Sunday, May 24, 2015

Little Shares: Housekeeping items (and braggy mom!)

Lots of miscellaneous stuff! Housekeeping in my brain commences here....


Can a proud mama brag for a moment?

Our eldest son Eric (number two in our lineup) just graduated from college! I have no picture to share in cap and gown, because he opted to skip the ceremony and come home early (he's not much for drawing attention to himself), but he graduated from the University of Arizona with honors, with a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Basically, that's his pre-med degree, and now he's off to medical school! He will be attending Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine in North Carolina, speciality to be determined later. We are so proud of you, Eric!

And, oh by the way, he's single. And looking. He's a faithful Catholic, and would love to marry and have a big family! I know that Belmont Abbey is just about three hours from his medical school, and it's full of wonderful Catholic women, so if any of you know someone....  ;)

Hopefully he won't be too upset that I wrote that last part. But I don't think he reads my blog too often, ha!


On the subject of Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, some people are confused about DOs, so here's a short primer: a DO trains in the same course of study as MDs, is eligible for the same residencies, and  has the same ability to become a surgeon or any specialty. However, because of the more holistic philosophy of osteopathic medicine, most DOs tend to become primary care doctors, i.e., family physicians, internists, obstetricians, or pediatricians.

I suspect that people tend to confuse DOs with naturopaths (who do not have medical degrees and are not doctors). My father and uncle are MDs, so I didn't know much about DOs until recently, and it's been interesting to learn. My own family physician is a DO, as is my NaPro doctor and several of the partners in my OB/gyn's office and our pediatrician's office. And that's my PSA for today!


I am more and more drawn to the truth that the crosses in our own lives are our path to sanctity, the ladder to the Father. The personal cross is something inescapable, and yes, when approached with surrender and acceptance, it is beautiful and transcendent. And it is surely a sign of contradiction in a world that seeks comfort and pleasure above all.

Ann Coakley, as many of you know, lost her husband Paul to a fast moving cancer this year. Ann is raising their four small children (including a son born after Paul's death), and has been a source of wisdom and inspiration for thousands, including me. She wrote something today on her Facebook page that needs to be shared. Today would have been their seventh anniversary:

7 years ago today I walked up the aisle of St. Peter's. My eyes were locked on Paul who had tears escaping his own eyes. It was the most beautiful and perfect day of my life. In Paul I recognized the love God has for me, his lowly daughter whom He loves beyond measure. Paul loved me in such a way that was as close to a perfect love as you can experience in this life. It was a fore taste of heaven. A heaven that my saintly husband is now experiencing because he understood love & sacrifice better than anyone I've ever known. Our vows are complete. We loved each other through everything this life threw at us and we held onto each other up until the end. God gave me a miracle in the reassurance that Paul was going to Him when Paul lifted off his bed, raised his arms and went to the One who loves him more perfectly than I could. One day my beloved will be waiting for me to close my eyes and wake up in the true reality that we had helped each other attain during this life. I joyfully await that day. Until it comes I will make both God and Paul proud of me by focusing on our babies and living this life the way Paul lived his life. Happy anniversary, sweetheart. I love you and miss you. Please keep helping me on this path to heaven.

She then linked to the following page on her blog, from 2009, "Catholic Symbolism in our Marriage", and she mentioned elsewhere that this is her favorite image from her wedding day. Note that Paul is washing her feet (as the Lord washed the feet of His Apostles), as a sign of his tender love and eternal service to his bride:

Paul and Ann Coakley


Just for fun, here are two of my very, very, very, very (did I say "very"?) favorite blog posts of all time, from Bad Catholic. I know it's a good blog post when it doesn't leave me, and when I keep returning to it, after years have passed. I think you guys will enjoy them, either again or for the first time:


Okay, this made me so sad! Look at how the activist author of this blog describes herself:

She regularly annoys her 6-year old son ... by grounding him whenever he attempts to rescue a princess.

My heart breaks! The beautiful, unique, God-given instinct of a boy or man to be protector, provider, hero, is disparaged and punished! The attempt at some kind of social consciousness here may be well-meaning, but this mother's sentiment is terribly misguided. Every boy, every man, wants to be a hero. The masculine heart is made for such things. In this culture, the part of boys and men that we should want to nurture more than anything is their desire to willingly sacrifice themselves for others, especially women and children who are in danger. If we dampen or (shockingly!) punish this instinct in men and boys, then we kill that part of them that gives them purpose and mission.

Oh, I cannot tell you how eagerly I await Bishop Olmsted's Apostolic Exhortation to the men in our diocese, on the masculine nature. We desperately need it! Our boys are floundering, and punishing them for desiring to "rescue the princess" is a blow to their nature and mission, a crushing of the masculine heart and soul.



A few weeks ago, my daughters and grandbabies came to visit!!! Their trips home overlapped by two days, so the cousins got to meet!

Felicity will be ONE next month!!

David is two months old today!!

I hope you all survived the cuteness overload. I believe I warned you.


If you are seeing this or any post in script, it's not me, I promise! It's your computer or your browser. Rest assured, I would never make you wade through all these posts in script!


Have a most blessed Memorial Day, and as a reminder (because I never used to make the distinction), here is the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day:

Memorial Day (Monday) commemorates those who lost their lives serving our nation. Veterans Day (always November 11) is for celebrating all of our veterans. So, this weekend specifically honors those servicemen/women who were killed in the line of duty.

May God rest their souls and reward their sacrifices, and may He comfort their family and friends. 


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  2. I think something happened to my comment. Was just sharing that if you're interested in pre-arranged marriages, I have a couple of daughters who aren't yet of marrying age, lol ;-)

  3. Deeply touched by my namesake's story - but we now have two commenters named Sebastian on this blog - how likely is that?? Anyway, I might refrain from commenting from now on, and you'll always be sure which one of us is talking ;-)

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  4. Kim, I love it! Let's draw up the contracts, lol!

    Both Sebastians, oh wow! It can get confusing!! If one of you would like to edit your user name ("Sebastian 2", or "Sebastian 1"), that would be wonderful!

    My dear Sebastian 1, there is no way I want you to refrain from commenting!! You'd better not! :)

  5. When Mike was in med school (he's an MD), the MD and DO students did all of their main classes together. They each had degree-specific classes in addition to that, but they spent A LOT of time in class together. The running joke among the MDs was that "DO = MD - 5" Why? Because the required passing grade for the DO students was 5 points lower than the required passing grade for the MD students. I still think of that and giggle every time someone explains the difference between a MD and DO.

  6. Heidi, lol!! It's funny because my dad (an MD) always sort of "looked down" on DOs when I was growing up, and I didn't fully know or care why. But in recent years, he has one a 180 and now he looks at me and says, "They are exactly the same!" lol!
    Eric interned and had a fellowship at the Mayo Clinic for the last couple of years, and he liked seeing DOs on staff at Mayo. Who knows, maybe he will be able to come back to AZ and work there! (Fingers crossed, prayers offered!)

    Eric would have been happy being an MD as well, but though his internship and grades were stellar, his MCATs were a tad too low for most of the MD schools. And as a white male, he had that strike against him, too. One really exciting part of going to Campbell is that it's a Christian (Baptist) school, and they will never, ever require (or want) him to kill (abortion) as part of his training to be a healer! Whew....

  7. Regarding the crosses we must bear:

    St Rose of Lima: "Apart from the cross, there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven."

    Venerable Fulton Sheen: "Don't think of the cross that you carry as a road block to happiness, but merely as a ladder to heaven."

  8. rueschmike, beautiful!!

    And Sebastian Bothe,

    You might be happy to hear that Sebastian is a name growing in popularity among the Catholic community here! I know at least three young Sebastians off the top of my head!

  9. Great post all around.
    I know lots of Sebastian's and actually have a 3 year old nephew with that name too. 10 years ago, the only time I heard it was in The Little Mermaid. Catholics have reclaimed this amazing name as the patron of their boys!

  10. Hey, you guys are making my day! Are we going to talk about Catholic names? I never used to like Sebastian, but I've reconciled myself to it. St. Sebastian was a soldier and body guard of two Roman emperors, who publicly proclaimed his Christian faith and helped fellow Christians. For that he was condemned to death and killed. But he famously survived the arrows that pierced him, a representation of which you'll find in most churches in Southern Europe. He went back to report to duty but continued in his "wicked ways" and was martyred a second time, this time for good. Until today he is being called upon to help defend against the enemies of the Church. Yeah, I know why I'd rather be living up to a different name!

  11. My OB is a DO! He's awesome! Our former family practice doc was a DO too (he moved across town, boo, so I need to find a different doctor.)

  12. So when Eric gets to Campbell and is invited to lead a group in prayer someday, tell him I have a crisp $50 bill if he just starts right off with a Hail Mary.
    Besides all babies being cute, I especially get a kick out of seeing family resemblance in a new variation. Is David not a clone of Priscilla? I mean the eyes? And Felicity has her youngest uncles look. Very sweet.
    Ann Coakleys symbolism piece is really good. Isn't that whole triune component to a relationship just huge. When there is a third equal component (God), one person can't be bigger than the other two. If it's only two wills in play, then somebody can win and take their ball home. But with the third element each person is accountable to a higher standard. Like when a child comes along. Or the team being more important than the individual players. The corporation bigger than the officers. I know some non believing couples who have figured this out and it's because they have learned to use that principle. I don't know how it can be done without it. I would have screwed it all up years ago if not for the grace of God (and the special constant prayers of a few).
    I watched a few people carry that same big nasty cross that Paul and Ann carry and wow, how to make sense of it without the cross of Christ to inform them.
    Oh and for boys being boys. Please...with that woman.
    Quick boy story. So one day I railed to the kids about wearing their seat belts in the van. I explained that if we hit something, one of them would be launched like a missile through the windshield and die. ( I was mad and trying to make it stick) . A couple days later we are loading up and one of the olders yells "dad, Blaise won't put on his seatbelt". I look back and our 4 year boy is standing in his car seat, arms stretched forward to bench in front of him and yells, "Let's go dad , I want to be missile"

  13. @ Leila. Never too much cuteness!

    @ Sebastian:

    "the devil wants to destroy family and the dignity of women - recently I read a article about a 10 year old girl, guess it is Paraguay, who gets Pregnant, after being raped by her stepfather - and (sometimes it seems) everyone and every media format publishing that issue, intend, for the girl the best thing is, having a abortion, what god thanks is denied by the government there.
    This girl needs our prayer and spiritual assistance right now!"

    And it's NOT destroying the family and dignity of this poor girl to force her to have a baby (her step-father's no less)?? And what kind of "spiritual assistance" will you be offering her when she possibly bleeds out in childbirth? (according to the World Health Organization "complications in pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death among adolescent girls in developing countries"--and this girl isn't even an adolescent!) or lives her whole life with the trauma and stigma of bearing her step father's child?

    If you believe a 10-year-old girl, already having gone through the trauma of rape, should be forced to bear a child when it carries serious medical risk and certain emotional trauma then just admit that and don't couch it in flowery language about "dignity."

    Sorry--dont' mean to hijack this lovely post, just couldn't let that one pass by. Thanks.

  14. Johanne, the ten-year-old girl already has a baby. The only choice now is whether or not to kill her baby. The baby exists, is living, is a human being in his/her own right. The ONLY good thing in this scenario is the life of an innocent human being, and so we want to kill it, adding violence to the violence?

    Yes, adolescent girls die in developing countries due to lack of health care. Horrific deaths, often because there is no money to train midwifes, doctors, etc. Obstetric fistula is one of the most devastating things to befall young girls in those countries. And there is no access to C-sections, etc. Almost certainly, this little girl will be under the best of care in her country, due in part to the media frenzy. Both mother and child will be cared for.

    No way can a young girl be expected to understand what an abortion is, and how those consequences (of a choice not made by her, and not fully understanding anyway) would affect her if she were directed to kill her unborn child. No one should put a child in the position or being raped and impregnated NOR should anyone put a child in the position of ending the life of her baby at an age where she has no idea what that will mean for her psychologically and emotional for the rest of her life.

    I know it's a tough issue. But we can't pretend that there is only one person involved. There are two. Love them both.

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