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Updated: February 19, 2013 11:38AM



VNA Hospice Center praised
for wife’s care in final days

On Christmas Eve, my wife, Mary Belt, was transferred to the VNA Hospice Center to live out the last of her days.

During the 11 days she was there, we experienced an excellent staff of health care professionals. They cared for Mary physically, but also connected with me and our daughters to assist all of us in saying goodbye to my wife of 58 years.

Their compassionate and gentle care toward her was a great comfort to all of us. My hat’s off to Dr. Weiss and all the staff at that wonderful facility. Thank you.

Thomas Belt

Portage

Suggestions on how to make changes after Sandy Hook

As the “numbness” of the Sandy Hook School tragedy slowly subsides, we all search our hearts and ponder, what can we do to help end such tragedy?

Parents and teachers search for answers or possible solutions to this ongoing problem. Are there things we haven’t been doing? What can we commit to doing in the future?

After spending the past week listening to experts in a variety of fields trying to make sense from a catastrophic event, coupled with my personal experience in the field of education as an elementary teacher and counselor, I would like to offer several suggestions.

1. Teach children to accept personal responsibility. Do not allow them to shift blame to other students, through the bus driver or society. Keep them accountable.

2. Help them to understand that all behaviors have consequences which they must accept.

3. Teach them that all life is precious — whether it be an animal, soldier, a police officer or the elderly, who may be frail, isolated and lonely.

4. Teach them to be resilient.

5. Help them to be tolerant and accepting of others.

6. Help them develop a sense of pride in whatever they do. Do not offer undeserved praise. Children have their own unique “radar” when it comes to adults being honest or genuine. They know in their hearts when praise is not deserved. Instead, offer support and encouragement, and faith in them and their efforts.

7. Encourage them to be creative in a variety of ways — a positive outlet allows them to express pent-up feelings.

8. Encourage and acknowledge volunteerism. This fosters a sense of belonging, a bonding with their community, and a giving of themselves.

9. Foster self-respect, a sense of uniqueness and a respect for others and their property.

10. Develop a sense of awareness and pride in their family’s heritage and accomplishments so they “know who they are.”

Finally, whatever you do, remember the grieving Newtown, Conn., mother who admittedly didn’t have a solution to the problems at hand, but respectfully requested that, first and foremost, we all “Lead with love!”

M. Marie Martin

Chesterton



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