Friday, July 31, 2009

Father Frank

This post has been a bit late in coming, because it has been difficult for me to find the words to express my feelings about the loss of my father in law. What I have come up with is just a shell of what Dad meant to so many. We have been related for a mere 5 years, but he greatly impacted my life during that time. In our lives there are a few special people that make a lasting impression. My father in law was one of these people.

Actually, he and I go way back, thanks to Arthur. I knew he was special from the first day Arthur introduced us over thirty years ago. The preciseness of his thought and action reflected his military experience, but he used that characteristic to enrich his family. There was never a single birthday or anniversary forgotten, thanks to him. When Arthur and I married, he instantly accepted us all as true family. There was no "step" in his vocabulary.

It was a known fact that my father-in-law was well respected in his church community, but I was not aware how well until the day of his services. The mass was presided by three priests and a bishop. The priests spoke of his devotion, and Father Julian told a humorous story about how the parishioners would ask to speak to "Father Frank," because he helped out at the church so often that many thought he was an associate priest. Bishop Reese assisted with the mass in spite of his own personal illness.

The mass was beautiful, a truly special celebration of a beautiful life. The music has stayed with me for over a week now, especially the hauntingly beautiful "Shepherd Me oh God."

Serdeczna Matko
(traditional Polish hymn)

Placing of the Pall- Children Allen, Arthur, Paula, and Lorin


From Mass of Creation

Book of Wisdom 3:1 - reading by daughter Paula

Psalm Response:
Shepherd me Oh God

1 Corinthians 15:51- reading by son Arthur

Gospel Acclamation

Holy Gospel of the Lord

Funeral Homily- Father Stan

Presentation of the gifts: Son Lorin, Daughter in law Sue, Granddaughter Raquel, Great Grandson Patrick, Grandaughter Stacia
Amazing Grace

Consecration of the Bread and Wine

Creed and Intercessions

Eucharistic Prayer

Communion Rite

Communion song:
Here I am Lord

Eulogy- presented by son Allen

Final reflection: Prayer of St. Francis- reading by granddaughter Stacia

Sing with all the Saints

The day was rainy, but as Allen spoke of his father, a sunbeam came through a stained glass window and shone upon the paper he was reading from. Later, as we exited the church at the completion of the service a white dove flew over our heads.

Surely this man is in Paradise today.


"My father was never a man of wealth, but he was rich in the love and respect of his family, his friends, and all that knew him."- Allen W.

Pall Bearers- Grandaughter Stacia, Grandsons Matthew, Dominic and David, Great Grandaughter Emily, Grandson in law Stephen, and Friend Bob.

Age 86, July 21, 2009. Beloved husband for 62 years of Irene C. Dearest father of Allen F., Arthur F. (Stephanie), Paula K., Lorin (Susanne) and the late Kenneth. Dear father-in-law of the late Suzanne. Loving grandfather of Raquel, David, Dominic, Matthew, Gregory, Daniel, Stacia and Jared. Great-grandfather of Emily, Patrick, Hailey, Shelby, John Henry, and Alexis. Dear brother of Mary Ann, Rosalie Wila, the late Bernard and Carl. Frank was a lector and eucharistic minister at SS. Peter and Paul Church. Affectionately referred to as "Father Frank" because of his devout dedication to parish activities for over 50 years. Visitation at the Jarzembowski Funeral Home, 18957 W. Warren at Artesian, Thursday 5-9 p.m., Friday 12-9 p.m., Parish Rosary Friday 7 p.m. In state Saturday 9 a.m. SS. Peter and Paul Church until Mass of Resurrection 10 a.m. Interment St. Hedwig Cemetery.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Where do the Children Play

Many of you may know that I have been out of town to attend my father-in-law's funeral. I will write a little bit about that after I have some time to rest and ponder. But for now, here is a meme I found on Facebook that I thought I would post so I can get this blog rolling again.


The Challenge: Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Try not to repeat a song title. It's harder than you think.

Your Artist: Cat Stevens

Are you male or female: "Lady D'Arbanville"

Describe yourself: "Oh Very Young" (not!)

How do you feel about yourself: "Baby get your Head Screwed On"

Describe where you currently live: "Portobello Road"

The first thing you think of when you wake up: "Morning Has Broken"

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: "On the Road to Find Out"

Your favorite form of transportation: "Peace Train"

What is the weather like where you are at: "The Wind"

Your best friend is: "Sad Lisa"

Your favorite color is: "Bitter Blue"

If your life were a TV show, what would it be called: "Wild World"

What is life to you: "I Think I see the Light"

What is the best advice you have to give: "Don't be Shy"

If you could change your name, what would it be: "Sweet Scarlet"

Your favorite food is: "The Laughing Apple"

How I would like to die: "Sitting"

My soul's present condition: "Lilywhite"

What are you going to post this as: "Where do the Children Play"

Monday, July 20, 2009

Airing out the toilet

In a couple of my previous entries, I have mentioned my ex-husband, Steve. I have not shared a lot about that marriage and subsequent divorce, mainly because I don't think it's proper to air one's dirty laundry in public. Suffice to say that we were much too young and immature to marry when we did, and although a painful chapter in our lives, it was best that we split up. One great thing to come from our marriage is our son, Jimmy. We have a civil relationship nowadays, because we not only share a son, but also a set of grand-twins. Other good things that came of the marriage are some funny family stories. I'm going to share one of those stories, not about airing dirty laundry, but rather, about airing out toilets.

One day during the first year we were married, my parents invited Steve and I over for a cookout. It was a beautiful summer day and we were in a cheerful mood, looking forward to some good steaks and playing cards.

As we went into the back yard, Steve noticed that one of the toilets from the house was sitting under the birch tree.

"What is the toilet doing out in the yard?" he asked.

I had absolutely no idea why it was there, although I later learned that my dad removed it so he could snake out a foreign object that somehow had been flushed. At the moment, I was as clueless as Steve. However, I was thinking quickly as a flash of deviltry hit me.

"Well, it's out there because my parents are airing it out."

He gave me a blank look. "They're doing WHAT?"

"They're airing out the toilet," I repeated. "Is that so strange?"

Eyeing me suspiciously, he stammered, "Wha... huh...?

"Now, wait a minute Steve. Don't tell me you have never heard of airing out toilets. Every proper housekeeper does it at least once a year for sanitary reasons."

I was on a roll now, so I continued, "I can't believe that your mother, of all people, doesn't air out her toilets regularly!"

To understand the impact of that statement, you need to know a bit about Steve's mother. Not only is she a fastidious housekeeper, she is an obsessed housekeeper! If there are truly any floors that can be eaten off of, hers would be the ones.

With that last comment, I went into the house and left Steve alone to smoke his cigarettes and ponder the situation. Wicked, wicked me, I held out until I reached the hallway of the house, and then fell out laughing, and laughed until the tears were running down my face. Naturally, my parents came to investigate what was going on. I could barely spit out the story, but finally composed myself long enough to tell them about my earlier conversation.

About the time I finished the tale and we all quit laughing, it was time for my dad to start the grill. So, we went back outside to the yard.

A few minutes later, I almost needed to use that toilet in the yard because my mother, obviously spawn of the same devil seed as I, casually remarked to my dad, "Do you think the toilet has aired out long enough?"

My father's good-natured reply was, "I think so. I was planning on bringing in in after supper."

Steve still wasn't convinced that I was telling the truth but, likewise, he wasn't convinced I was lying, either!

Over the next few years, the toilet airing conversation would come up occasionally. Gradually, most of our friends and family heard about it, and one person or another would mention around Steve that they needed to get around to airing out their toilet soon. He was always pretty sure he was receiving a massive leg pulling, but not quite confident enough to call us out on it, lest he end up appearing too ignorant to understand proper sanitation.

That was many years ago, we have been divorced for over 25 years, but it is a favorite family legend.

Oh, pssst... Steve, if you're reading this; it's time to air out the toilet!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Good Kids vs Bad Kids

The past few Saturdays I have had the pleasure of working with a bunch of wonderful kids. They are members of the high school band, and we have been holding car washes to raise funds for band trips. These kids really work hard!

This week it came into focus how keeping kids busy helps keep them out of trouble. One of the cars the kids washed was a very nice later model vehicle that had been pelted with eggs the night before. With temps in the 90's even in the morning, you can imagine those eggs were baked on hard. It took almost 30 minutes for the kids to get the egg mess scraped and cleaned off the car.

Then it struck me: I was witnessing a bunch of good kids fixing what bad kids had done.

It is so much better to create than destroy, to clean than to mess up. I hope the days of working at these simple car washes help these kids to remain focused on activities that can help make this world just a little bit better.

Film Clip Friday: Kids working at the car wash.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Update on the casino trip

Well, we didn't win. *sigh*

That's not too surprising, though. I've heard it said, "If one is lucky at love, he will be unlucky in gambling."

I guess that's something even the Money Fairy can't do anything about! :-)

Wish me luck...

Arthur and I are heading to the Indian casino today and taking the Money Fairy with us! Maybe she will help us win! (ha ha)

I'll update tonight and let you know. :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

In the spirit of summer

This week's film clip is an old video of Shelby and John (ages 4 and 7) at swim lessons. This may be a video that only a mother could love, but I almost forget sometimes how cute they were back then. I want to keep this here so I can remember those days always. :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Lazy after Vacation

I am most definitely not feeling creative right now, but I know my readers are clamoring for a new post. (lol) So I am allowing my oldest son to be my guest blogger for today. I have mentioned him in many posts, but here is your opportunity to really get to know him, as this is his introduction in his own words.

So... take it away Jimmy!


My name is James, Jim, Jimmy, Jerk (that’s what Bear calls me), Dog Breath or Motor Mouth (that’s what Andy called me) Bentley, Buttley, and Bent as well a variety of other names, usually involving the letters J or B.

Or some choice four letter words. I’ll leave you to your own conclusions.

I live in South Portland, Maine and am currently freezing my butt off here in the great arctic north. I hope the summer is as good as I hear it is – otherwise I want my money back.

I work as a systems administrator (read here Computer Whipping Boy) for a company called Hannaford Brothers Grocery. They own part of Food Lion, the food store that was slapped with proven allegations of selling old and tainted meat sometime back in the nineties.

Which reminds me - I have to hurry up writing this; I must get back to fixing the computers that are programmed to wrap the tainted meat for sale. But I have time to mention a few more things.

I play the piano and fool around (while trying to look cool) on the guitar. Maybe one day I’ll be good. Mom says I will be, but she also once told me that I would be an astronaut. That’s just not a reliable source, you know?

I’m thirty-one years old, probably a few (okay, like twenty) pounds overweight and I have an unhealthy, inexplicable desire to eat my weight in McDonald's food. One day, maybe I’ll do that and be good at the guitar. To dream the impossible dream.

My desires to become a writer or a politician (or both) have about the same chance of Mom winning the lottery, but I hope these goals will come along with the guitar and McDonalds achievements I have listed above.

I’m married to a lady from Maine, and she’s very nice to me. She generally doesn’t call me stupid (unless I have done something stupid) and she is very forgiving of my tendency to talk too much. Unlike her father, who once said, “Can’t you shut that guy up, Tiffanie? Every time he opens his mouth, his guts fall out.” (True story)

That’s okay though, I know he really likes me deep down.

I have to be up for work at noon, and it is now 3:45 AM. So I bid you all adieu and grant you permission you to get on with your lives. Good night ladies and gentlemen – may your lives be complete and prosperous. And may you suffer from little to no lower back pain.



Friday, July 3, 2009

Last Stop, then Going Home!

Ah, our vacation is coming to an end. It has been a busy trip so, although we have had fun, it will be very good to get home. The last stop: Cedar Point, which is rumored to be the best amusement park in America. We had the pleasure of the company of my dear friend Jeanie and her granddaughter.

Jeanie and her husband moved to Indiana when the Oklahoma City GM plant closed, so we have not seen each other very often in recent years. It was a good thing she came along because, as usual, my sweet Arthur was doing all the daredevil rides along with the kids. Jeanie and I rode the merry-go-round, ferris wheel, cable cars and explored all the little shops.

Therefore, "A Good Time Was Had By All!"

For my Film Clip Friday entry, here is one of the rides the daredevils enjoyed. More photos are below.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Congratulations Greg and Liz: June 27, 2009

Just sharing a few wedding photos with you all!

Many blessings to the bride and groom for a wonderful life together, full of faith, hope, and love.