles of joy they brought home from the hospital 7 years ago. My dad passed away 5 years ago and his birthday was on Saturday and while my dad lived a long and happy life, I can tell you that his birthday each year still brings me to a few tears. I’m sure it’s even worse when losing a child. So, let’s all pray for Olivia’s family this week!

It’s a little tricky these days to do acts of kindness in memory of each of the Sandy Hook victims due to the restrictions of my recuperation from 2 heart attacks. Why? I’m not supposed to be outside in weather over 95 degrees and most Texans are asleep in July when it’s under 95 degrees, even my night owl self included.

Also, prior to the heart attacks I at least had 1 allergy shot each week to ward off my anaphylaxis tendencies. Sometimes I get 2. I’m now not allowed to get allergy shots for the time being, meaning that if I go outside, I risk anaphylaxis just by breathing the air, literally. While I take 1 allergy med every single day, often 2 or 3 meds are needed if I can’t keep the allergens from bothering me. I’ve been warned that if I go into anaphylaxis, that would be detrimental to my heart, because they would use the complete opposite meds they use for my heart. Joy. So, I am presently spending a lot of time indoors (with lots of air purifiers and allergy filters all around me) getting a really bad case of cabin fever. So, what’s a an act of kindness giver supposed to do with that?

Fortunately, I have “elves.” One elf works at two car washes, cleaning the bays, emptying trash, and making sure things there are working properly. The car washes are self-serve, so it requires the use of a lot of quarters in order to clean one’s car or truck. Yes, these would be the same car washes where I recounted counting so many of those quarters. (Yes, I deliberately used, “recounted counting.”)

Thus, to honor last week’s honoree, Caroline Previdi, I decided to gather up all of the quarters laying around the house and in my wallet and ask my elf to give them to some unsuspecting stranger and just say that a stranger wanted to help them out. The elf rightly questioned doing this, suggesting that he or she could get in trouble with the boss for giving someone “free quarters” as an employee there. So, I suggested that he or she text said boss and just let them know an “act of kindness was in progress” in advance. The quarters were given out and 1 car wash customer left very happy as I write this. 🙂

This brings our MIP acts of kindness total to 63! This week we honor Jessica Rekos. Here is what CNN had to say about her:

Jessica Rekos, 6

Jessica loved everything about horses — horse movies, horse books, drawing horses and writing stories about them. She asked Santa this year for new cowgirl boots and a cowgirl hat. Her family had promised she could get her own horse when she turned 10. “She was a creative, beautiful, little girl,” her family said in a statement, describing Jessica as their “rock.” “She had an answer for everything, she didn’t miss a trick, and she outsmarted us every time. We called her our little CEO for the way she carefully thought out and planned everything,” they said. “We can not imagine our life without her.” Jessica also loved orca whales and playing with her two little brothers. “We are mourning her loss, sharing our beautiful memories we have of her, and trying to help her brother Travis understand why he can’t play with his best friend,” her family said.

What did you do for Caroline? Please leave a comment in the box below at least letting me know you participated in an act of kindness. If you want to add details of what it was like to do your act of kindness, GREAT! That will probably inspire others to do likewise, but I also respect your right to keep these things to yourself. 🙂

Thursday’s Post: Why I’m Not a Blogger Blogger…

You might also like: 26 Tuesdays: Caroline Previdi; 26 Tuesdays: Noah Pozner; 26 Tuesdays: Jack Pinto; and 26 Tuesdays: Emilie Parker


What the Results Mean for MIP…

typing on keyboard

For the last 2 days, I have relayed the results of the survey I asked my readers to answer. So, what does that mean for MIP going forward? First, let me say that changes right now will all be on a trial basis and as people give me feedback more informally, I will continue to tweak what I’m posting. Keep in mind that the changes are so that I can spend more energy on other projects, such as writing the novel and Lessons Learned book.

But, for now, I will keep doing the Word of the Week posts on Mondays. Do I hear a bunch of you thesaurus junkies rejoicing out there?

I will probably reduce the number of Slow Reader posts, simply because I am a slow reader and need more time to actually digest some books. A significant number of you do like these posts, so I don’t think I want to abandon them entirely. Besides, a writer should read and this makes me accountable! So, expect to see 1 or 2 Slow Reader posts a month.

I will probably continue the 26 Tuesdays post until we are finished with all 26 Sandy Hook victims only because I think that my self-improvement journey should include acts of kindness and again, this keeps me accountable. And because I believe these victims, along with all other victims of senseless crime, should be honored and remembered with “goodness” instead of evil! (May I suggest this for the Trayvon Martin case?) However, don’t expect these posts to be replaced by some other series.

Each week you can expect either a Lessons Learned feature or a serious post or a humorous post. In truth, the Lessons Learned series are often both serious and humorous. Don’t expect a Lessons Learned post every single week. Likewise, don’t expect a serious post every week or a humorous post every week, particularly in the beginning.  You will get at least one of the above each week, though. It will be a surprise!

So, for now, here’s the new format:

Mondays – Word of the Week
Tuesdays – 26 Tuesdays
Wednesdays – No Post
Thursdays – Random, Surprise Post
Friday – No Post
Saturday & Sunday – No Post

Later on, the format will look like this:

Mondays – Word of the Week
Tuesdays – No Post
Wednesdays – Random, Surprise Post
Thursdays – No Post
Fridays – Either a Slow Reader Post or a Random, Surprise Post
Saturday & Sunday – No Post

And, I will probably send out links for the new posts around 11 am, which is a much more sane hour for me right now. I will make this more and more “like clockwork” as time goes on, but expect some variation short term because of my current health adventures. I am finding that recuperation from this latest adventure is taking more time than I thought it would.

Many, many thanks to my readers! You are blowing my mind…in a good way and I treasure each and every comment and email you have sent my way to encourage me while I continue to recuperate. You bless me in ways you don’t even fathom!

Next Post: The Return of….the Word of the Week!

You might also like: Word of the Week: flehmen, 26 Tuesdays: Caroline Previdi, Slow Reader Thursdays: Quitter, and Lessons Learned from Heart Attacks 3 & 4


26 Tuesdays: Noah Pozner

heart leaves

Jack Pinto was our 26 Tuesdays honoree last week and Jack was into all kinds of sports. Oddly enough, this last week at our house was a time to clean out our garages. Yes, plural. But, don’t get the misconception that we have 4 Audis at our house. We own 2 cars: my 3 year old car, the company car and a rust bucket that our teen drives. The last bay is occupied by a 20 year old Wave Runner and a 10 year old riding lawn mower. And thus, we need some actual space in those garages to house all of that. Since the last teen is about to enter college, we felt safe in eradicating our garage of a lot of old sports equipment from the active child-rearing years.

A good friend of ours gathers people’s junk and sells it semi-monthly. And trust me this old sports equipment is junk! So, he came to our rescue and hauled it all away for us and actually made a little money off of it. I’m not sure who actually did the act of kindness here–him or us! Perhaps it was mutually kind? As a result our MIP Acts of Kindness count stands at 57. Or maybe 58, if we count him hauling our stuff away for free??? Let’s leave it at 57.

So, what did you do in honor of Jack? I hope, one day, we can let the Connecticut folks know that we did a great deal of nice things to honor the folks lost by one terrible act.

Today’s honoree is Noah Pozner. Here is what CNN had to say about Noah:

“He had a huge heart and he was so much fun, a little bit rambunctious, lots of spirit,” Noah’s aunt told CNN. “He was really the light of the room.” Victoria Haller said her nephew loved playing with his cousins and siblings, especially his twin sister. “He was a gorgeous, gorgeous boy and he could really get what he wanted just by batting those long eyelashes and looking at you with those big blue eyes. You really couldn’t say no to him,” she said. His siblings don’t know yet the exact way in which Noah passed away, Haller said. “How do you tell them that’s how their brother died?” she asked. “It’s the unthinkable really.”

Tomorrow’s Post: A MaryAnn in a Martha World…

You might also like: 26 Tuesdays: Jack Pinto, 26 Tuesdays: Emilie Parker, 26 Tuesdays: Anne Marie Murphy, 26 Tuesdays: Grace McDonnell, 26 Tuesdays: James Mattioli




26 Tuesdays: Chase Kowalski


Last week’s 26 Tuesdays honoree was Catherine Hubbard. Catherine loved animals so much that a local Connecticut animal center is now building an animal sanctuary in her memory, thanks to the donations of her family and friends. As I pondered how I could honor Catherine with an act of kindness, my mind turned to the book I’ve just completed reading, The Hole in our Gospel, which describes how people all over the world are starving.

One of the encouraging parts of the world’s hunger issue is that when those affected are able to raise an animal, they often can use that animal to feed their own family and sell some of the by-products to others in their village. Since the PH works in the dairy industry, we decided to donate 2 shares to World Vision International to help donate a cow to a family in need. A dairy cow can supply calves that can be raised and sold to other families in need and can provide milk for the family who owns it. Sometimes there is enough excess milk for other families and it, too, is sold to other villagers. In some cases this may be the only nutrition these children will have for a while. Perhaps more importantly, it gives that family hope. And hope is often the first “casualty” in these families. I think Catherine would like the thought of an animal bringing hope and joy to a family.

That brings the MIP Acts of Kindness count to 22. What did you do for Catherine? Please submit a comment below or send an email to me via the Contact page. It’s fine to just say that you participated, if you prefer that.

Today’s honoree is Chase Kowalski:

Chase Kowalski, 7

What Chase really wanted for Christmas was two front teeth. “I saw him two days ago, and I asked him if he wanted to see Santa, and he told me that he wanted his teeth back, and it was really sweet,” Chase’s neighbor Keeley Baumann, 13, told News Times. At 6, Chase completed his first triathlon, but that was just one of his pursuits. He loved baseball. He was in the Cub Scouts. He looked forward to the kids’ workshop at the local Home Depot. “We are thankful to the Lord for giving us seven years with our beautiful loving son. It is with heavy hearts that we return him,” the family said in an obituary.

So, what about Chase inspires you to do an act of kindness for someone? I am anxious to hear your thoughts.

Tomorrow’s Post: And the prize goes to…


26 Tuesdays: Hubbard


Last week’s 26 Acts of Kindness honoree was Madeleine Hsu. Madeleine loved dancing and running. At first I thought I would center my act of kindness around dancing since the DD was a dancer, too. Apparently, God had other ideas. I received, in the mail, a request from one of my “adopteds” to support her as she ran a half-marathon on behalf of her mother, who is living through everyone’s worst nightmare: cancer. When I reread the description of Madeleine, it reminded me of Ms. Adopted, who had very similar qualities to Madeleine, when she was 6 years old. So, this week’s kindness act is a donation to her fund to raise money for research for lymphoma and leukemia. May that very donation be a way for her mom to live a while longer–her mom sustained me, emotionally, when I was going through a very dark time in my life and so, it only seems right to do something that also honors her.

The MIP Acts of Kindness count stands at 19. How about you? What did you do this week for your act of kindness? Please submit a comment below or send me a private email (about participating this week) on the Contact Page. Thanks!

This week’s honoree is a little ginger named Catherine. Read below for more information about her via CNN:

Catherine V. Hubbard, 6

The little girl with bright red hair will be remembered for her smile and her love of animals. Catherine is survived by her older brother, her parents, grandparents, great-grandmother, uncles, aunts and nine cousins. “Her family prays that she, all the students of Sandy Hook Elementary, and all those affected by this brutal event find peace in their hearts,” they wrote in her obituary. In lieu of flowers, her family asked that people make donations to the Newtown Animal Center. A Facebook page honoring Catherine spoke of how she is now an angel. “Such a beautiful little soul,” the post read, saying the family’s loss is heaven’s gain.

Please note that I have put links to the Newtown Animal Center and Catherine’s FB page, in case you want more information about her. Just click on the highlighted words above.

Tomorrow’s Post: And a little child shall lead them…


26 Tuesday: Josephine Gay


Last week’s Sandy Hook honoree was Olivia Engel. With the previous honorees, I had no difficulty thinking of something that I could do to honor each of them. But, Olivia was so involved in the short time she was on the planet, that it was difficult to choose how I could do something on her behalf. But, Olivia was “into” soccer and since all 3 of my kids were soccer players and we have quite an active soccer association in our little town, I decided to try to locate the current President of this association and send him a donation that would allow a child to play soccer for one season “on me.”  I remember that paying for 3 registration fees, 3 sets of shin guards, and soccer fund raisers used to be a rather large expense. And since we are still recovering from a recession, I’m sure there are some talented young athletes whose parents just can’t afford that fee anymore. And for those of you still doing the “soccer chauffeur runs,” don’t forget your folding chair, the water bottle, your warm blanket, and a loud, happily-cheering voice!

So, our 26 Acts of Kindness MIP count stands at 11! And here is a little bit about today’s honoree:

Josephine Gay, 7

Josephine had just celebrated her seventh birthday Tuesday (before the Sandy Hook shooting). There’s a picture of her on the Web, published in various news stories, that shows her smiling with glasses on the tip of her nose. Josephine liked to ride her bike and sell lemonade in her neighborhood in the summer, The Wall Street Journal reported. The little girl loved the color purple.

What did you do for your Act of Kindness? Remember–it’s okay to simply say you participated, but it’s also okay to elaborate if you’d like.

Tomorrow’s Post: We’re now fighting meteors…with a Death Star?