The Wind Beneath his Wings

In her acceptance speech this week, actress Patricia Arquette thanked Robert Mueller during the SAG awards on national prime time TV.

Of course expressing gratitude for the special counsel was appreciated by most of the glitterati in the audience and (mostly) everyone watching. The United States will explode with confetti when the investigation is complete, and Bob Mueller will achieve Messiah status. In fact, he already has.

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Robert Mueller is being called our patron saint of indictments.

But there’s no one on earth who will be happier when this is all over with than Mrs. Robert Mueller. Without her approval, devotion and support, America might be in a totally different place. Ann Mueller is an unsung hero who should be elevated to sainthood too.

Mrs. Mueller has made the ultimate sacrifice by loaning the country the love of her life to fight for justice at a great cost to her and her family’s personal safety and well-being.

And this isn’t the first time she’s altruistically supported her husband’s work on behalf of the American people. Ann has stayed by his side for nearly 60 years, through many life-changing events. These include the Vietnam War, college, law school, mob cases, job changes and the investigation of the biggest terror attack in U.S. history on Sept. 11. According to The Threat Matrix: The FBI at War by Garrett M. Graff, Ann and Bob met in high school and got married before he enlisted in the Vietnam War. She’s moved across the country and back for his career 17 times (always saying “this is the last time”). I’m sure she never dreamed of her husband being asked to serve again in such a high-profile, dangerous and stressful investigation at a time in their lives when things should be slowing down. (They are both 74 and have been together for 57 years.)

Bob’s approach to the Russia probe, a web of intricate, decades-long, international crimes that makes Watergate look like deflategate, must be as carefully carried out as brain surgery. He must present an air-tight, rock solid case that even the most ardent Trump supporters can’t dispute and he can’t rest until every Stone is un-turned (pun greatly intended). As a result, Bob’s dangerous, demanding and high profile assignment as special counsel has taken him from Ann, their daughters and their grandchildren on weekends, nights and holidays for nearly two years. He could have a cushy, more predictable, higher-paying job in private practice – in a much fancier office. Or, he and Mrs. Mueller could be playing golf or relaxing on a cruise during the comfortable well-earned retirement they both so deserve. Instead, he’s chosen to serve our country once again, with Ann by his side.

Once upon a time, Bob dreamed of anonymity. After 9/11, he told the Chicago Tribune, “My kids are grown up and away,” he said. “But it has affected us in what we do and the freedom we have to move around. But by the same token, it becomes part of the job and it will always be here. And you do it and hopefully down the road you return to anonymity.”

That road has long since vanished. Things will never be the same for the Muellers. Bob will forever be larger than life in our minds and in the history books. Generations will never forget his central role in investigating the biggest political scandal in American history. But no man is an island. He could not get through this alone.

They say behind every good man is a good woman. It couldn’t be truer in the case of Robert S. Mueller III.  We love you and thank you, Mrs. Ann Mueller. We will be indebted to you forever.

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Ann Mueller is an unsung hero in all of this and should be elevated to sainthood, too.



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Our Children, Ourselves

Children can thaw the iciest of souls and bring the most unlikely people together. Do you want to befriend those parents of the new kid in your son’s class? Compliment their child. You’ll be invited to dinner faster than you would be than if you spent hours with them on the bleachers. Trying to win someone over? A nice word or two about their offspring will transform them from foe to friend in a heartbeat. Even the meanest man on earth will turn into Tom Hanks when they hear nice words about their kids. People believe this reflects well on their parenting skills, and in most cases it does.

When Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump entered the Town Hall arena for the second debate, the lack of a handshake was awkward and out of place for the situation. (Maybe Hillary was afraid Donald, “The Octopus,” might grab her inappropriately.) The chill in the air must have made the auditorium seem like a walk-in refrigerator. They couldn’t have been more distant than bitter ex-lovers, despite Trump hovering behind Clinton like a serial predator. When it was his turn to talk, the vitriol flew. He reminded us about a doomed USA and how we’re all going to hell in a hand basket. Punctuated by odd sniffing, there were endless put downs, repetitions of the word ‘disaster’ and crazy assertions. Adding insult to injury, Trump said his opponent had hate in her heart and should be locked up.

Then the magic happened. Near the end of the debate, an audience member asked what the candidates admired in each other. We all racked our brains and scratched our heads wondering how Clinton would respond. Despite the difficulty of the question, she did not miss a beat. Clinton complimented Trump on his children. She said,

…Look, I respect his children. His children are incredibly able and devoted, and I think that says a lot about Donald. I don’t agree with nearly anything else he says or does, but I do respect that. And I think that is something that as a mother and a grandmother is very important to me.

The seas parted, the angels started singing and the planets aligned. All was right with the world. The Republican candidate puffed out his chest. It was as if Charlize Theron had called him sexy. America was great again! In fact, Trump was so proud, so tickled, that he lost himself completely. When it was his turn to respond, he contradicted himself from an earlier debate when he questioned Clinton’s stamina. But in the afterglow of her kind words, he said,

I will say this about Hillary. She doesn’t quit. She doesn’t give up. I respect that. I tell it like it is. She’s a fighter. I disagree with much of what she’s fighting for. I do disagree with her judgment in many cases. But she does fight hard, and she doesn’t quit, and she doesn’t give up. And I consider that to be a very good trait.

A burst of sunshine lit up the dark dismal campaign. The two candidates approached each other and shook hands, ending the session on a positive note. All was well. Even if it was only for a moment.

Deflategate’s Silver Linings Playbook

Modern Musings by an Old-Fashioned Girl

Served up nicely on a silver platter, Deflategate presents a valuable opportunity

Never in the history of modern times have we been presented with such a golden opportunity to teach our children as we have with the sensational ‘Deflategate.’ Its lessons can particularly resonate with adolescents, who know of Tom Brady and the Patriots, whether they are football fans or not. Young brains are so plastic, learning from incidents during this time will have has a long term impact, making the controversy even more important to talk about. In The Age of Opportunity, author Laurence Steinberg stresses how the adolescent brain is a sponge and that most memories are rooted during that period. In the book, he writes, “Nearly everyone recalls adolescence more powerfully than any other stage of life.”

Another reason to discuss Deflategate is because lying occurs, often frequently, among this age group. No longer under the constant supervision of schools, caregivers or parents, adolescents have more freedom to…

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