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Friday, March 25, 2016

The Little Sister with Glitter and Glue

Dear Darlings,

I have to tell you a story about a little sister who used glitter and glue to help one of her brothers soar.

Once upon a time, in a not so distant land,there lived a young lady who was the younger sister to two older brothers.

The oldest brother was loud, very sure of himself and knew exactly what he wanted. He was brave and kind and the whole world loved him. Sometimes the oldest brother liked to torment his little sister, as oldest brothers sometimes do. Luckily, as they got older affection grew between them and love blossomed.

The younger brother, on the other hand, was a little more quiet, reserved and sometimes shy with those he didn't know. He was hilariously funny with those he knew and very well loved by all who were lucky enough to be in his world. He and the little sister always had a special bond. They were two years apart in age, and they spent many of their youngest times together, side-by-side. But as they grew older, the younger brother strove to be like the oldest brother, and he pulled away from the little sister a bit.

Years passed and the oldest brother left for college. The younger brother and the little sister grew closer again. Although their personalities were vastly different, the love and respect they had for each other was obvious to those who knew them.

One day, the younger brother was struggling mightily with a task he so wanted to accomplish, but didn't have quite enough knowledge to complete.
The little sister stepped in and said, "I will help you. I will use glitter and glue and everything will be okay."
She worked tirelessly to make the glitter and glue perfect. Everything was set for the younger brother's task to be complete, but he still wasn't sure he could execute exactly what he wanted to be able to do.
The little sister said, "I will help you. I know you've never done this particular task before. It's different than what you're used to doing. I will be your guide."

And so she was. The little sister stepped in and stepped up just when her brother needed her. His task was complete, and he was successful at what he set out to do.'s not that he couldn't have completed this task without her, he most certainly could have, and he would have still been successful had the little sister not stepped in. She just worked a little magic, and helped him because that's what little sisters want to do for big brothers who love and respect them.

The end.

So Darlings,

That's the story using a fairy tale storyline, but I have to tell you the truth is not much of a stretch from there. The little sister in this story is loved and respected by her big brothers. She loves and respects them in return. And with a flourish of my magic wand I wish this fairy tale could be true for all brothers and sisters. Love and respect are earned, and neither are easily repaired or regained when broken. So, my darlings, work hard to make sure to keep your bonds strong with your brothers and sisters. They will be the ones to step in, step up and work a little magic for you.

With love,


Oh, for the love of my children...

Monday, March 21, 2016

Disgraceful Choices

Dear Darlings,

Very rarely do I venture into the realm of politics. I don't usually go there because it's not in my wheelhouse. I'm not a political writer, nor am I here to give you my political opinion. I write my blog with you all in mind. I write stories about you and to you. But somehow, this time, it seems prudent to write a political piece because of you. Both Zach and Lucas (and probably a good chunk of you, my darlings) are going to be able to vote, maybe for the first time, in this upcoming presidential election. Although this post is not written directly to you, it is written because of the love I have for you. It's an open letter to members of Congress and the Senate. In the next four years, they're going to need to step up and lead in a way they never have before. 

Dear Senators and Members of the House of Representatives,

I need you to know how concerned I am about our upcoming presidential election. I have two young, new voters who will be casting their ballots for the first time, and we have given them two disgraceful choices in the run for president. Usually, in an election season we can find one candidate who is the lesser of the evils, in our own minds at least. This time, we can't...neither are fit to lead. I am truly worried about the state of our country when the time comes for either of these two front runners to be sworn in to office and take the lead of our great nation. 

Ever since I began to exercise my privilege to vote, I have always been able to find at least one redeeming quality, no matter how minuscule, in our president. This time, sadly, I can find none. And while I'll never be embarrassed to say I'm an American, I can assure you I will be embarrassed by the person who will inhabit the White House, and will be called President of the United States of America. 

Not only do I believe neither of the front runners are fit to lead our great nation, I also believe these two will do an extreme disservice to our country.  Quite frankly, my nerves are on edge just thinking about what either of these two candidates can, and may, do to our homeland. 

So, Senators and Members of the House, it's going to fall on you to keep this nation safe. It will be up to you to uphold the constitution of the United States of America. You will need to step up in a way you never have before. Your bi-partisan bickering has to end. You'll need to man-up and work together to keep our country from falling into a state of disrepair. Your job will become exponentially bigger in light of who will occupy the Oval Office. Finding the bravery to work side-by-side with those who may hold a vastly different political view must be your utmost priority. You'll need to take a lesson, or two, from our service members who may not always agree with each other, but have each other's backs, nonetheless. The members of our military are charged with defending people and values who might not always match up with their own, and they do so with courage and honor. Now you will be charged to follow their lead. They work to keep all of us safe. Now those same responsibilities fall squarely on your shoulders in upholding the rights and laws of our country. Your job description is going to change and morph in the next four to eight years. And for the sake of not only my two new voters, but for the sake of all of our citizens, young and old, I implore you to take the oath you took on the day of your swearing in to heart...

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

The fate of our nation will now be in your hands. Please treat her with the respect she has earned in her two hundred and forty years of freedom. Our children are depending on you. 

JD Combs

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Saint Lucas

Dear Darlings,

Okay, so maybe "Saint Lucas" is a stretch, but did you ever see the movie St. Vincent with Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy? Bill Murray plays Vincent a crotchety older man who gets a baby sitting gig watching Melissa McCarthy's son. It's a fabulous story about how you can find heroes in the unlikeliest of places. The parallels between Lucas and St. Vincent are there...except Lucas isn't a drunk war vet who likes to gamble and hang out with strippers (at least not that I know of!). But both Lucas and St. Vincent are called upon to do things they might not wanna do, but do them that's where my parallels are drawn.


I'm going to brag on Lucas a little, because I don't think I brag on him enough. So for those of you who know him, go easy on him with the ribbing after you read this.

Lucas. He's the one who is called upon to do all manner of chores for my mom. She asks him to change lightbulbs in high places, put up Christmas lights on her outside trees, bring boxes down from her attic, change batteries in her smoke detectors and help her with any (and all) computer issues. He might not want to, but he always says yes when she asks for help. Her friends and neighbors have started calling on him to come and help them with their computer issues and he always says yes. Sometimes, I'm sure there's a moment's hesitation about saying yes or perhaps an inner-eye-roll, but that's not the point. The point is, he says yes to what is asked of him. When he gets there he has a smile on his face, and he gets the job done. 

As Father Geraghty says (from the movie), "A saint is a human being we celebrate for the sacrifices they make, for their commitment to making the world a better place." In my mom's world, and I think her neighbors' worlds as well, this is a description which fits Lucas. He says yes when maybe he really wants to say no, but he's making a conscious effort to make someone's world a better place. And for that I couldn't be more proud of him. There is nothing better in this world than working to make someone's world a better place, even if it's just one person. 

Okay, I'm done bragging on Lucas. It's time for me to take his example to heart and do something to make someone's day a little brighter. Won't you join me?