Saints celebrating feast days today include Saint Joseph of Cupertino, patron saint of air travelers and pilots. Sharing the day with Saint Joseph is Saint Ferreolus, Saint Methodius of Olympus, Saint Richardis, and Saint Ferreolus of Limoges.
Famous birthdays include Lance Armstrong* (1971, Plano, Texas), Frankie Avalon (1939, Philadelphia), and poor old Robert Blake (1938, Nutley, New Jersey).
*I just read that Lance Armstrong and his wife of five short years are getting a divorce. This doesn't amaze me. Every time someone calls this obsessive cyclist a hero, I cringe. How much of a hero is he, I say, to his family? Does he have time to kick back and be a father or husband? Those things take a lot of time, and NOT quality time--just plain old everyday time.
When I think of the best times with my father, they aren't special events but things like a lazy rainy Saturday afternoon watching "Lassie Come Home." When the little dog died, I looked sidelong at Father to make sure he didn't see how much I was crying. Tears were rolling unabashedly down his cheeks.
Or sitting in a department store on his knee, Sue on the other knee, listening as he made up stories about White Star, the horse, to keeping us entertained while Mother shopped.
Or Father in the kitchen drilling us on multiplication tables as we did the dishes. Or endlessly reciting "Cremation of Sam McGee" on demand.
I would hesitate to call Father a hero for his parenting, but if Lance Armstrong is a hero for his self-absorbed life of training and competition (yeah yeah, I KNOW he is a cancer survivor--bfd), Father was a better one for his selflessness and the good example he set for us.