I recently came across an article about a family that had made what many consider to be dramatically controversial decisions about their daughter. Young Ashley is severely disabled. According to her parents, in an effort to improve her care and protect her in the years to come, they authorized a hysterectomy and also removed her breast buds and appendix. This all happened three years ago. They also currently have her on high doses of estrogen to minimize physical growth. It is estimated she will grow to be about 4’ 5” tall at full maturity.
[See story http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,241279,00.html]
The reason this came up now is that the doctors involved wrote a paper about it for a medical journal. Predictably, reaction has been passionate and mixed. So much was said about this that the parents finally wrote a response and posted it on the internet.
Thank goodness the elections are over! I don’t think I could handle another commercial telling me how one candidate or the other was too extreme. As if there is a “mild” extreme.
I don’t know about you, but it sure was hard to get a real sense of a candidate’s views based on television portrayals alone. For instance, I saw one commercial that claimed a candidate wanted to “rip up” the Constitution. The very next commercial stated that the same candidate wanted to “get back to” the Constitution.
Then there were the infamous robo calls. My phone practically rang off the hook in the weeks leading up to the election. In each call, someone practically begged me to vote for a particular candidate, and based on what, a mere phone call? It didn’t take long to start screening our calls through the answering machine. Being bombarded with ads on TV was bad enough; I didn’t want to hear more of them on the phone all day long, either. I think I would have started pulling my hair out.
I heard that a record number of dollars were spent on this recent election. An estimated $394 million was squandered on advertising alone. In the California governor’s race, one of the candidates dished out $160 million, only to lose. Does that sound completely outrageous to you? It does to me. And why would someone spend $160 million in an attempt to win a job that pays around $250,000 a year to begin with?
It pains me to see so much money being burned to support a person’s ego. I’m not saying all the candidates are egomaniacs, but it just does not make any sense to dump so much money down the drain in an attempt to procure a job that lasts 2-6 years, at which point the process starts all over again! I guess it shows to what lengths those who crave power are willing to go.
Time can often take its toll on us in a variety of ways.
After 17 years of marriage, my wife and I will sometimes communicate in ways contrary to the methods of our newlywed years. Admittedly, there are some days when our conversations are reduced to a series of grunts and groans only perceptible to us, and maybe one of our children. Believe it or not, the exercise is a highly tuned system meant for the other that conveys the exhaustion of the situation or maybe the exhaustion with the other. Mainly me. I am a man prone to all things stereotypically male. I revel in routine and I’m not prone to appreciate change.
Granted our grunts and groans aren’t always ideal, but we’ve used this system to communicate with each other when our words are barely audible and the composition of a full sentence is deemed cruel and unusual punishment.
Consider the statistics from our one son’s life: Ten major surgeries over the course of fifteen long years.
Admittedly, this is sometimes a very strange existence. Recently, my son said he was wondering if all this is a test or just a random and unfortunate cruel act of life. Is this part of God’s greater plan?
His tenth surgery was to fix what went wrong with surgery number nine. This set him back an entire year, causing him to have to work extra hard to just get back on his feet.
He said he is trying to not be angry, but it seems to me that he has very good reasons to struggle with these types of emotion. Of course, a lot of his anger is masked as fear: fear of how the new surgery will go and the worry that it won’t go as planned.
Back when I was a young and single, Valentine’s Day seemed like a cruel event of the calendar.
If you were a guy in a relationship, you ran around trying to do something spectacular to impress your special girl, but usually to the disappointment of both parties. Call me cynical or inept – or both -- but something always seemed to go wrong. Could it have had something to do with me always waiting until the last minute to find the perfect gift? Probably. If “Danger” is Austin Powers’ middle name, “Procrastination” would have to be mine.
Even today, all the commercials from Hallmark and the countless flower outlets don’t help to make it much easier for guys. In fact, they might even make matters worse. Every polished commercial only helps to raise my wife’s expectations of a grand, glorious and romantic day, expectations which I invariably don’t meet.
So, is Valentine’s Day as an evil plot contrived by commercial outlets? Whatever you think of it, there is some interesting history tied to the day.
Some attribute it to a Catholic bishop named Valentine. As the story goes, despite the Roman Empire declaring marriage for soldiers illegal, old “Val” continued to perform weddings for them until he was put to death for the crime.
Still others say it’s tied to the fact that a Greco-Roman festival devoted to fertility was outlawed by the Pope. In an effort to “Christianize” the festival that ran February 13-15th, they declared the 14th to be “Valentine’s Day.”
Whatever the case, according to Wikipedia, the day didn’t really get to be known as a day to celebrate romantic love until Geoffrey Chaucer’s "Parlement of Foules” in 1382.
Shockingly, a posting suggested that prior to 1832, “earlier links” had been “focused on sacrifice rather than romantic love.”
And hear I thought the definition of love had been lost closer to our own time! Not quite.