Friday, February 17, 2006

A prisoner of her own body for over 25 years, my father's dear cousin Kathy was set free this week. She had resided in what had remained of her body, wracked with Multiple Sclerosis, suffering in silence and isolation.

I have a vivid memory of her, young and beautiful, commenting on her lovely children, "I prayed that my children would be healthy. I didn't care if they were beautiful -- yet God made them healthy AND beautiful. What a wonderful God we serve."

I remember this moment often. She seems angelic in my memory, radient. Her own health was already waning, she knew of her disease. Her husband eventually would leave her in her ailing state with her 2 beautiful children. Her son shortly followed him. Her daughter was left to care for her, never wanting to leave her side, calling the ambulance when her mother would collapse from time to time. She was only 12. Eventually the authorities had to remove the child from the home (she was relocated to the home of her aunt) and shortly thereafter had to remove Kathy to a nursing home where her health gradually declined unto her death.

She suffered for more than 25 years. For most of that time all of the thoughts she had, all of the revelations she may have experienced, all of the visions she may have had -- all remained within her. I wonder if she prayed? I wonder if she felt lonely or abandoned? I wonder how many more are out there like her?

Kathy was laid to rest today. She is the first of her generation to go home to heaven. She's a walkin' talkin' girl now -- and I'll bet she's just beautiful.

++Lord, watch over Kathy's mother, her brothers, and her children, her cousins. They have lived with this grief for many years. Help them to heal.

"I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Friday, February 10, 2006

Many of you already know that my daughter will be playing soccer in Holland this summer. We have never been to Holland. We have never been even remotely curious about going to Holland. Now we are completely interested in Holland -- where to stay, what to see, who comes from there, who still lives there, what's in the news there, what is the weather like, etc, etc. Lately, as these things tend to happen, we have found ourselves inundated with information and connections to broaden our perspective and learn about this beautiful place (sort of like when you become pregnant, you suddenly notice all the other pregnant women all around you...). Even in Blogville, stories of Holland are abounding. First, I met Corry, a wonderful blogger originally from Holland. Just recently, have come across Dooce who is entertaining me with news of her vacation in Holland. (Start here, and work your way to the current date -- a fun read!) Funnier still is her husband Jon's simultaneous perspective of the same trip (start here). Hopefully by the time we go, I'll actually have a working knowledge of this place! Of course, I intend to share....

++Lord thank you for hooking us up with what we need, when we need it. You rock!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Here's a great link to the Superbowl Ads thanks to Eric Keck.

We had a fun football party which culminated in a trip to the Emergency Room with my daughter's friend and team mate, who broke her collarbone during a halftime jaunt to the park. She's 12 and healthy and will likely heal quickly, but Spring Soccer is out, much to the dismay of the entire team (our leading scorer).

Not unlike other Superbowl parties, ours was categorized by tons of food and beer. Neither my husband nor I had planned to be a designated driver on this specific occasion (this is the best part of having these things at your house...) so at the moment of the emergency we recruited one of my son's 16 year old buddies to drive my husband, my daughter and her friend to the hospital where her parents eventually met up with them. My husband and daughter made it home by the end of the 4th quarter. Those of us waiting at home had switched to coffee and lost interest in the game (except for NY Guy who won the 3rd quarter football square (after also winning the 1st and 2nd quarter squares as well - heavy sigh). Upon their return and with great exhileration the 16 year old emergency driver exclaimed, "I always have the best adventures at the Johnson house!!"

A dubious honor, I dare say.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I found this post to be profound and inspiring. Miracles have been on my mind lately, and as far as they tend to go, this one is an especially marvelous one --- Especially the part where Jesus says, "You feed them." "Me, Lord?" I dialogue inside my head, "surely you mean some other "you". No answer. I am left to figure it out on my own. In this famous story, the disciples use what little they have and somehow end up with plenty left over. A miracle. A step of faith. Funny, it all seems so easy on paper...

Thank you to Rhymes with Kerouac and Rulan for their inspirational posts.