Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Whew! What a weekend!

What a whirlwind weekend and busy couple of days!!!  We had a football game Friday night (so the girls twirled their flags), Saturday morning was busy with Becca getting her hair done, Emily working, grocery shopping, and Sarah arriving home for a short visit.  We spent Saturday afternoon getting everyone beautiful for the Homecoming dance.  I must say that we were fairly successful.  Emily and Becca looked absolutely stunning.  It's always fun to see these kids (and their friends) get dressed up -- it's such a welcome change from the normal jeans and t-shirts with their hair pulled up in ponytails.  A few curls, some hairpins, and a lot of hairspray got us through!

I'm happy to report that they both had a fantastic time.  We had a bunch of the juniors over for a while afterwards, and as pumped as they were, I can tell they had a great time!

Sunday we were able to celebrate my nephew's upcoming wedding with a bridal shower for his fiance.  It's always fun to see what the new presents are out there, and wish a little bit that I could have my bridal shower all over again and get some new things!  She got some beautiful things.

Afterwards, we were blessed that my nephew and his wife spent some time at our house with their baby boy, Fritz.  He is such a good little boy.  It was fun to have some snuggle time with him.  :)

No real words of wisdom or inspiration from me today.  Well, maybe a few.  I love my family........so so much.  I'm trying to enjoy every moment with all of them.  I've learned by watching Sarah go away to college this year that way too soon they will be flying the coop.  It's good to grow up, but it's also good to remember the times when you were little and still lived at home.  I love them so much!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I just got home from a speaking engagement.  Well, I spoke.  To a few people.  In an office.  In a church.

So, maybe it wasn't a speaking engagement in front of hundreds of people, but it was in front of 5 people.  :)  Nevertheless, it was an important thing we were discussing.

You see, for the past two years (on and off for me), there is a group that has been meeting with the dream of forming a Serra Club, a group that meets, prays, and generally finds ways to support those who are considering a vocation, or who are already in formation.  We are finally to the point of having enough members that we can have our own Club!  With that, we have officers and offices.  Yours truly, along with Beth Dammeyer (who is a peach and a half), are the membership chairs.  I would have to admit that Beth is the brains behind the operation.  I am the mouth.  (Go figure!)

We were invited to speak tonight to the Vocations Committee at St. Michael's and St. Peter & Paul Churches in Fort Loramie and Newport, respectively.  I thought this was probably a great group to start with, since they were so small!  We had a great discussion about raising awareness of vocations in our parishes.

I've always been drawn to vocations awareness.  Perhaps it's because of my upbringing -- I have an uncle that is a priest, an aunt who is a nun, and a cousin that is a priest.  I've ALWAYS been around religious.  And their job is vital to our church, both on the local level and on the Church level!  I have been reflecting on our substitute priests we have come in to our church when our priest is not able to say mass -- they usually come from St. Charles, and are usually in the vicinity of 80-90 years old!  And what an inconvenience when one of them can't come, or forgets, and all we can have is a communion service?

At the rate we have young men entering the seminary, we will have bigger problems in the years to come if we don't increase vocations.  The beautiful part of what I'm seeing now, is the products that the seminary is turning out -- wonderful, caring priests who are awesome at their jobs!  Now, we need more of them!

I'm convinced that vocations, like anything else in the church, can be increased by asking.  Some will come forward on their own, but others need to be asked.  Or encouraged.  I try to encourage all the time.  I have a few people in my mind right now that I think could be hearing the call, but may need a gentle nudge.  Is it you?  Maybe :)

So, pray for our Serra Club, that it may move forward and do great things.  Also, pray for vocations as a whole -- that we will be blessed with many young men and women who want to give their lives to God. 

And if it happens to be one of my children -- I will be so blessed!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

But He forgot me!

Just a quick follow up to my post yesterday about Uncle Clete.  I had the priveledge of having Sister Teresa ride with me from the church to the cemetary and back.  She is one of my Aunt Sister Marge's Sister friends.  I enjoyed speaking with her during our time together. 

We were discussing aging and dying, and how, even when people are older, it doesn't necessarily make it easier to let them go.  She spoke of another nun in their order, who lived to be 105.  She said this nun was always smiling and happy, but felt she had lived her life and was ready to move on.

At her 105th birthday party, she casually mentioned to someone that he had forgotten her.  The other party asked, "Who forgot you?"  She said, "I think God did!  He forgot he put me on this earth and has forgotten to come back and get me!" 

I've been chuckling about that all day.  May God NEVER forget he put you on this earth and forget to come back and get you!  :)

Hope YOU had a GREAT day!  Fall is here!  Dig out the sweatshirts for the ballgames and the band contests!  Time to stock up on pumpkin and dig out the soup recipes!

As always,


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Job well done!

It's taken me a little more than 24 hours to put this blog post together because I needed to get my thoughts together a little.  Yesterday was a bit rougher day for me than I expected.

On Friday, I was driving around the countryside meeting with clients when my phone rang.  I looked to see who it was, and it was my brother, Joe.  Joe often calls me to tell me little stories, so I didn't think too much when he called me in the middle of the day.  He asked me how my day was going, and I could tell from the tone in his voice that all was not well.

"Uncle Clete died this morning," I heard on the other end. 

It was one of those moments where it was not unexpected (Clete was 86, after all), but Uncle Clete, who seemed like he was going to live forever, was not with us any more.

Clete's family lives in and around Columbus, so they were always the far away folks.  However, I have to say that for living as far away as anyone, they have always been the family that you can always count on to be there - for funerals, weddings, reunions....they were there.  I love that they always still realized the value of family, even when it might mean travelling on snowy roads to get to the Christmas party!

The viewing had been set for Sunday, with the funeral on Monday.  I had already committed to helping my brother Duane out at the Applefest Parade in Sidney on Sunday afternoon, so I opted to go to the funeral on Monday.  I picked up my brother, Jim, around 7:30 am and off we went. 

We stopped at the funeral home first, to pay our last respects to Uncle Clete, and to give hugs to his wife, Dolores, and all of the kids.  After a short prayer service led by his son, Fr. Craig, we joined the procession through the streets of Columbus to the church where Clete's life would be celebrated.

To be very honest with you, it didn't strike me until I was in church that Fr. Craig was actually going to say his father's funeral mass.  At a time when most of us get very emotional and look to each other (and our priest) for support, Craig was going to do what most would find the impossible -- celebrate this funeral liturgy.

After we entered the church, I looked around.  There were two deacons flanking him on either side, and then he had three concelebrants on the altar with him.  In the side pews were other fellow priests of his -- my guess would be about 20 more, all to support Craig and to celebrate this liturgy.

I have to say that Craig did a fantastic job.  I'm sure there were moments that it was difficult to hold it together, but he did it.  And his homily?  He knocked it out of the park!  He told stories of Clete growing up, and had stories of Clete with some of his siblings that were present.  My favorite story of all was the time Clete's sister, Aunt Edna, was mad at him one morning when she was making his lunch.  So what did he get?  A pancake between two slices of bread!!!  Nothing else -- no butter, no jelly, no anything to make it go down easy.  Yuck!!!  He did a wonderful job of memorializing his dad.

When mass was over, the priests all gathered two by two to exit the church.  I was sitting about the third row back, so I was one of the first ones out of the church.  I didn't realize what a beautiful surprise I was about to encounter!  The priest lined up on either side of the sidewalk and were singing "Hail Holy Queen" in Latin, as Uncle Clete's body was carried past.  What an absolutely beautiful tribute.  With tears rolling down my cheeks, I listened in awe. 

And then it hit me -- we often think priests must lead a lonely life.  Their houses are empty at night, they don't have anyone to chat with anytime they want -- but that's really just what we think.  These guys were all THERE for Craig in his time of need -- I'm sure they were praying for strength for him to do this, and will continue to be there for him long after we have left town.  What a beautiful vocation the priesthood is!

I later had the chance to talk with Craig about that singing, on our way back to the church after we went to the cemetary.  I asked him if that was a tradition, or just happenstance.  He said that it is unique to their diocese, but that they generally do it for other priest's funerals, or if there are enough of them when a family member of a priest dies.  I told him how beautiful and touching it was.  He, too, appreciated the greatness.

We ended our day together with a luncheon in the church basement.  I love this tradition so much.  It has nothing to do with food or drink, but gives everyone a little time to decompress and come down a little slower from the past few whirlwind days.

I've really been reflecting on yesterday throughout the day yesterday and into today.  Imagine my surprise when this beautiful quote fell into my lap today:

"The world looks to the priest, because it looks to Jesus! No one can see Christ; but everyone sees the priest, and through him they wish to catch a glimpse of the Lord! Immense is the grandeur of the Lord! Immense is the grandeur and dignity of the priest!" - Pope John Paul II

We truly were in Christ's presence yesterday.  Thank you to Craig and to Clete's family for sharing your gifts with us.  We will certainly miss Clete's beautiful smile and, of course, his e-mails.  He could always brighten my day! 

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord;
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May his soul and the souls of all the faithfully departed
Rest in peace.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Here we are, 10 years after the 9/11 attacks, remembering and memorializing all those who both lost their lives (and friends and family), and also those who saved lives or risked their lives for those who were hurt that day.  I am probably one of the few in the United States who really actually knew no one on any of the planes that day, or in any of the buildings.  I do have one friend who was supposed to be on the flight out of Boston, but changed her plans at the last minute.  Ironically, she worked at the Pentagon, and wasn't there, either.  I am pretty sure that would be a "God Moment".

I was very touched this morning listening to the readings.....every one was about forgiveness.  Have you forgiven those that took all of those lives on 9/11/01?  I think what I heard this morning was a great explanation.  Deacon Greg stated that forgiveness doesn't mean that we approve of what they did; but rather, it means that we are willing to move past this.  Jesus says so many times in the bible to forgive.  One of the most famous forgiveness requests was, "Do not forgive your neighbor 7 times, rather 7 time 70 times!"  He means to just do it!  Forgive them.  Because forgiveness eventually builds us back up and helps us to get past the situation.

We may never understand why they did what they did that day.  I've heard the explanations hundreds of times, but simply cannot understand how anyone, of any faith, or belief, or anything, could believe that by killing others they will receive great favor.  I'm working on it, I just don't get it.

I remember what I was doing on 9/11/01.  The twins were almost 2 months old, and had been home for a couple of weeks.  I was rocking one of them in the rocker and had just turned on the tv when my jaw dropped.  I, like many others, initally thought that it was an accident, but would be wrong.  What I remember so vividly is the people running down the street with the clouds of smoke chasing them.  I felt like they were in a war zone.  It was so scary.

What were you doing that day?  It seems almost everyone remembers.  But better yet, have you forgiven?  If not, why not?

I sat in the stands at the football game the other night and watched as two rival teams played each other.  At halftimes, I watched the bands from these two schools get together and play a beautiful patriotic tribute to our great land.  And all I could think was, "I am so proud to be an American.  God bless the USA!"

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Happy birthday, Becca!

Sorry....just realized it's been almost a month since I've written anything.  But, I got Sarah off to college with very few tears (yay me!), got the rest of the kids back in school (yay them!), survived the annual Goettemoeller Labor Day campout, and made it to today!  Yay!

Today's post is all about our Becca.  Our sweet little Becca, who turns 15 today!!! 

Becca came into our lives when life was a little difficult -- Jim had taken a new job in New Bremen -- I stayed back in Columbus to sell our home.  We had two little girls (Sarah and Emily were 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 at the time) and Becca was on her way!  I talked our doctor into inducing my labor on a Saturday to insure that Jim would be around.  My parents came in the morning to watch the girls while we went to the hospital -- we ended up having a showing that day (hoping to sell our house!) -- so we went to McDonald's for lunch.  I don't think I ate much that day -- I forget what time I had to be at the hospital, but knew I shouldn't eat much!

Becca was born at 7:59 pm on Saturday, September 7, 1996.  She wasn't small :) but she sure was cute!  I remember my mom and dad brought the other girls up to the hospital before bedtime because they couldn't wait to meet their new little sister!

It would take a few more months (3 to be exact) until we were reunited in New Bremen again -- let me just say I grew to love Fridays at 6:30, because I would be watching for Jim to drive down the street!  I would hug and kiss him and run out the door for a little "me" time.  We had fabulous neighbors who really helped a lot, but somehow it is never the same as family.

Dear little Becca, I hope this is your best birthday yet.  We love you so much!  <3