Saturday, July 18, 2009

Heart thread - 07/18/2009

Aunt May LaRose Strid Anderson and Rachel Hoff

This photo was taken at a family Fourth of July gathering in 2002. The little Rachel you see in the photo is Aunt Rachel to little Clara and Olivia. Aunt May is the youngest of my father's sisters and she was always the sunny one. As the family lore goes, she was born in later, happier days when life was rosier for the immigrant farm family. She and Uncle Red grew lots of peaches on their farm and I associate summer visits from them with the arrival of peaches. This often led to home-made peach ice cream (cranked by hand with ice and rock salt). Aunt May also grew peonies at the side of her house and she shared Farmor's [grandmother's] gift for baking.

During my elementary school days there was always a week at the cabin each summer. Cousin Judy and I would entertain ourselves while Mom and Aunt May sewed. Mom made five shirts for me and one dress for Judy. May sewed five dresses for Judy and one shirt for me. That would be our new school wardrobe for the year.

What we took for granted as children becomes more meaningful as the years go by. I have a good sewing machine and I sew but only flat, two-dimensional items like banners, cafe curtains, and straight-line stoles. Tailoring, the art of shaping garments, is something I have never attempted beyond flannel duffel coats for my Paddington Bear. I admire those who sew clothing.

As you have read in these posts, Aunt May has been ill. Here is the latest post from my sister (last Wednesday):
Aunt May was taken back to the nursing home again today. She has been to the ER several times since Judy took her home. Jay and I saw her on Friday....
She is very out of breath and her heart is failing (in spite of her pacemaker). My diagnosis!! Just from what I saw.
I will keep you informed. Love you, Me

For the repose of the soul of Walter Cronkite. As we lament the demise of real journalism on television may we pray for its resurrection.
Almighty God, you proclaim your truth in every age by many voices: Direct, in our time, we pray, those who speak where many listen and write what many read; that they may do their part in making the heart of this people wise, its mind sound, and its will righteous; to the honor of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For Fran who is visiting family (that they may all have the grace to stay far from politics). And for Gracie who gets boarded while everyone else is away.

For Fran's other sister-in-law:
As for my SIL who has been ill and who so many of you have been praying for... Good news, relatively speaking! She had (past tense) endometrial cancer, a far cry from ovarian cancer. It was all removed with her operation and now she is having precautionary chemo. Her outlook is much better and she is keeping her dog Skittles.

Thank you SO much for the prayers and good thoughts and wishes!!!!
For Kirstin whose body continues to recover from a year of interferon.
Up, woozily. Did too much yesterday. What did I do? Shop and make pizza. (Okay, I made the dough too.) When I hit a wall, I hit it. Hard.

Thanksgiving for Margaret and the host of volunteers at General Convention. Blessings on all who serve! I give thanks for the reporting of her experiences and observations there. For Joel who stayed behind that his health may improve. And, forgive me Joel, is that not one hubba hubba photo of your wife? Woof!

For Padre Mickey and the Lovely Mona holed up in an undisclosed location cut off from the intertubes.

For Jane R laboring in sweet exile and for +Maya enjoying the birds but missing her canon.

Continuing prayer for Doxy's brother-in-law Jim and his wife Ruthie.
Ruthie and Jim had really encouraging news today.... The MRI showed no visible tumor. There is a suspicion, but the neuro-oncologist and the radial oncologist think it may be due to surgery. To continue to keep the tumor at bay, Jim will start back on chemotherapy. Jim and Ruthie are, of course, delighted with these results.
Continuing prayer for my friend Lolly:
Thank you all so much for your prayers & healing thoughts; they have surely been helpful in my recovery, which has gone smoothly. F. & I saw the surgeon on Monday, and the visit did bring more good news. Dr. S. took out most of the stitches and told us that all of the margins were clear! I am so very thankful & feel so fortunate & blessed, as I would really find it hard to go thru more surgery at this time. Now I have to look forward to talking with two oncologists (next week, on Mon & Weds; I've rec'd seven pages of medical questions that I have to fill out from one oncologist's office already.) I'd like to put it behind me, but Dr. S. insists I need to hear all of "whatever" they have to tell me-- from the medical oncologist (who, does chemo &/or hormone therapy) and the radiation oncologist. So we will listen & learn & F. will take notes! (He has been such a wonderfully loving and caring and patient partner; I am truly blessed.)
For Janet and Jeannetta.

Ongoing prayer for Roseann and Gary:
Well it has been a wild week. I went to dialysis Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri and I'm feeling a little better now. On Tues I was transfused with 2 pints of blood. A person waiting, hoping for a kidney transplant never wants a transfusion because it builds up antibodies in your blood that make it harder to find a donor. However, being so anemic you can't walk across a room is not desirable either.
I saw my nephrologist today and he told me how worried he had been earlier this week. He's a good guy who really cares about his patients. The swelling in my arms has gone down about 75% and he expects the rest will go by the end of next week. I just keep on keepin' on.
--from Wounded Bird

For Terry Martin (aka Jake):
A drastically reduced budget has been approved by General Convention. Among the cuts are various programs at the Episcopal Church Center.

I'm sorry to have to inform you that the entire Evangelism program, including my position, has been eliminated from the budget.

Other program officer postions eliminated include Worship and Spirituality, Women's Ministries and Lay Ministry.

All together, 37 positions at the Episcopal Church Center have been cut. No explanation has been offered as to why these programs were chosen for elimination.

One of the most frustrating things about this unexpected development was that it follows right on the heels of the positive time I spent last week with the Evangelism Legislative Committee as they carefully crafted various resolutions. There were plans in place to host evangelism events with our ecumenical partners, create an innovative evangelism "toolkit," and develop training programs for evangelists, among other things. All these resolutions passed both Houses. I was quite enthusiastic about those proposals. But now, since the entire Evangelism program is gone, I'm afraid there will be no one to implement those excellent ideas. How sad.

So, after eleven brief months, I'll be moving on. I have no clear idea what adventure God has in mind for this next part of the journey. But I am a firm believer in redemption, so I know there's a silver lining in this somewhere! The will of God never leads us where the grace of God cannot keep us.

Pray for those staff at the Episcopal Church Center struggling with unexpected transitions.

Pray for the Church.
For Sue-z (request via OCICBW and Mimi):
From JimB:

I called the paramedics this morning because Sue-z could not breath. She is in hospital at LaGrange Community with an apparent clot in her pulminary artery. Treatment for that condition is medical. Blood thiners are used to actually disolve the clot.

The current expectation is that she will be in hospital until the middle of next week. As I can I shall keep you'al posted. Please pray for her and her healers.
The following are from The Prayer List at OCICBW:

Haven't asked this community for prayers yet, but at a time when I'm finding prayer difficult I need some help. So can I ask your prayers for Don, who is failing and has just been admitted to the hospice, and his wife Stella who is brave and lovely. And from the same congregation, please pray for Neil, who is in hospital and seems to be wasting away, and his wife Maureen who faces a long time on her own.



Jack at THE WORLD OF DOORMAN-PRIEST has asked for our prayers concerning an injustice very much on his mind at the moment. The person at the centre of this injustice is Enid Ruhango who has been the victim of the most disgusting and unnecessary abuse (bordering on torture) whilst negotiating the UK's immigration procedures. Please visit Jack's blog for full details of her harrowing experience.


Posted by DanG at SAWDUST MUSINGS:

Today was a bittersweet day. We held Paul's funeral today at Grace Lutheran Church.

Paul was ready to go, he has been lonely since his wife, Juanita, died two years ago. The end came mercifully soon, he had been hospitalized for 4 days and came home at 9:30 AM on Friday, July 10. He died 2 hours later.

I'm going to miss him, we've been buddies for 25 years. He was a great neighbor and an even better man. I think we gave him a good send off. So Long old buddy.

For the aftermath and the moving forward and the healing.
But still … I remember how desperately grieved I felt after 2006. And I know some people are feeling a similar grief after 2009. I have read some of the blogs from the conservative side of our church, and I know they are hurting. I have been tempted to comment on some of those blogs, but then I read that they think that any word from someone like me will feel patronizing or condescending.

I pray that we can move forward together ... eventually. I hope we can together “march in the light of God” one of these days.

I thought I would post a big "ALLELUIA" if our Bishops and Deputies moved forward on the resolutions that mattered to me. To my surprise, I find myself grateful but subdued ... because I understand some of the pain that those on "the other side" must be feeling.
--Lisa Fox at My Manner of Life

God of all creation, we hold before you the worlds you call us to love. In our brokenness we ask for healing and the flowering forth of your image in each of us. Pour out your life-giving Spirit that we may be brought to wholeness. We thank you for all who seek your will and the grace to perform it. Bless and keep those who depart from General Convention 2009. Whatever has been done amiss, we pray you mend. What has been decided aright, we pray you bless and strengthen. What is done partially and imperfectly, we pray you perfect. Heal our hearts and enlarge our vision. Unite us in you. Make us instruments of your peace and channels of Good News. Bring all things to completion in your Word spoken in the beginning, made flesh in Jesus, and summing all things as Yes and Amen.

--the BB


susan s. said...

Thanks for this Paul. I learn about folks I know and don't know. As I have said before(I think, as I can't remember), the list is long. I go to the healing minister at church and say something along the lines of "Please pray for the healing of all the folks I read about online." And it gets done. God knows them all.

Paul said...

Yes, Susan, God knows them all and I rely heavily on that. My short-term memory is rotten. When I read the daily prayer list at OCICBW, I offer prayers then and promptly forget most of the names and the specifics. But through the day I remember that these folks are out there and God knows each one I mean to be upholding and why. So if I pray for "what's his name's sister," God will make the connection. The chief thing is that we offer ourselves and our hearts in union with Christ in the Holy Spirit.

(And just because I think in trinitarian terms doesn't mean our friends who think otherwise are not participating in the same reality that I happen to name my way. Meditation, good thoughts, positive vibes, etc. all count equally.)

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Prayers ascending!

Jane R said...

Gracias, Pablito.