Sandy Hook, Franklin Regional, Fort Hood, KinderCare

A picture in front of KinderCare last night. Taken by @MarinaMarraco.

A picture in front of KinderCare last night. Taken by @MarinaMarraco.

Fia is a funny little kid, a few weeks ago she asked me to “put talking on” – we were listening to her favorite Spotify mix, but she wanted some NPR.

On Monday I dropped off my daughter at the preschool/daycare she goes to two mornings each week, this morning there was some piece about Sandy Hook on as we were pulling into the parking lot of her daycare in Winter Park, FL and I thought of all of those parents who sent their kids to school that day and never heard their voices again. Fia walks and runs like a champ, but she wanted to be carried in that day and I was more than happy to hold and hug her tight on our way in.

Wednesday afternoon, after we’d picked her up from daycare, after hearing about the stabbings west of Pittsburgh, I got a call from a friend asking where Fia’s preschool was and if she was there. He said something about a car running into a daycare in Winter Park and that kids were hurt. Even though I could see her curly mop focused on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, my heart dropped out.

The Winter Park KinderCare is less than a 1.5 miles from Fia’s school. As we drive there, I know that we pass cars carrying kids that are headed to KinderCare. There are definitely children that live in our neighborhood, it’s just too close for there not to be.

As I carried my first baby in on Monday I thought about how much her absence would wreck me, not just her being at school absence or her one day going to college absence. But, if she was gone. If she was taken like little Lily Quintus is, the child killed by some big jerk with a big ego in a big truck, one of two things would likely happen. I’d either turn into Liam Neeson from Taken, but without the “particular set of skills,” or I’d end up a kind of empty shell for a while. I’d snap out of it eventually, I’d have a wife to love and comfort, a son to raise, and most importantly I have a God that is merciful. I’d eventually get to the point that King David did when his first son died, believing that I will see her again.

I don’t have a point that I’m aiming at. I’m just processing a little.

I used to get mad at these kind of things happening (I still do), but more and more often they lead me to hug my wife, my daughter and my son tighter and to try to soak up every minute we have.

I hope they find Robert Corchado, if it turns out that he really is the guy that cause this I hope they throw the book at him. I hope he goes to prison and is know as the guy who killed a 4-year-old. Eventually my anger turns to mercy, my rage to forgiveness, my desire for justice for my desire for the same mercy that has been shown me by this God that sees the depths of our hearts and still calls to us.

Driving cars off the road. Shooting kids. Stabbing classmates. Escalating fights to the point of violence at work.

But for the Grace of God, there goes Jayson Whelpley.

My Grandmother the Pirate

DSCN0167My grandmother had her first surgery ever today. It was for cataracts on her right eye. This is how awesome she is.

This woman is incredible.

She raised 4 children on her own. Outlived both of her husbands (my grandfather, who left her with the aforementioned 4 kids and my Papa Bob who she married a couple years before I was born). She’s never driven in her life, yet she’s never been unemployed. She used to walk about a mile up and down hill to get to the bus stop in heels, in Erie.

She still dresses with class. She stays up later than any of my parents to win at Bingo.

In the past year she’s wallpapered her kitchen, which included moving the fridge. (You can see this in the background of the picture.) She has also taken the carpet out of her bedroom by herself.

You need to re-read that last sentence. She’s older than 75 and she pulled all of her furniture out of the bedroom (bed, dresser, desk, etc.) then she cut up the carpet, rolled it up and dragged it out to the curb. Then she took out the padding!

This past summer when we were visiting Erie for a couple of weeks she had said that her lawn needed mowed, both my dad and I told her we’d do it. The next evening we were at her house and saw that the lawn was already done, we mentioned it and her reply was, “Oh, it’s okay I did it from about noon til 2 in the afternoon.” The hottest part of the day!

She snow-blows her sloped driveway too.

I’ve never seen her run. I’ve never seen her swim. She just doesn’t do it.

She could take you.

I’m sure of it.

Even with a fifth of gin in her and one eye not working.

New Word: Orative

My mom “invented” a new word today, or at least a word that should be a word.

That new, magical word is:


I want to try flesh out a little more what the word means exactly, but it’s something like, “relating to something that contains oration or public speeking.”

Here’s the context of the conversation where it first occurred:

Me:We’ve been sitting in meetings the past two days… my brain is fried.
Mom: Bible study or meetings?
Me: Beginning of the semester meetings.
Mom: Interactive or orative?
Me: Interactive, we’ve been having teem meetings.