Archive for January, 2011

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Bucket lists

January 23, 2011

It was the first national tragedy that I remember paying real attention to in my young life. At 25 then I of course thought I was a veteran seasoned in life but the horror replayed on television again and again proved me wrong.

Before our eyes, seven lives ended. Dramatically. Forcefully. Explosively.

One was not even a ‘real’ astronaut. She was a school teacher. While the term wasn’t coined yet, this was probably one of her ‘bucket list’ items.

Now, 25 years later, I wonder if she or her family fully embraced the danger of the mission she chose to make. I suspect like most things in life, they acknowledged the risk, signed any appropriate paperwork and expected to celebrate a successful mission with her once the Challenger returned to Earth. Bucket List: Travel to Space = check!

Thankfully our space exploration program continued despite the loss, the fear, the horror. It is not perfect — how can pioneers even expect perfection? The Columbia tragedy would come in 2003 costing us another seven brave explorers. Yet our space program continues, and our society continues to benefit in both measurable and immeasurable ways from the intelligence of these myriad experts who epitomize “thinking outside the box.”

It is a tribute to all those who have died as part of the NASA space program that we forge ahead. To do otherwise, belittles the sacrifices they and their families made  toward the betterment of the USA.

I live in Florida now and my Florida bucket list includes watching a shuttle launch live and in person. It appears that I have three remaining opportunities to cross that one off my list and I plan to get it done. I will continue to pray for the safetly of all upcoming shuttle missions and look forward to watching soon from Cape Canaveral.

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Tucson Teaches: Reflecting on Jan. 8, 2011

January 11, 2011

Maybe we could all just take a moment to self-examine. Instead of finger point.

Maybe we could all just take a moment to fix our own mistakes. Instead of chiding others.

Maybe we could all just take a moment to share a kindness. Instead of an attack.

Maybe, just maybe … in those moments, we could prove to a little nine-year-old angel watching from above, that her family’s loss is a giant step toward a better society.

Maybe, just maybe … in those moments, the judge now next to our heavenly judge will see that we finally understand that justice means giving, not taking.

Maybe just maybe … in those moments, while we wait for a courageous woman to win her life back, together we will begin to heal our States’ fractured Unity.

Maybe, just maybe … in those moments, parents will pause to show their children that they matter more than things. They matter enough to boldly question their choices and help them find a path to peace, not violence.

Maybe. Just maybe.