Monday, May 16, 2011


We never know what paths we will follow in our time here on earth, but I do know it will be filled with a plethora of surprises and moments that take our breath away.  Some of these moments will be sorrowful and many will be of pride and awe-inspiring.  That's life, folks!  We have to take one day at a time in order to experience all that we are here for.  These past weeks were an emotional roller coaster as we lost two amazing men who succumbed to cancer ~ my buddy since third grade, Joe Mondlak, and our friend, Ken Jones, cowboys 'til the end.  Both men filled our world with fun and laughter and have left a hole in my heart by their demise.  Joe had the gift of gab and could chat for hours on end and Ken always had the best sense of humor and an eternal smile on his face, which always included that cheshire grin.  He was a true cowboy and loved being in the southwest and rode horses and his beloved Harley.  Now he can hit the heavens hard.  Both guys fought their battles as long as they could and when it was time, they gracefully went on to higher ground. I  was given a strange sign, for when they passed on, I noticed lights in the form of a rainbow on two separate nights and believe all is well up in the heavens.  Farewell, my friends...until we meet again. xo
Melissa ~ John ~ Carrie ~ Robert ~ Jason Mielzynski

As the yin and yang of balance play out, our emotions took on another form in the surprise celebration of my younger brother, John and his darling wife (and my buddy) Carrie, as they were given a party by their kids, Jason, Melissa, Robert, as well as Vanessa, Joe and Kathy, to honor their longevity as a couple.   25 years!  They were mere babes when they got together 30 years ago and are still going strong. A true testament that love conquers all in this thing called life.
Amie Grzesik (Illinois State University) and sister Melanie

We celebrated many collegiate graduations this weekend.  This is the final path the young ones take on their scholastic journey.  Sometimes it seems forever when you endure the endless tests and writing papers galore, but when they receive that diploma, the sense of accomplishment holds no bounds.  As the speakers mentioned, it is a family effort for the parents and recipients; and the sense of pride in the eyes of the parents is undeniable.  As my friend Greg Gale shared a quote by Rudyard Kipling, "for the strength of the Pack is the Wolf and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack."
Jim ~ Nicole (Columbia College Chicago (with honors) ~ Karen Payne

Bill and Brittney Lutz (Joliet Junior College)

Donovan ~ Colin Shively (Columbia College Chicago) ~ Steve

Cody and Karen (ultimate Bulls fans)

And while all this was happening, our beloved Bulls came closer to winning the championship by defeating the Miami Heat last night.  Their perseverence and team efforts led by the amazing MVP Derrick Rose, left the fans breathless. 

I offer a shout out to Amanda and Greg for their accomplishments as well. 

Life is a highway ~ keep riding it with gusto; and when you arrive at your destination, count your blessings, and forge ahead with your head held high.  Happy trails ~ God bless you all. xo