My wonderful daughter, Jenny, is down in Washington DC on her eighth grade field trip.  Their first visit yesterday afternoon was to Arlington National Cemetery to visit the tomb of the unknown soldier and her grandfather.  This is the first time that a member of our family has visited the site where Dad’s ashes are buried, and guess what, there was a typo on the plaque.  My father’s name is Richard R. Cheswick and they have him as Richard J. Cheswick.  Needless to say, we’re getting that fixed.


Dad's incorrect marker at Arlington

Since I haven’t written about Dad’s burial, I thought I would include some of the pictures from his service.  Arlington does an amazing job honoring our veterans.

My father was honorably discharged as a Captain in the United States Army Air Corps.  He was a member of  the Eighth Air Force, 365th Bomb Group. Dad was a navigator and flew in B17s, the Flying Fortress.  He completed 29 missions bombing strategic locations throughout Europe during World War II.  He never thought he would make it out alive.  He considered the next 62 years bonus years.

After a simple service at a chapel in the middle of Arlington, we walked outside to witness Dad’s ashes being carried by a horse drawn casson with a full military guard.

While my mother sat in the back of the limo, the rest of us got out and walked behind the casson.  It was easily a 15 minute walk through hallowed ground. Lawn mowers stopped, pedestrians stopped, everyone saluted the passing procession.

Once we got to the Columbarium where his ashes were going to be placed, solidiers stood at attention, ready to fire the 21 gun salute.

I wish that Dad had been alive to see that day.  He would have been uncommonly proud and also amazed that a young kid from Rockville Centre, New York would spend eternity at Arlington.  It was a hugely proud day for our family and somehow I think, Dad knows where he rests.


Life Coaching Day to Day
Beware of toxic people

There are people in the world who should wear this sign. Lucky me! I met one of them this morning.

Her aura was toxic which I know sounds so hokey, but I knew as soon as I looked in her eyes that she was trouble.

I also allowed myself to get sucked into her orbit.

I should know better.

The Story….

I need a medical information form completed before the weekend. Charlie gave it to me today, Tuesday, and he needs it by Saturday. My son is a wrestler and has made it into the New England tournament. This is a very big deal in his world.  As a wrestler he needs to prove that he is in good health – not infected with ring worm or any other disease that can be spread through close body contact.

I know. I know. TMI

So I drive over to the pediatrician’s office to drop off the form at 8AM. The conversation between myself and two nurses behind the counter goes something like this…..

Do we do these forms?

Should we charge her $20 to complete this?

I have never seen this type of form before.

You need to submit these forms at least two weeks in advance.

We have to look up this information in our files.

We can complete the form and mail it back to you.

When I explain that this matter requires some urgency and that I am willing to drive back and pick up the form when its ready. I get “the look”. You all know what that look is….

It’s the look that says you are an asshole.

It’s the look that says you are bothering me.

It’s the look that says you have unreal expectations.

It’s the look that says, you are not on my priority list.

I write my name and phone number on the proffered envelope, comment that it is clear that I have annoyed them, and ask them to call me when the form is ready. As I am stomping out, I offer to give them $20 for their trouble.

The Lesson

Don’t let yourself get sucked into their stuff.

I sunk to their level.

I got back into the car snarling at myself with a litany of things I should have said to them to put them in their place.

Then I took a breath.

This is not good, especially since I pride myself on being somewhat tuned into my feelings and those of others.

This is their stuff.

Not mine.

Let them keep it.