My Children and
There are no favorites in these two groups.
Each is a different person with different personalities, gifts and talents. I
love them all.
At times, it may seem that I favor one or another but it may be
that that one needs my attention or a little help at that particular time. I
like to think that I can follow the example of the Good Shepard, Who, when one
of His sheep gets in trouble, leaves the rest to help the one.
Harry and Carol
Anne's brother and his wife have become the only brother and
sister I have ever known until the recent discovery of my natural parent's
families. Carol and Anne were sisters from the start. They and
their children are the closest family I have outside our children and
My Favorite Prayer
Also the favorite of Anne's mother and of Anne. The inscription
on the family grave marker is taken from the last line.
The Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, ... let me sow love;
Where there is injury, ... pardon;
Where there is doubt, ... faith;
Where there is despair, ... hope;
Where there is darkness, ... light;
And where there is sadness, ... joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek ...
To be consoled ... as to console;
To be understood ... as to understand;
To be loved ... as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
" ... In
dying ... we are born to eternal life."
The words that Anne selected to be
on the Lawler/Plefka tomb stone.
I found a
slightly different version of this prayer attributed to St Francis.
It was included in the 1980 booklet "The Magic of Love"
by the Salesian Missions of St. John Bosco,
one of the booklets left for me by Anne.
Lord, make me a channel of your peace
That where there is hatred
I may bring Love,
That where there is wrong
I may bring the spirit of forgiveness,
That where there is discord
I may bring harmony,
That where there is error
I may bring truth,
That where there is doubt
I may bring faith,
That where there is despair
I may bring hope,
That where there are shadows
I may bring light,
That where there is sadness
I may bring joy.
that I may seek rather
To comfort -
than to be comforted;
To understand -
than to be understood;
To love -
than to be loved;
For it is by
that one receives;
It is by self-forgetting
that one finds;
It is by forgiving
that one is forgiven;
It is by dying
that one awakens to eternal life.
This version is
a bit longer and more comprehensive than the more common one above. I
particularly like the line, "It is by self-forgetting - that one
My Favorite Poet
There has been inspiration for me in his writings and I like his literary style.
It takes me to imaginary times and places and at the same time treats subjects
that are relevant today. An example can be found on my "What I have Learned"
page. Another is:
...Remember, my brother,
That the coin you drop into
The withered hand stretched toward
You is the only golden chain that
Binds your rich heart to the
Loving heart of God.
My Favorite Author
Joseph F. Girzone
His "Joshua" series caught me up. Some say he is too simplistic. His
message is simple, as was the message of Jesus. My favorite of his works
is "Never Alone" This book is dedicated to his friend, Jesus. The
Dedication begins ...
"I dedicate this book to my friend who is always by my
side and in my heart, who is never far when I am lonely and confused, who always
gives peace to my soul when I am troubled and frightened, and fearful of the
future. I share with Him my deepest secretes, my joy, my sorrow, my
accomplishments, my shame. He always understands. He never accuses or
criticizes, but often suggests a different way." ...
My favorite places
|On a warm sunny day ... My
With my second cup of coffee, Mikey (my bichon) and I sit in the garden.
The rustic covered swing, the comfortable patio furniture, with flowers
all around, the statues of Jesus and Mary
add to the beauty of the sky, clouds, singing of birds and the other
reminders of the goodness of God. I have now added the gazebo and
"Grandpa's Guardian Angel Garden" which replaced the pool and
its deck. An angel statue, given to me on Christmas on 2000 has a place
in the new garden. This is my outdoor sanctuary.
My Summer Retreat
Click on the
for a good look.
|When it is cold or wet ... Our Living Room
As soon as I start to the living room with my second cup of coffee,
Mikey runs to the couch to wait for me to sit down and then jumps on my
lap. This room includes furniture from the living room of Anne's parents
and furniture selected by Anne to complement the first. It was decorated
by Anne in her favorite colors. In one corner stands a curio case filled
with small statues representing scenes from the life of Jesus. On the
coffee table is a floral arrangement, a Bible and the candle of
remembrance given to me by the people of St Julie at Anne's wake.
The candle is lit. This is my indoor sanctuary.
My Winter Retreat
Click on the
for a good look.
On the weekend ... St Julie Church
I get there early and leave late. Being there is the most important place to be
and the most important time to spend on the weekend. It is where I become
energized by the Eucharist and the Word of God for the weekdays to come. It is
where we join together for common prayer to God and for mutual support. It is a
place of comfort and love. I invite you to use my link to the St. Julie web site
to learn more of this miraculous place.
On special occasions ... the "Thin Places"
Sometimes it happens in church, sometimes in the gazebo. I found a couple on
our pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi in 2005. It is more of an occasion than
a place, a time when the massive wall that separates the temporal world from the
spiritual world, goes thin like delicate membrane. When that happens you
can feel the love of God. You are very close to heaven.
My favorite time of
During my second cup of coffee ...
In one of my favorite places, ... when I talk to God and to Anne.
In a drawer, I discovered a stash of small books of inspiration and prayer. Anne
must have known that I would need them some day. One of them includes a prayer
for each day of the week. Each day I pray and meditate, remembering the goodness
of God, asking forgiveness, and asking for help. I select a reading from
one of the others, a poem, a story or a prayer.
My favorite activity
This was my practice for the years immediately after Anne's death. Getting to
the events, walking through fields, sitting sometimes uncomfortably for long
periods of time, sometimes in cold or damp weather has become too much. I miss
the events but now satisfy myself with the accounts related to me.
Attending the events of our grandchildren ...
It can be Grandparent's day at school, a talent show or class play, a game of
soccer, baseball, football, basketball, swim meet, dance recital. Anne and I did
this together and the tradition goes on. It doesn't matter how large or small a
part they play, or even if they don't get into the game at all, we are there for
them and are proud that they are trying.
In any competition, it is important to focus, not on defeating someone else, but
on doing your best to live up to your own God given abilities and talents. If
each individual does his/her very best they will contribute to the team success.
When Anne decided to get a dog again, she went to the internet
to find the perfect one. It had to be the right size, could not aggravate the
allergies of those in our family, could not shed and have a good disposition
with children. Mikey is a Bichon Frise. He was Anne's dog. It was several weeks
before he stopped sleeping by the door waiting for her to come home.
Now he sleeps in my room and gets me up in the morning (but not too early). He
DEMANDS his treat whenever I eat. He tells me in no uncertain terms when he
wants to go out or when he wants to play, or when he just wants to be held and
petted. (People should communicate as well when they need attention and love).
Thank you, Anne
Mikey ... (Please don't call him Mickey)
& Cards with Dick & Jan
We started when there were three couples, friends from the
neighborhood during high school days. Long after marriage and children we began
to meet at each other's homes for cards. A death, and then we were two couples.
The host selects a restaurant and then we return home for cards. We always try
to find a different restaurant. The Guests never know where dinner will be until
we arrive. Now we are three and the tradition continues. We have watched
our families grow and shrink. We are comrades in life. There is love here.
|My favorite picture of Jesus
|This is a happy,
He is doing the thing he most
enjoys, telling stories to young people who are receptive and
The artists' name is Jean Keaton.
Graphic used with
© Jean Keaton
Brothers and Sisters
Here too their can be no favorites. I have only
recently (2006) come to know them and their families after discovering the
identity of my natural parents. After being raised as an only child I have
found two new groups of siblings and we belong to each other, kindred and
kindred spirits. We are united by genealogy and surprisingly by common
interests united by a long unbreakable thread. We are just getting to
know each other and we like what we find.