Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's 11:30pm

And both of my kids are not asleep. They are living up to the advent motto: Keep Awake! We have been trying since 8:30 to get Ruby to sleep.  She doesn't feel well.  Zia has been crying out in pain for some of the night; the operation is having its effect....and getting any kind of work done has been almost impossible this week...Oh holy night. Silent night. You are the nights I long for in hours such as these. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Surgery for Zia

Life proceeds, and then the unanticipated happens.  This time of year there is a lot of focus on the Holy Family making pilgrimage to Jerusalem in order to be counted for the census.  How a woman expecting child was expected (forced?) to make such a journey is beyond modern day thinking, at least for those for whom life is fairly predictable.  But, across the world there may be the unexpected that leaves mothers and fathers with little to no choice about having to journey far from home, some of whom may never anticipate except in faint dreams the possibility of returning.  Because Trasie and I were asked to be the Holy Family in this years Christmas Pageant on Dec 24, I have been a little more intentional about paying attention to Mary and Joseph's reality, or at least, the way their experience has been interpreted over the years.  Las Posadas processions, the biblical story, and el Dia de la Virgin, all signal us to remember the story and, gradually, it become part of our lives. 

While I can't truly conceive of the experience of the Holy Family 2000 years ago, yesterday, I was at a children's clinic of UNM hospital where parents were coming from all over the state to seek any range of treatment for their children. It was difficult to see the looks of desperation on some of the faces of the parents whose children were really struggling. I was impressed by the courage of the caregivers of the hospital to try and address the problems and give peace to the parents/guardians/caregivers of the children.  

We were there for Zia. The doctors and techs and nurses were wonderful. We never anticipated leaving Albuquerque with a surgery scheduled for Monday.  We thought there would be some additional preliminary steps.  However, the doctor assured us that this procedure was one in which we need not worry. The pediatric surgeons, with over 50 years of experience and access to all the necessary equipment, would provide us with the best possible care we can have. And they felt best to take action sooner rather than later, as the mass has grown and they want to know what it is.  "Don't worry," we were told (Jesus said that, too)...still working on that one.  

So, with pending surgery, we now must make a journey we didn't anticipate; one we would prefer not to make; but one that is necessary. Through all of this, we are being reminded of how necessary it is to trust.  Trust that ultimately, in the midst of all the variables and potential scenarios that could have played out, we proceed with confidence that Zia is in God's loving care.   As I sat with Zia last night on the bed, before lights were turned out, she was in a wonderful quiet alert state.  She was looking curiously in many directions; her arms were active, her lips pursing and relaxing, her tongue protruding and retracting. My heart was ready to burst out of my chest.   

We invite any who would care to, to join us in trusting and in prayer.  We do not yet know the time of the surgery, as they will call us to confirm today, but we anticipate the morning. It should last an hour, and the results of the analysis should come before the end of the week.  

As a result of this unanticipated event, we, as a family, most likely will not able to be the Holy Family for the pageant.  If there is a couple interested in subbing (Allan and Rachelle?  Antonio and Liz?  Jessica and Edgar? anyone else?), we'll take the sub!  I most likely will be without my wife and youngest for the pageant, but Ruby will be ready with all of her enthusiasm and cheer, as will many other children.  And it will be great!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Brinca - the great running trainer

Our dog Brinca is 6 years old.  She and I have been running together for six years.  Before this year, I've never really tried to improve my running time, as I've just done it casually - for, really.  But, there have been many times we've run together and we're just not in sync.  She would slow me down! And since she is usually on the leash, it would pull me back. I found it quite annoying. She was especially slow in the summer - a black fur coat doesn't do her any favors.  I would intentionally seek places to run where I could let her off leash, but that's not always an option.  Adding to some of the frustration of her slowing me down, I found that when I let her off leash, she still had plenty of energy to chase after any moving object in the bushes off trail -- a rabbit or prairie dog. But, she didn't have enough energy to keep up!  
But recently, I noticed that it wasn't necessarily that she was slower than me, it was just that our pace was different.  My jogging pace was faster than her trot, but her canter was faster than my jog.  

I've never really used anything to pace me, to speed me up, but tonight on my jog, I found that if I wanted to run faster and maintain a faster pace, I needed to run at her canter pace.  She would never have let me onto this, being a good submitting dog not wanting to drag me (and she's a bit lazy, so maybe didn't mind that I would drag her along). 

And just like that, after six years, and several frustrating runs with Brinca "slowing me down", she has all of a sudden become the perfect training partner for me as I seek to improve my running times. 

Life is often not what it initially seems.  So much of our enjoyment of life is simply a matter of perspective. Sometimes we don't realize the gift that others (people and animals) are to us.  
Thanks, Brinca for being a great running dog.