Archive for December, 2016

Best Christmas Gift Ever

Posted on December 29, 2016. Filed under: Memories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Your words for the day:

  • Felicia = Latin for “happy things”
  • Mitsuko = Japanese for “child of light” (I prefer “sunshine from heaven”)

December 24, a long time ago, 10: 09 pm | Delivery room, a hospital in Houston, Texas

This was her mother’s first time in delivery.  Mine, as well.  Her mother did all the hard work while I just stood by for moral support.  Other than the stress of passing a slightly over-sized infant, the delivery was proceeding as one would expect…   excruciating, but, bearable.

I do not remember how long this ordeal took, but, it finally reached its conclusion.  There was a slight frenzy of activity among attendants punctuated by a tiny cry of protest at this unexpected indignity.  The medical staff noted the time (10:09 pm), then divided their duties between mother and infant while I concentrated on both.

Presently, the nurses approached me, smiles on their faces and holding a blanket-wrapped offering which I accepted with a big smile of my own.  Meeting my first child, my daughter, for the first time can only be described as “wondrous.”  I turned and proffered my gift to the real hero on this Christmas eve, her mother, who, of course, was more entitled to admire this tiny wonder than I.  Though worn from the strain, her joy was just as evident as mine.

I do not know what memories of that moment her mother kept, but, I am keenly aware of my own:  In my hands, just inches from my eyes, lay a tiny visage no longer complaining, but, quizzically dubious.  She was looking me in the eyes and on her left cheek, between eye and miniscule ear, a single teardrop.  As amazed as I was then, I have continued to marvel over the years at the strong spirit contained within so tiny a form.

She was far more than my first child.  Because of her, a strained marriage was given new life.  Because of her, she has a younger brother, and I, a wonderful son.  Because of her, I am privileged to see Tomorrow through the eyes of her children and her brother’s children.  Because of her, I have a reason to cry about all that I have missed in her life.

Happy Birthday, Sugar Bear.  I have loved you since I saw your very first tear and will continue to love you until my very last tear.

Twice I got to see my tomorrow.  This is the first one.

Twice I got to see my tomorrow. This is the first one.

Merry Christmas to you, your husband, and those two treasures of yours.  Have a happy New Year.

 

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Disney Not Family Friendly

Posted on December 20, 2016. Filed under: Journalism, Religion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

The source for this article is Newsmax.com, a blog that keeps sending me links that I did not request.  The author of the referenced article (Disney is no longer family friendly) is Robert E. Richey of the Catholic organization America Needs Fatima, which is a sponsor of Newsmax.  The blog’s disclaimer notes that it does not necessarily endorse their advertisers’ messages.

Your words for the day:

  • The Real O’Neals = a television series aired by ABC
  • newsmax.com = a news blog that has little to say but directs readers to other sources

I learned some 20 or more years ago that Disney studios had expanded into more non-child based themes; I always checked the rating to see if I would be interested in viewing a new offering.  Apparently, Bobby E. is either under 20 years old and has just graduated from restricted viewing imposed by Parental Controls or he missed the train out of Never Land.

Said little Bobby in his articleRemember when “Disney” meant “safe” — if Disney made a film, it would be o.k. for your kids or grandkids to watch?  The Real O’Neals ends all that!  Alarming!  And it is up to you and me to protest this brutal attack on our Catholic Faith.

Let’s clarify that overstatement from my perspective:

  • For me, the reader, this is not a brutal attack on OUR Catholic faith.
  • I am not Catholic, and, it is NOT up to me to protest this “alarming” and “brutal attack” on the Catholic Faith.
  • In fact, the religious denomination I was raised in has a very long history of bad-mouthing Catholicism.

But, this little article of mine is not a criticism of Catholicism, rather of the manner in which Mr. Richey has presented his exception to what he considers the prostitution of a movie maker who once specialized in G-rated productions.  Rather, it is my old bug-a-boo — journalism — that has spurred this response.

A summary of Mr. Richey’s plaint about “The Real O’Neals,” a Disney sitcom:

  • Watching pornography on a laptop is made to appear normal for Catholic brothers in the series.
  • The Catholic mother encourages her 16-year-old Catholic son with gender conflicts to get physical with a girl (if non-Catholics don’t understand that admonition, it means the Catholic son with gender conflicts should go out and get laid like a NORMAL 16-year-old Catholic son without gender conflicts).
  • The Catholic daughter tries to prove in her science-class project that there is no god, misses Mass, and shows disrespect for a pastor who is presented as inept.
  • There are lots of sexual innuendo and mockery of Catholicism.
  • (Censored stuff, here)  “I just can’t bear to print up the really bad stuff on the show.”
  • While decent Catholics strive every day to make sense of the crazy world we live in, Disney/ABC is mocking the Faith we hold dear.
  • It is not right, and we need to tell them so!
  • Someone struggling against pornography, same-sex attraction, divorce or doubting their faith could possibly watch this program — which Disney/ABC promotes as “just your typical, all-American, Catholic, divorcing, disgraced, law-breaking, gay family — and their struggle would be more difficult.  They would feel more alone than ever, perhaps fall into despair, and just follow the culture like those around them.

C’mon, man!  No one is going to watch that show seeking spiritual guidance; they are going to watch it for the laughs.

Lighten up, Richey.  That show’s promo (as quoted by you) is just hyperbole to heighten the sarcasm inherent in the production.  But, like many converts to anything, the need to chew on every disagreeable tidbit tossed before them is overpowering.  You, too, feel the need to overact to demonstrate your degree of commitment to your stated tenet…   somewhat like a child banging on pots with a spoon to attract attention.

Open your eyes, Richey.  It is a parody of ALL Christian teachings, not just your favored brand, Catholicism.

Richey claims that Disney implies “nasty” Catholics.  Would little Richey have just sat back and chuckled had the show portrayed “nasty” Episcopalians?  Zealots of a cause are not light-hearted — they just can’t take a joke.

I am also curious, Mr. Richey:

  • Did you write a scathing review of those prime time cartoon shows, The Simpsons and that ilk, as destroying the unity of families by disrespectful children and dysfunctional parents?
  • How about all those murder and dismemberment series that ooze like slime off the flat screen?
  • ??You do NOT have a complete library of interactive gaming videos depicting crime and murder as just normal aspects of human culture, do you?

I guess, since none of that stuff uses the word “Catholic” in them, they are perfectly safe as instructional tools for Catholic children “trying to make sense of this crazy world.”

Little Bobby the Journalist could have expanded both his heart and his message — and, thereby, his audience — by saying, “All Christians should be offended by this, and not just Catholics.”  Righteous Richey only had room in his heart for his beliefs, what with all the rest of humankind being outside his sphere of consideration.  I guess anyone choosing, for whatever reason, to be non-Catholic can just go to hell…   after they help him protest Disney Studios and ABC.

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