Monday, February 25, 2013

February 24, 2013: Grateful...

Can you guess how many instruments are in this photo?


Yesterday, I had the opportunity to provide a HealthRHYTHMS drum circle for Kaiser Permanente's Hospice volunteer program.  There were 30 people in attendance, and it was a neat story of something coming full circle.

Kaiser Hospice used to employ a wonderful music therapist named Cathy O'Neal.  Cathy taught my first music therapy class at Chapman University, and I was lucky enough to have her for my last fieldwork assignment.  But the circle goes back further than that.

My dad and my grandma passed away in hospice.  It was wonderful.  When my dad died, Enya was playing on the cassette player in his room.  It was like having the sound of angels in the room.  That was when I had the thought, "If I could be the soundtrack of someone's transformation from life to afterlife, that would be the highest use of my God-given gifts."  I didn't know about music therapy at that time.  It would be another 5 years before I would even bump into those two words.

So, fast forward from 1997 to 2013, and I get the opportunity to provide wellness to the very volunteers whose ministry it is to go to people's homes and help them die with peace, comfort, and dignity.  What a great opportunity it was!

I love my job.

On the home front, things are always busy but good.  Ang traveled to Texas midweek, and the kids were so happy to see her when she got back.  Ang and I now both have iPads, so using the "FaceTime" feature is so great.  We used to just put the parent-on-the-road on speaker phone, but this is way better!

Ali in her element...

Ali is preparing for her Elementary school talent show this coming Thursday!  She'll be portraying "Laguna Blue" from the show "Monster High" and along with two friends, they'll be dancing to the Monster High theme song.  Ali is taking this very seriously and is very concerned because her two friends don't exactly have her confidence to get in front of an audience and dance!

Julian is just cuter and cuter by the day.  He is walking talking and naming the world.  Car!  Bike!  Milk!  Walk! TURTLE!  (seriously) CEREAL! Duck!  These are his favorite words right now.  He's still just as happy-go-lucky as ever, and his appetite for reading has not slowed one bit!  We have been reading "Make Way for Ducklings" for about a week, and he will sit focused on the book for the entire book.  It creates such an opportunity for snuggling.  Oh man, it is awesome!

Oh, last note, we saw "Lincoln" (finally) this weekend.  It was the most powerful movie of the year for me.  Les Miserables had me balling, and in any other Oscar year, Hugh Jackman should have and would have won top honors, but Daniel Day Lewis is SO friggin' good in Lincoln, it's mind boggling.... AND HE'S BRITISH!!!!  Try to remember that next time you watch that movie.  You can't tell.  I know that may sound like, "well duh,"  but I've seen Lewis star in 3 previous movies, and his voice was so different in each one.  The guy is a class act, and an absolutely phenomenal actor.  If you haven't seen LINCOLN yet, you owe it to yourself!

Alright, best to you.  And to those still commenting, I say a giant "Thank you!"  This blog is lonely for me when it is just me broadcasting my thoughts and feelings out in the internet.  Thank you for the connection.  I really appreciate you!

God night.


  1. I only saw Les Mis and it made me only want Les Mis to win ;) I'm happy Anne Hathway won at least.
    I'm glad he won for Lincoln, I've heard amazing things..
    Now I want to see so many movies...

    We need another Cooper/Ringgold day out sometime!

  2. Great to know you all are doing well. Totally agree with the Daniel Day Lewis comment. He is unbelievable.

    Can't wait to see a video of Ally's performance. She is going to be awesome!

    Also, remember we are still here. Lurking, but here :).

    Lilia B.

  3. I have never commented before now- I stumbled upon your blog three years ago when a friend of mine on the UMN football team posted a picture visiting Bella in the hospital (I am from Minneapolis) just wanted to thank you for continuing to fill us all in on the journey of your family- such a humbling and beautiful story and I look forward to reading every post- you write beautifully! Your words are even a guide for me in my daily walk of faith with God. Thanks for what you offer here on the blog-o-sphere. Best of luck to Ali in the talent show :)

    -Casey W.

  4. Thank you for the update! It is great to see you all doing so well. Tell Ali, good luck! I sure hope you post a pic or two of her in the show.

  5. Did you see Lewis' acceptance speech? Loved it. What a talent! To me, he is a movie star in the professional sense of the word.

    Dying to see L

  6. Lincoln......

    Glad the family is thriving. Happy days!


  7. still here :)
    always in my thoughts and prayers! lovely Bella pic!
    christiana (cyprus)

  8. Hey Tim and Family -
    Thanks for the update. Ally is definately a creative little soul isn't she?!? Good for her!! I would say that I hope things slow down for you guys but you do so well with being busy that Im not sure you guys would know what to do with slow :o)
    Have a great week!!
    Kelley from MO

  9. I remember there was some controversy when Daniel Day Lewis was cast as Lincoln because he's British. Some thought an American actor should play the role. My thoughts were "Dude...he's DANIEL DAY LEWIS. If there is anyone in the world who can do Abraham Lincoln justice, it's DANIEL DAY LEWIS." :-) I loved what he said about his wife when he accepted his Oscar - "My wife has lived with some very strange men for the past 16 years!" So appropriate!

    Glad to hear you guys are doing so well!

  10. Oh, I dunno, maybe 5 instruments in the picture?
    Still reading....

  11. Always reading.. Music therapy question. Somewhere Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World was playing to escort my mom home. I always loved these songs and I will always hope they eased my mom's transition. However, now when I hear this beautiful music it only brings me to a place of sadness. It reminds me of her death, when I prefer to celebrate her life. I work on changing my perception, but so far, no luck. Any suggestions?

  12. I just watched your TED talk. As someone who was reporting to Ang while she was working in MO while Bella was making her final contribution to a cure for EB, I knew all too well how the talk would end, and I couldn't sing a single word of the song at the end of the talk because I was crying too hard. Your strength to get through the song, let alone to share it with others and to communicate the healing power of music is truly inspirational.