Remembering the Sacrifice

25 May

Memorial Day 2015

Memorial Day 2015

Please Don’t Tell Me I’m a Saint

13 May


I was reminded recently that moms of children with chronic illness often bristle when others view them as “saints” whom God has chosen.  It may feel like rubbing salt into a deeply painful wound when a mother is told that God has selected them to care for their fragile child “because He knows that they can handle it.”

For this reason, I am re-blogging this post from May 2014.


Life is extremely taxing on the mother (father and the entire family) when a child lives with a chronic medical condition.  Moms are often relied upon to be the “rock” for the child and the family.

In many ways, it is almost impossible to describe this experience.

Every mother is unique.

Every child with a chronic medical condition is unique.

Every family unit is unique.

Some mothers have been found to experience:

  • clinical depression and anxiety (which can occur at twice the rate in this population)
  • isolation and stress brought on by the high cost of medical care
  • inadequate support from their spouse

Fortunately, research has demonstrated that struggling families of children with long-term medical afflictions can be strengthened by the experience.

I have witnessed this with my own eyes.  Some moms say they have the “rock” of faith.  Others cite phenomenal support from extended family, friends and physicians.  Still others say that both faith and social support helps them to cope.

But, the fact remains that these moms are dealing with extremely stressful situations. Some families don’t fair as well as others. Divorce may ensue.

For any moms who are looking for online support, here are some resources:

Caring for a Seriously Ill Child

Four Lessons from a Mother of a Chronically Ill Child

Financial Management During Crisis

Parenting a Chronically Ill Teen

For now, I send to my dear friends (you know who you are) a big hug, a non-judgmental ear whenever you may need one, and the promise that I will NEVER say that you are a saint for dealing with such demanding day-to-day care.  I know how much that bothers each of you!  It is unfair and no one has the right to interpret why you were given this child to raise.  I know how deep your love is for your precious one.  The rest is for you each to understand in your own way.

Sending each of you my love and the promise that I will ALWAYS be there (if God allows).hearthandsFor those of you who may have family members or friends with a chronically ill child, please share this post with them (if you feel it is appropriate).

Believe me, they need all of the support they can receive.



Thank You for Two Years!

12 May


Dear Readers:

Today, I am celebrating the 2nd anniversary of The Clear Parent!

I would like to thank each and every one of you who has taken the time to read my posts, comment and email me privately.  You have given me hope, encouragement and inspiration.

Please accept my sincerest gratitude,

Catie Pane

Remembering My Mother

10 May

Mother's Day 2013

This post is in honor of my mother, Irene, who passed away 11 years ago.

I read this at her funeral.

All I Really Need to Know I Learned from My Mother

It has been said by Robert Fulghum that “all I really need to know I learned in kindergarten,” but I am of the belief that the most important lessons in my life were learned at the feet of my mother.

These are the most significant:

Worship God.

Love your children equally.

Cherish friendships.

People are more important than things.

Be forgiving.

Enjoy a good joke.

Don’t ever retire.  Volunteer and serve others.

Spend money wisely.  A person never wastes money waiting to spend it.

Simple and few are better than complicated and many.

Eat balanced meals.

Don’t waste resources.  Even a small scrap of paper is worth saving to write a note or two.

Rest in the afternoon.

Read good books:  Some informational, some spiritual, and some purely recreational.

Most importantly: Whatever life brings you, always count your blessings.

These are lessons learned over a lifetime, as my relationship with my mother changed from her caring for me as a baby to latter years when we chatted on the phone long distance or sat at the table enjoying each other’s company.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.  Faith and love and trust.  Economics, equality, ecology, and healthy living.

AND at the risk of offending those great kindergarten teachers out there, life lessons are just that:  lessons learned over a lifetime, not in one short year.  I am so very grateful that I had a mother who was patient enough to lovingly school me in the classroom of life.

 ~Catie Pane

Robotics Rhapsody

27 Apr

You have teenagers thinking they’re going to make millions as NBA stars when that’s not realistic for even one percent of them.

Becoming a scientist or engineer is.

~Dean Kamen, Founder, FIRST Robotics

Hoping this brings you joy and hope on this beautiful Monday morning.


Loving Gracious Professionalism

24 Apr

As I looked out over the crowd of fans cheering in the Edward Jones Dome, my heart swelled with myriad thoughts and emotions.

Admiration for the thousands of hours students dedicate to a push-it-to-the-limits and beyond engineering endeavor.

Joy for the special place these scholars find in satisfaction of the pursuit of excellence in robotics.

Peace in knowing that win or lose, “Gracious Professionalism,” coined by MIT Professor Emeritus Woodie Flowers as the guiding principle for participants in FIRST Roboticswill ultimately make these students better human beings.

And the world a better place.

Signing off from the FIRST World Robotics Championships in St. Louis,


Parental Paradigm

12 Apr


Live so that when your children think of fairness,
caring, and integrity, they think of you.

~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


Easter People

5 Apr


“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. 

We are the Easter people

and hallelujah is our song.”

St. John Paul II

Resolving to Relax

1 Jan

My Spare Room: December 30, 2014


One of my greatest discoveries of 2014, is what I affectionately refer to as “my spare room.” Living only a few minutes from the beach, I go down and spend time taking walks and sitting in the car with the sunroof open.

I breathe.

I enjoy the beautiful vistas.

I rest my weary soul.

Honestly, I’m usually there for only 30 minutes or so.  But, it seems like hours. It’s amazing how time almost stands still when we still our busy bodies and minds. The result is a clear and calm head, ready to return to my family.

Parental stress has been determined to affect children in negative ways. Stress in America, a survey by the American Psychological Association, found that a mere 14% of children were unbothered by the stress of their parents.  In addition, in a study funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health, results indicated that parental tension leaves lasting markers on children’s DNA.

My Spare Room December 27, 2014

My Spare Room: December 27, 2014

My spare room on the shores of the Pacific Ocean is helping me to reduce my tension and increase my calm in hopes of bringing a more peaceful presence into my home.  My kids deserve it. We all fare better in a tranquil environment.

I guess we don’t need to add a new room onto our home after all!

Please share your restorative getaways!

Happy New Year!



It’s Almost Time to Go

30 Dec

“But once again, before you go,
And I prepare to meet the New:

Old Year! a parting word that’s true,

For we’ve been comrades, you and I —
  I thank God for each day of you;

There! bless you now! Old Year,

~From “Passing of the Year”
Robert W. Service
1874 –  1958

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