Friday, June 29, 2007


Lotsa buzz for Kyrie's tee! I hope when you wear yours, you'll feel a little hug from her. ;)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Another chance this weekend.

For those of you in the Valley Center area, we'll be at Jordan & Lacie's house around 1 p.m. this Sunday, if you'd like to swing by and get your tees.

And ... we had a little idea. If you're inclined, we'd love to post photos here on the blog of Kyrie's friends wearing their shirts. So if you wouldn't mind snapping a shot and e-mailing it to me, I'll make sure you're included here!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Lots of you wanting to wear the tees! Love it!

That's a great idea about PayPal, Erin. I think we'll eventually do that, but to set it up properly, we need our tax I.D. number, which is slowly in progress right now. In fact, we'd like to make PayPal donations or even a shop part of the foundation's Web site. It's all coming together, slowly but surely.

Know, first, who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly. ~Epictetus

Fashion can be bought. Style one must possess. ~Edna Woolman Chase

The truly fashionable are beyond fashion. ~Cecil Beaton

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

This season's must-have for your wardrobe!

They're in! And here's our premiere fashion model wearing the "Go, Kyrie, Go!" tee!



(Chad's wearing an XL.)
p.s. There was some confusion over the T-shirt color. It's chocolate brown, not black.

So here's how it should work. We have the following sizes from which to choose:


S 6/8
M 10/12
L 14/16

Due to the intricacy of printing the design, the shirts cost a little more than we thought. So to cover the cost and raise funds for the foundation, the cost is $16 for adults and $13 for kids.

For friends and family in the Wichita area, Chad & I will be home this weekend, June 29-July 1. You can purchase & receive your shirts in person either at the Friday night gathering, after the Saturday wedding or Sunday after church. For those of you in K.C., call or e-mail and we can set up a swap. For those in the Maryville, MO area, Chad will make a run up there to deliver once we receive orders. For Kyrie's friends at-large, we're happy to mail shirts out, but please add $2.00 for postage (we'll cover the cost of envelopes/boxes.)

If we will not see you this weekend, here's how to order: Please mail us your check or cash for the quantity of shirts, the sizes and where we can mail them to you. Please make checks out to The Kyrie Foundation. Mail to:

The Kyrie Foundation
213 S.W. Sunset Drive
Lee's Summit, MO 64081

Feel free to call or e-mail me if you'll be in town and would like to get a shirt.

There are limited quantities of sizes, so the sooner you order, the better. In fact, I didn't have them in my office for 60 seconds before two sold (and not to me or Chad!). I've also heard that some people are ordering the tees as gifts. Wa-hoo!

Inevitably and hopefully, people may ask you what "Go, Kyrie, Go!" is about. We hope you use that invitation to tell someone about Kyrie, about the need for funding pediatric brain cancer research and about how you are part of Kyrie's legacy for doing good things with your life as a way of honoring her and those who are with the angels.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Did you figure it out?

Barcelona, Spain! The stained glass image that I posted last week is the magnificent ceiling of the concert hall in the Palau de Musica Catalan. Every design in the building is meant to represent the outdoors, so that image is the sun, and instead of being a flat piece of stained glass, the middle of this sunburst droops in the center toward the audience below as if it were a raindrop. Cool, huh?

It was wonderfully warm with crisp, cool breezes floating in from the Mediterranean Sea. We walked Las Ramblas (a long pedestrian shopping stretch), ate paella & tapas, gaped at Gaudi's architecture, toured the Picasso museum and marveled at the magnitude of humanity.

One afternoon, we spent silently inspecting the impressive Barcelona Cathedral in the Barri Gotic area of the city. Built between 1046 and 1058, this gorgeous stone church is near the palace where King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella received Christopher Columbus after his voyage to America.

The spire of the central tower reaches 230 ft. tall, and the interior consists of one wide sanctuary with 28 side chapels. Underneath the alter area, is the sarcophagus of Saint Eulalia, patron saint of Barcelona who was brutally martyred for her faith by the Romans in 1327.

Adjacent to the cathedral is a mysteriously beautiful 14th century cloister. There are always 13 geese in its central courtyard; each goose represents one year in the life of the Saint Eulalia.

This open-air church really could use a good scrubbing-a restoration is already in progress, which I think will make the site even more illustrious.

There was one particular side chapel, just to the right of the main alter, where Chad and I lit candles for Auntie Ann (in St. Francis' chapel since he was known for peace) and then this little one for Kyrie.

Friday, June 22, 2007

We're back!

So full of fantastic travel experiences that we're weary with wonder. Much to share, and I also want to give you the details of purchasing/receiving t-shirts, hopefully this weekend.

Hope you all had a reflective Father's Day. My thoughts were heaped with memories of Jordan becoming the admirable husband and father that he is today. Who knew an ornery little boy with a sling shot could hit the bull's eye of esteemed fatherhood?

Until I can finagle some typing time, I'll leave you with this hint of our destination:

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Until next week.

This afternoon, I must travel for an assignment, which means I probably won't be able to post until I return next Thursday. If I can find an internet cafe, I may try to log on, but I can't promise anything. In the meantime, here are some thoughts inspired by several very special dads that I know.

In his earliest days, a father orbits mother & child like a hairy, faithful satellite. Reflecting a mother's glow, fathers, too, radiate parental luminosity resembling the Man in the Moon to Mother Earth, forever circling, a guiding light amidst the misleading darkness of the universe.

As the tantamount protector and provider assigned to each home, a man as a father braves the elements, the egos and the IRS to provide daily bread his family. To his family, he is the leading man in every scene; he protects us from traffic, from what's under the bed and even from ourselves. The wherewithall comes from him to patiently bear our risk: riding a bike, learning to drive, marrying. So heavy this assignment to shoulder--the door between love and the rest of the world. And how for him to even come close to the example set by the first father, our heavenly Father?

That's when a father becomes a dad.

More than a mere sire, brute love is stuffed between those three palindrome letters. Dads hunt the world to find the best love to bring home to his children, who then use that love to climb on and wrestle with. Dads prank. Dads eat leftovers. Dads lay down the law. Dads even love in their sleep; ask any child who pulls up a dad's eyelid while he's resting on sofa. He leads his children by example, who will echo his legacy the rest of their days. Every dad bequeaths his knowledge, his skill, his wit and his faith, for these are the only items a man really posesses. And every time a child looks at his or her dad, there shines the greatness that every dad spends the rest of his life living up to.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

By the spirit, for the spirit.

Good news on the t-shirts: I'll have them in hand to bring to Wichita the weekend of June 29/30. We'll work out the details of exchange in the next several days for both in-person or by-mail delivery. Plus, by then we'll have our non-profit status for you to make your purchase tax deductible.

Wow! Reading those comments, we've got some holy fires out there! Love it.

It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
-Robert F. Kennedy

Monday, June 11, 2007


So how did you do this weekend with the splendour challenge?

Me? Not so hot. There was a moment when I finished scrubbing the bathroom floor and thought, "Yes, a clean bathroom is splendid!" Last night around midnight, I couldn't sleep and my sister had just return home from work, so together we watched Food Network TV. Then she said she wanted to make pork chops & mashed potatoes tonight for dinner. Splendid! In church, I held hands during the "Our Father" with the person next to me without wondering about communicable diseases. That's a splendid step forward for me.

Other than that, sorrow irritated my sight & my peace. When it comes to Kyrie's foundation, our overall goal is to fight pediatric brain cancer. That seems so big, and we seem so small. Will we be able to move someone to care enough to give? Will the giving be enough?

And then ... I miss her. I miss what she did—simply being—for Jordan & Lacie and the rest of our families. A harmless social exchange about God answering someone's complicated prayer sent my mind into a tailspin. Our request wasn't complicated. It wasn't asking for relief from our own decisions. It wasn't for ourselves. And it wasn't answered.

For anyone who is left behind, death is something you never really get over. It will never be okay. It's simply a matter of figuring out a way to live with it. Once you accept its permanency, you then figure out exactly how it will be with you. And maybe the how changes: one day up, the next down, and back again.

I'm trying to keep this in mind:

Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, a duty: believe me that the angel's hand is there, the gift is there, and the wonder of an overshadowing Presence. Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty beneath its coverings, that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage, then, to claim it, that is all! But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims wending through unknown country on our way home. -Fra Angelico

Friday, June 8, 2007

Splendour, a.k.a Splendor

In one of St. Augustine's quotes, he mentioned splendour. Here's a little challenge: What if this weekend, we kept that word in the forefront of our foreheads? What if each moment was an opportunity to use that word, be that word, expect that word?

1. a quality that outshines the usual.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Thankful Thursday

So this week, two lovely Kyrie crusaders from Michigan shared themselves with me & Chad. They have some big ideas for doing good in the world on behalf of Kyrie and, let me tell you, it was as warming as wrapping in a down comforter on a snowy night. So good.

Who knew Kyrie would make friends out of us all here on a little ol' blog? I hope you, too, have swapped e-mails with fellow commentators here, made new e-friends or discovered that you're not alone, that you are part of something big (even if you're a lurker ;)).

And ... a little birdie told me that there are others who now circulate Thankful Thursdays! Is this true?! Aah! So good! Right now, there are seeds being planted, thoughts & ideas that are growing as I type this, ideas to promote the greatness of goodness. I love that.

Even though we're a good six months away from the Christmas season, I wanted you to know about a little book that tells a wonderful story about sharing & giving. Maybe you already know it. Maybe you already own it.

It's worth reading more than once a year.

And today, I'm thankful for Italian Antonio Meucci for inventing the telephone (the real inventor) without which I wouldn't have been able to hear the voices of those two kindred spirits in Michigan.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

St. Augustine

You may already be familiar with St. Augustine's story. His is perhaps the greatest conversion story ever told. Born in 354 in Africa and raised with Christian faith, his adolescence & young adulthood was fraught with indulgences of every kind. He also fell into faithless studies, which ironically, through his curious nature, brought him back to the very faith he turned from. His was, indeed, a repentant awakening. He poked and prodded and confessed and questioned and searched and basically antagonized himself and God to find his belief. And he found it.

Sometimes I think that for most Americans, most days we slumber through. We loll. Few of us actively pursue God—until something rouses our soul to action & awareness.

St. Augustine also wrote wonderfully wise verse. Here are a couple that you might find inspiring, too.

•To be under pressure is inescapable. Pressure takes place through all the world; war, siege, the worries of state. We all know men who grumble under these pressures and complain. They are cowards. They lack splendour. But there is another sort of man who is under the same pressure but does not complain, for it is the friction which polishes him. It is the pressure which refines and makes him noble.

•God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination.

•None can become fit for the future life, who hath not practiced himself for it now.

•People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars.... and they pass by themselves without wondering.

•Order your soul; reduce your wants; live in charity; associate in Christian community; obey the laws; trust in Providence.

•Shine over all the earth, and let the day be lighted by the sun, utter the Word of wisdom to the day ('day unto day utters speech' (Ps. 19:2)) and let the night, lighted by the moon, display the Word of knowledge to the night...Run to and fro everywhere, you holy fires, you lovely fires, for you are the light of the world and you are not to be hid under a peck measure (Matt. 5:14-15). He to whom you cleave is raised on high, and he hath raised you on high. Run to and fro; make yourselves known among all the nations!

•The Holy Scriptures are our letters from home.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Struggles of the Spirit

Thank you motherof2 and all of you dear commentators for your kind words. You give me too much credit. Trust me, there have been moments where I succumb to pain's oppression and end up in a puddle. I've questioned God's goodness to the hilt. I've doubted Him. A lot.

I made the mistake of reading the number one essay from This I Believe, a "national media project engaging people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values and beliefs that guide their daily lives. NPR airs these three-minute essays on All Things Considered and Weekend Edition Sunday." It was an essay from a woman who was "beyond atheism." She believes in things she can "prove," like Jello and family. She called God an imaginary friend. That idea rocked my soul for days.

In many ways I can prove Him over and over again. Babies. Love. Inspiration. The apostles. Poetry. The human eye. A gander through Bible stories will tell the average reader that God works subtly with humans, even His miracles are subtle compared to the stuff He really could do. I often beg God to "show 'em. Just show everybody that You are real." Then I get scared that I'm not worthy to see Him.

When I think of Kyrie, I feel like He let us down, especially when I think about all the people who get to live regardless lives. I can still love Him and thank Him for all the good things, but some days I don't fully trust Him. I'll get it back. I know I will. But for right now, this is part of His journey with me. Believe me, finding a pinhole of hope while under an avalanche of smothering grief is my daily miracle. I guess that's how I know He's real. Jesus wasn't a liar. So if he says, "no one gets to the Father except through me," well, that's a fact, Jack—more factual than Jello.

I guess my point is that I'd rather spend my life foolishly believing than spend all of eternity wishing I would have.

Today, as I scan through other essays from This I Believe, there are far more essays that give a nod to God & goodness and soul than those who dismiss Him completely. Like this one:

Every Person Is Precious

Dr. Isabel Legarda was born in the Philippines and moved to the U.S. in 1981. She is a graduate of Harvard University and New York Medical College, where her favorite professor was a Franciscan priest who taught anatomy. Legarda lives with her family in Belmont, Mass.

Weekend Edition Sunday, May 27, 2007 · I'm often asked why I chose to be an anesthesiologist. The truest answer I give is that anesthesiology is spiritual work.

The word "spiritual" can have different meanings. I think of the Latin root, spiritus: breath, inspiration — words that resound in both medicine and faith, words that help define my life and work.

My spirituality has evolved hand-in-hand with my becoming a physician. In medical school, a classmate and I once found ourselves talking not about science but about faith. We had been raised in different traditions, and he asked me, "If you could verbalize in one sentence the single most important idea at the heart of your religion, what would you say?" I imagined my religion at its origins, untouched by history. No canon of stories, traditions, rituals, no trappings — one sentence to distill everything that mattered? I paused for a second before it came to me, like a sudden breath: Every person is precious. That was the core of my faith.

But when I finished medical school and started residency, my spiritual life began to fray at the edges. I couldn't reconcile the suffering of children with the idea of a merciful God. Once, while making rounds, I unintentionally walked in on parents praying ardently at their infant daughter's hospital bed. Though I was moved, I remember wondering if it was any use. I struggled to make spiritual connections.

The moment I chose my specialty, though, I began suturing together some of those tattered edges of faith. One day, an anesthesiologist taught me how to give manual breaths — to breathe for a child while he couldn't breathe for himself. On that day, my life turned. I took on the responsibility of sustaining the life-breath of others, and slowly I opened up to Spirit once again. Now, whenever I listen to patients' breath sounds while squeezing oxygen into their lungs or intervening when their blood pressures sag, when I hold their hands or dry their tears, I find myself literally in touch with the sacred.

Perhaps for some, this degree of control creates a sense of power. For me, it is profoundly humbling. I realize that if I forget I am standing on holy ground in the O.R. and fail to approach my patients with reverence, I risk their lives.

Every person is precious: This I believe with my whole heart. Each time I keep watch over patients and protect them when they're most vulnerable, my faith comes alive. It catches breath: Spiritus.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Weekend Walk

The American Heart Association walk this weekend was a great event. The team for Chad's Auntie Ann wore bright red tanks with her name printed on the backs. So great to have the fam come together on a gorgeous day honoring a fantastic person and getting some sunshine and three miles of fresh air.

Here's Chad & I (nevermind the porta-john in the background).

Did you happen to see that necklace? I made a pendant with Kyrie's calling on it. Here's a closer look:

And on the other side, I made a tribute design to Auntie Ann. She would always sign off her e-mails, letter and cards with the word peace.

The rest of the weekend was filled with good times, cheesy potatoes and lots of sharing stories and feelings about Auntie Ann, Kyrie, Ethan and so many others. Chad's cousin Maureen said something this weekend that really struck me. First off, Maureen and her husband just had preemie twin girls February 2. Ella & Ava are numbers four & five of their burgeoning, child-filled household. So lucky are those five children to have Maureen & John for parents. She is also running a marathon in Chicago; she cooks & bakes out-of-this world recipes; she helps woman her husband's insurance business; she's a do-it-all-with-a-smile kind of person, and she is a giver in the best sense of the word.

So we were talking about children and behaviors and lessons and Maureen emphasizes, in their house, "We share everything." Toys, books, clothes, snacks. Everything. I can attest first-hand that she & John practice that themselves, too. Time, talent, treasure, they share. And their children are wonderful sharers. Their children are good, happy friends to each other and their cousins.

Sharing is the action of compassion, empathy and altruism all rolled into one. So simple is this idea that it's often forgotten. In an age and country where more is better, and everyone wants a bigger piece of the pie for themselves, what a good reminder to imprint on our hearts, no? And on heels of that lesson, comes "Recieve well." Care for that which has been shared as you would if it had been yours all along. Appreciate.

So as this week begins, maybe we can share something with someone in the next seven days. Maybe you share a comment here or maybe you share Kyrie's story with someone special.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Decided to freshen the masthead. Think it'll do?

I heard a TV news segment this week about the rise of depression, and that got me thinking. My sister used to work in the Walgreen's pharmacy, where she says that she filled more prescriptions for anti-depression, anti-anxiety, sleep medication and Viagra BY FAR than any other meds. Not Lipitor. Not amoxicillin. Not Tylenol 3. Seems that the most popular prescriptions are not to biologically sustain life but improve the perception of one's life (a little pill doesn't change the circumstances, just the way we see the circumstances).

I completely understand that trying times warrant a little sleep aid or maybe a check on a whacked-out chemical imbalance, but sometimes changing our attitudes or breaking a cycle of negative emotional thinking can pack more of a wallop than a pill. Yet, changing our attitudes—developing our souls and psyches—is much, much more difficult work. The world is a tormented sphere; it takes effort to live with joy, effort to change my ugly habits. It's much easier for me to scowl at a rude driver than to smile at him.

Any truly joyous person you know could probably tell you a tearful, personal story of heartbreak and desperation, a story that could have kept him or her mired in misery. Somehow that person has made the effort to seek joy. So fascinating.

I hear a lot about the treatment of clinical depression, but I've never heard a word about treatment for clinical cheerfulness. The antithesis of depression is not nearly as prevalent, is it? Why is that? For example, not enough blood pressure? Problem. Too much blood pressure? Problem. Not so with the idea of the blues. No one ever has a problem with a case of the pinks. And I've never heard anyone apologize for having a happy day.

This weekend Chad & I and his family are participating in an American Heart Association walk in St. Joseph, Missouri. We're honoring his dear Auntie Ann who suffered a fatal, massive heart attack last April at the prime age of 53. She nobly worked as a nurse delivering bundles of joy in the maternity ward of the local hospital. She married the love of her life, raised four vivacious children, kept the faith come what may and loved on all six of her grandchildren. In the short time I had the privilege to know her, she, herself, was a bundle of joy to me, an example of a woman who made the effort.