In Memorium: Gertrud Burtscher

Today the world lost a wonderful woman. Gertrud Burtscher was my Oma (that’s German for grandmother). She had battled Alzheimer’s disease for a very long time and the last few years were difficult. We were blessed to be able to visit with her last week to spend some time with her and to say our goodbyes.

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I will forever remember her amazing cooking, her beautiful garden, her love for her family, and her stunning blue eyes. Rest in peace, my Oma.

 

 

 

Mental Health

My heart weighs heavy with thoughts of the terrible mass killing in Las Vegas this week. I’m still working on my 49 Random Acts of Kindness in honor of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shootings.

As always, the media and social media are quick to blame gun laws, asking for stricter rules and changes to the Constitution. It may not be a popular opinion, but I honestly think the issue is not about the number of guns the man owned. Did he need 42 firearms? I don’t think it matters. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols used a rented truck and fertilizer-based bombs to kill 168. More and more we hear about people driving cars into crowds. Heck, September 11th was accomplished with box cutters. My point is that if someone wants to kill, they will find a way.

Yes, I know that access to guns may allow a person to kill more people, but the real issue, in my opinion, is mental health. We don’t do nearly enough in this country to help identify mental health issues and then to take care of them. I’m not talking about lock them away in some institution, but really help. There is still such a stigma around mental health issues that I think people are afraid to seek help. And I think that we are terrible at identifying them until it’s too late. We always hear “they were so nice” or “we never saw it coming”.

I don’t have an easy answer. I’m afraid that by focusing on taking away guns, we won’t focus on the real issue – what it is inside a person that allows them to think “I am going to kill people today”. I just know that all killers have one thing in common – something that is not a weapon. They have some sort of mental issue. And until we take care of that, I’m afraid we’re going to continue to see killings like those in Las Vegas.

 

RAK #26: Javier Jorge-Reyes

This is the twenty-sixth of 49 random acts of kindness (RAKs) that I’m doing to honor the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. Hopefully each small act puts a little bit of happiness back out in the world!

Clearly, I have a soft spot for HiCaliber – I did a second donation for them. It breaks my heart every week to see the horses that are so sick and terrified, thrown away at auction.

This RAK is in honor of Javier Jorge-Reyes. He had an infectious smile and worked as a supervisor at Gucci. He was a hard worker and a good friend. Rest in peace, Javier.

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RAK # 25: Miguel Angel Honorato

This is the twenty-second of 49 random acts of kindness (RAKs) that I’m doing to honor the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. Hopefully each small act puts a little bit of happiness back out in the world!

For this RAK, I made a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

This RAK is in honor of Miguel Angel Honorato. He was a 30 year old father of three sons, who managed several restaurants in the Orlando area. Rest in peace, Miguel.

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RAK #24: Oscar A. Aracena-Montero

This is the twenty-forth of 49 random acts of kindness (RAKs) that I’m doing to honor the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. Hopefully each small act puts a little bit of happiness back out in the world!

This was another fun one – I found an empty spot on the grocery store shelf and left a gift card there!

This RAK is in honor of Oscar A. Aracena-Montero. He was known as a bright, postitive student and was excited about his future goals. Rest in peace, Oscar.

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RAK #23: Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on these, but I’ve still been working on them. I know it’s been just over a year since the Pulse massacre, but I want to make sure these are meaningful which is why I’m taking my time.

This is the twenty-third of 49 random acts of kindness (RAKs) that I’m doing to honor the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. Hopefully each small act puts a little bit of happiness back out in the world!

This one is near and dear to my heart – I follow HiCaliber Horse Rescue on Facebook. They loud, proud, and huge-hearted.

This RAK is in honor of Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez. He was a sweet man who never missed a birthday, had great leadership style, and was known for his attention to detail. Rest in peace, Simon.

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In Memorium: Shadow

A piece of my heart died today.

Shadow

Shadow lost his short battle with cancer.

He went outside, laid down in the sunshine by the pool, fell asleep and never woke up. I couldn’t have asked for a more peaceful end for such an amazing dog. But it still hurts. A lot.

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He was my Shadow, my Stinkbug, my Little Man, my Snoopy Dog. He helped me learn to live all by myself. He snuggled with me when I was sick, when I had anxiety, when I had surgery. He made me laugh harder than I’ve ever laughed. He even made it into that one infamous Christmas card:

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Shadow had a rough start in life – found tied to a tire, sick from drinking bad water, he ended up the animal shelter at just two years old. I hope I was able to make that up to him in love over the last 10 years.

One of my most favorite memories with him was the one day he got to run around the lake and swim off leash. We found this island, beached the boat, and off he went. Free at last to run and swim.

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Until we meet again, Little Man… rest easy. Your daddy and I loved you very, very much!

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