Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dear Diary

Good morning my fellow Rotarians and welcome to the Bottom of the News!  Thought I would do something a bit different this week and share with you an encounter between a husband and wife, as recorded in their diary entrys, that could happen anywhere in the world.  Let's begin with the...

Wife’s Diary Entry:

Tonight, I thought my husband was acting weird. We had made plans to meet at a nice restaurant for dinner. I was shopping with my friends all day long, so I thought he was upset at the fact that I was a bit late and maybe even put too much on the credit care, but he made no comment. Conversation wasn't flowing, so I suggested that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk. He agreed, but he didn't talk.

I asked him what was wrong; He said, 'Nothing.' I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset. He said he wasn't upset, that it had nothing to do with me, and not to worry about it. On the way home, I told him that I loved him. He smiled slightly, and kept driving.

I can't explain his behavior I don't know why he didn't say, 'I love you, too.' When we got home, I felt as if I had lost him completely,
as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. He just sat there quietly, and watched TV. He continued to seem distant and absent.   Finally, with silence all around us, I decided to go to bed. About 15 minutes later, he came to bed. But I still felt that he was distracted, and his thoughts were somewhere else. He fell asleep; I cried. I don't know what to do. I'm almost sure that his thoughts are with someone else. My life is a disaster. 

Husband's Diary Entry: 
A four putt; nobody, I mean nobody four putts... stupid game!

And there you have it.  Guys if you can relate, I'd suggest that you not openly admit that right now!  And that my friends is our bottom of the news for this Friday, July 29th, 2011. 


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Reflections on Jon Cushing

On Monday, July 4th, a fatal heart attack took the life of fellow Daybreak Rotarian Jon Cushing.  On vacation to visit his daughter in San Diego,  Jon was doing what he loved, an early morning run.  At age 56 we never know what God has in mind when he takes someone unexpectedly.  Life is but a whisper, a brief moment in time.  We mourn his loss and pray to God for comfort for his family.  Below is a tribute that was read by Ken Kolek on Friday, July 8th...

May we seek on this morning, to reflect on the impact Jon had on the lives of so many.  May we also seek understanding and acceptance of the loss that took one or our own; one of our respected and loved brothers.

May we also seek closure, not to forget Jon, but to take a piece of that which was the best of Jon, with each of us, for the rest of our days.  Jon had a subtle sense of humor that many enjoyed; unless you missed the subtlety.

He was gifted with a technical mind which he shared to help others, not only professionally, but with community, for the benefit of young lives.

He was open to so many, which included the Elmcrest manager.  Last night, upon just hearing the news of someone she testified the staff so enjoyed Jon and talked about her personal loss when she shared a time with both Jon and his wife Kim.

That same character was evident when Jon and Kim offered to share a table with complete strangers in Osaka, Japan not knowing that he was sitting with the next International President of Rotary.
Jon was a team player, cooperating in efforts for playgrounds, to bring the RI President to Cedar Rapids or the Duck Race.

Jon, you served your wife, your family, your profession and your community; and you did it well.  You served fellow Rotarians in this club, from being a greeter, to leadership as a director and president, to a critical puzzle piece in the most successful “fun” raiser.  You served your District and state leadership in your role as Assistant Governor.

You served the children of the world from Cofradia, Mexico to Polk School, and to unknown reaches in this community and this world.  You finished well, dear friend, last Friday, at this podium, sharing personal insights.
Coe won and Harvard lost.
Cedar Rapids’ win was Boston’s loss.
Daybreak Rotary’s gain in Jon was a win for each of us.

It is important, in a time such as this, that we respect the different beliefs in this room this morning.  So let us pray for Jon’s family… 

Regardless of our beliefs in you Holy God, we know your creation in each life was intended to be a life of love.  We thank you for Jon’s life and his living example of your love.  If we believe life is as simple as molecules, may we know that his life ripple will be sustained in the many lives he touched for a long time forward.  If we belief there is but only a Holy God, may we be mindful of the conduct of life you have asked of each of us and Jon; those being love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  If we believe that in you is the provision of the resurrection and the life eternal; then we ask you hold Jon gently and trust in You the Lord.  Amen.

In closing, I propose a toast…  A salute to Jon’s life and memory.  Keep both alive.  Embrace one another in a time such as this, now and forever.

Jon Cushing, we salute you!  Let us depart and peace be with you.

And this my friends and fellow Rotarians is our news for this Friday, July 8, 2011.

Friday, July 01, 2011

May America Never Forget!

Good morning and welcome to July! As we head into one of my favorite holiday weekends let's take a look back at what was going on this time in history in 1776....

On this day, July 1st, the Second Continental Congress, assembled in Philadelphia to formally adopt Richard Henry Lee's resolution for independence from Great Britain. The vote was unanimous, with only New York abstaining.

The resolution was originally presented on June 7, but five colonies were not ready to declare independence. Thus, Congress agreed to delay the vote on Lee's Resolution until July 1st.

Congress appointed a committee to draft a formal declaration of independence. Members were John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Robert R. Livingston of New York and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia. Jefferson, well-known as the best writer, was to be the primary author.  He presented his final draft to Congress for review on June 28, 1776.

On July 1, they resumed debate and still could not get New York on board. Congress thought it was critical that independence be unanimously proclaimed from all 13 colonies. They voted again on July 2 with the New York delegates still abstaining, unsure of how their constituents would wish them to vote.  New York finally came around with their approval two weeks later on July 19th.

John Adams believed that July 2nd would be THE date that history would remember because of the significance of the 'separation from Great Britain' declaration.  It was the first declaration that really got the attention of the royals.  However, Adams missed it by two days and July 4th became the date that went down in history once Jefferson's Declaration of Independence was adopted.

The declaration was not actually signed by the 56 signers until August 2nd.  And the American War for Independence would last for five more years.  Yet to come were the Patriot triumphs at Saratoga, the bitter winter at Valley Forge, the intervention of the French and the final victory at Yorktown in 1781.  And finally, seven years after the declaration of independence was approved, in 1783 the 'Treaty of Paris' was signed formally declaring that the United States was a free and independent nation.

So, fire up the grill this 4th of July, take in a ball game and watch some fireworks.  Let’s celebrate and enjoy our precious liberty that came at such a great price. But more importantly, let's remember the many brave people who fought for OUR freedom over 235 years ago and many men and women continue to do so today. God has blessed us richly in America!  And that my friends is our bottom of our news on this July 1, 2011.