>Happy Bday Coffedoc!

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It’s my Tom’s Birthday today!
Hoorah, we love birthdays!

We celebrated with the family last night, because we get the fun bday activity of driving through the hot flat Indiana cornfields today to drive our son Jon (And Julianne, welcome honey, please ignore the crankyness and snuffling as I drive…tell your mom I really am stable.) up to school and get Jon settled into his dorm for Frosh Orientation and the start of school. Whoohoo. 
Not the optimal birthday event, but a dad’s gotta do what a dad’s gotta do.
 And that is just one of the reasons we love him so. 

 

Here are some more.  

{I know you all have read these before, it’s not the first year of blog, but it’s a bday and thus these bear repeating, if only for our own little/big family unit to be reminded and for Tom to read that he is very loved…..}

We love our Tom/Dad
He is funny,
he is an adventurer,
he is a terrible cook,
because he is totally left brained
and thinks linearly
and only does one thing at a time,
which can be a great gift
if you’re doing surgery and putting in a new knee,
but not so great if  you are making a meal.

 He has a sweet tooth and loves cookies best of all,
especially if they are homemade.
He is a man’s man and loves to have a beer
and laugh at dumb jokes outside,
preferably on a boat or by the water,
but he is also a romantic,
who loves to go out to a quiet dinner with me,
and share a drink and smooch.
He is also a gentle dad,
who will comfort the tears of a frazzled daughter,
and hang with his boys listening to music
late into the night.

 He is an adventurer,
having jumped out of airplanes,
and snorkeled around the world,
traveling anywhere at the drop of a hat,
and getting twitchy when he has to stay at home too long.
Which is a direct odds with me, his wife,
and yet he works hard to tamp down that urge
so he can be around for me,
and his kids.

He is somewhat indulgent,
agreeing to a new puppy,
when he was perfectly content with our old dog,
and even assenting to a small little doxie,
when he has historically been staunchly opposed
to any small dog.
Which means he is essentially a pushover,
for his girls.
That’s something of an open secret.
Ssshhh.

 He is a dreamer,
always thinking big,
and usually complicated,
and often just a little bit beyond the pale,
pushing just a bit beyond the margins,
stretching himself and us all to do more than we think we can.
Which is why he has done many
and many wonderful things,
some might say radical things,
in his amazing life.

 And it’s why we are all so glad that we too
are along for the ride.
Because life wouldn’t be the same without him.

 He loves his faith,
he loves his work,
he loves his friends,
he loves his family,
he loves Italy,
he loves technology,
he loves to laugh,
he loves art, and food, and music, and prayer,
he loves his Church,
 he loves the beach,
he loves his boys,
he loves his girls,
he loves his wife…
he loves life.
And we all love him back.

Happy Happy 49th Birthday Thomas.
We love you so.

>B is for Bernard

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It’s the feast of St. Bernard of Clairvaux! 
(It’s also my Tom’s bday, but that the next post this morning!)

Now, he is a biggie saint, St. Bernard was known for his humility, intellect, mediation skills, homilies…his influence helped build the Cistercian order and spread throughout Europe, with many conversions to faith.  But for me, the big deal is that he composed one of my favorite prayers and one that I only pray when I’m really kinda desperate: The Memorare.   

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

I don’t mean to say that this prayer or any prayer works as any sort of formula or incantation, God forbid!  But what I mean is that it is a serious petition and I just don’t like to use it lightly, say for instance….”please help me get a parking place so I’m not late again.”  Or, “please pray that these kids do a decent bedtime because I am so tired and I need to be done for today” (did I type that out loud? oops..).  I use this prayer when the stakes are high and important because I know that Mary, as a mother, is faithful and wants our best good and so will take the important stuff to her son, Jesus.  And I don’t want to be a pest.  I want to approach in prayer, with this prayer, only when I’m really focused and the need is worth the pestering.  Does that make sense? I hope so.  Suffice it to say, St. Bernard also came from a big family (Seven kids, six boys, one girl…what is it with big families and saints…a training ground for holiness due to the forced coping with a certain level of chaos? Hmm, a mom’s gotta wonder…that’s my take on it anyhow and I’m sticking to it!) and he knows you don’t bug your mom without a good reason…..hence, this prayer.

Anyhow, I digress.  St. Bernard is worth a look, he’s a Doctor of the Church and a big saint.
So, my Tom, and all, happy feast day!
St. Bernard, pray for us!