Life in General

Miscellaneous observtions on Life

Influenza pandemics occur very rarely; there have been four pandemics in the past 100 years.

The phrase "New Normal" is a phrase that is used in many psychological, life transformations or any situation that changes the old way you did things to the new ways - hence 'the new normal'.   In our church ministry, it is used in grief situations after the loss of a mate or loved one - and the mourner is advised to seek a 'new normal' environment to adjust to their loss.  It is a successful tool. 

Here we are in the 3rd month of trying to find a 'new normal' during this first for us - a pandemic.  Praise God that Influenza pandemics occur very rarely; there have been four pandemics in the past 100 years. 

Sometimes the 'new normal' of the one we are experiencing now feels like it's been here for 100 years.  Has life changed?  Has anyone's life not changed from the Guidelines we are given?   

We have masks, gloves and Clorox wipes in plastic bags in our cars & pocketbooks.  We avoid contact if we are to be in the company of others, especially if one happens to sneeze.   [Don't wipe your nose with the Clorox wipe.]   Churches were shut down and now open - there are brave ones who sit a pew apart and pray that no one coughs or sneezes.   There are televised church sessions that many attend.   The fear of actually acquiring this or Influenza pandemics occur rarely; and hence the yearnings for Old Normal arise.   Like haircuts and doctor visits.  And going where you want with whom and how many.  And so many more. 

If someone wants to drop something off, you kinda detective question where the person was - how old they are - and do they mask & glove?  How are they feeling?   Can I leave it on the doorstep - they can ring the bell?   How's everyone in the family - oh the kids just got home from Disney?  Well, we aren't available that day.

The younger generation thinks it's all over, what's the big deal about getting the flu & aren't you over-reaching your safety?   The senior generation stays 'put' and goes out only for emergencies such as eating - and they cross-examine anyone who enters their home.   I am not making fun - because I am in that senior category.   So much so, that I convinced my husband that he is capable of 'cutting my hair' which was growing down my back.  He did it very well and now he is my hairdresser.   Well, for a little while anyway.  The salons are re-opening.  So are other businesses.   It is so great to see neighborhood kids riding their bikes and waving again.  Life goes on.   

If you know me, you know that I am a hugger.  Alas. hugging is not in the New Normal.  I get it about the new handshake - It just isn't the same offering my elbow to their elbow.   It rejects the 6 foot distancing as hugging does.   There was a news item showing two women hugging who had on plastic shower curtains.  Imagine if this becomes a New Normal?   We would have to Clorox down the shower curtains many times.  And one size will fit all?   Now I fully understand what "The Good Old Days" means.   Please come back!


Marie Coppola  May 2020










Without much warning, we are encased in a situation that may cause disorder or death.   If we follow the critical guidelines handed down from our government administration to contain the situation, we may,  therefore - have less fatal consequences.

COVID-19 is disease caused by a coronavirus, a common virus that can cause what doctors call a respiratory tract infection. It can affect your upper respiratory tract (sinuses, nose, and throat) or lower respiratory tract (windpipe and lungs). Most coronaviruses aren’t dangerous.

In early 2020, following a December 2019 outbreak in China, the World Health Organization identified a new type of coronavirus. Officials named this new virus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This is the virus that causes COVID-19.

Droplets from coughing and sneezing and close human contact likely transmit the coronavirus. The respiratory droplets are probably absorbed into the body through the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, and eyes. The virus is likely to remain active in the environment for several days.   How can it be transmitted?

This could be through:  Hugging and kissing
Sharing utensils for eating and drinking
Speaking to someone within a distance of 3 feet
Touching someone directly

A person with the virus can spread the infection by leaving respiratory droplets on objects, such as door handles, doorbells, and telephones. These are then picked up by someone else.

In our North Myrtle Beach area, there are many seniors who have always lived here and those that have retired here.   According to Prevention Magazine the majority of deaths from coronavirus have been in the elderly.   Dr. Adalja says. “Above age 50 is when you start to see more severe complications,” he explains, adding that older patients have a harder time recovering, similar to  the flu.  Common flu complications in high-risk groups include bronchitis and pneumonia, which have also been reported in patients with COVID-19.

During the initial outbreak of coronavirus-related deaths in Washington state, a majority of patients were residents of a nursing facility and over the age of 70.  People with underlying health conditions

How are younger adults dealing with COVID-19?
People in their 20s, 30s, and 40s seem to have a lower risk of novel coronavirus complications, Dr. Adalja says. “It’s very unlikely for young people to have severe cases,” but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen, Dr. Adalja says, especially if you have direct or frequent contact with the disease or an underlying condition.   What about the COVID-19 risk in children?   Unlike other respiratory viruses like the flu, COVID-19 has not been severely impacting children in the United States, Dr. Adalja says. “It’s not that it’s impossible,” he explains, “but we haven’t seen it yet.”

With all these factors, much rhetoric is heard in the media about our country becoming under a dictatorial government trying to over- control  our lives  OR praising the government for the steps they are taking to protect us.   Arguing and pointing fingers at each other will not stop this virus.   It is time we came together and fight  this health hazard together.

It could get worse - it has in Italy.   We have friends there and it is a complete shutdown.  They don't have medical facilities as we do.  The people in the country can go outdoors, but the people who live in the village where homes are connected together, cannot leave their homes unless they obtain a permit from the government to do so.  They cannot go to piazza uptown to gather with friends.   The solitude is quite evident.   I found a video of their quiet streets with no one outside but then some Italians came out on their balconies and sang some beautiful tenor songs to break the silence.  It was emotional to see and hear them.   But they are making the best of what they have.  It is improving.

We need to do the same.  We need to follow the guidelines that are set forth - and not complain and bellyache that we can't do what we want to do.   It is for our best and especially for the seniors among us.  Lots of them.  Italy's death rate is high due to their high senior age population.

We started earlier with guidelines and hope to save lives with them.  Common sense, following the guidelines and praying can do a lot - for you and the grandmas & grandpas in your life.

Marie Coppola  March 2020






It's interesting that seniors can't immediately remember everyone's name or face at times, but have no problems drifting back through years of memories in detail.

I vividly remember that at age 4, my parents (probably needing a break from their parenting  of 5 children) signed me up for kindergarten earlier than the final registration date they should have.  I was off by 8 months (too young by public school age standards).   As a result, I spent 2 years in kindergarten.  This was good and bad.   Bad because the kids never let me forget it up to 6th grade until we went to junior high.  They said things like "You stayed back in kindergarten."  But, it was good because I had kindergarten (K) nailed down in my 2nd year and knew all the procedures and was 'picked' daily by Mrs. Hayes, our beloved teacher to 'help' her in lessons and activities.  Everyone thought I was her "pet" but I just knew the program.

One of the 'chores' Mrs. Hayes gave to me was to sing  solo - "Silent Night" at the Family Christmas Party.  I didn't know the words and my 4 years older sister spent much time teaching them to me.   She did a good job and I wish she could have taught me how to carry a tune, but knowing the words were enough.   My mother was especially thrilled at this and bought me a pink linen lace-trimmed dress and new patent leather shoes AND a golden heart locket (for good luck). father came to the Christmas party!  He was a hard-working man for his family of 7 and he rarely missed work.

I wasn't overly nervous about doing this; my sister taught me well and I remembered we did the same program the Christmas before.  Just with different kids.    I remember I was a little worried because I felt a cold coming on --my annual colds were usually around Thanksgiving or Christmas complete with the runny nose, the stuffed up feeling and worst of all -- The Cough.

Sure enough, I did break out in my annual cold the day before the program.   I practiced singing the song in between coughs (I held my breath longer to control it).   I told my sister I was afraid I would cough and she said "No, you won't" - and I believed everything she told me -- still do.

I sang the song well - took the holding breaths in between - didn't cough once and saw my Mom & Dad clapping with smiles.

The topper of that day was that Mrs. Hayes told me the day before the program that right after I sang, the next act -- the 'K band' -- consisting of tambourines, piano and triangle  played by members of the K class  would play Jingle Bells - each of them would do a "solo" when pointed to.   Mrs, Hayes put me right next to her piano and when she whispered the instrument I was to conduct them and wave the baton and just point to them as she whispered.    One can't lose doing this bandleader act.   My mother was astounded - she hugged me afterwards and said, "I didn't know you would lead the band!"   (A puppy could learn to do this.)

When I think of this at my age now, I am so grateful that I lived at a time when a public school of all different races & religions sang Silent Night together for a Christmas play.  Would that happen today before someone got offended by it?    I won't go into what the kindergarten kids are being taught today - things way before their time that are not necessary and/or should be taught by their parents.

I'm happy with my memory of that day and pray that our children and grandchildren grow up with similar memories.

Marie Coppola © December 2019




We all love hand-made personalized gifts.  They are very special and one of a kind.  We think of the giver every time we use them or see them.

My personal favorite is to make a memory book for children or grandchildren.   You can buy some really nice memory scrapbooks for $10 or less; make sure it is a nice sturdy one.

When our family all relocated around the same time, I found tons of old report cards, school pictures, mementos, certificates and cards that I had saved in the attic.   When each family member packed things up, no one wanted the ‘junk’ as they called it. I couldn't leave all these cherished memories, and put everything in one big box and moved it with me.  After the move, I went through the ‘junk’ box, which were really family memories of the kids’ growth and accomplishments.  I sorted them into 3 piles, one for son and one for daughter–and one for combined memories of their formative years (grandparents, parents, pets, house pictures, etc.)  I recopied some of them to a smaller size so the book would not be so voluminous!   The whole project took me 3 months and I worked on it a little each day: I have to say I looked forward to creating it each day, reliving those memories.  I made each book differently.

• In the beginning of each book, there were pictures of grandparents & parents weddings, dates, pictures, and houses. I brought the pictures I wanted to use to a store to copy them or you can copy them at home if your copier does a good job.  It might cost about the same.

• Both books had the same beginnings of history until it came to the part when each was born.

• The next portion was of their own history from my pregnancy to birth including photos. Then their school years.  I selected specific award letters, or special reports or school activities about each one and copied and reduced them so I could fit many in places on the pages.

• I copied quotes and special readings from the internet or scriptures and pasted them alongside pictures and events and awards.

• Each portion of ‘personal’ notes were for each book & them personally.

• The last section was ‘where they were now’ and included degrees, special interests, new houses, new babies, etc.

It helped my own project that I sent a book to my sister because it was fun to do and for her to make one for her daughter. She and I shared this memory-lane project and she found pictures I didn’t have and vice versa. I was able to discard the ‘junk’ box once I had copied and pasted all the memories in the book.

Although I knew both my son and daughter would enjoy receiving this ‘memory’ and collection of family pictures, I had no idea how revered and special it would become to them. They showcase them and take these books out all the time to look at old pictures–aunts and uncles and old cars and houses we lived in.

The last gift selection is not a DIY, but a gift idea. Hand-made items such as needlepoint and yes, they are special gifts from the heart and hands, and cherished. I do not do needlepoint, crochet or knit. What I do, is attend our own as well as other church craft fairs where neighbors and or friends portray their handiwork for sale at most reasonable prices. I have purchased a hand-knit sweater ($8.00) and a matching shawl ($8.00); hand-knit bags ($10.00) and many other lovely scarves, aprons, baby clothes, blankets, home and holiday gifts for $10 and under. Don’t pass by church craft sales – stop and shop; they are one of a kind and professionally hand-made. These ladies know their trade.  Happy gifting!

© Marie Coppola Revised November 2019



Many folks retire to our southern states and South Carolina is one of them.   Our demographics show that we have many seniors in our area.  Seniors can bring a wealth of ideas and  experience, as well as  time and efforts towards a community.

One thing seniors have in common that is in their future: one of them will lose their life-long partner.  It is a joy to share our golden years with someone we have been together with for decades.   Suddenly being without them makes one not function as they did at their pre-loss capacity.   But you can take steps to ensure your life doesn't fall apart while you are in the midst of it.

Grief is a complex situation.  And when you are in the throes of it, one may find it difficult to do almost anything else.   Many people just want the pain to end but are convinced it never will.   Reaching out to others and accepting support is often difficult when you are hurting so much.  It's best to seek those persons who will 'walk with", not "in front of" or 'behind" you in your journey with grief.

There is a free grief program called Grief Share where the members will walk 'with you'.   We have many such groups in our area - you can find one online at   Put in your zip code and you will find these wonderful programs that are mostly held in our church communities.   They are offered free to the whole community and are Biblically-based  concepts  to cope with grief ; they are nondenominational.  GriefShare addresses the loss of spouses, children, family members and close friends.  The program right now is not designed for divorces or pets.   All faiths  and atheists are invited.

The program consists of 13 sessions [one day a week for 13 weeks].  Each session consists of a video seminar featuring  grief recovery experts.   A small support group discussion follows.  There is a workbook journal & exercises for each session.  Workbooks cost $15 - the only cost to you and you don't have to purchase it.

The atmosphere is friendly and supportive.   It is a 'safe environment' where confidentiality and bonds are formed.

Often,  friends and family want to help you but don't know how.  That's the reason Grief Share was formed.   The groups are led by caring people who have experienced grief and have successfully rebuilt their lives.    We understand how you feel because we've been in the same place.  We will walk with you on the long path of grief toward healing and hope for the future.   Our groups in SC are part of a network of 12,000+ churches worldwide that offer GriefShare support issues.

Many new bonds and friendships are formed at the meeting; healing results from shared experiences and ways to cope with one's loss.

But you will have begun the process.  And the only way forward is to put one step in front of the other.   GriefShare helps to do that.   This newspaper and church notices/bulletins will announce when these sessions will take place.

Marie Coppola    October 2019








There are times in life when a good friend, a family member or even a mate can hurt your feelings by mistake, on purpose or thoughtlessness.   Sometimes their bad behavior could be spiteful, selfish, or just being in a mean mood.   On the high end, someone could have personality disorders, drug interactions or just plain retaliation or 'place in family'.   In today's world, it could be interactions about political issues.   You might take time off from these challenges of differences, or say you are finished with this person(s)  and even hold a grudge.

I read recently that forgiveness is important in one's life.   Actually, it is good for you.  On a health note, forgiving someone can improve your cholesterol levels, make you sleep better, reduce your risk of heart attack, lower your blood pressure and improve your relationships.   On the dark side if you hold onto that grudge & anger, you can have heart problems, raise cholesterol, boost hypertension and even lead to depression and more stress.

A University of Michigan School of Medicine recent study showed that 2,000 middle-aged men showed that those who dealt with their anger had half as many strokes over a 7-year period as those who didn't deal with their anger.   How did they do that?

Forgiveness helps you take control again; it doesn't mean you aren't expected to trust the hurtful person or even continue your relationship with them.

But you can try some 'Forgiveness Strategies' that help you manage your anger & hurt.

  1.  Reframe the situation in a different light:  Don't dwell on why the hurt was done to you but rather ask yourself "Why am I letting this hurt me?"  And try to stop  going over and over the initial hurt.

2.  Give yourself time to come to grips with the hurt.   Feeling the hurt allows healing to take place.   It will feel like one step forward and one step back but take that one step forward & try not to go back.

3.  Ask yourself questions as you would to a friend..."Did you play a part in the hurt situation or was the other person wrong?'  Is there another side to look at?   What would or could you have done differently?  If you can't 'see  it', ask a friend valued d or a fair family member for their feedback.

4.  Did the other person involved have any idea what they did and how much it hurt you?   Could it possibly have been a misunderstanding?

5.  When remembering the incident makes you feel hurt again, focus on all the good things in life that you enjoy and neutralize the bad feeling.

6.  I am adding one of my own ways to neutralize hurt.   Pray for the person who hurt you and ask God to forgive them as He forgives us.   It is somewhat difficult at first to pray for one who has hurt you but it becomes easier and the bad feelings do go away.   Prayer works.

Some thoughts to ponder:  Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years and chose to forgive his captors.

In 1981, Pope John Paul II was crossing St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City when an attempt was made on his life.  Two bullets struck the pope in his lower intestine, one in his right arm and one in his left index finger.  The Pope met and publicly forgave the would-be assassin.

Jesus, dying on the cross after mistreatment, severe scourging, beatings & whippings,  said the prayer, "Forgive them, Father; they know not what they do".

In a book by Mark Miller, he states that the people who did best in tragic relationships were those who found "forgiving was a way to restore balance and peace in their own lives even if they did not condone the misdeeds."

Sometimes the person who is hardest to forgive is oneself.   Forgiveness helps you to take control again of your feelings.  Give the hurt to God and don't take it back.

Marie Coppola September 2019









Do you sit more than you stand or exercise?  In these technological times, many hours are spent sitting in front of a computer or tablet.   You probably sit at your desk answering emails, paying bills, or going on media news or Hollywood news to see who did what to whomever.

We order clothes and gifts online and send greeting cards online.  We even do our social life online – checking out 450 friends on Facebook or Instagram.   There's many social aspects online;  connect with old friends, reminisce and/or get reacquainted, make new ‘friends’, catching  up on personal messages and post pictures of your mates and kids and compare your photos to others' selfies.  People complain that Facebook has taken over their lives but  considering how popular it is, it is a choice they choose.  And we  sit and sit and take it all in.    When you are done, you may spend more time sitting  with  other PC-related video games and enough apps to keep you busy trying them all.

Add our cell phones to the above and we sit again - even if in groups or at the dinner table - with cell phones in everyone's hands and typing away in conversations while humans are next to you typing away in conversations, too.   You could talk to those next to you, but they are busy in their own world just as you are.   You get tired of sitting so much at the computer, so you put on the TV and sit some more.

These folks’ are living what are called 'sedentary lifestyles’.

A sedentary lifestyle is a medical term used to denote a type of lifestyle with a lack of physical exercise.  We have morphed into a society that spends many hours sitting down.   Being sedentary makes you more susceptible to diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and other health conditions such as high blood pressure, COPD and more .   Surprisingly, all this inactivity also makes you tired, sluggish, and mentally inactive.   You need to move around, get your circulation going and rev up your metabolism.   If it’s raining, go to a mall and walk – not shop.

It’s even more important for youngsters to get fresh air and get outside – not spend hours with video games or their cells.   Get them interested in a sport program; it is an all-rounded plus.

How much time do you spend living your life sitting down ?

Do you exercise regularly?   Do you walk at least 20 minutes to a half hour every day as cardio doctors always suggest?   Why not make exercise a part-time job that you do at home?

It is habit forming and more effective if you ‘report’ to your part-time  'job’ the same time everyday.   Tell friends and family that you took on a part-time job every day from 11:00 pm to noon or whenever is convenient to ‘do the job’.   It may be that there is an exercise program on TV that you can work out with. If not, put on your sneakers and go for a walk or dance to your favorite music.   You may even lose some poundage.

Besides exercising,  it’s important everyday to get up from your chair, stretch and walk around for a few minutes – even if it is to get a glass of water.   Don’t leave water by your desk; get up and get a drink.   Exercise your eyes by rolling them from side to side and look out the window at a distance since you have been working close up and in a glare.   If you have stairs inside or outside - use them - they are a good exercise.  After using your legs,   you’ll feel better and can continue  to use those legs to go outside, get the mail and take time to smell the roses.   Pick some.   Walk down the street and give them to a neighbor.  You don't have to stop and chat - look like you are busy and going somewhere In a hurry.   You are.  You are in a hurry to improve your health.

Get up and shake your booty.  Walk or exercise – it will make you feel better and can be a life-saver.

Marie Coppola  September 2019

A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could. ~ Unknown

Can you remember a time when someone gave you support, or important counsel, sound advice or positive reinforcement on something you were doing?

Encouragement is an important support and guidance motivation given by a more knowledgeable person (such as a mentor) in helping a less experienced or knowledgeable person (mentee) to develop in some capacity.

Many times, parents are mentors. They have the experience and know-how in “How the World Turns”. They may have gone to college, experienced love relationships, had children, bought houses, paid taxes, and countless other things.  Hopefully, they are good mentors who encourage, support and guide their children in their everyday challenges.   Sometimes, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, or  family members are mentors.  They are the ones to go to when one needs to know what can be done about a special issue; they either give good advice or advise options on how to work at it.   We are indeed blessed if we have mentors in our lives.

What if we don’t have a mentor? There are many occasions when ‘two heads are better than one’ and additional input is needed. How does one acquire a mentor? Are there different avenues or vehicles for finding one?   Yes, there are.

There are personal mentors and organizational mentors.
How can a  personal mentor help you?    Sometime during your lifetime, someone may take a special interest in how you are accomplishing a task or trying to.  It may be in a teacher or principal in school.  It could be a leader or coach in an activity in an athletic or after-school activity. Or a girl or boy scout leader in a social club. Or perhaps a pastor or spiritual leader in a church affiliation.   It could be a family member who has the same interests or experiences in what you are trying to master - a job interview;  which courses or schools you could attend to pursue a career; what career choices would you be best suited for.

A mentor is usually someone older and more accomplished in the task you are endeavoring. He/she will give you feedback on how you are accomplishing so far;  give you advice or hints/solutions on how to continue;  or reinforce how you are progressing. This is a one-on-one relationship which lasts over the time of the task’s duration.

You might even seek someone out and ask them to be your mentor on a task.  It doesn’t hurt to ask. Most people like to help and may feel honored that you chose them.  If the person is agreeable, you could set up a schedule to go over the progress of what you are doing and the mentor can advise plusses and minuses. Depending on the personalities, this person could become a life-long mentor who can aid you in further tasks.  Sometimes it evolves into a mentoring over a variety of life’s issues. Such an arrangement can benefit both the mentor and the mentee.   And form a special, honored life-time relationship.

Marie Coppola  August 2019

The first day of school for Horry County students is Monday, August 19.   In the past, I covered some suggestions for students returning to middle school; today I will focus on the teens.

Whatever the grade or year,  the upbeat reason to return to school is to acquire wisdom, knowledge, and skills that will allow creativity and thought-provoking processes as well as behavioral and social experiences.  These can be sometimes challenging and/or frustrating — but it can also be fun times with clubs, sports, class trips, and special activities.  Also on the plus side, there are friendships formed that can last a lifetime and even short friendship spurts that teach versatility and diversity in getting along with others.  Having a  ‘special’ teacher can be an influence or mentor in future endeavors.

Guidelines and rules for school behavior are similar to those that students’ parents may have had, but here’s some extra tips to return to school starting with a really good attitude. I offer the following – for the returning students.

1) “Rules” cover a multitude of guidelines that all schools set forth for their students. Everyone must follow them if there is to be order and learning. Rules are important because you will be asked to follow rules all your life.  And it causes stress and problems if you don’t abide by them. This is as true in school as it is in your life now or will be in your adult life.

2) You will follow rules better if you have plenty of rest.   You will succeed better in school.   Try to have at least eight hours of sleep on a school night.   This is especially true if you have after-school clubs or sports and need that extra energy.

3) Speaking of extra energy, eat a healthy breakfast (yes, you have the time) to last until lunchtime.  Even some fruit, cereal or a protein bar  will help.   If you don't like the lunches, pack a sandwich or snack.

4) Using cell phones, iPods, and other electronic devices are usually strictly prohibited during the school day. Yes, that includes texting. Cell phones are distracting not only during class but in the halls.  If you can’t control yourself – then leave them home or silenced.  An extra thought on cell phones:  I've noticed with  my teen visitors this summer - they stay on their cell phones way into the night (undercover) and have trouble getting awake in the morning.   You can't sleep until noon when you are going to school.   If you can't resist - shut them off and leave them in another room.

5) Although we all get colds or sick, try to attend class regularly and be on time. It is important to ‘keep up’ with new lessons and equally important to be on time so that your tardiness does not take away from class time.  Besides, it will affect  your school record which won’t matter to you now but may in the future.

6) Do your homework and check it twice. Homework done hastily or while playing video games can affect your grade if it is incorrect. Give it your best efforts – it reflects who you are and what you know and how you express it.   Prepare a place to do your homework; prepare what you are wearing the next day; and if you are making your lunch, prepare it at night so you won't be rushing to get the bus or that ride early in the morning.

Hint:  How you set up a schedule of what you are expected to do (when & how)  will help you when you are looking for a job after graduation.   Being prepared  will naturally assist you in your work habits and style.

7) Try to be friendly to all. Avoid ’cliques’ or being rude to other students who may be different. It can escalate to bullying or cyber bullying or discrimination which are detriments to all.   Two out of three kids who are bullied become bullies themselves.  Worse yet, a bully is 6 times more likely to be incarcerated by age 24.   Tell your parents or the school admin if you are being bullied; they will come to your aid.

If you follow the rules, you can have a pleasant learning experience that will prepare you for adult life.  If there are situations that arise that are against school rules or are questionable in safety to you or others, don’t hesitate to notify a teacher or the principal. They want everyone in their school to have a safe environment.

I added this next thought for the middle school and will here, too.  'Take a  slogan from the Army — Be All That You Can Be.' It doesn’t mean living up to anyone else’s standards or trying to get a better grade than Amy, Juan or Tawanda - it's  simply doing the best work you can to your ability and being the best kind of person you want to be.   It’s all up to you.  Have a great and successful school year.

© Marie Coppola, August 2019

Being pro-life, I keep a file on its struggles to save babies from a gruesome death.

In a Vatican ceremony on September 4, 2016, Pope Francis conferred sainthood upon Mother Teresa, the Albanian-born nun who famously devoted most of her life to ministering to the poor in India until her death in 1997 at the age of 87. He described her as a “model of holiness” and “generous dispenser of divine mercy,” citing, among other qualifications, Mother Teresa’s unwavering opposition to abortion in any form. “She was committed to defending life,” the Pope said, “ceaselessly proclaiming that ‘the unborn are the weakest, the smallest, the most vulnerable.'”

For Americans, the canonization of Mother Teresa coincided with the home stretch of the 2016 presidential campaign, in which the two principal candidates delivered prepared speeches.  Their remarks were not as intriguing as pro-abortionist, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the same dais.

She appeared to have been genuinely moved by her previous meeting with Mother Teresa.  In 1994 Mother Teresa delivered a no-holds-barred pro-life speech [in quotes below] at the National Prayer Breakfast in front of Hillary Clinton, her equally pro-abortion husband, then-President Bill Clinton, and Al and Tipper Gore:

"But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.

And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts.  Jesus gave even His life to love us.   So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child.  The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.

By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems.

And, by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion.

Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion."

Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan was present.   Here’s what she later wrote:

'Well, silence. Cool deep silence in the cool round cavern for just about 1.3 seconds. And then applause started on the right hand side of the room, and spread, and deepened, and now the room was swept with people applauding, and they would not stop for what I believe was five or six minutes. As they clapped they began to stand, in another wave from the right of the room to the center and the left.'

But not everyone applauded. The president and first lady, seated within a few feet of Mother Teresa on the dais, were not applauding. Nor were the vice president and Mrs. Gore. They looked like seated statues at Madame Tussaud’s. They glistened in the lights and moved not a muscle, looking at the speaker in a determinedly semi-pleasant way.

Secretary Clinton quipped, “That’s a tall order,” followed by (alas), “And of course, one of the interpretive problems with it is, who defines good?”

July 17, 2019