Monday, June 25, 2007


I was at yesterday's atrocious game. I held back from saying anything about my righteous indignation until now. Like all other Sox fans at the game, Brooke and I were furious to see 3 Cubs players return to the bases after a double play in the 8th inning. When you don't have a radio or tv announcer clueing you in on the umpire's mindset, you have to fill in the blanks yourself but we were clueless. The pickles were entertaining and also damning evidence. I am pretty sure the umpires were paid off. Ozzie put up a good yet calm fight and subsequently was ejected. It made no sense! It was not until after the game that my cousin Jon (the sole Cubs fan who did not gloat after the game- at least to my face!) told me that they had called interference on Uribe and thus declared a dead ball. I still had some doubt in my mind but figured I'd catch it on the replay. Well, I just watched the Comcast replay of the 8th inning and I am just as puzzled as Hawk and DJ were- and they had the benefit of multiple cameras and instant replays! I kept my eyes trained on Juan and did not see this supposed interference (apparently it "happened" when Pagan rounded 2nd.) So I am still mad! But I feel a little better now that I have vented. It was hard to leave the game having to face all the gloaters. Yeah, yeah, you finally swept us. Been there, done that. It was harder still to get gloating text messages and emails. I mean seriously, why kick me when I'm already down? As I thought further- and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong- but I have never called, texted, or emailed a Cubs fan to rub their face in a loss. In fact, I never even bring up their evident shortcomings. The Cubs fans in my life are always the ones who bring up team pride. And yes, I will always respond and rise to the occasion. Whether it means reminding them of our recent World Series championship or of that tiny little fact that they have not won one of their own in almost 100 years. Poor, low self-esteem Cubs fans, always trying to feel powerful by cutting us down. Well, we all know that this weekend will be the high point of their season. They should enjoy it while they can.

Royal Deluxe

My brilliant cousin Emily showed me this interesting clip a few weeks ago. Apparently this French troupe has done "shows" on most continents but has not been to the US yet. That could change soon if Emily's company has anything to say about it...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Could I be any happier that the work week is over?

Work has sucked this week, from the lack of motivation to disappointing responses from coworkers. I cannot fault my coworkers who told some of my patients and their families that my grandma had died- they had somewhat of a right to know where I've been the last couple of weeks- but it was disconcerting to face their condolences when I am trying my hardest to stay strong for them. Not an easy thing to do when Grandma is brought up first thing but I'm doing the best I can. I can fault several coworkers who have risked the wrath of Leigh this week however. My anger is justified but I'm keeping my mouth shut because we do not want this volcano to explode. (Is it strange to be this self aware of my grief reactions?) Anyway, prime example of idiot coworker #1...Before the funeral service he (a chaplain no less) came up to me and said, "You know, there are 7 priests participating in the service...I'm sure we could work out something for you to be welcomed back to the Church" (his attempt to joke about me converting to Catholicism). My family was all around me, most of whom are devout Catholics and I pray they did not hear him because they would not find it funny. Oh, and did I mention it was right before her funeral? I was so pissed off! How much more inappropriate could he be? I soon found out on Wednesday after our social service team meeting. He looked at me and said, "What? You didn't bring the leftovers from your Grandma's luncheon?" I just shut down to avoid nuclear meltdown. All this from people who work in hospice! I could go on but it's just a pointless exercise. Some coworkers have been great, like Beth and Vickie, so I try to keep that at the forefront. I swear, if someone offered me a new job today I'd probably take it. In the meantime, mom is encouraging me to do this work in honor of Grandma. I know Grandma was really proud of the field I chose to work in- she was practically the original hospice caregiver with all the many sick people she took care of during the course of her lifetime. For now, I'm just praying God will give me enough strength to get through the day without exploding or bursting into tears. If I can just look and act like a professional, then maybe it won't matter how I feel.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Earlene "Grandma", age 78, of Farmtown, IL, passed away peacefully at her home, early Sunday morning, June 10, 2007. Recently diagnosed with bone marrow cancer, Earlene fought with great courage. But when it became clear that a cure was not to be, Earlene chose to live her last days at home on the farm. With the help of her family and a loving care team from Hospice, Earlene was able to return home with Pete. There, surrounded by family and friends, and true to her faith, Earlene submitted to her calling with grace and peace, and offered it up. In those precious days, she poured out blessings with every breath and continued to pray for loved one’s and friends, near and far . Earlene and her twin brother, Earl, were born on April 24,1929, the third set of twins, and the youngest of thirteen children.
As Peter recalls, during Earlene’s upperclassman years at Madonna, she needed a date for a special dance. Pete, then attending Marmion MilitaryAcademy, and “coincidentally” boarding with Earlene’s cousin, was the logical escort. “An officer and a gentleman”, Pete agreed to be Earlene’s date for the dance. As he would later recall, “I thought she was really cute and had a personality to match”. Following graduation, the romance continued. Earlene went to work as a dental assistant and remained at home, helping raise her sister,Teresa, a special needs child, after their father passed away. Five years after that first date, Peter secretly asked Earlene’s mother if he could have Earlene’s hand in marriage. Receiving her blessing, Pete proposed to Earlene just before Christmas. They were married in the spring, on June 17, 1950. Surely that day, angels sang on high, for their marriage was truly made in heaven. Earlene, the city girl, left town for life on the farm. Together Earlene and Pete raised six children on his family’s farm near Farmtown and set before them a living example of sacrificial love, genuine joy and true faith. The story of Earlene’s life tells it all.
While caring for her mother, Earlene delivered farm fresh eggs there every week and came to be called the “Egg Lady”. She always had a good sense of humor and more than lived up to her name. After Pete’s sister, Louise Zang, died in 1956,Pete and Earlene brought the Zang family into their home for several years. For this gift of love, Earlene’s Alma Mater named her “Mother of the Year”. That award could have been the title of Earlene’s biography as her “mothering” continued among many other family members and friends. A woman well acquainted with grief, Earlene cared for many people who were dying, among them her own daughter, Donna, who passed away in 1960 at the age of eight. Faithful and loving to the last, Earlene cared for her mother, brother and sister-in-law, and her older sister, Teresa, for whom she cared for twenty-six years. Before Teresa’s death on April 11, 2007, Earlene turned her home into a hospice and was Teresa’s constant caregiver for nine months. Just days after Teresa’s passing, Earlene began her own battle with cancer. Her home continued to be a hospice, something Earlene’s husband, Pete, tenderly referred to as “God’s waiting room”.
Despite everything, Earlene found time to be an active member of S.S. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, served as a CCD teacher, joined many committees at church, sang in the choir, was an active member of the Altar and Rosary Society, participated in the “Walk for Life” and her parish prayer group. Earlene was also a Eucharistic Minister and often took communion to the homebound. Attending daily mass, Earlene served as lector for as long as anyone can remember. She was a member of the Rockford Cursillo, the Ladies Home Extension and a local womens’ “Club” that met monthly for over fifty-five years. In more recent years, she also became part of the care-giving family at Conley Funeral Home. Earlene’s hands and heart were never idle. Her other interests included gardening, canning, sewing, cooking, knitting, corresponding, reading, taking pictures, craft work, religious study, and praying for those on her prayer list. She simply and truly loved people, always showing them hospitality and making them laugh.