Monday, October 15, 2007


I returned home from my daughter’s softball tournament on Sunday to find my son distraught over hearing that his classmate, Eli Florence, had passed away at his home earlier in the day. Eli had suffered from Leukemia for the past five years and finally lost his battle with the disease.

Sunday’s tournament had begun at 1:00 pm in the warm glow of sunshine on an otherwise crisp autumn day. About two hours later the sky became cloudy and rain fell shortly after 3:00 for the duration. When I got home, I learned why the weather had taken such a cold, sad turn. Seems the sky was weeping for our friend Eli.

I am having a hard time digesting the sad truth of what transpired over the weekend. Eli had been crowned homecoming king at his Lake Fenton High School little more than a week before. Five students sidestepped their own chances to give Eli the honor. He was a sophomore. Eli was scheduled to be hosted at the University of Michigan’s homecoming game on Saturday including a visit on the sidelines with coach Lloyd Carr. He was too sick to attend.

I can’t for the life of me understand where the love of God is when a 15 year old young man is called to heaven. I don’t understand where a parent finds the faith to endure such a loss. I couldn’t sleep Sunday night with Eli’s loving family on my mind. Wondering over and over again how they manage to keep their sanity.

My personal doctor is an oncologist and I had to ask him on Monday; how does one reconcile the tragic, untimely loss of a 15 year old boy to cancer. He told me simply, “you don’t.” He had no other comfort, shared no other wisdom, as if to make a point that you don’t try to soften such a hard blow. I got the message. Some things should be hard. Some things shouldn’t make sense. And some things we should carry, under their entire weight.

I have been uncharacteristically numbed by the story of Eli. I’ve prayed for him every day for years on end. I registered as a potential bone marrow donor to no avail. This young man has been on my mind since I first heard of him shortly after moving to our community. I have been emotionally moved into submission.

I am not related to his family and our families were not acquainted. But I feel a kinship to all children, especially children who hurt. Injured children are what I understand best, they make the best human beings. And it is impossible to fully process the loss of any child; particularly a child who doesn’t live long enough to learn that adolescence were the hardest years of their lives.

It is my belief that no one can truly comprehend how much love a person of Eli’s caliber brings to us and our world…it is simply too abundant and rich to grasp. The innocent are truly Angels.

God rain comfort -- the little comfort that can be absorbed -- onto Eli’s family.

Thank you, Eli, for awakening me with your sleep. You live on in our hearts and you are truly a gift.


Sunday, October 14, 2007


Hillary launched her two day “Middle Class Express” bus tour of Iowa with a speech that departed from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed into law by her husband. She thinks NAFTA should be reassessed and “adjusted,” though she didn’t offer tangible details.

I’m pretty sure she didn’t offer details because she really doesn’t have any. You don’t need details for the crowd she’s speaking to. She’s speaking to union membership and other democrat gim’me’crats who don’t bother to pick up printed material and actually read about what they’re for or against.

I’m not foolish enough to think for a New York moment that people who’s vote can be swayed or sealed on that kind of idiotic talk do any reading beyond their horoscope, Ann Landers or the sports pages. I beg any one of them to spend two sentences on NAFTA without their brain exploding.

“I think we do need to take a deep breath and figure out how we can make it work for the greatest numbers of people,” Billary added. The “greatest number of people“ comment, of course, is meant to make all of her lackeys think they’re in the “greatest number.”

With “greatest number,” she is specifically addressing the union leadership. This being the same fine leadership that has contributed so greatly to the high unemployment rate in Michigan, Ohio and some other rust belt areas of the country.

This is the same fine leadership that lobbies against right-to-work laws that give an employee the right to join a union…or not! For the record, Michigan is not a right-to-work state. Here, you have no right to not join a union if your coworkers are organized. The union leadership we’re talking about also will take away the right to a secret ballot when they try to organize in a particular workplace. This tactic has the obvious effect of intimidating workers who don’t want to join, into voting for membership. If the Dems take the White House in addition to controlling the legislature, this too will become law. Guaranteed!

Anyway, Clinton’s most recent empty speech will surely please the left and some dopes on the right. Unfortunately, in this country most people fall all over themselves for people who use phrases like “greater good; wealth redistribution; level playing field; fair share;” and my personal favorite, “working people.”

She no doubt appeals to people who think the United States is a democracy, and others who have never bothered to read the Constitution.

On the other side of the aisle, I watched the most recent Republican candidate’s debate the other day on CNBC. Not real exciting. There have been so many debates at this point, 13 months before the election, that no one watches them. In fact it looked like the candidates themselves didn’t entirely show up either.

Worst moment of the debate was when Sen. Fred Thompson was asked “What are the dangers of a weak dollar?” He appeared to be desperately trying to make up the answer as he stumbled, and failed to sound convincing. Even if you didn’t know the answer, it sounded as though he didn’t either. Painful.

What a tired looking bunch. And as bad as they sounded, the Democrat candidates are worse…content wise.

Shaping up to be a scary election season!