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Monday, July 30, 2012


From the Sacramento Relationship Skills Center:

l. How do you decide who to marry?
     "You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like that you like sports, and she should keep the chi;s and dip coming."------Alan, age 10
     "No person decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with."-----Kristen, age 10

2. What is the right age to marry?
     "Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.---Camille, age 10

3. How can a stranger tell if two people are married?
     "You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids."---Derrick, age 8

4. What do you think your Mom and Dad have in common?
     "Both of them don't want to have any more kids."---Lori, age 8

5. What do most people do on a date?
     "Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough."---Lynette, age 8
     "On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date."---Martin, age 10

6. When is it okay to kiss someone?
     "When they're rich."---Pam, age 7
     "The law says you have to be 18, so I wouldn't want to mess with that."---Curt, age 7
     "The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do."---Howard, age 8

7. Is it better to be single or married?
     "It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them."---Anita, age 9

8. How would the world be different if people didn't get married?
     "There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there?"---Kelvin, age 8

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


 Some of life's most passionate love stories involve couples who ended up divorced. Among them are Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, Desi Arnez and Lucille Ball, Peter Facindle and Jennie Garth, and most recently Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. What makes these stories different from couples like George and Laura Bush, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Monty and Julie Flanagan, Gene and Georgia Schroeder, John and Lois Bueno, and others on my blogs?

Learning How to Live with Another Person
"Chains do not hold marriage together," according to Simone Signoret. "It is threads, which sew people together through the years. That is what makes a marriage last more than passion or sex!" Counting on each other, feeling loved and loving, open to learning, and commitment to the marriage and each other all contribute to couples in love whose love evolves into soul mate relationship.

I agree with my soul mate, Everett, who says, "Three grand adventures to happiness are something to do, sommeone to love, and something to hope for." We have been doing that for more than 57 years and it just gets sweeter each year.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Young Love

Lois and I went to El Salvador, by invitation of the church there, to be pastors of a fledging church that had just had some major difficulties. We left Southern California in a Ford Falcon and drove all the way to El Salvador--over 3000 miles through difficult roads and circumstances. Most of the details of that trip will have to wait for a different occasion.

A Little Love Can Conquer Mountains

What comes to mind as somewhat of a love story is Lois's response to a difficult challenge. Our little Ford Falcon didn't have much punch.  We had only been married six months, and we had all our earthly belongings in it. We headed for the mountains of Guatemala and found that the little Ford Falcon wouldn't make it up the hill. I looked at Lois and asked, "Do you want to push or do you want to drive?" Since it was a stick shift, she decided to push. She literally pushed us over the mountains in those places where the little Ford Falcon couldn't make it. And to be honest with you, she has been pushing ever since, and that was 51 years ago. Love can be expressed in many ways. One is pushing you over the mountain.

Monday, July 9, 2012


"I'm Alive! I'm Alive"

We saw hospital attendants wheel Janee' past the ICU waiting room after a 10 hour surgery. We could see she had her hands in the air. When we walked into her room, she looked radiant. Her face glowed as she said,"I'm alive! I'm alive!"

A Special Kind of High

The surgeon told us it had been a difficult surgery and she would not have lasted much longer. She went into surgery at 3:30 a.m. and returned to ICU at 3:30 p.m. I would have expected the two surgeons to be absolutely exhausted. Instead, they both seemed to radiate energy, a special kind of high. They had successfully transplanted someone near death after 17 years living with Primary Sclerosing Colingitis and multiple complications. It was a high few people experience--generated by saving a life. In this case their unique skill was indispensable.

Love Comes in Many Forms

We love the surgeons and thank God for their skill. We love the doctors and nurses who participated in our daughter's care. We love our daughter and welcome her back to life and recovery. We love the family who consented to give the liver of the one they had lost. We love our many friends, family, and even strangers who prayed for Janee' and our family and wished us well. Love comes in many forms. It makes living worthwhile.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Hours Spent in ICU
Recently I have spent many hours in hospitals with my daughter, Janee'. Seventeen years ago she was diagnosed with a liver duct disease called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. Now she is at UCSF waiting for a liver transplant.

After we had four people fail to qualify as living donors, a fifth one did qualify and a surgery date was set for June 28th. That was in April and seemed an eternity away. We counted the days. On June 12th what we feared happened. Another bleed and once again Janee' was transported by ambulance to the hospital. She was in ICU in her local hospital until the following Saturday when at midnight they transported her to San Francisco.

A few days before scheduled surgery doctors decided she is too sick to survive with half a liver and her meld count catapulted her to the number one spot for a cadaveric liver. Meld count is the score required to qualify for a cadaveric liver. (Model of End Stage Liver Disease) Today is July 3rd and we wait for a liver to be available.