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Turn back time and start respecting elders

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Updated: August 19, 2013 2:36PM



I really wouldn’t trade living in our great country to live anywhere else in the world, including China.

However, I think, as Americans, we could follow some of their thoughts. Recently, a Chinese law was passed requiring children to visit or keep in touch with their elderly parents.

Although the law has not been perfected, children who do not abide by it are it risk of being sued, which seems kind of drastic. Sadly, there was a time in oriental countries that a law such as this would not have been necessary or even considered, as the elderly were honored and respected, rather than ignored.

So, before such a law would even be considered in our country, don’t forget to care about all your older family members who could use a phone call or visit from you! It is one of those little things that mean a lot.

Gosh, there were several columns in the Post-Tribune this week that were especially meaningful to me.

I definitely sympathize with Carrol Vertrees for being frustrated because unknowingly people think he is a “she” because of his first name, especially when his handsome picture accompanies his column, and he checks “male” on every form he fills out for any reason.

I can somewhat relate, as I get frustrated when so many people I have known for 20-plus years still misspell my name (Lori, Laurie, Lorry), and our last name (Wojik, Wozniak, Wocak). So, Mr. Vertrees, know that you are not alone in your frustration, although I do admit, yours is far worse than mine, as mine is just misspelling, not “miss” instead of “mister.”

If you didn’t read the Daily Splash in Monday’s paper, I hope you can still find it, and discover who really was responsible for the Special Olympics movement with a first-ever sports event for children and adults who have special needs.

This Saturday is the 45th birthday for this world-wide program which is now going strong in 160 nations, and has a volunteer base reaching into the hundreds of thousands.

Anne Burke was a physical education instructor who volunteered for a Chicago Park District to work with children with mental disabilities. She soon discovered that her youngsters could swim, run, jump, throw, catch, and even play team games.

She began dreaming of putting together an original competition for special athletes. Encouraged by her coworkers to apply for a Kennedy Foundation grant, she was ecstatic to receive the funding necessary and Special Olympics was born at Soldier Field in Chicago on July 20, 1968, and stars were born.

Although Eunice Kennedy Shriver is credited with beginning Special Olympics, the accolades and thanks belong to Anne M. Burke, as well, for her leap of faith that resounds around the world for millions of athletes who otherwise would have remained spectators.

It touched the heart of Mrs. Shriver, who remained faithful to the Special Olympics until she died, and her family, and now is the largest sports program in the world. Thank you, Anne, for continuing to make dreams become reality for some super athletes, and for getting the Kennedy clan to be forever a part of it. You are my pet person of the week.

His smile looks so precious — a darling 6-year-old with the world as his playground.

But suddenly an adorable little guy is buried in sand, and I am pretty sure everyone watching the excavation of Nathan Woessner from 11 feet of sand was expecting a sad outcome.

Can you even imagine being completely covered so far under ground with anything? It makes me shiver.

Listening to his grandfather, the Rev. Don Reul, speak about his grandson’s miracle just makes me realize all the more that prayers really work and we are not in charge of what life brings. Perhaps this little “miracle man” will help the park service discover the reason for such a shocking happening, and be able to find the reason so it never happens again.

If you grew up around the region, you have probably, like many of us, climbed the Dunes with not a worry about sinking sand. Something like this would not even seem believable in a movie.

But it did happen, and I don’t think I’ll be going up to the Dunes for a hike in the sand for a long time! Call me “Chicken” — or maybe it’s a smart thing to do right now.

I sure hope young Nathan doesn’t remember too much of his ordeal when he is fully recovered, so that the horror doesn’t enter his dreams, and he can keep his beautiful smile. I, for one, will be praying that he will soon be back home will be getting into all kinds of 6-year-old trouble with his friends. Please keep him in your prayers too.

Then I hope you have a great day because you deserve it. Thanks for reading. Fly your flag.



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