Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Male Mind

I couldn't take my eyes off the children, as Mance and I sat dining Saturday night in a family restaurant. The giggles, the cute faces, the curly heads of hair. My mind churned with the massacre at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut the day before.  Now one ran past me to get an ice cream cone . . . was she about six, I wondered? And for the umpteenth time I was unable to grasp what Adam Lanza had done. And why?  The heavy, sinking feeling in my stomach had lingered since the first news broke. Oh my God, what are their parents going through? The other children?

It was effortless to connect with the stunned faces appearing on TV. We have two adult children. Then as time passed, I saw not only the nation but people all around the world drawn into the emotion of the moment. We are different peoples, of all ages, nationalities and colors, who pray differently and speak different languages, yet we all experience grief and sadness. And many of us carry the grief of loss in our own experiences.   

As much as we seem divided by our ideologies, political preferences, income, status, accomplishments and beliefs, at our core we are one, emotionally.  How healthy it would be for our unity, if we expressed our emotions more openly, as we are now with the people in Newtown.    

Friday, December 7, 2012


"So Dad, What Makes a Man?" is a great Christmas gift!


So is the following information for veterans of military service

I have recently been in contact with Emily Walsh, the Community Outreach Director for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. http://www.mesothelioma.com/  While she is passionate about helping military veterans who have this rare lung disease, Emily's suggestions below about eating healthy and cardiovascular health apply to all of us. If you know veterans, or anyone caring for veterans at home, please pass her comments--and the information on her highlighted website references--along to them. Emily wrote:

Health Concerns Following Military Service

This past Veteran's Day reminded us that our veterans have our respect. But after their service has ended, are they taking care of themselves like they should? After the discipline of military life is gone, are they maintaining their health? In many cases, the answer is YES. But let's look at some health concerns that many veterans miss due to lack of knowledge.

Healthy Eating

Getting adequate meals of high quality fresh food is very important as we get older. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. This type of plant-based diet will lower your risk of developing diseases like cancer and diabetes.

Do not neglect protein and healthy forms of fat. Lean protein will help ensure that you retain muscle mass as you age. Some sources of lean meat are fish, skinless poultry, and turkey.

Be sure that you are getting enough fiber in your meals. Why is fiber so important? This insoluble substance will help you with your digestion. It provides bulk to help move along the contents of your digestive system. It also helps you feel full longer. This keeps you from overeating between meals and helps you lose weight.

Fiber also helps prevent diseases like diabetes by preventing spikes in blood sugar. Since your meal takes longer to digest when it contains fiber, the sugars in your food are absorbed more slowly. Good fiber choices include apples, nuts, and whole grain breads. Whole grain breads are less processed that white flour breads. They retain the fibrous outer shell and are better for you. They also contain much more nutrition than white flour, which has been stripped of nutrients.

Cardiovascular Health

As we get older, our blood vessels tend to become clogged with cholesterol -- a fatty substance that can line blood vessels. A good way to prevent this is by eating foods that are low in unhealthy fat. Fried foods? Eat them very sparingly, if at all. The kind of food you want is meat that is low in fat, such as lean fish and poultry. One consideration with poultry is the skin that is very fatty. Trim the fat from the poultry.

Asbestos and Mesothelioma

Asbestos is the only known cause of a disease called mesothelioma cancer -- inflammation of the lung lining. What is asbestos? Asbestos is a material that is mined and produces a mass of tiny fibers that are used in materials for insulation and fireproofing. When the material is disturbed it can be inhaled and cause mesothelioma.

The military is known to have often used asbestos in military bases and naval vessels. Many veterans were exposed during their time in the service without knowing it. Sometimes, only years later they learn that they were exposed due to asbestos contact during their service. The disease can take years to develop.

Any veterans who are experiencing lung problems should see a doctor and be sure to tell that doctor he or she served in the military.
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