This week, the U.S. Senate began its consideration of the RAISE (Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage) Family Caregivers Act — an important piece of legislation that would start a national conversation about ways to aid Americans’ greatest support system — family caregivers. Thanks to the leadership and support of Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and ranking member Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the bill was quickly approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee (which goes by the very appropriate acronym . . . HELP).
There’s a special connection that comes with preparing meals for others too heartbroken to cook for themselves. Making those dinners with a group of volunteers brings an intimacy and humility that cannot be matched. And one of the best spots I know to do that is at the Ronald McDonald House in Falls Church, Va., a place that offers comfort, refuge and care for families whose children are battling life-threatening illnesses.
Several months ago my parents and I had breakfast at a neighborhood restaurant in Cleveland. After finishing our meal I asked the server for the check. “It’s already been taken care of,” she said.
Once when I was in Switzerland, I met a local woman who went out of her way to show me around the resort town of St. Moritz. She refused payment - and even my attempt to pay for lunch. When I finally had time to pick up a gift for her, it was Sunday, and all the shops were closed. Except, of course, the touristy one. So I bought her a box of chocolates. I gave a Swiss woman a box of Swiss chocolates! Fail.
You get up, get dressed, cook breakfast, make bag lunches for the kids, drop the kids off at school, rush to work, prepare for a big meeting, call to check in on your mom during lunch, go to your meeting, schedule your mom's next doctor's appointment, race to the pharmacy after work, drop off mom's meds on your way home, cook dinner, help the kids with their homework, check in on mom again, and - finally - go to bed.
Here in Washington, D.C. most people have stocked their cabinets with water, batteries and non-perishable foods and settled into their cozy homes to weather the severe rain and wind that Hurricane Sandy is unleashing. But what about those who don't have a roof over their head?
Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world, was recently quoted as saying "We have seen donations for a hundred years ... and the problems and poverty are bigger. They have not solved anything." I'm perplexed by this statement.
He won a Tony Award and was one of Britain's most beloved TV stars, but Victor Spinetti, who died June 18 at age 82, will always be known as the actor who costarred in three movies with The Beatles.
As SJ started his senior year this past week, Michael had his first preseason game, and Collins had us all doing ten different things in four different directions, I was thinking about the events of the summer. Some made me laugh; many made me realize there is work to be done in several areas and so on and so forth.
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