Yesterday, when I was driving to pick up Mom for therapy, I drove past our Church, St. Bridget’s. The street was filled with cars in the parking. Many, many cars. Then I remembered it was Mr. Kaluza’s funeral. Mr. Kaluza was the Omaha Police Officer who lived with his family up the alley from us. We all knew him, and he knew all of us in the neighborhood. He worked very hard along with his wife to raise their six kids. I was friends with Peggy and Karen, Johnny was my brother Tom’s friend, and Kenny, Terry, and Colleen somehow fit with my brothers Steve and Tim.
Those six kids are so fortunate to have had both of their parents all this time – their dad was in his early 90s as is their mom. They still lived on their acreage in Springfield. I was moved to tears, though, as I passed the Church and noticed the row of motorcycles across from the hearse. Civilian motorcycles, and the two motorcycles for the escorts to ride. The escorts were also retired police officers. Mr. Kaluza rode past our house every day, in full OPD uniform, on his majestic Police Motorcycle. He always revved it a little to impress my little brothers. They have ridden since they were old enough. Lifelong passions for motorcycles were inspired by the officers such as Mr. Kaluza. How lucky we were to have him in our neighborhood. He was such a nice man. He loved kids. I found out later the civilian motorcycles were grandson’s who ride. What a neat thing, to help lead the procession.
Mom really teared up when we went back past the Church. She told me then another current neighbor died as well. Mr. Biggs lived down the street. Mom is the last one of many groups. She outlived all the old neighbors, except for Mrs. Kaluza. Mom’s the last one living in the old neighborhood. She’s about the last one of all the other people who moved into the neighborhood after the 1970’s. She’s the last of her sisters. And today, she looked very, very tired and worn. Insomnia is not her friend but it visited her again last night. Being overtired makes her vision worse. Yesterday started out very foggy, and that didn’t help. Again today, in this helpless situation, all I can do is pray for her and my brothers. And my kids and myself.
It is finally a nice sunny day here in Gretna. The day will be filled with errands. Grocery shopping. It is supposed to “snow” over the weekend, don’t know if it’s going to be a dusting or a blizzard. We’ll see when it’s over. Addison thinks it should just jump to summer. The minds of our kids. She is happy Spring Break is next week. It’s amazing kids go on trips for spring break. Little kids. Even twenty years ago, when my kids were in high school, they had friends who went on Ski Trips or Beach Vacations to resorts just like college kids do. It amazes me how people can afford such luxuries.
I must say, I’m so glad Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years. He deserves to pay for being a predator. The system tried him, proved him a predator, and has justly sentenced him. If he lives out his sentence, I’ll be surprised. It’s in God’s hands now. If each and every man accused of being a predator was a convicted predator and sentenced, I would be happy they were. It needs to be said. Even Trump, especially Bill Clinton, and anyone else in politics. That said, I was devastated when Bill Cosby was tried and found guilty. The one person who we thought we could trust with our children. A great responsibility was on his shoulders, being the first black man who broke the color barrier on American television. Great things are expected of a groundbreaker. And one of those things should be they are trustworthy.
And in my disappointment I will continue to remember. There are many, many more very good and moral men who touch our lives. Men like Mr. Kaluza. Men like my dad. Men like all my uncles. Men like many of my cousins. And that is where we get our momentum to continue on in spite of disappointments with life. It’s the every day heroes who make the difference. Rest in peace, Mr. Kaluza. The eyes of the neighborhood kids were on you. And you were a great role model. Thank you.
And thanks to all of you who read today. I appreciate it. I’ll see you tomorrow, hope you stop by.