Sad News

02 Jun 2009 11:04 am

Grief is the worst of lifes’ maladies. It appears at the unlikeliest of times and pierces the soul clean through.


On February 8th, 2006 my 26 year old nephew, Matt died of an undiagnosed heart ailment. Last Friday his older sister, Annabeth died suddenly in Florida. Amy, the driver of the car in the above photo has lost both her brother and sister in the span of three years. Her parents have lost two well beloved children.

Unspeakable grief.


Here are Annabeth and Matt during their childhoods.





Here is the poetic tribute my husband wrote for his sweet niece, Annabeth. (Annabe) My sister, Lucy did the beautiful calligraphy.

28 Dec 2008 01:29 am


The wonderful Sissy Willis and her husband, Tuck have had the saddest news today. Their beloved cat, Babe has died. Babe along with his sibling, Tiny have been the sweet stars of Sissy’s blog, sisu and her whimsical photography and writing about the two zany and beautiful kitties have always brightened the darkest day for many.

I count myself among the many.

Babe was born in an attic closet twelve years ago in Sissy and Tuck’s home. Thanks to Sissy there was no hiding Babe’s dazzling light under a bushel.

Babe recently starred in Sissy’s latest beautiful Christmas card.

I send my sincere condolences to the Willis family. It always hurts to lose a pet because they are members of the family but to lose them in the Christmas season is an even deeper hurt.

Sissy’s blog friend, Ellison offered a loving tribute.

Oh, Babe, I will miss you.

26 Nov 2008 06:25 pm

Taking a break from cleaning the house before the return of the Charlotte and her Thanksgiving guest, a fellow law school student who is a fascinating young woman, born in Paris on Bastille Day, the very day a year after her older brother had been born in Lebanon in 1982 during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

The first birth was premature, brought on by the terror of the bombs in Lebanon, the second birth was also premature, brought on by the noise of the fireworks in Paris. The Christian Lebanese family eventually were able to move to the United States where they brought their children up in Alabama.

Anyway, the shopping is done, the cleaning is ongoing and I need a break.

Checking out the non-Turkey news I find this Instapundit link to Ed Driscoll who has a New Silicon Graffiti Video about anger in politics. I like the name “A Bee in the Mouth!”


Ed interviews Peter Wood, writer of the book, “A Bee in the Mouth!”, (hence the name of the video) and gives me a new book to add to my Christmas wish list. Peter examines the anger in politics which has been growing in the past four generations.

I plead guilty to being extremely angry at my fellow Americans when they bought what Bill Clinton was selling. I was appalled, shocked, saddened and yes, angry. But I didn’t take to the road with ugly bumper stickers on my car, nor did I join an outfit like which was started up after the impeachment of Clinton. I did use what opportunities I had as a citizen and wrote one letter to the editor of a newspaper during the 1996 Presidential election arguing against the reelection of Clinton but that was before the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Clinton had done enough in my book to be sent home to Arkansas but the American people didn’t see it my way. Did I experience some bitter moments after that? Yes indeedy. But I still didn’t become a hater because I wasn’t raised that way.

Ed Driscoll linked to this review of Peter Wood’s book by Stanley Kurtz that is very illuminating and has more indepth thoughts that capture what I have been thinking lately.

Peter Wood’s book is about political anger in America but not specifically in the past election and reading Stanley Kurtz’ thought’s about Wood’s book set me off on an inferential jaunt.

I’ve been thinking about why the American people have turned against the Republicans in this election year. It wasn’t a mandate for Obama because in some states in the South, McCain won over Obama with larger percentages than President Bush beat Kerry.

The South is still very traditional but the midwest and Northeast is just about gone in that respect. Midwesterners and the Northeast might be able to take tough winters but they don’t like mean talk. After all these years of polarizing political speech, they’ve had it with politics. Whoever yelled the loudest got their attention.

The Democrats have been yelling loudest with the help of the media. They got the attention. The message was repeated over and over. The Bush Derangement Syndrome of the extreme left of the Democrat Party went mainstream. People who one would think would have been resistant to such delusions bought into that message because there really wasn’t any pushback from the White House or Bush surrogates or heaven forbid, any Republicans in Congress.

The angry message stuck. The American people bought it. Obama arrived and did his Humphrey Bogart-best. The American people bought it. The media whispered that John McCain seemed angry. The American people bought that.

Ronald Reagan was never the angry type. President Bush, God Bless Him has never been the angry type. Barack Obama seems more angry than both of these men in reality but reality matters no more.

Everything is perception which is why the Peggy Noonans of the world are working hard to make Sarah Palin unelectable. She is not an angry person, just extremely successful as a governor.

Gotta go make a pie.

I’m back from the kitchen. My husband has been watching movies in the computer room while I was blogging so I was unaware of the terror attacks in India today. Horrible.

Oh yeah, I probably won’t get back here for a while, so Happy Thanksgiving. May God comfort all the civilians and the families of those killed and injured in the terror attacks.

27 Oct 2008 07:55 pm

All of us on the center right of the blogging world gasped with unbelief when we saw the sad news that Dean Barnett had died this afternoon. I knew that he had been ill, he’d suffered from cystic fibrosis all his life, and recently had taken a turn for the worse but I had been praying and was hoping that no news was good news. Dean wrote about his disease in 2006, when he was blogging at Hugh Hewitt’s blog.

Now this evening we are grieving. I am grieving an individual who wrote like an angel, a man who never failed in his quest to write with enthusiasm, words that persuaded, exhorted and pinned any doubters against their ideological wall. And Dean did it with a smile on his face. I linked him and linked him and linked him. He never failed to respond to an email. And Dean linked to me a few times.

Dean Barnett treated an unimportant blogger from Arkansas like a big time blogger. That was just the way he was.

Dean was a prince and one of the bravest men on this earth. He will be so missed.

He already is.

May God be with his family and all of his friends.


Roger Simon pens a tribute to Dean Barnett that brings tears to the eyes.

Another UPDATE:

Gateway Pundit has posted a photo of Dean Barnett that he took of him at Blog World Expo last year. Dean had those smiling eyes.

25 Oct 2008 09:36 pm

Very sad news. Anne Pressly has passed away.

Little Rock - KATV Daybreak anchorwoman Anne Pressly, has died at the age of 26, as a result of injuries sustained earlier this week.

The staff of Channel 7 cannot express our grief at the loss of Anne, our dear friend and co-worker.

We thank everyone for their concerns and prayers for Anne and her family over the past week. Please continue to keep her family in your prayers.

The Pressly family released the following statement Saturday evening:

“We are profoundly saddened to tell you that our dear Anne has lost her struggle for life. It was our hope, as was yours, that Anne would overcome the injuries inflicted upon her in the brutal attack at her home. We were with her in her last moments, and although our hearts are broken, we are at the same time comforted by our faith knowing that Anne is now with our Heavenly Father.

There is more at the KATV website.

May God comfort Anne Pressly’s family.

Here’s hoping the police find the murderer of Anne Pressly.

Little Rock, Arkansas, once the home of former President Bill Clinton, is riddled with brutal criminals and is not unlike another city that happens to be the home of another Democrat presidential hopeful.

I look forward to the day when my own daughter graduates from law school and can say good bye for once and for all to Little Rock.

17 Jul 2008 01:42 pm


Art by Laura Lee Donoho

But life is more than bad weather. Think Snow.

That is…Tony Snow.

WASHINGTON — President Bush and the first lady were among a throng of dignitaries, media members and other mourners who gathered Thursday for the funeral of former White House press secretary and FOX News anchor Tony Snow, who died Saturday after a long, public bout with cancer.

Speaking at the funeral, Bush said Snow had “amassed a rare record of accomplishment.”

“He knew the job of a reporter was vigorous. He understood the profession and always treated it with respect,” Bush said, adding that Snow’s was a life that was “far too brief.”

The services were being held on the campus of Catholic University at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Bush also remarked on Snow’s “wry sense of humor and abundant goodness. We will also remember he was lots of fun.”

And, speaking directly to Snow’s children — Kendall, Robbie and Krisiti — he said he regularly called on Snow over weekends seeking advice to learn that he was spending time with them.

“He loved you a lot,” Bush said. “I hope you know we loved him a lot, too.”

The service, open to the public, was being held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception near Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

There is more.

Tony pointed the way for all of us in this article in Christianity Today, for through his journey in the depths of the valley of the shadow of death, he came to spiritual terms with this present world and the world to come.

15 Jul 2008 10:56 am

When I learned that Tony Snow had died Saturday morning I was out of town at a baseball tournament so couldn’t immediately acknowledge the death of a quintessential American, a man of faith, family and country. The loss of Tim Russert recently, another happy, confident, American man whose exuberant love of life, family and country was always evident, was a blow to American politics. Tim was from the left but he never left an important question unasked and he did it in an open fashion. You couldn’t help but love someone who remembered from whence he came, Buffalo, New York.

I can’t even remember when Tony Snow came into my view, it seems he was always there on my favorite television channel.

But that’s not true.

For many years before Fox News came into being, Americans were force-fed liberal factoids, nanny news and group think. I learned to use the mute button. Then I discovered the great Rush Limbaugh. American communications became more diverse with the advent of a more conservative outlook and I found some kindred spirits in the optimistic, honest American exceptionalism Rush and others espoused.

Then came Brit Hume, Fred Barnes, Sean Hannity and Tony Snow.

Tony Snow reigned supreme on Fox News Sunday for many years with his good natured and intelligent, common sense outlook. He was a fighter and a conservative but he had a calm, reasonable way of presenting his arguments. It was always a joy to watch him and a lesson for us all in how to disagree without being disagreeable. When Tony left his Sunday gig for his radio show I listened and so did my husband. I wrote a while back about a conversation my husband had with Tony on his radio show.

I send my sincere condolences to Tony’s family and friends. He left us too soon.

Way too soon. Our loss is heavens’ gain.

The Anchoress and Sissy Willis have must-read tributes to Tony.

05 Jan 2008 02:58 pm

Major Andrew Olmsted has been killed in Iraq.

DENVER (AP) An Army major from Colorado who wrote a blog from Iraq for the Rocky Mountain News was killed during an attack by insurgents.

The News reported the death of Maj. Andrew Olmsted Friday. A Defense Department release confirmed the death, saying Olmsted died Thursday with another soldier, Capt. Thomas J. Casey, 32, of Albuquerque when rebels attacked with small arms near Sadiyah.

Olmsted, who began writing for the News on May 21, asked a friend to post a final posting on his Web site if he died in Iraq. In it, Olmsted, who described himself as a libertarian, warns against making his death an argument for or against the war.

“My life isn’t a chit to be used to bludgeon people to silence on either side…I have my own opinions about what we should do about Iraq, but since I’m not around to expound on them I’d prefer others not try and use me as some kind of moral capital to support a position I probably didn’t support,'’ read the final post on

He also quoted Plato as saying “only the dead have seen the end of war.'’

Olmsted leaves behind his wife of 10 years, Amanda Wilson, of Colorado Springs.

“The news is devastating,'’ News editor John Temple said. “The major was a brave man who obviously thrived on sharing his experiences and thoughts on his blog. He provided a perspective on Iraq that would have been impossible for a journalist. Our thoughts are with his wife, family and unit.'’

May God comfort Major Olmsted’s family and friends. It’s very hard to read news like this.

“Oh and I don’t want to die for you, but if dying’s asked of me;
I’ll bear that cross with honor, ’cause freedom don’t come free.”
American Soldier, Toby Keith

Andrew’s last post is a must read. Tissues are recommended.

Blackfive has more. Of all the bloggers in the blogosphere, milbloggers are the finest and they provide the most intense reads. As I read the blogs of the soldiers in harms’ way, I always say a prayer for their safety. Even though the surge is working, our troops are still out there holding the line against terrorists.

It’s not over.

16 Jul 2006 12:47 pm


A sad day.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Lt. Gov. Win Rockefeller, the unassuming billionaire who last year abandoned a race for Arkansas governor — a post once held by his father — died Sunday after unsuccessful treatments for a blood disorder, his office said. He was 57.

Rockefeller died Sunday morning at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences with his family present, said Steve Brawner, the lieutenant governor’s spokesman. Rockefeller had returned to Arkansas on July 8 after two unsuccessful bone marrow transplants to treat a blood condition that can lead to leukemia.

More information about this good man here.

14 Jul 2006 11:39 am

David Sanders of the Arkansas News Bureau has an interesting article about Arkansas Lt. Gov. Win Rockefeller. Rockefeller is intensive care in a Little Rock hospital and apparently not doing well.

News that Lt. Gov. Win Rockefeller’s second bone marrow transplant hadn’t achieved its desired result took me back to the very day, almost a year earlier, when he announced that he would leave the governor’s race for a more important fight, one for his life.

He was strong and resolute; while others cried, he joked - typical Rockefeller. Rockefeller’s spokesman Steve Brawner, my friend of many years, emulated his boss that day. He kept a smile on his face and, while concerned, he was positive.

This wasn’t a one-time happy face for the boss. Brawner has been affected by Rockefeller’s enduring resolve; it is something he’s witnessed and experienced.

Brawner tells the story of having been out with Rockefeller doing what veteran politicians’ directors of communication usually do - politely making sure the boss adheres to his busy schedule. This particular near-spring day Rockefeller had delivered a speech to a Rotary Club and was working the crowd when a woman quietly approached him.

She wanted to tell the lieutenant governor about her child with special needs. Brawner watched the exchange. When Rockefeller, the father of two children with Down syndrome, saw the woman fighting back tears, he reached out and embraced her while calmly assuring her.

Read more here……

Welcome Lorie Byrd at Wizbang Politics readers.

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