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Some people have a great passion for their favorite baseball team. Now
they can take that passion to the grave. Eternal Image, a designer
of funeral products, has reached a licensing deal with Major League Baseball
to reproduce all 30 team's names and logos on a customized line of urns
and caskets. Eternal Image Chief Executive Clint Mytych says the logoed
caskets will appeal to, quote, "a market that is just waiting for
a way to make team loyalty a final statement of a great passion in their
lives.'' The MLB casket and urn line will be available next year and run
between 600 to three-thousand dollars. An MLB offiicial says the agreement
allows them to control and be sure tastefullness is exercised in the product's
I'm a huge Red Sox fan, but I don't think I'd go this way. But, to each
here - Bloomberg.com.
the obituary our family wrote for my mother caught the attention of the
staff at the Kansas City Star. They did a followup article/tribute
and spoke with my brother Doug and my Dad. (It was online for a time, but is no longer available).
It has obviously been a while since I posted here. There's a good reason
for that. My mother, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just three
months ago, passed away on June 15.
When I traveled to Kansas City to see my folks for Mother's Day weekend
my mom was alreaady spending most of her time in bed with some hospice
care and friends and family to attend to her. However, she was lucid and
we had good talks and a very special time together on Mother's Day morning.
I knew then that if it was the last time to see her alive it would be
fine. We shared our love and there were no unresolved issues.
Back home in Albuquerque the call came from my sister a week and a half
ago that Mom's condition had worsened considerably and she was getting
closer to death. It was time to come out if possible. So I made the decision
to drive with my wife and two children. It's a long drive, even when spread
over two days. Oh, but it was so worth it! Even though Mom was nearly
comatose she responded to us with hand squeezes. We spent a few days with
her. My brother came in from Virginia. My sister lives in Kansas City,
in fact, just down the street from Mom and Dad. Her husband and children,
Dad, my brother, my wife and two children and I all shared in some precious
moments in that room with Mom. Also some other good friends came to say
goodbye. It was sad and joyful at the same time.
If you ever have the opportunity to be with a loved one when death is
imminent make sure that you do it. It is very important for all involved.
We all need to know how powerful love is and that letting go, while hard,
is essential and part of the process of dying. I miss my Mom and I know
I always will. But I also know she lived a beautiful life. She helped
lots of people and her ripples of kindness are spreading still. One of
those final acts may well have been holding on long enough to make it
through her 55th wedding anniversary (June 14). She died the next day,
so she gave Dad a full 55 years of marriage!
Her obituary (which all of the family helped to write) was in the Kansas
City Star on Friday, June 16.
I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. And I hope you took some
time to remember the reason for the holiday - to remember and honor our
A couple of days ago I sent out the latest issue of the Your Life is
Your Story newsletter. I thank those who have sent me comments. And
I appreciate the support for me and my family during this time as my mom
is ill with cancer and transitioning from this life. She has taught me
much about living, and now she's teaching me about dying with dignity
If you want to see the latest issue go here.
History can teach us much, if we are willing to honestly explore and research
it. I knew that during World War Two there were internment camps for American-Japanese.
The United States, in fear after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, rounded
up these citizens and put them in camps. I didn't, however, know that
one of these camps was in Santa Fe, New Mexico, just 50 some miles north
of where I live in Albuqueruqe.
I learned about the camp, Casa Solana, from an article in the Albuquerque
Journal. An opera was created about it featuring children from Carlos
Gilbert Elementary school. A grant from the History Channel for programs
that engage children in their local history helped fund it. There was
also collaboration from the Office of the State Historian and the Santa
Kathy Byrnes, a Carlos Gilbert gifted program teacher who worked on the
project said, "I was touched by the sense of history, of being able
to capture that history and save it for future generations."
Today my eldest child graduates from High School. It seems like just yesterday
that my daughter, Kristen, was about four years old and looking up at
me with her big, brown eyes in that way that instantly melted my heart.
Parenting is a skill that you learn "on the job". My wife and
I have discovered this and through the ups and downs we've grown right
along with our children. What a gift! I'm so proud of our daughter and
I realize what a special time this is in her life. It also has me reminiscing
about my own high school experience and graduation. Cherish these times!
Preserve them, too. I am currently doing that for Kristen with a tribute
book and I'm using the great iMemoryBook
Our mothers give us so much. The maternal instinct is strong and nurturing
is something we need to be healthy and to live. Studies have shown that
babies deprived of the warm touch of loving arms suffer. Ongoing nurturing
is the lifetime job of mothers.
This weekend I travel to Kansas City to see my parents, and in particular,
my mom. There may not be much time to be with her, both this weekend and
in this life. But she is always with me and her nurturing has been truly
present and ongoing in my life. I will always be grateful for that.
He loved his city. He was a regular guy who knew Albuquerque well. In
an age when most politicians and people of power are suspect, if not corrupt,
he was a breath of clean desert air.
Harry Kinney, twice mayor of Albuquerque who also drove a cab for
five years after he left office (and previously was an appliance store
owner and Sandia Laboratory engineer) passed away Tuesday at the age of
He was an interesting guy, no doubt about it. Read this article from the
Albuquerque Tribune - here.
Going on a cruise is a popular vacation for a lot of people. I've never
done one (yet), but I would love to. Visiting exotic ports of call, traveling
the high seas, enjoying fantastic food, dancing and music all sounds fun.
The popularity of theme cruises has grown greatly in the past few years.
I was suprised to discover that one of these themes is scrapbooking.
That's right, people spending countless hours onboard their cruise ship
creating elaborate scrapbook albums full of memories and personal history.
Many of the cruise lines offer workshops.
An interesting article about this popular activity appeared in the May
5th issue of the NY Times. | here
There has been a great buzz and much controversy over the immigration
issue in the United States. The large number of people living in the United
States without proper documentation or legal entry is a concern for a
number of reasons (national security and economic impact among them).
Yet, we must give pause and look at this very large issue with some eyes
of compassion. America is a country with more opportunity than many others.
It is a land that has been built on the backs of hard working folks who've
come from elsewhere. Despite the fierce challenges many people want to
come to America.
On Monday, May 1, nearly a million people across the country attended
"Day Without Immigrant" rallies. There was a pretty big one
here in Albuquerque. Congress is debating the issue and working on new
legislation to deal with the large number of undocumented workers and
illegal aliens. How we proceed with this will be an indication of our
ability to plan wisely and yet show care and concern. I think anyone interested
in their family and personal history should try to view today's immigrant
issue with an eye towards the history of America over the past couple
of hundred years.