Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Staring into Space

Hi everyone,

Nothing earth shattering here. Deb visited the radiation oncologist, and he said he didn't want to see her again for a year. Things seem to be well, although you always have that feeling that something could be creeping up on you.

Kathi, my eldest is on Facebook, and put this quote on her site.

To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you've lived. This is to have succeeded. (Emerson)

Interesting. Do we take life so seriously because we're conditioned from childhood to worry about things. How much we weigh, our financial condition, our children's success, or lack thereof.

Why do we substitute another worry for one that resolves. And why do we worry about things that have such a low statistical probability of actually happening?

I'm sure as time move by we will get better at this worry thing. Deb's doing very well, and we thank God for his grace and mercy.

We tried to get a student this year but the school would only take the two already committed to RBCHS, so we will wait until next year. We get some great notes from some of the exchange students. Nele, Kathi's student from 06/07 wrote to me, a sweet note. Kathi is going to Germany (with Jim) in October and will visit Nele. Masha wrote to tell us about the Georgian crisis and relate some of the Russian spin. No matter where you go life spins.

Strider the wonder dog and Gabby still keep us amused. We have great friends, a terrific church and good jobs. Even with the long prayer list for all those who are ill, there are so many people we know that are doing fine.

Please share your love with others. Give out hugs like they were campaign promises, often and without thought. Call someone just to say hello. Make them smile.

God Bless.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Evil Empire

Hi Campers,

Nothing of substance to report. Doctor appointments continue to come and go, without much in the way of anything to report. But that's the point, isn't it? The sound of silence.

I've written before about the aches and pains that continue for Deb. Her left arm continues to bother her, and she has adjusted her use of the arm to the point where it's of little use for anything much. I see progress in all things, but there isn't much doubt that her focus is off, and so is her memory and stamina.

She continues to press forward like a trooper, still smiling. The many prayers, the smiles and hugs of friends and family are balm to her struggles.

In the last few weeks we have had a lot of critical medical issues pop up with our friends and family. Jack, my longtime friend, has aggressive skin cancer on his right hand. He's had two surgeries and will have another later this month. Jack is a non stop go getter, who also plays the piano and works part time as a janitor at his granddaughter's grade school, all at age 72. We pray that he will recover and go back to playing the piano and singing the Irish songs we love to hear.

Eric, the father of two, is in isolation in the hospital as he prepares for his bone marrow transplant. He will have to be in isolation for a month. No family, no visits, nothing. Can you imagine?

Kathy is going through what Deb has finished. The beginnings of treatment are so frightful, it's impossible to remain focused and calm all the time.

My mom is still hanging in there. We saw her last week. There are no words left to describe how this lingering illness effects all of us.

Uncle John struggles with health issues. Barb's brother John is still facing a long recovery from his motorcycle accident.

My dear friend John is still looking for another position. He, with the five kids, one in college, and the rest in middle or high school He needs all of our prayers.

And so it goes in our life. It's incredible how good God is to us. He gives us all that we need and even our trials help us come closer to him.

The bright spots have been there too. We had granddaughter Quinn for a few days. She is thirteen next month, so it is a time in her life that will be most challenging for her and her parents. She is, quite frankly, a doll. Smart as a whip and a talented artist.

We dropped her off in Michigan at another grandma's house, but first we had dinner daughter Kris prepared and saw all three grand kids together. What a treat.

We saw cousins who have also become great friends, while we were there and stayed with daughter Kathi and her husband Jim in the Pontiac Michigan area.

We are so blessed.

I know there is someone you haven't spoken with in a while. It could be someone from school, and old friend that drifted away, or a cousin who just seems to be too far away. Now would be a good time to call them and make them smile at hearing your voice. They may be terribly lonly.

"When true friends meet in adverse hour;'Tis like a sunbeam through a shower.A watery way an instant seen,The darkly closing clouds between."- Sir Walter Scott

"When Christ said: "I was hungry and you fed me," he didn't mean only the hunger for bread and for food; he also meant the hunger to be loved. Jesus himself experienced this loneliness. He came amongst his own and his own received him not, and it hurt him then and it has kept on hurting him. The same hunger, the same loneliness, the same having no one to be accepted by and to be loved and wanted by. Every human being in that case resembles Christ in his loneliness; and that is the hardest part, that's real hunger."
Mother Teresa

God Bless