Tough Mom

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Wow. We don’t know about you, but this video made us tear up! Mom’s are amazing. This mother’s day, take a moment to honor your mother!

This Mother’s Day we want to celebrate mom’s who have fought the battle of breast cancer.  If you need some options for ways to honor your mother, consider making a donation in her honor.

Fundraising Websites – Crowdrise



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Looking for a light snack today?

Berry Parfait

From: Fitness

For this sweet snack, layer yogurt, granola, almonds and honey and top with fresh berries. It’s also fantastic for dessert.


Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup  low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup  low-fat granola
  • 1 teaspoon  slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon  honey
  • 1/2 cup  berries
Directions
1. Top 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt with 1/4 cup low-fat granola, 1 teaspoon slivered almonds, 1 tablespoon honey and 1/2 cup berries.
Nutrition Facts
Calories 303, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Sodium 112 mg, Carbohydrate 52 g, Fiber 6 g, Protein 15 g.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet


Inspirational Story: Escaping The Storm

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Multi-colored storm front.

Escaping The Storm

Earlier this summer when Dean and Brenda Rummel were traveling from Colorado to their home north of Kendallville, Indiana, they took a new route to avoid Chicago’s traffic and potholes.

Dean is a real estate agent and Brenda is principal of Prairie Heights Middle School. Their motorcycle trips have taken them to every state except Alaska and Hawaii. However, on this trip, their motorcycle broke down in the middle of nowhere — but really they were in just the right place.

The breakdown led to numerous new friendships. Terry and Pat Svetlecich brought them back home in their motor home and pulled the motorcycle on a trailer. They even dropped the bike off at a Honda shop.

“That’s just me,” Terry told the Morris newspaper. “Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?”

In return, the Rummels insisted their new friends stay the night in Indiana and made them a home-cooked meal.

The Morris, Illinois, newspaper wrote about the Rummels’ experience because Brenda sent a thank you note to the community. People who read her letter to the editor asked the newspaper to tell the rest of the story.

I found out about the story through a random Google e-mail alert.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I called Dean and Brenda and told them I had read about them online in the Morris newspaper. They had not seen the article. Then Dean shared with me another story from the same remarkable journey.

The day before their breakdown they were whizzing through Iowa on I-80. Surprisingly, the low fuel light went on. Dean knew he shouldn’t be low on fuel, but he also knew he couldn’t ignore it. There weren’t many places to get fuel so he got off at the nearest exit and found a gas station.

When he “filled up” he found out the tank would only take about three gallons. It confirmed what he thought and the gas level was not low.

A shove on his shoulder made him turn around. It was a woman who seemed to have come out of nowhere.

“There’s a storm coming. Power lines will come down. High winds,” she said. “Get off the road.”

Dean and Brenda were startled. The sky at the gas station was clear. There was no storm in sight. They did not understand the woman’s concern and they decided to continue on I-80 to their destination 100 miles away.

The woman’s tone was urgent.

“Folks, get off the road,” she repeated. “Get off the road! There’s a bad storm coming!”

The woman’s persistence and her urgent tone made Dean change his mind and head for Iowa City, 12 miles away.

As they sped toward Iowa City, storm clouds suddenly popped up. They increased their speed, racing toward Iowa City. With every passing moment the sky became more threatening. They found a hotel and quickly checked in.

The minute they shut the door behind them, the storm struck with fury. Raging winds threw tree limbs across the road. The storm was so strong that the electricity went out for 2-1/2 hours.

Escaping the storm’s fury seemed like a miracle.

Looking back, Dean believes the woman who warned them and then disappeared must have been an angel.

~ Grace Housholder ~


Inspirational Quotes for Difficult times

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Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison

Tough times never last, but tough people do.” – Robert Schuller

Arise awake and stop not till the goal is reached.” – Swami Vivekananda

I walk slowly, but I never walk backward.” – Abraham Lincoln

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” – Joseph Kennedy

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!”
- Movie Quote from ‘Rocky Balboa’



Breast Cancer Awareness Is More Than Wearing Pink

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Published: Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 5:41 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 5:41 p.m.

There are only a few things in this world that turn your blood cold and cause your heart to fall into your stomach.

One of these things is finding out you or a loved one has a life-threatening disease. This happened to me about a year and a half ago when I was told my 77-year-old mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. It is one of those things that changes you forever and you never quite look at the world in the same way.

Fortunately, it was caught early enough that she made a full recovery, but only after watching her suffer through radical surgery and months of debilitating treatment. It is something I wish no one would ever have to witness or go through themselves. My mother is one of the strongest people I know who refused to let this evil control her life. Even through the nausea and weakness, she would always put on a smile and pull herself together to spoil her grandkids and try to ease the worry that the family lived with constantly.

Though she lost her hair and suffered other physical torments, she soldiered on and beat the odds that were stacked against her. She is an inspiration and a true representation of how determination and faith can overcome anything put before you. It is also a testament on how getting regular checkups can prevent getting into a situation that unfortunately cannot be fixed.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it is a wonderful opportunity to inform and educate all people about the issues surrounding this horrible illness. You will see everyone from professional football players to musicians showing their support for research and education for breast cancer by wearing pink. On Oct. 2, 3,000 women participated in the 18th annual Women’s Only 5K Walk/Run for Breast Cancer in Greensboro to raise money for a mammography scholarship fund that will benefit low-income women and those who are uninsured.

Although struggling with being treated for breast cancer, Susan G. Komen was more concerned about how other people were dealing with breast cancer in there own lives and what could be done to ease their suffering. At her death, Susan’s sister, Nancy Brinker, started the Susan G. Komen Foundation in 1982 as a promise to her sister to end breast cancer forever. It is now the global leader of the breast cancer movement, having invested nearly $1.5 billion since inception.

But wearing pink and raising money for research will not be enough to eradicate this disease. Each person must do their individual part by talking about the issue, explaining what to look for and having regular preventative examinations. If you find a lump or feel something just isn’t right, don’t dismiss it. Take action on the side of being cautious.

If there is nothing wrong then you are out nothing, but catching it early can make the difference between life and death. Do it for your loved ones, if nothing else. And don’t think of it as just a women’s disease. Although it makes up less than 1 percent of all cases, men have also died from breast cancer. To me, that is 1 percent too many.

I am one of the fortunate people who succeeded in the fight with cancer in my family, but just the thought of losing my mother still shakes me to my soul. It is a thought no one should ever have to have. I hope everyone will take action by making a donation, participating in a fundraising event, giving items to the cancer center or simply just volunteering your time.

My mother wears a pink bracelet on her wrist with the message: Hope, Strength, Faith and Courage. She says it has helped her many times while dealing with all the treatments and the horrible side effects. I will follow her lead and keep that message close to my heart. I hope for the best, I will be strong when dealing with the unpleasant reality, I have faith that God will protect those who are fighting for their lives and I will have the courage to speak out about the need to find a cure for this disease.

No one should ever have this horrible, disfiguring monster disrupt his or her lives ever again. And although I don’t say it enough, I love you Mom and I am inspired by you.

Sharon Myers is a married mother of two. She is a graduate of Lexington Senior High and received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from East Carolina University.



Quotes on Bravery

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Japanese proverb: Bravery Quotes
Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.

Bertrand Russell: Bravery Quotes
Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.

Unknown Author: Bravery Quotes
Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death.

Emily Dickinson: Bravery Quotes
Finite to fail, but infinite to venture.

Corita Kent: Bravery Quotes
Flowers grow out of darker moments.

Anthony Robbins: Bravery Quotes
Focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear.

John Greenleaf Whittier: Bravery Quotes
For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, “It might have been”.

Victor Hugo: Bravery Quotes
For man’s greatest actions are performed in minor struggles. Life, misfortune, isolation, abandonment and poverty are battlefields which have their heroes – obscure heroes who are at times greater than illustrious heroes.

William Durant: Bravery Quotes
Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget about everything except what you’re going to do now – and do it.

John Dryden: Bravery Quotes
Fortune befriends the bold.

The above list of quotations is page 1 of a collection of motivational and inspirational quotes on Courage.



Young Survival Stories

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You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  ~Eleanor Roosevelt

 

Survivor Stories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angela ‘s Story, diagnosed at 19

 

 

By: Angela Springstead

 


I was 19 and attending college when I noticed a lump in my left breast. It was extremely painful and there was dimpling next to the lump. I went to the college’s health care center to see the nurse. She of course told me that the lump was nothing to worry about. When I had asked her about the dimpling, she said that she did not have an answer for that. She then gave me some Advil for the pain and sent me on my way. About a week after that, it was Christmas break. I had mentioned to my mom that I had a lump in my breast and she and my boyfriend encouraged me to go and get it checked out. I called and scheduled a surgery for Jan. 20, 1999. Of course now I was really terrified. What was I going to do if it was cancer? The day of the surgery finally came. I went in and about 45 minutes later I was waking up on the operating table being told that I had cancer. The tumor was 1.8 cm. I am sure you can imagine the shock I was in. I mean I was only 19!!! This is not supposed to happen to someone my age.

I was told a few days later that I was going to need another surgery to remove my lymph nodes. I proceeded to call Roswell Park Cancer Institute and have them do my next surgery. I went in for my second surgery on Feb.5. They proceeded to go back in where I had my lumpectomy done and clean up the margins and remove some chest muscle. They also removed most of my lymph nodes under my arm. My doctor told me that I had a microscopic spot in one of my nodes so my cancer was considered Stage II. I also found out that my cancer was estrogen positive. We then started to talk about chemotherapy treatments, radiation, and Tamoxifen. The chemotherapy would only help me by 5%, but the radiation and the Tamoxifen were the things that I would benefit most from. Of course, I decided to take the chemotherapy, even though I knew the chances of it helping me were small. I started my chemotherapy in March. I was going to be receiving the type of chemotherapy called Adriamycin and Cytoxan (also known as AC). I had to go every 3 weeks for 3 months. This was the worst experience of my life. During treatment, I lost a lot of weight and my hair. I ended up not taking the last of my 4 treatments. My body just couldn’t take it anymore. I felt like it was slowly killing me. That is when I realized that it was not worth it for 5%. In June, I started my radiation. I had to go for 5 days a week for 6 ½ weeks. That was a breeze compared to the chemo!! Besides having a little redness I didn’t have any discomfort at all. I had started to take my Tamoxifen near the end of my radiation treatments. I take a 20 mg pill once a day. The hot flashes were really bad at first but they have gotten a lot better even though I still get them every once in awhile. I also have the muscular and skeletal pain, fatigue and no sex drive (that is also due to the chemo and) from the Tamoxifen, but I can’t complain too much because the Tamoxifen is helping save my life. I also had my reconstructive surgery done in March of 2000.Survivor Stories

Erica’s Story, diagnosed at 28By: Erica McArdleFirst of all I am 28 years old, and I am a Breast Cancer Survivor. Yeaaah! I can say I am a Survivor now. This is how it all started: I was taking my morning shower and noticed a small lump in my breast. I didn’t want to make too much of it, but I mentioned it to my boyfriend Paul. Of course, he was concerned and told me I needed to make an appointment. But instead of listening to both his and my concern, I tried to put it at the back of my mind; I figured I had to be overreacting.

It wasn’t until a few weeks after my discovery, while attending a Relay For Life event, that I decided I should take it more seriously. I heard Jamie Ledezma (now a dear friend of mine) speaking about the moment she discovered her lump, which seemed so similar to mine, only she was 27 and pregnant. “Wow” I thought, “if she can do it, so can I.”

I made an appointment immediately and first saw a Nurse Practitioner who gave me a standard breast exam. She felt the lump, but told me that I was too young and couldn’t possibly have cancer. Once again I felt like I was just being paranoid. I remember trying to make myself believe that it was probably just a simple cyst.

So, I got “the call” while driving to pick up Paul from work. The Nurse Practitioner was the one telling me the news, that: the biopsy was positive. Hmmm, funny that this is the same lady who said “You’re too young,” I AM NOT TOO YOUNG. It hit hard, but I held it together the best that I could. I went to pick Paul up and had him drive. I waited what seemed to be forever until we got home and inside. I told him I had cancer, and then I broke down and cried.

One of the hardest parts of this for me was remaining mentally strong. My emotions were my biggest battle; I knew I needed to stay positive, I knew if I stayed positive I would get through it. But there were days it just wasn’t that easy. I was deeply hurt when I realized that the people in my life I stood by through good times and bad, seemed to stay focused on themselves when I needed their support. But it’s funny how it plays out. Over time, I made amazing discoveries in other friends and was able to fully recognize and appreciate what a truly wonderful man I had.

A day that sticks out in my mind is the day my hair first started thinning out, my scalp ached so badly that I had to ask Paul to shave my head. I was mortified at the idea that he would see me bald. I couldn’t even imagine looking at myself this way let alone anyone else. But Paul assured me that anything that would make me feel better would make him feel better too. With that being said I was eager to get it off, what a relief … my head no longer ached. And what a wonderful gift it is too have a man who loves you unconditionally.

During the first few weeks of my treatment I was asked to write a story for Valley Health Magazine for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, they asked me if I would be willing to do the cover without my wig. WOW, another big step for me, but I remembered a story I had seen of Stefanie LaRue. She was 30 and diagnosed with Stage IV Advanced/Metastatic Breast Cancer. She did an interview and didn’t wear a wig, and she was such an inspiration to me. I knew after seeing her story that I too wanted to make a difference. So I didn’t hesitate more than a few seconds and agreed. I did it and I am proud.

Shortly after the publication of the magazine, a local news station asked me to do an interview, mind you I am usually very private about things. I agreed once again, here I was, with chemo brain (very forgetful and cloudy) doing my best to maintain confidence.

My chemo treatments went very well; my last treatment was October 16, 2007. My tumor was aggressive (when cancer strikes the young, it tends to strike more aggressively and requires more aggressive treatment), so Dr. Perkins treated it aggressively with four rounds of A/C and four rounds of Taxol. The tumor shrank from 4 cm down to 1 cm. Shortly after chemo was over, Paul planned a trip to the coast to celebrate. It wasn’t just to celebrate the end of chemo; he took me to a really nice Wellness Resort, and later that evening at dinner he got down on one knee and purposed. Of course I said yes. We have already been through “good times and bad” and “sickness and health”. Getting engaged was truly my dream come true.

The following Monday after our weekend away, we received the genetic testing results for the BRCA 1 & 2 gene and there was no mutation detected. That was great news … at least I knew that a double mastectomy wouldn’t be necessary. The surgery decision came as such a relief, my doctor said I would be having a lumpectomy. And to think this whole time I was mentally preparing myself for a double mastectomy. I know I was completely blessed! Now all that’s left is radiation to be sure there are no more remaining cancer cells in the area. I should be done with it all on February 14th, Valentines Day!

This experience has helped me to realize what is most important in my life, it helped me see life in a different perspective. I couldn’t imagine doing this without the love of my life, my fiancé Paul. Without him this would have been much more of a struggle, I would have been alone. NEVER did he leave my side. He went to EVERY single appointment and made sure I was taken care of EVERY single moment, even the bitchiest ones. That’s why this was never just my battle … it was OUR battle and WE kicked cancer’s ass!

I honestly believe that because I am young and because of the progress research has made over the last 10 years, we were able to fight this and did not have to share the fate of my parents. I see my age as a blessing because being so young when diagnosed allowed my body to endure a more aggressive chemotherapy regimen than if I were older. However, if there is one thing I could tell other young women is that there is no longer an age for breast cancer.

Early detection and early treatment are crucial for ALL women, at every age. I believe others can increase their chances of early detection if mammograms were not made out to be only important to women over 40. Get involved … let’s fight for a cure.

Stories courtesy of www.youngsurvival.org



Quote of the Day

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View ImageWomen agonize… over cancer; we take as a personal threat the lump in every friend’s breast.  ~Martha Weinman Lear, Heartsounds



Thoughtful Thursday

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October is just around the corner, which means breast cancer awareness month is right around the corner! If you are looking to get involved in the fight against breast cancer, October is just the month to host your own fundraiser!

Here are some great ideas to help you get started!……Help BCCA out and make an impact in women’s lives!  For more information on The Breast Cancer Charities of America visit  www.thebreastcancercharities.org

Do you want to host an event or fundraiser in your local community to benefit iGoPink/BCCA? Check out some of the great DIY event ideas listed below with step-by-step instructions to make your fundraiser be successful, easy to host and lots of fun for a good cause. If you would like to host an event to donate to our charity please fill out our Registration Form

For more information on hosting your own event check out this link!  Third Party Event FAQs 

If you are also thinking of becoming a sponsor please check out this form. Pink Partners FAQ 

 

Host a barbecue fundraiser in your own backyard! Planning a barbecue fundraiser can be lots of fun especially when the weather is right. Barbecue fundraisers are a great way to raise money for breast cancer: the host earns funds for breast cancer quickly and guests get a delicious meal at a good price.
involved today

 

Host a pink potluck, raising awareness for breast cancer. This is a great way to plan a meal for your event and get people involved! Try hosting the pink potluck at your house, even in your backyard if the weather is nice.
Get involved today 

 

Host Bunco for Breast Cancer event to raise awareness for breast cancer! Bunco fundraisers are an entertaining and successful way to raise money for The Breast Cancer Charities of America.
Read more

 

Why not hold a Basket Bingo Fundraiser event? This is an exciting way to get people spending money for a worthy cause. People enjoy playing bingo and want to help the fight against breast cancer.
Read more

 

NO SELLING! NO LISTS! NO PICKUP OR DELIVERY DATES! NO DEADLINES! NO MERCHANDISE! What a deal!
Read more

 

Host a pink out picnic in your backyard! This event takes a little more work because a pink out picnic fundraiser means choosing creative announcements, determining an entrance fee, preparing food, finding volunteers, and lining up a raffle to bring in even more funds for The Breast Cancer Charities of America.
Read more

 

The student who collects the most donations gets to pick a teacher to dye their hair/mustache/beard PINK FOR A WEEK!
Read more

 

I hereby pledge to do my best in school, to have a winning attitude, and to be on my best behavior every day. Would you be willing to pledge a few dollars for my A’s & B’s to help raise money for The Breast Cancer Charities of America?
Read more

 

 

Celebrate with friends and family at home with “cosmos for a cause”! It’s a great way to bond, make memories, let loose, and support Breast Cancer Charities of America!  DIY Cosmos



Thoughts for Thursday

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For today’s thoughts for Thursday, I found this heartwarming letter from a father to his children. It is his reaction to 9/11. I know it’s a few days before 9/11, but his words are so powerful that I would like to share them with everybody. I hope you enjoy.

A Dad’s Letter

Dear Children,

Within the brain of almost every living American there are dates that are indelibly etched there, numbers that are as real to us as figures written into a granite stone. We carry these dates with us in our heads until we at last rest under the stones bearing our own final numbers: December 7, 1941 (Pearl Harbor). November 22, 1963 (Pres. Kennedy assassination). April 19, 1995 (Oklahoma City bombing).

And now, September 11, 2001.

Your mother asked me to write something about this last date, so that when you get older we can talk about how it felt back then, what it was like to live through that terrible day and the long days and nights that followed. So that she and I might have something to look back to, when you begin to ask the questions that will come.

To the hard question that you will ask: “Why Daddy?” I have no answer. I don’t think that in my lifetime anyone will be able to answer that one. Your lives may come and go, too, before someone can at last explain. How do you begin to apply logic, or common sense, to such utter madness? Your father does not know.

As I write you just three days after this horrific disaster, I have many unanswered questions of my own. And at this early date there is so much that remains unknown. But in trying to look ahead and prepare for the day that will come, the day that you sit on my knee and say: “Today we talked about the World Trade Center in school. What do you remember, Daddy?” I know that I will tell you this: I was afraid.

“Daddy afraid?” You ask. Yes, children, and the fear that I feel today grows upon me like a small irritation in the eye. At first it is just an annoyance. But the more you work at it, the harder you rub, the more uncomfortable it becomes until at last you are overwhelmed by the pain.

Kids, I would be lying to you if I said that it is not my own life that I fear for. I’m only forty-two years old, and although that may sound ancient to you, it’s a terribly young age to die. But even if I was to die today, I would have lived a fairly full life. My fear, my beloved children, my gifts from God, is that we may now be living in an age where you may not be given the chance to reach this age. This is the very heart of my fear.

I fear that your mother and I have brought the three of you into a world where you can no longer come and go as you please, where safety and well-being are no longer things that can be taken for granted. I fear that I will spend each and every day for the rest of my life wondering if this is the day, the day that one of you fails to return home alive.

The world changed in a moment September 11, 2001. It took just eighteen minutes to go from praying that it was an accident to knowing that evil had taken on a new face and that all of the old rules had changed. Everything became suddenly darker when those billowing black clouds of smoke drifted across the sky of New York, of Washington, and of Pennsylvania. The shadows that they cast fell upon the hearts of every American who has one. And how quickly we learned, my children, to tell the difference between Americans with hearts and those without.

Even as the tapping of survivors could still be heard coming from under the rubble of the wreckage, there were people whose only thoughts were of how to add to the mayhem. They called in false bomb threats, to the airports, to bridges, to the sites of devastation in New York and at the Pentagon, costing rescue workers to lose valuable time, perhaps even costing life itself. God Himself will deal with these people; I will say no more of them.

Let me instead tell you of the heroes. The people of true heart. Thousands upon thousands of them. Firemen, police and port authority personnel. Civilians. People with no other vested interest than that of caring for their fellow man. Men and women who, despite the overwhelming danger, rushed forward, towards harm’s path, trying to help the wounded, and many of whom ultimately gave their lives. People from across the country who, wanting to do something, anything, stood in line for hours waiting to donate blood. Rescue workers who stayed awake and at the sites for not just hour after hour, but for days.

From this amazing display of resilience, children, I think that I can find something to help me move forward too. All is not lost. Kids, did you know that your father once worked in a steel mill? It is there that I learned the word tempered, and I would like to tell you a little something about it. Steel is not very strong children. Not until you expose it to extreme heat, that is. Then once the steel is cooled by placing it in water, it becomes amazingly strong. Tempered.

My very soul has been tempered. Heated to the extreme by the massive fireballs that engulfed the World Trade Center. Then cooled to ice like temperatures by the thought that someone dare bring this terror to our homeland. I am further strengthened by the acts of those gallant firemen whose unselfish bravery left so many of them lying buried beneath tons of concrete, dead or dying. How can I let fear drive my actions now when so many others have acted so fearlessly?

With these actions to guide me, this is how I will brave our dangerous new world. I will not cower before thugs. I will not bend to the will of terrorist. I will be ever mindful of the new dangers we face, but I will not let the mindless action of madmen determine my fate. I will stride ever forward determined to do the very best for you that I am able. I will protect you from harm where I can, and pray to God to protect you where I can’t. And I will place all of my faith in Him to help us along our way.

May God watch over you, my children. May He bless our family, our friends, and our country.

I love you.

Dad

~ Author Unknown ~