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Archive for May, 2010

I was part of something yesterday that was at once sad, beautiful, instructive, and uplifting.

The event was a memorial service for my brother/bff Robert J. Holland’s departed mother, Meda Rae Branham Holland. She died May 19 after a long and debilitating illness.

The event was called “a service of praise and remembrance”. It was all that and much more. The memorial was conducted by Robert and his father, Joseph Holland, at their Baptist church in Mechanicsville, Virginia. The church was packed, a commentary on the lives Robert’s mother had touched.

 Joseph, 77, but looking all of 60, was a rock of loving strength. He and Meda Rae had been together for 61 years, raising three daughters and a son, Robert. They have 11 grandchildren. 

Joseph’s words of tribute and remembrance were not only sweet and loving, but were instructive and uplifting to anyone who heard them. His words held great lessons  — of life and death, life after death, and living fully in the moments we are given.

Joseph said you can describe some people as porcelain or as Tupperware. With a playful but loving smile, he said with excellent comedic timing, “Meda Rae was Tupperware,” to laughs of understanding from the audience. “She was flexible, strong, useful, and sturdy,” Joseph said.  To an outsider, the “Tupperware” characterization might seem callous, but after 61 years together, it was proof of love and understanding that transcends all space and time.

Robert spoke on his childhood with his three sisters. Their’s was a loving, Christian household, but there were rules, too. Robert’s parents never wished to be “best friends” with their kids. They were parents, responsible for bringing up their children to be responsible adults. Born and raised in West Virginia, Meda Rae Branham Holland knew good from evil, and she raised her children with a firm but loving hand.

Regarding their work with my best friend Robert, a first class father in his own right, Joseph and Meda Rae Holland succeeded admirably.

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We play hurt

I am watching the Yankees play the Twins. It is interesting to hear about the injuries that baseball players receive. A player might be put on the disabled list for such things as a bruised heel or a sprained index finger.

That’s quite different from football. In football, the injuries seem to be much more severe before they will even be acknowledged.

For example, in football, imaginary starter Vladimir Turftoe might be put on the disabled list and miss a game because someone tore off his left leg.

“But, I kin pley de game!” Turftoe might assert. However, a sensitive and caring team-mate would helpfully point out, “Vlad, you can’t run! That defensive guy tore off your left leg.”

“But I kin hop, dimmit!”

Heck, Dancing With the Stars stars get hurt worse than baseball players and still dance. I think I heard Maks and Derek both say “we dance hurt” on more than one occasion.

You’ve got to be tough to make it in this life. You have to work hurt, play hurt, and live hurt. But after all, it’s only pain.

Ask Vladimir Turftoe.

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I am interested in the influence of Web 2.0 technologies on my Millennial Generation students, those born between 1981 and 2001.  Also known as the “Net Generation”, as a group you are reputed to be the most computer-literate generation ever.

But at what cost?

My question to you Millennials is this: given the fact that you are daily users of Web 2.0 technologies (for example, instant messaging, text messaging, cell phones, social media, etc.), do you think it has an effect on your skill and ability to communicate face-to-face?

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