Beauty

by Pat Antonopoulos

There are times when I am so annoying. Something gets hold of my sense of “right-with-the-world and I latch onto the subject with brain, voice and typing fingers.

This is one of those times, so be fair and fore warned.

Yesterday, the authors of Four Ordinary Women were interviewed by Rachel of the Kansas City Star. Allison, also from the Kansas City Star, took photographs and added to the fun of the experience.

We sat around the table in Patti’s beautiful kitchen answering questions, offering opinions and sharing insights. Rachel and Allison gave snippets of their lives as they recorded our interview. Towards the end of the interview, Wood, Mary Morgan, Andrew and Meghan gathered in the kitchen. Quietly, they watched their Mom and friends as they worked to keep a calm professional demeanor that threatened to give way to bursts of the joy connected with this step along the road of Four Ordinary Women.

Here is where brain and heart are going to falter. I don’t think I have the words to usher the feelings of this experience. We ranged from teens to seventy, with generational steps between—students, young professionals, creative and employed adults, mother managing this wonderful family while giving volunteer hours and a retired grandmother. Listening, responding, smiling and engaged attention to one another made the hour dissolve into a moment of pure enjoyment. If laughter and concern for others can cure any ailments, we all came away much healthier and definitely more appreciative of this gift of many facets—Four Ordinary Women.

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A Tribute

by Pat Antonopoulos

Grandpa
G.P.
Papa
Hahba

One man, four names given by four grandchildren.

An arbitrary decision made by card manufacturers has designated today as a time to appreciate generations of fathers. We probably need that yearly prompt reminding us to honor dads, thanking them for the years of intense commitment to protecting us body and spirit.

Our tributes are laurels for every man who deserves the title and who lives the responsibility.

A more specific and personal tribute is for Grandpa-G.P.-Papa-Hahba, a man who, by saying, I Do! accepted a ready-made family. It is this family who gave him the joy of four grandchildren. He has truly honored his role of step dad, protecting body and spirit in all his five chosen children.

Today, he is husband, step dad, father-in-law and grandfather. And he lives these promises 365 days year to year to year. There are no cards or gifts to honor that level of commitment. From deep in the heart…thank you.

We Are Launched/ Keeler Women’s Center

by Pat Antonopoulos

Funny. I thought I would open the blog and my fingers would do this automatically…that all the emotions of my heart and head would spill through my fingers…that this one would write itself. Not happening easily. Who knew that appreciation and gratitude could produce overload.

On Thursday, June 11, Patti Dickinson, Jo Ann Stanley and I gave our first Four Ordinary Women presentation and signing event at Keeler Women’s Center. Shawna Samuel, our fourth fellow author could not attend.

Sister Carol Ann and Sister Barbara were gracious and welcoming, doing much to calm our butterfly jitters.

I was reacquainted with the sure and certain knowledge that the audience makes a huge difference. The women and men attending our event were amazing—smiling, nodding, making eye contact and generally giving us the feed-back that made the presentation flow with ease.
Questions were pertinent and important. Their comments gave us an inch or two of new height as we tended to do that float-off-the-ground thing—just a bit.

From pretty overwhelming apprehension to total fun and appreciation in just over one hour! Who knew?

My parents taught appreciation and the importance was not lost, but this Keeler event has done much to reinforce that life lesson. As I continue to float around on this cloud, I know why the cloud is firmly in place.

The foundation is our book, Four Ordinary Women, and the hours to months to years that Patti and I have invested in this endeavor. We have been supported by the ongoing encouragement and help from Wood Dickinson, Bob Antonopoulos, my son, Chris Day, and Jim Riordan at Seven Locks. Keeler Women’s Center has given us our first big step and the audience made that step more fun and productive than I dared to imagine.

My most sincere thanks and deep appreciation.

A Death in Kansas

by Pat Antonopoulos

This is not a statement of my personal beliefs concerning abortion. It is not my intention to address my beliefs and/or the beliefs of others concerning abortion.

These facts were reported on the radio early today.
Dr. George Tiller, M.D. is dead, shot while ushering at his place of worship in Wichita, Kansas.
Dr. Tiller performed abortions at the clinic started by his father. He leaves a wife of 45 years, several children and ten grandchildren. The shooter a 51 year old male, lived in the Kansas City area.
Again, these are the facts as reported on the radio.

That trite cliche, “Cannot get my head around this” expresses my efforts to sort through the feelings that came with the news report. Did the shooter believe himself to be the appointed executioner? Did the shooter use the pragmatic end justifies the means to make the decision to pull that trigger? Had the shooter agonized balancing his beliefs concerning abortion with his beliefs concerning the murder of a man? Was this act his considered sacrifice—the sacrifice of Dr. Tiller and the sacrifice of himself?

Perhaps some of these questions will be answered as the story is covered by news sources, by pro life supporters and by pro choice groups, by organizations defending the legal status of abortion and church groups defending their beliefs. Each group will have the opportunity to see the act as reflected in their position statements, to balance as their beliefs dictate.

Again…this is in no way a statement of my personal beliefs regarding abortion.

But it is a statement of mourning, of grief for this act, and the ramifications of the act. Grief for what led to the shooting, grief for the symbolism of shooting a person in a church,
and grief for what will most likely follow this Sunday morning shooting.