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Now that Barack Obama has been elected, The political action group asked it’s 5 million members what the organizations next priority should be for 2009. Members were asked to pick their top three most important issues.

My top 3 were:

1. Universal health care
2. Build a green economy, stop climate change
3. Improve public schools

It should come as no surprise to those who know me that Universal Health Care would be at the top of my list. What was really surprising to me is that it is also on the top of the list for the majority of MoveOn members! Universal Health Care even came before economic recovery! But then if you really think about it, Universal Health Care will actually help the economy, probably more than billion dollar bale outs. If the Big 3 automakers didn’t have to provide health care for it’s employees, that alone would put them in the black. This would also be very helpful to struggling small businesses. More Americans go bankrupt every year due to medical bills than for any other reason.

Of course there are many more reasons that Universal Health Care is the right thing to do, but I’ll save those for another post. I was just pleasantly surprised that this issue ended up on the very top of the list of priorities. Interesting.

Below are the top 10 goals in the order of importance to MoveOn members:

1. Universal health care 64.9%
2. Economic recovery and job creation 62.1%
3. Build a green economy, stop climate change 49.6%
4. End the war in Iraq 48.3%
5. Improve public schools 21.6%
6. Restore civil liberties 16.8%
7. Hold the Bush Administration accountable 15.2%
8. Gay rights/LGBT equality 8.6%
9. Increase access to higher education 7.6%
10. Reform campaigns and elections 5.7%


Santa Shuffle

Two of a kind…

I can’t believe Christmas is just a few days away.  I manage to get all of my Christmas shopping done without entering a single store.  The UPS man and I are on a first name basis.

It looks like we are in for another storm today.  The snow is supposed to start around noontime into tomorrow.  Anthony’s school already canceled and I’m betting the twins will have an early dismissal.

My sister and family came down yesterday for a hot meal, a shower and to do some laundry.  They still have no power!  If they don’t get their power back today, they are in for a tough weekend with snow today and more forecasted for Sunday.  Temperatures will get into the single digits at night.  Luckily, they have a wood burning stove, which is keeping them fairly comfortable and will prevent the house pipes from freezing.  Sue was out chopping wood yesterday and said she feels like a pioneer woman.  She said the worst part is that they have no running water, so they can’t flush the toilet.  They are making trips to the reservoir and keeping water in their bath tub for flushing and buying bottled water for drinking.

I don’t ever recall loosing power for more than a couple of days here in MA. I can’t imagine going that long without power.  They are managing pretty well, but admit that it’s getting old.  Certainly gives one a different perspective.  Many people around the world live like this on a daily basis.  But then it’s hard to miss what you’ve never had.  When you look at the big picture we are pretty spoiled here in the US.

I just got the automated call that school has also been canceled for the twins, so I’m going back to bed…



Parents of kids with disabilities deal with a chronic grief that never goes away. In the beginning, it is an intense grief similar to the stages following the death of a loved one, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and eventually acceptance. We are grieving the loss of the “normal” child that might have been. But the child is still with us, so the cycle of grief never ends. Transitions in the child’s life often get the grieving cycle started again. For example, when the child starts school, has a birthday, goes to their first dance, a graduation; or worse, the child may miss out on these typical transitions.

Thankfully, the intensity of these emotions tend to fade over time and we eventually learn to cope. But the grief is always there and sometimes you just never know when it will raise it’s ugly head. Sometimes the grief can hit you when you least expect it. My life is good, my family and I are healthy and happy. I’m able to care for my boys, I’m coping well and I’m content and happy. Some people wonder how I manage to stay so positive with three children who all have special needs. For the most part I’m it that acceptance stage; after all, I’ve had 15 years to work on these issues.

Some parents of children with disabilities describe life as a roller coaster ride. Others say it’s more like bumper cars, you never know when something will sneak up on you from behind and hit you like a ton of bricks. I did feel like I was on a roller coaster when the boys were young. Things moved so fast, too fast. I could barely catch my breath. I had no control over the direction my life was heading and no way to get off the ride. But now, I think the bumper car analogy is better. You merrily drive along, minding your own business, when apparently out of nowhere, something hits you from behind. That is what happened to me today.

I was checking my morning email and I got a notice from JibJab that the new “Elf Yourself” script was out. If you’ve never heard of Elf Yourself, it’s a popular seasonal ad from OfficeMax where you can turn your family and friends into elves by sticking heads on elf bodies. It’s just silly Internet fun that I find hard to resist. This year you can make Disco Elves, and being a 70’s girl, I decided to have Rich dancing with the twins. I happily spent too much time choosing photos, cropping and fitting heads into the elf costumes. It wasn’t until I played my finished project that I got hit from behind. The overwhelming sadness of seeing Eric dancing around and looking exactly like is twin brother just made my heart sink. The boys were dancing around with their dad, just like it should have been…

So, the grieving cycle starts again. You don’t necessarily go through every stage and the emotions are in no particular order. I’m not in denial and there is no one to bargain with, so right now, I’m somewhere between anger and depression. But don’t worry; I’ll work back toward acceptance. I’m a veteran and I know this hit won’t keep me down for long!

Oh, and Happy Holidays!