At the Same Time

Hopped on Facebook this morning to look for news from our family in Puerto Rico. It’s still mostly radio silence down there, but that’s to be expected as the entire island lost power and many cell towers are out of service. You know where it’s not silent? On Facebook.
Good. Lord.
A few reminders: You can care about people in the Mexican earthquake and AT THE SAME TIME care about people in the hurricanes. I know, it’s shocking. Your heart has enough room. Some of your wallets even have enough money to donate to both causes. And yes, Puerto Rico is part of the United States, but that shouldn’t even be a determining factor in your decision to care about Puerto Ricans because, news flash, they are also human beings. And while we are on the subject of caring, you can care about victims of natural disasters and homeless vets AT THE SAME TIME. Actually, you can care about any cause and homeless vets at the same time. Who even started this one? Judging by the memes I’ve seen, you’d think people are running around stealing money from homeless vets to pay for every other cause known to man. You’d also think there are no homeless vets left, what with all the care and support they must be getting from the people who are outraged that they are being ignored. You can support the police officers in your life who are trying to make a difference in their community and AT THE SAME TIME stand up against injustice, police brutality, and corruption. In fact, demanding an end to corrupt or unjust police practices makes life safer for everyone including the police. You can find fault with the ACA and AT THE SAME TIME recognize that the Cassidy-Graham bill is a crap replacement. If you think the ACA is broken, then Cassidy-Graham is throwing salt on an open wound. There’s even a whole group of senators from both political parties taking this approach in a committee right now, looking for bipartisan solutions to our messy healthcare system. But bipartisanship, that’s totally absurd, right? You can support someone’s right to free speech and AT THE SAME TIME speak out against what they are saying. That’s called … wait for it … exercising your free speech.
Silence on social media is not always complicity. You have no idea the reasons some people are silent on some issues on social media. I know some stories that would break your damn heart if heard them. Some silent people are just trying to survive. In their own homes.
And to those of you boycotting the NFL for either of the opposing reasons that a whole bunch of you are boycotting the NFL, welcome to fall without football. It’s lovely. The leaves change colors and there’s pumpkin patches and hay rides and beautiful places to hike. Hit me up if you want to grab a latte and romp through some woods.
If you are feeling angry at me for any of the things I just said, feel free to call me on the actual phone to talk. But my guess is that if you are having a hard time digesting any of the above statements, you are spending too much time on social media or listening to talking heads on some 24 hour news channel. Back away from the computer, go out into the real world, and have actual conversations with other people. You guys all have a lot of gifts to share with the world. Take 24 hours, log out, and go share them.
Update – Thanks to everyone who reached out after my last post, either to inquire about our family or just to talk. Conversation matters and you guys demonstrate that again and again. A quick update, our family in Puerto Rico was able to get to a place with cell service and make contact, they are safe and well. The island, as many of you know, is without power and much of it is without running water. They headed back west to where they rode out the storm because there is water there. It means we lose contact again for awhile, but you’ve got to go where the water is! I’m waiting patiently on people much wiser than me that are looking into the best ways to help and I’ll be back to share more. One place I can recommend that has a fund set up for both the hurricane and the earthquake in Mexico City is the Hispanic Federation. But as I learn more, I will share.  The road to recovery is going to be long. It’s a major humanitarian crisis. Please keep this on your radar in this world of constantly changing news. 


It happened just like they said it would. We had a baby boy. We rocked him to sleep in the middle of the night. We sang lullabies and changed diapers and marveled over the ordinary miracle that we named Ronan. We took a long nap and woke up and he was in preschool. We blinked and he was climbing on a school bus. We counted many long days that added up to lightening fast years and we woke this morning to a teenager. Happy 13th birthday Ronan! You are more than we ever hoped for. Your curiosity and wisdom and steadiness and humor add up to more than the sum of those parts. We can’t wait to see what the coming years bring, and lucky for you, your parents are a couple of fools who love teenagers.

And even if you manage to change our minds about that last sentence, you’ll never change our minds about how much we love you.