Posted tagged ‘Family Life’

3 DAYS OF TRIAL

September 26, 2018

I like birthdays.   At my age it’s a celebration not only of me (my life),  but of my family and all the friends I have.    It’s my birthday tomorrow.   But there are some other more important things that are taking up all our attention:

Here is the last time I saw our dear Meghan . . .   the young woman who is such a big part of our lives and who is so gravely ill right now:
Meghan in amb.jpg.  . . .  well,  the last I’ve seen her this week.  Being put into an ambulance.  The doctors decided to move her to another hospital where “the most seriously ill patients go.”

Son went with her, of course.    Which is my second “trial.”     He followed the ambulance to the hospital in . . .  Detroit.     And Son drives a gleaming black GTO.   

Attention-getter, even at our local intersection traffic lights.

Okay,  just follow a mother’s heart.   Driving a car like that in one of the murder capitals of our country;  one of the hijacking capitals of our country.     Doesn’t matter that he’s a good driver, an intelligent person, and that everyone said he’d be just fine.   This mother’s heart was not at ease until I got a text from him telling me he’s in the hospital, with Meghan,  and he’s okay.  Now he’s okay.   I’m okay.

While this was going on,  this was going on, my third trial:

Flight

Daughter and Cooper were in that little airplane,  (over Nevada), heading right into that severe storm over Chicago.   Their projected flight path took them north, then east,  then back west to Chicago . . .  so that they could get a little commuter plane that would take them eastward . . .  right back through the storm to our home.

That was the news.  The actual flight turned out to be a bit better:  about an hour delay in  take-off,  but a strong headwind reduced the flight by 30 minutes, connecting flights were made, they arrived, and all is well, if not a little busy around here.

“Uncle” Son is due to arrive soon tonight, a happy reunion for brother and sister, for uncle and nephew . . .   and hopefully he can remain present for the birthday celebrations we will squeeze in tomorrow.

All in all, there is a lot to be thankful to God for.

Deo gratias.

Advertisements

Personal Updates

August 5, 2018

When you’re old, old, old, old like me — well,  this is the oldest I’ve ever been anyway —  you kind of want everything settled and everyone in their place.   You don’t mind a little kerfluffle now and then,  but these last three months . . .  my goodness!

So,  just to make a record in The Spruce Tunnel,   here are some updates for my family and friends before I can go on to other topics.   Let me see if I can give an accounting of everyone:

In no special order,  I’ll start with Cooper.     Not too many hours ago today,  Cooper was on the Staten Island Ferry,* and on his way to the Statue of Liberty.

Cooper on Ferry 300

Don’t mind the squint.   He’s got light blue-gray-hazel eyes and the sun is very bright.  He’s also just returned from a several day spelunking tour and hopefully enjoyed the deep dark caves of eastern America.    Can’t wait to get a letter from him describing the caves!

Cooper apparently made it out to the Statue.     His daddy asks the question:  “Where’s Waldo?

Cooper tiny 330

That’s my “tiny little’ grandson in front of the Statue of Liberty.   Or is that a camera trick?

Daughter is vacationing in New York City too, along with Cooper and Daddy,  so that side of my little family is all happy and accounted for.       That’s fine with me!

Now, Son . . .

se us

Son is somewhere on that map,   having left Florida yesterday and on his way home  here in the Far North.     But I don’t know his route.  His texts are  not too specific.    All I know is that it took  not 3 1/2 hours,  but about 7 hours for him to go one-half inch up the eastern coast of Florida yesterday.   Apparently there are some pretty nice beaches along the way.

I am glad for him.  He’s had a lot on his mind, a lot to worry about, a lot of decisions to make, a lot of new people to meet, a lot of tasks . . .  and now he is alone for three days  in a pretty nice car,   beautiful scenery,  only his own thoughts to guide him.    He’ll be fine.

Nancy and Dusty 90  Dusty:     This has been a 3 or 4 month long concern,  but Nancy’s horse has finally found a new home.    I’m a bit confused because it doesn’t sound today like he’s going to the same place people talked about yesterday;  but although the destination is different,  both locations are described as “wonderful”  places for a horse with caring people . . . .   I hope everyone is as happy as Dusty will be.   He will be just fine now.

 

Our young friend M.       —

5/24/11 Aerials of UM Campus and Hospital and Ann Arbor area.

This week I took her to a big university hospital where they are supposed to know everything and be able to do everything.    They don’t.    And they didn’t.

M preop 330

She was patient #1595201 on the board.  All for nothing.  They went in – and they went  back out.

My young friend M.  is back to square one and rather beyond disappointed.   We have to wait.  Wait and see.    Wait and see what the medical industry will do to her.   And I’m very scared for her too.   Son and I and all her friends stand by her.  We hope and pray she’ll be fine.

 

The bat and the bird.     Well, I took care of their possible entry point:

Fireplace Screen

A little duct tape and some metal screen.    Okay, a guy would probably smack his forehead and say,  Why on earth . . .?         But it works for me.    There was about a 3/4 inch gap between the fireplace insert and the fireplace opening.  Now there isn’t.   I have peace of mind and I don’t have any birds and bats tonight.    That’s just fine with me.

 

Me.    Update on me?      Well,  I still covet your “butterflies.”    Or else I won’t be here to give you any more updates.     I read today ** that when Jesus walked this earth,  He lived His holy life for our benefit;    He lives today for our benefit.     He did miracles of healing back then;  and His miracles of healing  still exist for our benefit.    Because Jesus is also the Son of God,   True God and True Man,   His goodness and love and power are not confined to any one generation,  but are here, now, present for us all.

If prayers surround a person like graceful little butterflies,   then I too am just fine.

 

___________________________________

 

.*  If you’re from New York and  I got the name of that Ferry wrong, well,  sorry,  I’m just an Out Of Towner —   Pretty good movie!

Out of towners

 

.**      From  “Christ in His Mysteries  by Dom Columba Marmion   (A very valuable and highly recommended book.  I wish I could buy all of you a copy!)

“DOING” SOMETHING – LIKE THIS

January 7, 2018

 

Well, yesterday’s post was a little complex – and serious.    I still mean every word – even all the words I didn’t write  so it wouldn’t become extraordinarily long.

holy family the

Feast of the Holy Family

I meant just to say,  “Look around you, look at the world around you – and although there is much to learn and study and analyze,  yet still in a small way,  each of us is called  to actually act upon what we know.

Today’s remembrance within  Christendom centers on the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, put before us as our model of family life.   Our sermon was about what makes up a family in general;  I would have wished to hear more about the qualities of the Holy Family, but that’s okay,  that was his choice,  and nothing stops me from finding out more writings about these qualities on my own.

 

st theres familyThe family of St. Therese of Lesieux –

 

But that’s my point from yesterday, I guess.   Find out something in society that is good, that makes life strong and stable, and since we can all acknowledge that we don’t have that commonly anymore,  find out what went wrong, and what  can be done about it.  That’s a doable task for each individual person.

Take “family,”  for instance,  the theme for this day.

 

her whole family

The entire family of St. Therese, mother on left, father on right.

 

I’ve had lots of decades of TV viewing under my belt.   (Lots!)    I can truly say with sorrow that I’ve witnessed the disintegration and degradation of TV families,  so until now we hardly know — or rather we hardly dare define what a family really is.  We must be “politically correct” and “inclusive”  — so “they” tell us.   *

But “they” are wrong.   I’ve witnessed the sorrow and regretful longing implicit in so many movies and television series of the past two decades . . .  almost as though the writers know they are missing something precious, and this society can never have it  back.

HOLY FAMILY and st therese

(I have this painting at home,  but this photo  is apparently from “Restored Tradition.”   It shows St. Therese visiting the Holy Family – to learn as well as to pay homage.   Of course, she is separated by many centuries from the Holy Family,  but there is truth here:  we can all “visit”  this model of family love,  and also learn.  But as she,  the visit must be on bended knee.)

It’s not just sadness among  young adults because their family was messed up.      There are serious and dangerous society implications too,  all reflected in our entertainment that seems rudderless, pointless,  and rather despairing.

How do we turn around the loss of Family?    Can we repair this mess we’ve made of family life?       We need a model.    What is the “real dollar bill”  and what is the counterfeit?   We need to know the difference, and we need to know what difference it makes.

Then in our small way, one person at a time,  make our family a good one, perhaps modeled after the Holy Family.

 

_______________________________

.*   This presentation of devolving family life is also seen in children’s books, especially their school “readers.”      My Grandson Cooper loves reading the Dick and Jane books of the 1950’s;  he finds them interesting and logical,  fun and safe.     By the time I was teaching school, “they” had taken away wholesome family life and substituted all the politically correct wrong ideas about what the word family could mean.

That generation of children grew up imitating the broken families that they had read about their schoolbooks.

Their children know “something” is wrong with the way their parents lived, lived apart,  broke up their families,  blended new groups together . . .

And their children’s children wish to do something about it.

THE NINTH COMMANDMENT — TWO ARE ONE

September 2, 2015

God may call you to be single.  Or He may lead you into marriage.

Few know that the Bible actually says:  Don’t want to get married.  You don’t have to be married.  In fact, if you do,  you’ll be distracted from knowing the wonderful things of God and from serving Him with all your heart.  But — if you see someone and you fall in love and you just have to have her,  then, by all means,  get married.   That’s not a bad thing.

man and woman flowersIf she’ll have you,  she can be your bride . . . with God’s blessing.

9 grace kellyA marriage is a big thing in God’s eyes.    Two people willing to participate in the ongoing creation of human beings.   Two people willing to help each other stay on the Right Path and  to help each other and  their children to reach Heaven.

“And the two shall walk in one flesh.”  

9 wedding begins it

The two,  walking; he,  helping to carry;  she, carrying their little one –

9 man and woman

She’s yours.   And the baby is yours together.

It  won’t always be happy and easy.  There’ll be work to do:

9 man mowingMuch tedious work.    Not fun every day, like when you were single.  And young  (and immature).

9 fixing car

The family will have to be provided for and cared for every day, and you do it together,  husband and wife,  each with a set of skills to offer —

9 husband and wife

Now,  the Ninth Commandment states:   “Thou shalt not covet your neighbor’s wife.”

Even when she’s young and pretty and lives next door:

9 clothesline“The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”               Ha Ha Ha Ha, we say,  because we know, “No, it isn’t.  It only seems that way.”       Well, the Ninth Commandment says “Never mind the grass on the other side.  It belongs to someone else, and you have your own grass,  with all its familiar characteristics.”

“Thou shalt not covet . . .”     that is,  let desire enter into your mind, and then let desire grow and let it enter into your heart.  That kind of desire makes a mess of things, and if allowed to grow,  destroys the goodness around you.  Coveting happens inside you and,  thus,   it is your responsibility alone to recognize it when it comes unbidden and to find ways to squelch illicit desire.

To covet:  it’s an ugly thing.    It says, “I want, I want, I want;   and I don’t like what I have as much as what I want.”     Coveting grows where ingratitude grows.     Even though you have a bride who has become your wife who has become your companion and closest friend,  it doesn’t matter.   “I want to be ‘two’ with that better-looking woman —  and I’m willing to rip apart the Two-Walking-As-One to be “one”  in another twosome.”     Thou shalt not . 

crucifix

Now, a word of explanation about how this Commandment is different from the Tenth Commandment,  even though they both use the words:  “Thou shalt not covet . . . ”

It is because God the Creator and Commander does not look upon a wife as a man’s property.    She has been lovingly created and she is a man’s helpmate;  that is, his completion;  “At last!  bone of my bones,  I am no longer alone!”  said Adam upon first seeing Eve.     “Husbands, love your wives as you love your own selves.”

The Ninth Commandment tells men that their wives are human beings to be cherished and loved.    Wives are not “property”  to be used.  I’m afraid,  historically speaking,  wives lost a lot when Protestantism took over many territories.   No longer did Protestant men see  the  beautiful Mother of Christ reflected in the mysterious womanliness of their own wives.        Wives did indeed fall under “property” laws that had become distorted,  and wives “belonged”  to men.

This made it easy to combine these last two Commandments into one.  “Thou shalt not covet wives and property.”

IMAGINE – PERSONAL CONSEQUENCES OF NO 4TH COMMANDMENT

August 7, 2015

I sit here often.

SAMSUNG

There I read, think, enjoy, contemplate, pray, assess, plan, experience, live . . .  and  you may have one of those places too.

Lately the Fourth Commandment has come up in my mind.  There are things I need to deal with.

I would usually write “Imagine – a World Without the Fourth Commandment,” a world devastated by lack of respect for those who are far older than we are,  a world that acts on arrogant pride which tells us “we can break with the past and do it our way”    — but you can imagine that yourselves.

It’s a  world without respect, dignity, honor, rejecting the wisdom of one’s parents   (and their generation – and all the generations past).      Reinventing the wheel never works.    The wheel works.

4th wheelThere are many consequences that flow from understanding God’s Commandments  (the “wheel”) and following them,  but I want to get down to particulars – a small and disturbing detailed example,  one that is common to us all.

We know our grandparents will die some day.   Our parents will die some day.   And there is nothing like a dead family member to remind us of how much we loved them — and how much we failed to love them and to show them honor.

“Honor thy father and thy mother . . . ”  says the Fourth Commandment.      Acknowledge that they are worthy to be honored.  Worthy of our love.  Worthy of our respect.

I’ve been sitting in my Reading Chair looking at the small sofa across from me:

SAMSUNG

On that small sofa I had recently placed a beautiful afghan that my mother made for me.   It’s full size.   She used the “afghan stitch” which is an easy if somewhat monotonous activity.    And then once the afghan squares were made and stitched together,   my mother embroidered the designs on it.  The pattern came with flowers,  but my mother, on her own,  added the cross, because she personalized it for me.

quilt tissues

Excuse the tissues.   She died last year.

SAMSUNG

Here’s a closeup of the stitches,  the white yarn and the colored yarn, all requiring  individual and deliberate  movements of her hands to create each  white “square” and each colored X.

How many thousands or tens of thousands of individual movements did this afghan require?    She intended this afghan for me and she presented it to me one day.   I was suitably impressed.  I thanked her profusely.    Often I kept it stored away from a busy household with two little potentially damaging children growing up near the afghan.

And then I took it out, and now I’m using it.

Wondering:

I wonder at all the work that went into its making.  All the effort.  The love.  My mother’s hopes that I would like it.      And I also wonder how many times did I thank her for it?    Ever again?

More importantly when she got old and had lots of time to think back on her life,  did she ever wonder  if I still  appreciated it?   Did I ever think of it?     How would she know?     Sometime during her last eight or so years I took a photo of it and intended to show it to her, thank her for it again,  tell her it was not forgotten — but by that time she had already begun to suffer from the  brain damage that always occurs after chemotherapy.     She would not .  .  .

Yes, we can still honor our parents and grandparents who have died, and the goodness and wisdom of past generations.  that’s important.

But here, from my Reading Chair,   I wish I had  been more acutely aware of the Fourth Commandment when my parents were alive.  There are consequences when we disregard it, not only for the management of “world affairs”  — No,  just consequences for us, personally.

” . . .   that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God has given thee.”

“Imagine” a world without the Fourth Commandment, you  Pop Culture Victims.    A world full of personal confusion and regrets.   All willing orphans.

God’s Laws and rules and principles are meant to keep us happy and safe, with the least amount of “regrets” tugging at us.