Tag Archives: marmion military academy

Like A Thief In The Night…

Grandpa pic

“Death comes like a thief in the night.”

Those words have been etched in my brain for twenty-six and a half years, when my mother quietly uttered them following the unexpected death of my dad. And now, the thief has returned. My father-in-law, whom I have written about several times in this blog, passed away during the night. With his recently rapid decline in health, we knew Death would take him any day. No, it did not sneak in through a back door. Rather, it came as a welcome reprieve for a man who suffered much toward the end of his time on this earth.  And, no, it is not a tragedy. He lived a long and full life. He grew up without knowing his father, having lost him to the thief at the tender age of two. He was not fatherless, however. He had uncles who lovingly served as father figures. He attended Marmion Military Academy, beginning what would become a seventy year dedication to the Monks of Marmion Abbey. At the terribly young age of nineteen, he experienced, simultaneously, both the brutality and merciful heroics of his fellow man when he suffered a life-threatening and, certainly, life-changing wound during the battle at Iwo Jima. Upon his return home, he attended college, eventually earning his Master’s degree from the University of Chicago. But, without question, among all his achievements, the title he most cherished was simply “Dad.”

He was a humble and faith-filled man who never considered himself a hero for his military service, uncomfortable with the label.  He never thought himself above anyone. Ever.  He was a man who witnessed good and evil in the world. He was a man who loved his family. And he was a man who loved God and took his faith very seriously.  He lived his life in such a way that he never needed to worry about when the thief would come. So, while he will be missed by we who are left behind, his passing is not a tragedy. It is simply his final journey home.


Filed under Uncategorized


The following  is an excerpt from our book, LIVING THE DREAM ON A BOX WINE BUDGET.  I was inspired to print it after hearing an interview on the radio this morning with an outraged mother of a student enrolled in a Chicago college prep charter school.  She was angry with the school’s disciplinary policies.  Her son had racked up dozens of detentions for what she called “benign infractions” (sleeping in class, talking in class, etc) and had to repeat his freshman year.  She claimed it is the school’s way of trying to get rid of poorly performing students in an effort to keep its test scores high.  Wow, seriously?   Read on…





            My BWB partner and I both sent our sons to a Catholic and Benedictine, all-boy, military academy.  Once, when my son, Brian, described his school in that way, the response was “Wow, that’s a lot of discipline.”  Precisely.  For my family, it was something we’d planned even before the boys were born.  My husband graduated from the same school, as did his older brothers and his father.  Sending sons to this school is a tradition in many families.

In fact, when we were expecting our first baby, we did what all expectant parents do – we thought about names.  Only in our house, I was told that, for boys names, initials had to be considered.  Perplexed, it was explained to me that if we had a boy, once he reached high school, he would be required to wear a name tag with his first and middle initial and that some initials invited merciless teasing.  So, in my attempt to name our son something he could proudly display on his name tag, which would not result in lifetime of therapy, I had to keep initials in mind.  We finally gave up and concluded that boys can be quite creative in the art of nicknames and decided to go with “Michael Patrick” (initials: MP – which, actually, may have helped a little in a military environment).

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized