Addicted to Ink

Sunday, November 27, 2005

good times

There are few things better in life than long conversations with good friends over good food (or good coffee or good other beverages).

And I got to enjoy lots of that in these past few days.

I'm really... thankful.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Three months. Said the doctors on Thursday.
That is, at most, how much time my mother's mother has left to live.
She's 78. She's in the final stages of cihrosis of the liver, and often her ammonia levels are very high, so when you visit her sometimes she wants you to move her dollhouse so she can see it better, and sometimes she thinks the nurse has taken her to the basement and deserted her, but always Grandma knows to ask where my husband is.

A few weeks. Said the doctors on Thursday.
That is, at most, how much time my mother's father has left to live.
He's 78. The doctors first thought that he had cancer of the liver, because he's yellow with jaundice. But that biopsy came back negative, yet all of his other tests scream "cancer" so they're certain it's somewhere. His very-close-to-him-step-son, a physician's assistant, believes it's in his pancreas. A very painful way to go. "I can't wait to get this home and get it over with," Grandpa, an avid deerhunter tells my mom's brother. So my stepuncle goes to his mom's house and removes all the guns and ammo. Just to be safe. They're having Thanksgiving at their house on Thursday. They always have Thanksgiving there. I won't be there on Thursday--I'll be with my grandmother at my aunt & uncle's house on Thursday, but I'll spend time with Grandpa on Wednesday.

What does one say to another who is dying so soon? Does one speak at all?

It's different with Grandma than it is with Grandpa. Grandma and I can talk about anything and we've always been very close.

Grandpa is very much the World War II generation kind of guy. We talk about general everyday kinds of things, and each visit ends with a kiss, a hug, and an "I love you," but we've never talked about big stuff. I wonder what our conversation will be.

I know that at 27, I am so incredibly blessed to still have all of my grandparents living.

But I didn't know it would be this difficult to watch them die.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

For Megan...and the rest of us, too :0)

The other night, Meg & I were talking about the importance of community.

I don't remember if I've told her this before, but the night before she began her second treatment, I was praying specifically for her, and also for a couple I know that had just lost their newborn daughter.

As I was praying, I was also meditating especially on Matthew 5:4 (Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.). First, I was thinking what the couple was mourning: the loss of a child, which represents their love, their future, their legacy.

I was thinking of Megan, how she had to have been mourning this loss of normalcy, loss of health, loss of control.

Then I began thinking about the community that surrounded both Meg and this couple, and was praising God for the awesome community of Believers that both the couple and Megan have surrounding them. Believers who love them and are lifting them up in prayer, constantly.

I’m not much of a concert person, but I was praying, I had this image of crowd surfing. When a person crowd surfs, he is passed hand by hand above a packed crowd, right? Hands are raised high above the air, and there is such a multitude of people that this is done so that the surfer is not dropped - many hands are holding him up, and so the burden of his weight, no matter how great or what he is carrying, is not too much for anyone to bear because they are all sharing the burden.

I thought that was a compelling picture of what the community of Believers is to look like... hands up - praising God and lifting those, literally carrying along those of us in need who aren’t able to stand on our own at that moment. And God, reaching down to touch us with His spirit, His joy, His peace. Not to mention His grace, His grace that empowers us to let others to pick us up because we can't stumble another step, and also the grace it takes to carry others in their times of need.

We all need that peace, that community, that supernatural strength in our lives. Tonight especially, I am so incredibly grateful for it.

Friday, November 11, 2005


Maybe I've just got turkeys on the brain with the upcoming Turkey Bowl 2005, but this cracked me up!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

clumsy me...

Balance in my life is something I could only dream about achieving. Seriously, life seems so out of control lately. For instance, even if I eliminated sleep altogether, I still don't think I could finish all of my work--both personal projects and work projects--right now.

Yet, I keep piling more things on. And today, I'm okay with that. Maybe that's the definition of insanity.

Anyway: here's a sampling of what's happening lately:
  • So... The Pittsburgh Project was this weekend. I think everyone had a great time, and so did I (except for one personally humiliating incident; if you want details, you have to call me). Saleem Ghubril is amazing. So is TPP [here's a cool story about it:]. Oh, and so are the students who went on the trip. I mean, these people each paid $90 to give up their weekend toward the end of a hectic semester to do stuff like: wash dishes that probably haven't been washed in 7 years and had inches of grease on them; paint; fill patches in sidewalks; fix an elderly widow's basement steps, then clean her bathroom and spend an entire day replacing her ceiling.

    While we were there, we heard hip-hop artist Fred Lynch tell us his life story, which is amazingly compelling: His dad was a Vietnam vet who, while in war, was forced (with a gun to his own head) to shoot a little girl strapped with grenades. He never got over it and often tortured Fred and his siblings while they were growing up. If you ever have a chance to hear him speak, he's very passionate and very good. And the text from the first night he spoke was from Psalm 68, particularly these words: A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation. God sets the solitary in families. He spoke of God's passion for His children, and how He sets people in their families, intentionally, and
    how He uses that to shape their lives... speaking of which:
  • Allissa (my 19-year-old sister) announced on her blog today (and my mom confirmed) that she is getting married in a few weeks to a guy she's known less than a few months. We had a very l-o-n-g conversation last night. For all the good it did. I am scaredtodeath for her. I just want what's best for her and even if this was 1962, I still would be terrified. I hear he's truly a great guy but I know one person only -- my friend Lee-- who was actually ready to get married at 19. Anyway, off to North Carolina in just a few weeks then.
  • Since the last time I wrote about it, I've interviewed three more people for my book, and have one more interview set up on Thursday. Good times.
  • The first fundraiser for the Ukraine Service-Learning trip is coming up... and the only people who have done any work for it are the leaders. Not good, my friends. And it's risky, cuz it's a "first time ever" thing at Malone. I have all of my fingers crossed. And all of my toes. We'll see! It sounded like fun: it's on Monday, November 21 and it's a flag football game with a twist - the football is replaced by a partially frozen turkey wrapped in duct tape. "Turkey Bowl 2005." Hey---it works for George Fox University.
  • Though she recently spent another eight days in the hospital, Grandma's had a few really good days. I'm looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with her.
  • By Friday, I should be done with A Gathered Stillness. That's the project I've been working on for about a year at work.
  • Michael, who was suffering from "laptop envy" got a laptop for himself after our old computer crashed. Now we spend romantic evenings...typing away at our laptops in front of the tv. Him looking at fishing stuff and ebay stuff and computer stuff, and me blogging and reading other people's blogs and working on my book. Sexy.

Oh, boy. I've written another book tonight. Sorry!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

'kay, so here are some photos

1. Thomas & Sarah leaving for their honeymoon
2. Sarah in the bridal room before the wedding
3. Allissa & her future husband, Jeremy
4. Me with my niece, Jordyn at Sarah's wedding