I wish to extend a “thank you” to each and everyone who remembered my birthday this year and extended their good wishes to me and my family. I was the recipient of numerous face book posts, instant messages, emails and phone calls of those who were wishing me the best.
I enjoyed a delightful dinner with my wife and family including my mother in law last night. I am also looking forward to a fun dinner with friends this evening to round out my weekend of celebrating.
I cannot let go unnoticed in this “thank you” though, some personal sadness that began this week and ended this week.
First, I was shocked to learn of the sudden death of Lt. Herbert L. Milnes of the Northlake Fire Department on September 20th, whom many of us have known since each of us were children and grew to adult with together as we raised our children. His father, who was a Lieutenant. on the Schiller Park Fire Department, passed away a number of years ago, and was a very good friend of mine. I was happy to have shared the celebration of Lee’s life this week with his family and his extended family in the fire service. Lee touched so many lives, including his family, in such a positive way.
Secondly, I attended the wake yesterday, of Eileen O’Grady, who got to know when she and I served on the St. Beatrice School Board in the early 1980’s. She and her husband, Frank, have raised a wonderful family who are a credit to themselves and community. Eileen endured serious health problems during much of her adulthood, but she never let it diminish her contribution to community, the raising of her children and grand children, and her pursuit of her professional career. She leaves a mountain of achievements, that will long be remembered and appreciated. A strong testimonial was by the presence of hundreds of those who attended her wake, many whom waited in line for over an hour.
Both of these wonderful people may be gone, but not forgotten. Their “monuments” are their family and the communities that they contributed in building during their life time.
Truly, this birthday week of mine was a time of reflection.