Opening envelope. Close-up top view of male hands opening envelope over wooden desk with different chancellery stuff laying on it

Pray, breathe deep during these turbulent times

My Dad fought in World War II under Patton. As a child, I knew that if I asked my Dad a question about the war, my Mom would immediately raise a finger to her lips, frown and shake her head, indicating to me to change the subject. I quickly learned those who experience combat do not discuss it with bravado.

One day, after learning about the Battle of the Bulge at school, I asked my Dad about it when I got home. I told him I wanted to know how he got any sleep with all that noise going on around him. He gave out a loud laugh and then answered, “Well, I would climb into a foxhole, say the Act of Contrition and take several slow, deep breaths and fall asleep.”

I was confounded. “Dad, how could you do that with all of those guns and Nazis trying to kill you?” He told me that in combat he quickly learned the key was to always remain calm in the midst of anger, chaos and panic.

My parents have passed away. They were exceptional people. What Dad told me that day was a great “life lesson.”

 I have not always been successful in applying it to my own life, but I think it would help all of us right now if we would pray and keep trying to take several slow, deep breaths during these turbulent times.

-Michele Kocour

We need a national suicide hotline passed now

September is Suicide Prevention Month and it’s that we be there for each other and take steps to prevent suicide. 

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s theme for the month is to #KeepGoing, by taking simple actions to safeguard our mental health and save lives. From learning the warning signs for suicide and what to do if you are worried someone is struggling, to bringing education programs to your community, we can all learn new ways to help each other save lives.

One action I’m taking is to urge my public officials to prioritize suicide prevention and mental health. When someone is in acute crisis, it’s hard for them to think clearly, and even reaching out for help can be a struggle. 

For this reason, it is vital that Congress pass the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act (H.R.4194/S.2661) to make a three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline a reality. This legislation will provide the funding and resources needed by crisis centers across the country that support those struggling with their mental health and thoughts of suicide.

In this time of uncertainty, we all need to find new ways to connect and support each other.

Together, we #KeepGoing.

-Aimee Lespron