Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Snow Quilt in Steamboat, CO

People are SO creative!

February 25, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Weather | 2 Comments

Unity in Diversity

As so often happens, when I read Forward Day by Day, an illumination of the daily readings in the Lectionary, I think “Oh! This is meant for me.”

My heart is heavy as the Syrian peoples in Homs and Hama are bombarded, and babies, children, mothers, non-combatants – all are killed, whether they are fighting or not. I remember the shivers as we would pass the headquarters of the Mukhabarat, or secret police, which we called ‘the fingernail factory’ and I am shamed at our shallowness and callowness, as the reality of people tortured and damaged just for the example of it. While I know that the troubles are political, they are following religious lines. Homs and Hama have always resisted the rule of the Alawites, and have suffered horribly, 30 years ago, at the hands of Bassam Al-Assad’s father, who almost leveled Hama. I know, because I visited there shortly afterwards. It was a silent ghostland, a beautiful city, deserted and haunted.

Who is next, Assad? After the cities of Homs and Hama – oh, and don’t forget Deraa – will you start hitting the Christian villages, even though the Syrian Christians are at the very least, neutral, and many support you? The monster of tyranny is not easily sated, and to survive, there must be constant sacrifices to keep the people in fear, or else they won’t be obedient.

This is all heavy on my heart. I lave loved Syria, all of it, not just Damascus. When will we learn to live in peace with one another?

(Image of Hama from WikiMedia)

John 17:20-26. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me.

This verse is taken from the so-called high priestly prayer of Jesus for the unity of the church. What is our understanding of unity in the church? From the outset there was a great diversity of Christian groups. Diversity arose from differing practices and religious customs as well as from the difficulty of interpreting authentically the mystery of the person of Jesus.

What is meant by the unity of all Christians? An imposed uniformity in which everyone must bow their heads and obey without freedom of expression and cultural variations? That would be more harmful than beneficial. That idea persisted for a long time and led to the imposition of strict uniformity in religious practice worldwide. It was pernicious.

Today we realize that there can be unity in diversity. It is important to highlight the diversity of cultures while maintaining unity. The unity that Jesus wanted was based on love, compassion, and mercy—not uniformity.

PRAY for the Diocese of Bukuru – (Jos, Nigeria)

Ps 30, 32 * 42, 43; Ezekiel 39:21-29; Philippians 4:10-20

February 25, 2012 Posted by | Circle of Life and Death, Community, Crime, ExPat Life, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Political Issues | | 2 Comments

Depends Who Writes the Obituary . . .

I am sorry, but this totally cracks me up. I found in on AOL Huffpost and it is about a Tampa family, where the one writing the obituary gets to insert his point of view. We all have families; they each have their points of view.

When I am reading the obituaries, the ones that crack me up are the ones who have clearly written their own obituaries and had them ready to go when their time is up. Many of the ones written by men are a little grandiose, the ones written by women are more matter-of-fact. You can usually tell what they found most important about the life they lived. Now and then, you find someone original, with a sense of humor and proportion about themselves, who talk about hunting, or their dogs, or sailing. There are people I wish I had met when I read their obituaries; maybe we should all publish pre-death summaries of our lives so far . . . Oh wait . . . that’s a blog, LOL!

When AdventureMan says “that’s not how I remembered it!” I always say (you’ve heard it before, you can say it along with me) “Get your own blog, AdventureMan!” But it is true, the one who is doing the blog gets to skew the history, LLOOLL!

By Laura Rowley

One of my first assignments in my first real job in journalism was writing obituaries for The Milwaukee Journal. I found it a little daunting at first, this job of writing about the dead. But that changed after a phone call with a woman whose daughter had died in a car crash overseas with her husband and toddler.

It was my job to call the family for the story, and I assumed the mother would hang up on me. Instead she spoke for an hour, sobbing, telling me stories about her extraordinary daughter and son-in-law, and the grandchild she had barely gotten to know. At the end of the call she said, “Thank you, my husband won’t talk with me about this.”

In every call I made after that I had a different attitude. I realized that the obituary is a place where ordinary people have the opportunity to honor the people they love in a very public way.

That is, unless the survivor is self-centered enough to believe the obituary is about him, as appears to be the case with Angelo “A.J.” Anello of Florida. Anello placed an obituary for his mother Josie, who died on February 11, taking the opportunity to insult his siblings Ninfa and Peter with the following line:

“She is survived by her Son, ‘A.J.’, who loved and cared for her; Daughter ‘Ninfa’, who betrayed her trust, and Son ‘Peter’, who broke her heart.”
The source of this rivalry between these post 50 siblings? Money. Ninfa Simpson told the Tampa Bay Times that her brother A.J. became more controlling over their mother once their father died, which A.J. denied. The two told the paper that the third sibling, Peter, has been estranged from the family for more than 25 years. The Tampa Bay Times also reported that:

Simpson says Anello drained the mother’s savings and maxed out her credit cards. Anello says Simpson and her husband used their mother’s Social Security checks to go on vacations to Branson, Mo., and Alaska.
Both siblings deny the other’s allegations.

A.J. told the Tampa Bay Times that he was merely conveying what his mother said through the obituary; nevertheless, an alternative version of Josie Anello’s obituary — which does not include evidence of the siblings’ feud — has also been published.

What do you think about Josie Anello’s obituary? Let us know in the comments, and watch the below video to hear more about this unbelievable family rift.

February 25, 2012 Posted by | Aging, Biography, Blogging, Circle of Life and Death, Communication, Family Issues | Leave a comment