Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Book Review - A Gathering of Angels: Seeking Healing after an Infant’s Death

I purchased A Gathering of Angels:  Seeking Healing after an Infant’s Death for my wife shortly after we lost our baby via miscarriage. We found out that we lost our child when my wife went in for her 10 week appointment, but our child had died at just 6 weeks.  When we got the terrible news, my wife and I were devastated. I openly wept when I called my mom to tell her the terrible news.  I knew that many good people shared their sympathy and this meant a lot to us, but I knew that unless they had lost a child they did not really know how we felt. Most people are well intentioned, but it is very difficult to communicate with someone who has just encountered a tragedy. You don’t know the right words to say or if you should say anything at all. I have been on both sides of this predicament. It is a very difficult situation for all those involved, and that is why I think this is such a good and necessary book. I found out about the book after I heard the author on Gus Lloyd’s morning radio show on the Catholic Channel. The author of this book, Victoria Leland, is a Neonatal Intensive Care nurse. I can’t imagine the pain and suffering she must encounter on a daily basis. She is a frequent witness to premature death, and she is also witness to some of the most intense grieving known to man; that of a grieving parent.

After reading this book, I’ve got a better appreciation for those nurses who work in the NICU and also for those parents who have suffered the loss of infant children. The most important thing I learned from this book is that mothers who have lost children will grieve that loss for much longer than they may even show outwardly. The pain of losing a child may diminish over time, but it never completely goes away. Grieving parents and especially grieving mothers are extremely emotional and physically, mentally, and spiritually vulnerable. Grieving mothers are often irrational in their expectations of their family, friends and acquaintances, but their unrealistic expectations are emotionally charged and not intentional. Although friends and family are almost always well intentioned, often words said or unsaid or actions done or undone are perceived by the grieving mother as hurtful and unsympathetic. We may not always be able to shape how others perceive us, but if we are honest and sincere in our sympathy, most likely even the grieving parent who may not be in the best frame of mind will recognize and appreciate our presence and good intentions.  The best way to comfort a grieving parent is to let them know that although you may not fully understand the intense pain they must be suffering, you recognize that they are grieving and that you are available to them for anything they need. Love them unconditionally. This can be one of the most difficult things to do, but it is what God calls us to do and it is what grieving parents desire most.

Almighty God,  tonight I pray for all grieving parents who have lost a child prematurely and unexpectedly.  Few events if any are as devastating and painful as the loss of a child.  I pray that these grieving parents find comfort through faith in You, and through the compassion and love of family, friends, and acquaintances.  I pray for the repose of the soul of the departed children.  May they rejoice with You in heaven and anxiously await reunion with their parents in heaven.  And may Almighty God bless all those doctors and nurses who work diligently day in and day out to save the lives of so many seriously ill children and people of all ages.  May they have the strength to continue their life saving work with a servant's heart, and be instruments of Your healing power.  Amen.

God bless!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Julie Dances to Classic Rock Music

My baby girl really likes the classic rock music on my phone.  Every time she hears it she smiles and starts dancing.  She usually likes to go in circles and make herself dizzy, but this time she just shakes her head and runs around.  Feel free to laugh at Julie's dorky dad.

Friday, November 5, 2010

2010 Election Results Analysis

Election Day has come and gone, and now it is time to take a look at the results. At this time there are still a couple of important races in the west that are too close to call. In Colorado, my endorsed candidate for senate Ken Buck is trailing by a couple thousand votes. In Washington, pro-life candidate Rossi is a couple thousand votes behind pro-abortion Murray. In Alaska, it appears that pro-abortion write-in candidate Murkowski is leading republican pro-life nominee Joe Miller. It appears to be bad news in all three of these close races for the pro-life candidates, but I remain hopeful that when all the votes are counted one or more will come out victorious.

Election Day provided mixed results for faithful Catholics and all Christians who believe in the sanctity of human life and the value of the family in society. In the House of Representatives, we elected a majority of pro-life candidates by a wider margin than even thought possible only weeks ago. I was pleasantly surprised at how well pro-life candidates did in the House races. Pro-life candidates also did very well in the governor’s races. These races were not covered nationally to the extent that the House and Senate races were, but they are very important in advancing the pro-life cause. One Governor’s race that ended in disappointment was in Colorado where pro-life candidate Tancredo was defeated by pro-abortion Hickenlooper. It also appears that pro-life Catholic candidate in MN Emmer will lose his election bid although they are still counting votes in MN. The Senate races ended in disappointment in several races. In addition to the 3 close races that are too close to call but appear to be pro-abortion wins, pro-life candidate Angle in NV lost to pro-abortion Senate majority leader Reid. According to polls leading up to the election, it appeared Angle was pulling away and was going to win. Most of the other pro-abortion wins were fully expected and although they are disappointing, the fact that it was expected makes the pro-life losses a little easier to take.

I have focused a lot on the pro-life losses, but all in all it was a very good day for pro-lifers. We gained a huge majority in the house and although we didn’t get a majority in the Senate, we did pick up some very important gains. Perhaps my very favorite politician (and future presidential candidate if you ask me) Marco Rubio in FL won in convincing fashion. Our representatives today are much more pro-life minded than the representatives in the last congress. For this, we should be very pleased. We should not look at these election results as an end, but rather a new beginning in the continued fight for human dignity and rights of all people. The personhood amendment in CO that would have giving rights to human beings at their earliest stages (a common sense amendment to all pro-lifers) was defeated resoundingly. While this result was disappointing, it was also expected. The general public is still very uninformed or their conscience is very clouded when it comes to issues regarding the life of the pre-born baby. We have to work diligently to educate not only ourselves, but to share our knowledge with others so that they may become educated on the most important issues of human dignity and life. We can look at this responsibility as a huge burden or we can look at it as an opportunity. I like to look at our challenges as an opportunity.

I am celebrating the many pro-life victories from Tuesday, but I remain cautious about the results. I know that ultimately it is not our elected officials that will change the culture single handedly. A change in culture requires all of us to make the valuing of human dignity and rights of all people a priority. We must all be advocates for life in our daily lives. It is up to you and me to continue the fight in the cultural wars and spiritual battles. We do not put our confidence in our elected officials or even in ourselves, but we place our confidence in God. Yesterday we celebrated; today it is back to work. Today we continue our fight for the dignity and rights of the unborn and all human beings. Below is a look at how my endorsed candidates fared on Tuesday.

Endorsed Governors

AR – Jim Keet (R) – (Loss)

CO – Tom Tancredo (I) – (Loss)

FL – Rick Scott (R) – (Win)

GA – Nathan Deal (R) – (Win)

IL – Bill Brady (R) – (Undecided – Trialing)

KS – Sam Brownback (R) – (Win)

MN – Tom Emmer (R) – (Undecided – Trailing)

NM – Suzanna Martinez (R) – (Win)

NY – Carl Paladino (R) – (Loss)

OH – John Kasich (R) – (Win)

Governor Endorsement Record: 5-3-2

Endorsed Senators

AK – Joe Miller (R) – (Undecided – Trailing)

CA – Carly Fiorina (R) – (Loss)

FL – Marco Rubio (R) – (Win)

NV – Sharron Angle (R) – (Loss)

Senator Endorsement Record: 1-2-1

Endorsed House Representatives

CA 37 – Star Parker (R) – (Loss)

CA 47 – Van Tran (R) – (Loss)

FL 8 – Daniel Webster (R) – (Win)

IL 17 – Bobby Schilling (R) – (Win)

IN 2 – Jackie Walorski (R) – (Narrow Loss)

OH 1 – Steve Chabot (R) – (Win)

House Representatives Endorsement Record: 3-3

Total Endorsement Record: 9-8-3

We ended up winning about half of the races in which I made an endorsement. Some of these were long shots to win. Georgia elected a vast majority of the pro-life candidates, and considering that Georgia is the state in which I live, I was very pleased with the election results. All-in-all it was a good day for Americans, especially the unborn children. Continue to keep our elected officials in your prayers. God bless!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day

It is finally election day!   It is our duty and responsibility to vote. As faithful Christians, we also have the moral obligation to vote for those candidates who share our values especially on the most critical issues of life. Vote for your faith, freedom, and values today. Vote pro-life. I hope and pray that today we see the balance of power shift to those people who are pro-life.  We will not win every race, but I hope and pray for good results today.  Let's get our country back on track! God bless America!