Kicking back in my easy chair to the hum of my oxygen machine the doorbell rang and I heard the beautiful sound of Christmas caroling. Making my way to the front door, I saw over half of my church members. They lifted my spirit with several songs and cheerful disposition. They had already visited others struggling a bit this season. What a great way to spend an evening blessing people and praising God!

I spent some time re-reading all the cards and letters of encouragement sent to me over the years. Now I am trying to read through all the comments left on my blog and Facebook. That one’s a bit more difficult; sometimes people comment on a message, sometimes they comment on attached photos. Sometimes there are even new (and wonderful) comments attached to things I wrote two years ago. Sometimes they are in emails or texts or on Facebook Messenger. Whatever; I am tracking them down.

And I am blessed again. Blessed like the first time, but now often reading differently because of the length of the journey. It is not only me and my family who have been on this journey; some of you have changed over the years as well. In all cases I’ve felt the love, felt the advice, felt the care, and felt the prayers. In some cases you have chosen to bless us during stressed financial times; I thank you. But for all, thankfulness for the fact you’ve been with me through this; you’ve joined me when I’ve stood tall, couldn’t stand, or, God bless you, knelt with when I’ve been on my knees. Thank you.

How can I “look good” and weigh over 100 pounds less than I did just a short while ago? Well, my pants have gotten a lot looser and my face thinner, but I don’t know how I missed that my upper arms are going away. I wonder how it is the body determines what can stay and what can go? And I guess I should take a better look at myself from day to day. Or not; it doesn’t change much.

So, my actual feelings have and continue to have their ups and downs and I take them as the come. God is so good to me through all of this. And I have been blessed by many visitors and callers. I was even updated tonight as a board member by the president of the university; I am glad to still be counted among the trustees.

I am so undependable; sometimes I change by the hour, but through all those hours my wife is by my side. God give’s her patience. And my girls pick up the slack. Planning on them having a great Christmas and then I will see out the year with a wedding.

The good news about shrinking is that I’ve saved clothing against my actually losing weight (through exercise and diet).

As I told Janine this evening, the good news is that I am fast approaching what supposedly is my correct place on the body mass index. It made her laugh; I love it when she laughs.

You know, you reach an age where as a parent you feel pretty satisfied and can’t think of anything for Christmas or birthday gifts that you haven’t already got your self (at least I have). The children find my wishes for “peace on earth” a trial (Yeah, thanks a lot dad. I will put that on the list-sarcasm infused). My current circumstance only makes material wishes much hard and pretty darn temporary. My list, as it is, consists of being surrounded by family, their joy as they unwrap gifts, and stuff like that. Those kinds of things are not always so easy to get. A few days ago I asked for an apple, orange, banana-really one of each kind of fruit in the store-and even Janine wondered what I was talking about.

I am tempted just to go on and buy one of those coffee table kind of puzzle you try to unwind, unscrew, or otherwise take apart because I do not have enough puzzling me. I’d just have them wrap it, put it under the tree, and come Christmas morning I could exclaim, “This is just what I want!” And if I am opening it with Janine, Kayleigh, and Pradnya that will be true enough.

Two events do not a pattern make (or maybe they do; someone one correct me if I am wrong). This is the second time that I spent one day feeling rotten with abdominal cramping being the most notable feature followed by I day where I slept though the whole thing (still feeling ill). Now I feel fine. Until the next time?

cramp all day > sleep all day > all better now

Wish it hadn’t happened on the weekend, because I hate missing church. And not being there for those I (still, feebly) minister to.

So, I’m not sure it is a pattern, but I am praying so hard not to get the cramps and possibly stop the cycle.



February 2016
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