The War Zone

Last month, my family had our annual family reunion in northeast Iowa. We decided to have it at least every year because my grandmother and her sisters were the last survivors of their original family. We had a pleasant time…until the Sunday morning, when my mother’s cousin passed away suddenly. He was in failing health…

Suicides Are Not “Valiant”

In some way, we continue to look at suicide as “someone else’s” problem. Until everyone is affected by it.  There are too many angles to deconstruct the suicide of former NFL All-Pro lineman Junior Seau for me to write about. As someone who has battled depression and had suicidal tendencies a decade ago, I feel that I need…

An Imperfect Christmas

The Christmas message this morning at St. John’s Lutheran was simple and understandable:  “there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ Christmas.” Holiday movies such as “The Ref“, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation“, and “Miracle on 34th Street” tries to convey this statement, but in real life, if it isn’t a “perfect” Christmas, it’s a failure. The…

Holiday Blues

Thanksgiving and Christmas are meant to be a time of celebration, family, and joyous fun.  For some, the holiday season can be melancholy or sad, as loved ones are far away from home, or have passed on.  Not since the Great Depression has there been so much uncertainty and worry heading into the holiday season…