2996: A Tribute To The Victims of 9/11


Today marks the 5th year of the World Trade Center tragedy. I am honoring the life of Nancy Carole Farley, 45, who was a World Trade Center victim on September 11, 2001. Mrs. Farley resided in Jersey City, NJ with her husband Robert. She worked as a Claims Negotiator for Reinsurance Solutions Inc., on the 94th floor at 1 World Trade Center.

Nancy was the youngest of three children and a cat lover. Although she owned three, she feed the neighborhood strays and if necessary she would take them to the Vet. If there was a snowstorm and she saw a cat, she would bring it in,” recalled Linda Selnow, Nancy’s older sister. “She had the most caring heart.”

Nancy was preceded in death by her father, who passed away when she was in high school. Her mother passed away 10 years ago.

It is a priviledge to honor Mrs. Farley’s life today. Although I didn’t know her personally, I will always remember this picture and her smile. I hope that you will take a moment to reflect on her life as well. I am also honoring Jeffrey J. Shaw on my blog, The Talk Around Town. Please visit a few of the other 2996 blogs who are honoring World Trade Center victims as well by clicking on the above link.

May Mrs. Farley’s family and friends be blessed.

Britney Spears – Bad Mother or Bad Press

Lets set aside the image that we have of Britney Spears smacking gum while interviewing with Matt Lauder, and the lastest image of her posing on the cover of Harper’s magazine and ask, Is Britney a bad mother or is she receiving bad press? I believe she’s just making mistakes as a young mother. I look back over my experiences as a first time mother, and I know that I made my share. I thought I knew everything, but boy was I clueless. Thank goodness no harm came to my child.

Lets look at Britney’ mistakes as a new mother that have been so high publicized: Driving on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu with her son, Sean, on her lap. There’s a law that requires children to be in car seats not on a parent’s lap in a moving vehicle. She stated she was “country”, and she used to do the same with her father. Being country is a poor excuse when it comes to a child’s well being, and she must learn that her child’s safety must always come first. I chalked this up as a young and inexperienced mother who’s fear of the paparazzi caused her to make a poor decision. Did she have a car seat in the back of the vehicle? If so, we know that she follows the law for the most part.

Second, losing her balance while she was carrying her son on a cobblestone sidewalk in New York. I guarantee this has happened to thousands of mothers wearing high heels that weren’t walking on coblestone. We’re just not important enough to have a 100 paparazzi surrounding us with flashing cameras at the moment. This incident doesn’t make her a bad mother either, but she may want to consider the type of shoes that she wears when she has her baby in tow. Another learning experience.

Third, Sean ‘s fall from the highchair. It seems that the baby was in the care of the Nanny when the accident happened, not mom or dad’s care. The report stated that the child slipped from the nanny’s hands. How can they hold this poor girl accountable for an accident and she was not around? I’m sure she investigated the nanny thoroughly before hiring her, and she found the nanny to be competent. What mother would leave her child in the custody of someone who was not capable of caring for her child properly? She doesn’t appear to be unintellegient or backwards just young and experienced.

From a mother’s perspective, I wouldn’t be giving this nanny a second chance to drop my child. She would have been fired. I didn’t hear news that Britney fired her. If she didn’t fire her, she must have believed her story and continued to have trust in her. Of course that is her prerogative. Again, children fall everyday and the accidents don’t make us bad parents. They’re looked at for what they are, accidents. Why should the incidents with Britney, which I believe have been blown out of proportion, make her a bad parent?

Will Britney’s real challenge as a mother come when she gives birth to her second child, and little Sean is a toddler? No, she’ll miss some of the real tests because she’ll have a nanny to help prepare meals, give Sean his bath while she attends to the new baby, assist with potty training, etc. etc. Her challenge will be fending off the paparazzi who will be waiting for her next mistake with their cameras in tow. Bad mother or bad press?

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Foreign Baby Names Banned

Authorities in the city of Chihuahua, Mexico are enforcing a new set of rules. They are dictating to parents on what they can name their children. Now the authorities state they have the children at heart. They are trying to prevent children from a lifetime of ridicule and legal troubles. I’ve never known anyone to be arrested or encounter legal problems because of their name, but I have seen a few names where they should have locked the parents up for giving it to their child. I’ve often wondered what people were thinking when they named their children. The celebrities for example: Blanket, Rumer, Tallulah, and Phinnaeus. How much thought did these celebrities put into the selection process? Did they think about the children and what they would have to endure growing up in this world? Oh, these are celebrity’s children they won’t be in the real world.

For those of us who live in the real world, these names would be banned in Chihuahua, Mexico. Authorities in Chihuahua don’t want foreign, odd or creative names used or odd spellings. If parents do use a foreign name, they must use a Spanish surname such as Maria. I’m for Maria, my middle name is Marie. Don’t you love it! I decided to check out a database of Hispanic names. I wanted to see what was so great about Spanish names that authorities would enforce such a rule. Here’s a sample of the names listed in the database under A: Argentina, Africa, Adabelle for girls. Adelio, Achill, and Abdallah for boys. I believe parents should be able to name their children without interference from the authorities or anyone else, but I personally would not choose any of the names listed above for my children. I would not want to place the burden of carrying any of these names on them. For those who have chosen one of these names, no offense. I’m just expressing my opinion. People’s taste are different.

When I was in school, I knew a girl by the name of Candy Kane. She was tortured; kids can be cruel. Here’s a few other names that make me shake my head in disebelief: Apple, CoCo, Whizdom, Avon, Dianionique, and Puma. I see legal trouble surfacing when some student starts torturing and humiliating these poor children, and parents start yelling harassment! Do you think these children will take on an “alias” at some point in their life? Who knows they may end up loving their name.

I don’t believe that anyone should have the authority to dictate what a parent should name their child, but I do believe that some thought should be put into a child’s given name. It is something they will have to live with for the rest of their life. For the Mexician authorities, I wonder if the parents will have legal recourse if they choose one of the names that they have selected and the child is ridiculed. Will the parents be able to sue the authorities? After all, they enforced the rule.

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The Death of a Child

As a parent, you often wonder if your child is safe, especially during their teenage years and when they decide to move away from home. My worst nightmare would be receiving a call that my daughter had been in an automobile accident or injured somehow coming from a party or club. A message awaited me one morning at my office informing me that a co-worker and friend had lost her 25 year old son. To say that I was shocked would be a understatement. My heart broke for her. I wondered what had happened, but most of all I wondered how a mother would ever recover from the lost of her child. I still haven’t come up with an answer to this question. My daughter and this young man grow up together. We lived in the same neighborhood for years, and I’ve worked with his mother for 20 years. What would I say to her? We had just discussed our kids in the hallway at work several weeks before. She was planning to retire in several months, and I was expressing my envy. I thought of the pain and confusion she must be feeling. How do you make funeral arrangements for your only child? How do you say good-bye to someone that you gave birth to, nurtured, disciplined, loved unconditionally, and vowed to never allow any harm to come to them? How do you say good-bye to someone that you would literally die for? The answer to these questions have not come. I knew that I had to go to her, but what would I say. I had no answers.

The obituary appeared in the paper. The viewing would be Thursday night and the funeral Friday. My initial plan was to go the funeral. As time grow near, I decided that I could not sit and watch this mother’s pain from the loss of her son. I would have to go to the viewing. I left the office early heading home to prepare for the evening. My mind was racing a hundred miles a minute. I wondered if my daughter was okay. I lost count of the number of times, I had her called that week. I just wanted to know that she was safe. She understood, she never complained about my calls. She took the time to chat and tell me what was happening with her life. As I drove to the funeral home, I tried to prepare my condolence speech. I’m an experienced and eloquent speaker I told myself, I can do this. I pulled up at the funeral home, and saw that there was only 1 car in the parking lot. I realized that I had driven to the wrong funeral home. At that point, I also realized that I was an emotional wreck. I prayed for clarity, strength, and the right words for my meeting with Cindy. I arrived this time at the correct funeral home. I had planned to arrive early, but to my surprise the line was already coming out the door. I took a deep breath, and took my place in line. I felt my blood pressure rising, as I read the obituary and looked at pictures of her son around the room. A kind gentleman standing behind me noticed my discomfort, and placed his hand on my shoulders. He talked to me until it is was my time to approach Cindy.We embraced for what seemed an eternity. The words poured from me as I gave my condolences from my daughter and me. I turned the focus to the good times that the kids had growing up, playing by the pond and fishing. Our common love of Longerberger Baskets, my manager who would be there for her tomorrow, and others at the office who wanted me to give their condolences etc. It was effortless, it was coming from the heart. I could see and feel that she was grateful that I had come to support her. I had brought a smile to her face inspite of her pain if only for a moment. I felt so good after leaving her that I stayed and chatted with other co-workers and friends to help ease their discomfort while waiting to talk to her. Once again, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior all things are possible. I pray that this mother will find strength in God, and she will at least be able to move forward with her life. To all that have lost a child, may you be comforted and blessed.

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Preparing Home Made Baby Foods

While reading my local newspaper, I came across an article on mothers preparing home made baby foods. The article referenced a site on preparing wholesome baby foods, which I decided to visit. The site listed several reasons for preparing home made foods. Two of the reasons listed really caught my attention. First, “You have total control over what is put into your baby’s food and you know it’s free of additives that a tiny tummy simply does not need!” I feed my daughter Gerber and Beech-Nut cereals, fruits, and vegetables until she was ready for table foods. She never acquired the taste for any of their meats. Not once did her pediatrician tell me that the foods that I was giving her was affecting her digestive system or was the cause of any of her health problems. The second reason was, “Healthy eating habits develop earlier as your involvement is dedicated to making only high quality, healthy baby foods and snacks. Your baby will benefit from these healthy eating habits long after that college diploma is in hand!” My daughter is a college graduate, and she is healthy and happy. She watches what she eats and works out regularly. I was able to achieve the same result as the mothers who are preparing home made foods. If one is able to raise a healthy and productive child using store brought products, what are the true benefits of preparing home made foods? Did you raise a Gerber or Beech Nut baby? What’s your thoughts?

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