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Archive for April, 2012

Reflections

It’s a time to reflect.  This week marked the anniversary of when my dad went to the emergency room, his first of 4 hospital stays in the past year.  Fortunately, he is doing well; in fact, I’d say he’s actually healthier than previously as he’s lost weight and seems to be getting around fairly well.  However, he’s also learning to accept limitations. 

I’ve been making an effort to be there for my parents.  And for my Grandma as well.  I made the trip to Iowa a couple times last fall, once with my brother & his family; then, a second trip with my parents.  She’s now in a nursing home and I’ll be making another trip with my parents the week after Mother’s Day, taking MY mom to see HER mom.

Just as I enjoy time with my parents and Grandma, I also enjoy time with my three kids and two grandkids.  My younger two live with us while my oldest (Kevin) is in nearby Parkville; I’m looking forward to June when he & his wife provide Liz and me with our 3rd grandchild.   Since I wasn’t there to see my own kids grow up (they’re my step-kids & were 14, 11 and 10 when I married Liz) I’m getting to blend the experiences of parent and grandparent, especially since my two current grandchildren live with us. 

Another reflection was a return trip to Washington, D.C.  I had been there with my family when I was 11 (or so my parents tell me) but don’t remember the trip.  In fact, Dad thinks that we even stayed at the same hotel as where I stayed this week.  I was there for work (the NAA mediaXchange marketing conference) but I did manage to get away long enough to visit the Smithsonian’s Air and Space museum.  I also visited the National Gallery of Art where I was able to see Japanese Bird & Flower paintings in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Cherry Blossoms.  This was only the 2nd time the exhibit was available to the public after originally being provided to Buddhist monks.  I wish I could share the amazing art with you but no photographs were allowed … and I saw security step in when a tourist intended to ignore this rule.  I wouldn’t have known about the exhibit if it weren’t for my son Chris sending me a link to an article about the exhibit.  He wasn’t the only one giving me recommendations for my trip; Linda (a young lady whose parents go to my church) was able to provide me insight from a native of the area on where to go to eat / what to order. 

I also really enjoyed the actual conference, especially seeing some of my fellow media research professionals.  There aren’t a whole lot of us able to attend anymore but I took LOTS of notes and am summarizing action items from what I learned in hopes that I get to attend next year when it moves to Orlando.  However, this year, I got a rare opportunity.  On consecutive days, I attended lunch meetings with rather notable speakers: Tuesday was President Obama while Wednesday was Governor Romney – let the 2012 election campaign begin!

And now I’m back in KC just in time for Easter weekend with the Easter Egg hunt on Saturday morning followed by the Sunrise service and later Easter Cantata on Sunday.  Unfortunately, I didn’t make it home from D.C. in time for the Maundy Thursday service, which is typically my favorite of the year.  I’m not sure if “favorite” is really the appropriate word but I think it’s such a great reminder of what our faith is all about. 

In many cases, we reflect our faith & values in our actions.  So, we can hope that when adults and children see us, they get an idea of what really matters in our lives. 

I was reminded of that yesterday when I walked in the front door from the airport and my grandson ran over to me and wanted me to pick him up before I’d even set down my luggage.  My wife Liz and daughter Kathy were telling me about how he’d been looking for me all week.  I was quite happy to satisfy this request and spend quality time with him, his big sister, his parents, aunts & uncles and of course my beautiful bride. 

I realize this is my first blog entry here in awhile (although I still have my monthly blog over at www.youtheology.org where I’m the Advisory Board Chair) but I guess I’ve been living; today, I took the time to reflect and to be thankful for all the gifts in my life.

I guess today has truly been a Good Friday.

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