He’s NOT Wearing Green

Life is beautiful; It is a gift even when it is lived in difficult circumstances.  It is always a gift.  (Pope Benedict XVI)

One of my rarely broken rules of this blog involves not invoking stories which include what could be construed as unflattering tidbits about my husband, Tom. You see, I’m pretty into harmonious marriage. For the sake of making a point which I feel is valuable, I’m letting that one go today. He’s working so many hours right now, maybe he won’t notice, ha?

Tom and I, at our anniversary dinner. It wasn’t 6:45am when this was taken. Ha!

As you likely know, today is St. Patrick’s Day. I got up a few minutes early so that I could dig out some appropriately green clothing item and still get to 8am mass on time. Like any sane long married couple, we usually start our days best when NOT sharing bathroom space first thing in the morning. I like sleeping in and Tom likes seeing zero other humans, so it usually works out.

 Use of blow dryers is frowned upon in the wee hours, as is casual conversation.  Tom is NOT a morning person.  In fact, my irritatingly cheerful “Good morning!” used to be greeted with “Is it, though?”  I outed my handsome guy on that one, and he’s curtailed it.  I’m proud of him, as I know it’s not easy being married to me, especially at 6:45am.

Today, my mistake was pointing out that he wasn’t wearing green.  “Do you think I give a rip about wearing green?” he barked. I retorted by pointing out that his Irish grandmother is looking down disapprovingly at this move and steered him to the area with the green golf shirts just begging to be chosen.  My idea was summarily and immediately rejected. 

Transparency is important here.  It’s tax season for my favorite CPA.  When I went to bed well after 11pm, he was still in our home office working.  Also, we’re on the verge of WWIII, it costs $100 to fill up a tank with gas, the pandemic refuses to end, and his Dad has end stage colon cancer.  This moment in history is a difficult one for so many of us.  Some of the reasons we share, and some are our own crosses.

Voracious.  That’s the word I’d assign to myself where reading is concerned.  I definitely read my fair share of beach smut, but I am also drawn to historical works—fiction and nonfiction.  Many of my favorite books are based on the stories of ordinary heroes who stepped into the gap for the sake of others at some of the most cruel and terrifying moments of World War II.  For much the same reason, I am inspired by the stories of the saints.  The tie that binds the most inspiring people I’ve read about is hope.  They were hopeful folks, which allowed them to be fully present in the moment.

Hopeful people show others the light.  They are sacrificial and kind.  They raise money for one small family fleeing the Ukraine.  They show up with Starbucks on a rainy day.  They clear a stranger’s sidewalk of snow or offer to take a friend to the airport.  Hopeful people are upbeat, cheerful, sanguine and they keep the faith.  Interiorly, there is something inside these heroes.  I’ll call it grace.  This grace allows folks to somehow intuit that they start the world spinning again towards peace, towards compassion.

Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier. (Colin Powell)

The Lord isn’t calling most of us to do something as dramatic as say, St. Maximilian Kolbe.  He was a polish priest who volunteered to die in place of another man (who had a wife and children) at Auschwitz.  However, Jesus might be calling you and I to be beacons of hope. 

Are you feeling down?  The absolute best solution that exists is to be present in the day you’re living and think “what can I do to make someone else’s day sunnier?”  Then, just choose one small, optimistic thing.  Call your Dad.  Buy coffee for the fireman you see at Panera.  Teach a first grader how to play “crazy 8’s”.  Pray a decade of the rosary for a friend—then tell her!  These signs of hope send goodness into the world, and it is transformed.  The same goes for your own heart. 

I’ll give you a personal example.  At the beginning of the year, I was having a particularly blue week.  I then learned that several of the regular volunteers at the Merciful Help Center (a food pantry and so much more) near me were all out with Covid.  I offered to fill in for a day doing whatever was needed.  The hours that I spent that day simply making phone calls to folks in need were nothing special—or so I thought.  The truth is, that day left my bucket filled.  When we focus on what we can do for someone else, the Lord has a magical way of using our compassion for the good of folks in our path to other ends as well.    

Hopefulness expressed outwardly is a big fat “Get behind me, Satan.” 

The world is full of overwhelmed people.  The danger of surrender to the collective consciousness, to the attitudes that surround us have long been a warning siren.  Mark (chapter 8) tells us “Do not go into the village” for what I personally think is this exact reason.  The polarization created by technology is absolutely an existential threat to us as well in this same way.  We can no longer agree on truth. 

The solution I propose is this.  Focus on being the best friend you can.  Don’t wait to be invited.  Notice.  Listen.  Smile.  Give more than you take.  Make the time. 

This past fall, I heard a great talk from a Dominican Sister.  My takeaway from that talk was the pairing of these gems spoken by our Blessed Mother.  They are out of wine…do whatever He tells you.

In other words, if you spot someone whose eyes are are dead today, if it’s your own heart that’s battered, (or even if it’s just that your husband doesn’t even have the good sense to put on a green shirt on St. Patricks day, because life is just A LOT) first, notice who’s “out of wine”.  Then, listen to Jesus and do what He says. 

My solution for Tom was pretty small. It won’t solve what ails him that I ran a couple errands specifically for him today or that I have pork chops waiting for him when he gets home (because no tense German guy wants corned beef after working a 14hr day) even if it is St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe, though, a little part of him will be assuaged by love.

Trust in Him.  In defiance to all that is difficult or even evil, be hopeful today.  In optimism, there is victory. 

St. Patrick, Pray for Us!

Mad for…Colleen

Intense love does not measure, it just gives. – St. (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta

Once in a blue moon, I encounter a soul that instantly captivates me. Perfect measures of both holiness and smartassery are rarely found in the same person, I’ve noticed. Today, on the very appropriate feast day of St. Teresa of Calcutta, I’d like to introduce you to such a person– my new friend, Colleen DuLac.

Here I am, on the left, with my friend, Colleen, on the right.

Truly genuine, beautiful souls like Colleen are a gift from the Lord. This Jesus girl lives her faith every single day. A gifted and compassionate caregiver, Colleen has walked with many folks as they journey to the end of their lives and into eternity with Christ. She’s a mother, sister, aunt, daughter and friend. She’s suffered much in her life— physically, spiritually and emotionally. However, none of that pain has gone to waste. She uses what she’s learned to make the lives around her better by her presence.

I met Colleen when she began to help the Thieme family care for my father-in-law, Tom. He’s a gentle, but stubborn soul and does not always take up well with strangers. Colleen, though, is a faith-filled woman and a patriot who has a special affinity for all our military men and women who serve the country now, or who are veterans. She also adores helicopters and airplanes. These are affinities she has in common with Grandpa Tom, and she played that common interest card perfectly with our family patriarch. He really didn’t want any strangers in his house even before his cancer battle got serious and he clearly needed us to pour forth some intrusion. He’s not the extrovert his wife was, for sure. So, Colleen simply became his friend, and developed fast rapport. She’s grace filled. The Lord blessed her with incredible patience and warmth, gifts she passes to others in heaping, ornery, “smart-alecky” spoonfuls. She is not afraid to look you in the eye and speak truth, but those glorious, sparkly things are so full of love that one can’t even hold it against her when the truth is tough. THIS is an awesome human being. She’s smart as a whip and can accompany a confused or hard of hearing patient to the doctor and take perfect notes, ask the important questions…and humble enough to see that the bathroom just really needs to be cleaned and simply step up to offer another human being dignity in their daily life. To be an integrity-filled truth teller who cares for others, meets them where they are…well…that’s what it means to be the face of Jesus to those in need. Just like Mother Teresa did, she looks gritty in the eye and sees only our Lord, and she wants to be His hands. It’s incredibly inspiring.

Also? She likes her morning coffee…and my friends St. Francis and St. JPII. When I heard she once got on a flight to Italy with like 30 minutes notice so she could be there when he finished his magnificent work here for the rest of us on planet earth, it made my soul smile. She’s a woman after my own Polish pope loving heart.

It seems to me that the world wants us to overlook heroes like Colleen. These are tumultuous times for sure. However, yesterday while I was at the Purdue football game, I noticed something important. The entire crowd of Ross-Ade stadium got up on their feet and applauded (at some length) while the photos of many military men and women were flashed on the jumbo-tron. They stood again to thank the military pilots who showed up on the field because the weather was too crummy for them to do their planned flyover. They yelled “I am an American” with one voice during the pre-game festivities. It was as if we are all a little more in love with one another, and mostly a notch or two better than we’ve been led to believe, by social media or our TV screens. This made me realize how important it is to be fully present and notice the heroes around us, the folks who make the world more light-filled. This is the best time to become saintly. When it’s difficult to live in a virtuous way, when the world tells us that being Christian isn’t a valid perspective, I think this is the time to look at each other with love in our hearts and minds. Be like Colleen.

So. My little “Mad for” series is back. I’ve decided I’ll reboot this series, making it a weekly for the next year. I’ll introduce you to a “person of the week” starting with TODAY– this Labor Day weekend– and my friend, Colleen (Conner) DuLac is my first victim. As I have said before, and will likely say again, she’s a big scoop of awesome sauce. Nominations are welcome, as always. I make up the rules as I go along, folks. Stay tuned for more inspiring humans. They’re everywhere.

Peace out.

#Soak It Up

It was barely past 7am on a recent Tuesday morning when my phone began to blow up.

First came a photo of Cole and Clay from my dear friend, Ann.  The caption read, “Grab the Kleenex…it’s going to be the year of Lasts!  The last day our boys will go to school together!  Send pics.”

Then, the adorable Chris sent her shot of Rhett and Rhye.  Her senior looked half asleep, but still handsome.  Her caption read, “Uuuugh.”

Shortly thereafter, more buzzing commenced from Lisa.

“First day of 1st grade, and first day of senior year.”

That was followed up by an adorable side by side of her son, Christian, that would just melt your heart.

A few moments later, “Kleenex needed all day” arrived with a smiling photo of Dominic with his big brother Vinny, from my friend Julie.

I quickly gave into peer pressure and then the morning’s “Last first day” shot of my two oldest. I wrote,  “Let’s just enjoy them all year.”

Drew and Nick on the

Drew and Nick on the “Last first day”

Look at me trying to be sunny!  It didn’t last.  Within two hours I had texted my mom, “Can you just sprinkle a little Prozac in my all my beverages this year?”

I felt a bit like a mom cliche.  I know, it’s silly, and I realize how much God has blessed our family.  Still, there was this wave of sadness, of thinking so wistfully about the last year with Nick under our roof.  God’s grace is sufficient, I thought.  I followed it with, “whatever.”  Then, I found this golden nugget.

Those to whom God gives riches and property, and grants powers to partake of them, so that they receive their lot and find joy in the fruits of their toil:  This is a gift from God.  For they will hardly dwell on the shortness of life, because God lets them busy themselves with the joy of their heart.  Ecc. 5:18-20.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine lost his dad in a tragic accidental drowning.  It appears to all that Mr. Doerr was cleaning the pool when he apparently got tangled in the vacuum hose, hit his head and fell into the pool.  I lost my breath a bit when I read the note I received which laid bare the details, and I imagined the deep grief of the family.

What Fr. Richard reported the day of his father’s funeral was this, which I read on my phone in a bit of disbelief.  He wrote, “It was an absolutely beautiful thing.”  There was no “but”.

His simple words spoke powerfully about his strong faith and grateful heart.  It convicted me instantly, but I didn’t quite understand why just yet.

There’s more.

A year ago, I lost my friend, Shannon, in horrific fashion.  In the midst of their terrible grief, her sister, Colleen, and husband, Doug Stine, adopted the two sons she left behind.  They are being raised alongside the little Stines, Ryan and Maddie…and a brand new baby girl born just days ago.  They named her Shannon Lynn.

I sent my grieving friend, Fr. Richard, this photograph.  It was the moment when Colleen introduced her parents and her older sister, Janet LYNN, to their newest family member.  When I saw it for the first time, I sobbed.

I explained to him that it was one of the most poignant photos I have ever seen and that it was of the O’Malias.  Mom, Dad, and their two daughters– in the delivery room– meeting Shannon Lynn, who is named after BOTH of her aunts.  I told him it was so stunningly beautiful that I can’t stand it, and that it was, to me, a powerful example of God’s grace just reigning down on them.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.   So I won’t write about it anymore.  Here it is.

Welcome to the world, Shannon Lynn Stine

Welcome to the world, Shannon Lynn Stine

To that, the reply I received from the good padre was a link to the homily given by Fr. Rasner at his dad’s funeral.  I thought that was a bit of an odd thing to send but given that I was out of town on vacation during the funeral and regretted missing the event, I was glad to get the chance to hear it.

To say that it was powerful and comforting would do it a massive disservice.  It was perhaps the most beautiful and inspired funeral homily I have ever heard.  The Doerr family is a large and faith filled group which has produced two priests.  The younger Fr. Doerr shared this with me because he recognized in that homily what I felt when I saw that photo.

God’s grace reigns down on us.  It happens all the time in small and powerful ways.  It’s our choice to see it.  We have to cooperate with grace, you see.  When we do, the only appropriate response is gratefulness.  The Doerrs and the O’Malias have provided me (and many, others) inspiring witnesses of faith and gratefulness amid terrific difficulties.  They have given me pause.

Why, oh, why is gratefulness NOT my default position at this point?  I really MUST be the most stubborn, slow learner of all times.

Let’s circle back to my pitiful morning of angst at the realization that this is Nick’s SENIOR year.  It’s the year of lasts.  Sniff, sniff.  Perhaps the storm clouds and film noire attitude is not the way to go?  A little melodramatic– you think??

This is just one small example and one tiny situation.  However, it’s definitely emblematic of an overall spiritual shortcoming.  It was the O’Malias and the Doerrs that inspired me to visit Jesus.  I prayed, “I don’t know what I need, Jesus, but You do.  Please help me.”

As I prayed, I got thinking about the proper way to handle this year (and my life, and my failings), and then I kept thinking of this crazy, over the top guy we met this year on the baseball field.  “Why am I in the chapel thinking about Skiles Test baseball,” I thought.  “Girl, focus on what you’re doing,” I scolded myself interiorly.

I couldn’t.  That’s when I realized God was talking.  Duh.  When people get “stuck” in my brain, I tend to spiritualize the experience.  In other words, I believe the Holy Spirit is behind it and has placed them there for a reason.

What can I say?  Some holier people probably hear angelic choirs when they pray, or at least think of cool biblical guys.  I tend to go another way.

Stick with me, and allow me to digress….

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel”  — Carl Buehner

Coach Bazan is a lunatic.  No, really, he is.  So is his wife, Coach “Ball.”  Her name is actually Crystal, but everyone calls her Ball.  Really.  She brings bags full of gum and miscellaneous candy to every practice and baseball game.  Sure, it’s just little league baseball, but still…and she video tapes every game.  Why?  So she can send video clips to parents of their kid’s great hit, or awesome catch and enjoy it or send it to a grandparent who lives afar.  Coach Ball only sends highlights.

“We gotta call him ‘All American Thieme’ momma, because that is what he’s gonna be someday!  I was so excited when we got him on OUR team this year because I am sick of playing against him!  He hit 7 for 7 against us last year!”

Those were the first words spoken to me this spring by Coach Bazan about my 10 year old son, Zach.  All I could think was, “Good God!”  Who knows the stats of players from the opposing teams?  From last year?  I don’t think I am ready for this guy.  And do you know what?  I WASN’T!

Before we knew it they all had nicknames. There was “Lights Out Ferrucci” and “Hitman Haas.” He named “Gotcha Goff”, “Max the Rock Johnson”, “Mr. Excitement”, “Tough as Nails Bartlett” and “Lightning Baltz”. We will never forget “Irish Padgett” or “Hammer Hardister.” It was kind of hilarious how the boys beamed when he called them by their awesome nicknames……….which was constantly!

I have to be honest. I don’t know much else about this family but for sure I know one thing. They taught me a very important lesson. That lesson?


Life is an amazing gift. Live it—in positivity, with gratitude! My heart is so often overflowing from amazing blessings. When God reigns down on us, He intends for us to SOAK IT UP, and then… drip sparkly little bits of joy all around us.  I do feel a tremendous amount of joyfulness. It’s time for me to take a cue from the terrific Bazan family and shake that sponge a little harder.

There is a time for nostalgia, for pining over how fast the time has gone, and if all goes as it should, there will be an entire box of Kleenex utilized when I drop my oldest son off at college next fall. But, I don’t need to make it the longest, most painful separation song in history. Brooding is a colossal waste of time—whatever the crisis of the moment.

Now is the time for gratefulness and generosity of spirit.  Now is the time to honor God and the amazing family, friend and community He has given me with my joyfulness!

Those to whom God gives riches and property, and grants powers to partake of them, so that they receive their lot and find joy in the fruits of their toil:  This is a gift from God.  For they will hardly dwell on the shortness of life, because God lets them busy themselves with the joy of their heart.  Ecc. 5:18-20.

God deals out joy in the present, the now.  He also reigns down His love on us through others.

For me, He has most recently spoken through the beautful witnesses of the O’Malias, the Doerrs and the Bazans, To them, and to God, I am grateful.  Candles have been lit and prayers said for these families with a full and thankful heart.

Has anyone loved you up in a meaningful way lately by their example of faith or their kindness?

Yeah, that was God.

This year’s motto:  #SoakItUp

Then, shake that sponge, folks!

Peace Out!

Challenge Accepted, Cathy!

Vivian and Cathy, pictured here with their cute husbands.  Treasures, all.

Vivian and Cathy, pictured here with their cute husbands. Treasures, all.

Her text opened with an update on her husband who has been hospitalized with heart trouble.  “He is tired but okay today.  Took a nap but just cannot catch up.”  She’s one of those people, like me, who write texts so long you have to unscramble the order to make any sense of their content.  “I took a long time at the store today, reading labels,” she continued, “he loves chili but the sodium is awful.”  Finally, she closed with, “How are you?  Your prayer life, your spirit?”

I replied with a great low sodium chili recipe I stole a few years back from my health conscious younger sister, and I followed up with a query about her own physical well being.  You see, Vivian s a bit of a Florence Nightingale kind of gal.  She often sacrifices too much for those around her.  It’s my own personal observation, one with which I am certain she would disagree.

Wise and grace-filled friends are a gift from God.

Vivian responded, “Okay, respond to my question about your holiness and spirit.”  Then, she added a smiley face emoji.

If the goal is to become a magnificent woman, then she has achieved it.

“My prayer life?  Hmm.  I am not taking enough time.  My faith is strong but I am not praying much.  I feel like all I do is petition.  After communion today, I just thanked Jesus for being with me now and told Him I love You and I need help to love You more.”

After I watched Peyton finish off the home team in my beautiful new basement, surrounded by the handsome Thieme men, I re-read what I had written.  It was clear to me I needed to work on gratefulness.  I thanked our amazing Creator for pointing it out so loudly, and I closed my eyes.

Today, I woke to a Facebook challenge by another Jesus girl to write and post for 5 days, 3 things for which I am grateful.  Coincidence?  Ha!!  I am taking that up for one primary reason.  It’s clear to me that Jesus used Cathy, my challenger, as His voice today.

Ask and you shall receive…huh?!

DAY 1:  Three (3) Things for Which I am Grateful

1.  Magnificent Faith-Filled Friends (You know who you are!)  These are the gals who zero in on what’s truly important, who walk alongside, keep their sense of humor, affirm the worth of themselves and those around them, express themselves authentically, and who listen with love.  You girls have taught me how to juggle, rebound, nurture, commit and pray.  You are the face of Jesus in my life….and  I love you all!

2.  My Achy-Breaky Heart:  I curse it sometimes, like when the original mean girl, Nellie Olsen, is simply horrid to Half-Pint and my eyes instantly well up as I flip past an ancient episode of Little House on the Prairie.  The thing is, that aching means God gifted me with compassion.  When I feel that ache in real life, God is winking at me.  He’s prodding.  Go, Shelly, act.  Give.  Listen.  Offer.  Sometimes, I don’t wanna.  Occasionally, I ignore it.  However, I have found that when I feel the ache, see the truth, and do nothing….it is a day I die a little inside.  That achy-breaky heart is a beautiful gift from God.  Listening and acting (without being attached to the outcome)…It’s God’s light shining in me for a moment.  Nothing feels better.

3.  A Diet Coke, extra ice, in a styrofoam cup, with a lid and a straw.  Not to be shallow or mean, but all other beverages fail to compare.  Sometimes, my adorable husband hand delivers one to me.  He just gets me.


Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.  (Matthew 7:  7-8)


Mother of Mercy

I’m gonna be honest.  Right now, I have forced myself into this chair to type hoping it will calm me down.  My heart is racing, my hands trembling; my mind is spinning out of control.  This has been quite a week.  At this moment, the gift I am giving myself is to simply spew it.  This is what I would call a “stream of consciousness” entry.

Have you ever had a friend you just cherish beyond words?  God has blessed me with a handful of them.  I just call them “my girls”.   They are the cream of the crop, each with amazing gifts that make them incredibly special to me.  My friend Julie is the REAL DEAL.  She is a loving mother of 3 boys, an artist, quiet and unassuming, funny, selfless, and one of the finest women I have ever known.

As I wrote earlier this week, my wonderful friend, Julie, lost her mother a few days ago.  I omitted details from the day she died on my previous entry.  See, the thing is, I had been with Julie most the afternoon that day this world lost Nula.  Julie had what I call a “Lucy and Ethel moment” and fell down the stairs and onto her garage floor the day before her mom died.  When I got the call to take her to have her leg checked the next morning, we both assumed she simply had a bad sprain.  Wrong.  The ankle was broken.  We talked and laughed and determined that it was annoying as heck, but nevertheless possible, to survive 6 weeks as a mom of 3 without being able to drive.  She picked out a purple cast….the ideal color for the mom of a Guerin Catholic Golden Eagle football player.  We found the sunny side, and I promised that we would help her through.

When she got home, news reached her that her mom had taken a major turn for the worse, and that doctors didn’t think she would make it through the night.  This was jarring.  Despite the fact that she had been ill, the end came very suddenly and was without warning.  The prayer warriors went into overdrive that night praying Divine Mercy for Nula and strength for Julie and her entire family.  Word came just a couple hours later that God had taken Julie’s mom.  Julie sat beside her mom’s bed in a wheelchair herself, filled with angst, in that quickly forgotten purple cast.

Funeral plans were made.  Eulogies were written.  We painted Julie’s toes purple to match her accessorized right leg.  Casserole dishes and platters full of cookies appeared.  Four priests concelebrated the mass, and Deacon Rick was “robed up” too.  It was a beautiful celebration of an amazing life.

SIGH.  NOW, it seemed time to let my friend have some room to mourn with her family.  Then, the phone rang.  It was Julie.  She wondered if I could take her to the doctor.  Her good leg was hurting more than she thought it should.

Two days post funeral, there we are in the doctor’s office again.  The doctor looks up at us and says, “I’m going to need you to head to St. Vincent’s now.  They will confirm things for you, Julie, but I believe you have some blood clots in your leg.  You need to go immediately.”

I was thinking, “Goodness.  That’s a fine how do you do, God.  Really?  Hasn’t she been through enough this week?”  Off we went, trying to remain calm.

Within half an hour, the ultrasound technician confirmed the diagnosis.  Her good leg has quite a few clots.  More tests were ordered.   Tears streamed down my friend’s face as I held her crutches, and her necklace, and her hand.  “Jules, this is when trusting God feels really hard, but we have to try.  He and I are gonna have some words tonight over you, FOR SURE, but our job is to trust Him.”

I went to get her a tuna sub from Subway, and I called her husband.  He left work, and we tried to see the sunshine.

Yesterday, more doctors were consulted.  Specialists galore, friends, and family swirled about.  She was sent home to rest and wait for instructions.

Now four days since her mom’s funeral, she finds herself in a chair, in the same hospital where her mother passed away last week, with her purple cast, a left leg full of clots, getting a blood transfusion.  It seems her blood counts are poor.  It’s REEE-DAMN-DICULOUS!  Why now?  None of it makes much sense.

Her concern is for her children.  She is texting me not to forget the youngest son’s cleats.  There’s carpool pickup, practice, and don’t forget the 9am football game.  Every mom can relate.  There’s no way to be present and peaceful in the moment until you are certain your children are safe and in loving hands.

Tonight I will have some extras at the Thieme house.   There will be picking up, dropping off, packing bags, watching games, meal preparation, kid bathing, sleeping bags, and extra hugs needed.  I wish I could do more.

To all the people today to whom I seemed distracted or even rude, I was.  I’m sorry.  Gus, greatest handyman ever, thanks for saving my house from the leaky plumbing while I talked and talked and talked on the phone today and completely ignored you.  I’m sure you’d like to give me a piece of your mind about my tacky hand waving.  A nice tip will be forthcoming.

Here’s the thought I can’t quite escape as my heart hurts for my friend.  Who do we want when we are sick and struggling?  I can’t speak for you…..but I want my mom.  Gosh.

Jules, this is my prayer for you.   I’m asking Mary, mother of us all, to watch over and intercede for you this day.  She will, because you are beloved.

HAIL HOLY QUEEN, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope…..