Thursday, February 16, 2012

Urgent Prayer Request: Gene

I could not have made this without Gene's help

My knife teacher is back in the hospital again.  He spent most of December and part of January at Cox South here in Springfield, and has only been able to get into the workshop with me three times since his release.  The other night, he woke up about 3 a.m., unable to breathe, and told his wife that he didn't think he was going to make it.  Thankfully, they were able to get him to the hospital where he is getting treated.  He sounds awful, (I talked to him this morning), but he says they're giving him the right drugs so we are hoping for the best.

His condition is serious.  He told me about two weeks ago that they won't put him on the heart/lung transplant list because of his previous exposure to multiple carcinogens.  The doctor has suggested surgery to remove the bottom parts of his lungs so that after some therapy, he can inhale more deeply.

Pray for Gene that the doctors can find a cure for the bug causing the chronic fevers.  Pray for the doctors to come up with a way to help Gene breathe better.  Pray for Gene's strength to return to the point where he can go into the knife shop to supervise my lessons and work on his own projects.  Pray for the salvation of both Gene and his wife, Cathy.  Pray for my witness to them.  I love them both.  Gene just turned 57.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Losing Our Fathers

He was the first man we ever loved, and the first man who broke our hearts.  We fought for his attention, thrived under his praise, withered under his scorn.  He was the invincible tickle monster of our childhood, the evil oppressor of our misspent teenage years, and the font of advice when we fledged.   The same man who knew when to put on and take off the training wheels was our guide when we heard something wrong with the car.  

We, as little girls, thought he would always be there, but something happened.  Maybe we lost a grandparent, maybe a pet died, and we realized with horror, that all life is mortal.  I still remember when I learned that everything dies and that meant parents, too.  Life is kind enough, though, that most of us didn't have to face the loss of our fathers while we were still young.  Instead we saw with each year that Dad got grayer and less robust.  The fathers of our youth that we thought were strong oaks turned out to be meadow grass that flourishes in its season and then fades under winter's blast.

We lose him.  Yet life goes on.  The grief fades, never leaving entirely, but recedes to a level we find we can more or less live with.  We might not believe this in the early days of our grief, but it is so.  Half-orphans, we casually speak of "Mom's house," when we had always said "Mom's and Dad's place" before, and the phrase passes into conversation without much notice.  This is the natural order of things, that our fathers go before us into the longest night, and we have been prepared for this, (as much as anyone can be), ever since childhood.

That doesn't stop us from missing the Daddy who pushed us on the swings and checked our report cards.  My father's birthday is just two days from now.  He would have been eighty-five.  Now, he's ageless.  Miss you, Dad.