Tuesday, December 27, 2005

One Year Later....

One year

365 days

(ok, minus a few hours)

Last year on this date, December 27, 2004 at 1:30pm I accompanied Frank on a visit to an urologist. We waited for a VERY LONG TIME in an office where we brought the average age down to oh, say about 65, and then we waited some more in an exam room where I began my education (from the posters on the wall in the exam room) on the male’s urology system and the different types of kidney stones one can have. Those posters are not suppose to scare you are they? Cause I never want to play with a set of jacks again.

Upon the entrance of the venerable Dr., our Frank “dropped trou” and said Dr. pronounced a diagnosis:

testicular cancer.

It was stunning, and not in the, "have you seen the latest fashion line, it’s stunning," sense of the word.

The afternoon Zombie like we wandered the halls of the hospital where Frank got to meet the nice ultra sound wand up close and personal. We also got to walk the results back to the Dr.’s office and INSISTED that he read them for us then and there. Yep, one was evil and diseased and the other, well, was just a dumb nut.

So began a journey that I never thought I’d take, never wanted to volunteer to take, but don’t begrudge that I had to take it because the reward was well worth the journey: Frank is still with all of us.

Thank you to each of you for having supported and walked with us this past year; it is a blessing to be able to know of the love and support that we have surrounding us.

Now, I just have to tell you about the most wonderful Christmas Day: Sunday, December 25, 2005.

Yes, we had church. AND we had decent attendance for a day when other churches thought it a good idea to be closed.

We, and by we I mean my mom (and a helpful cook in the church who had back up in case we needed more--we did!), made cinnamon rolls for everyone who came to church. Instead of Sunday School we had a fellowship time where everyone sugared up. It was delicious!

BUT the most amazing part was that everyone had been invited to bring a wrapped gift for baby Jesus; something that could be part of a baby layette kit or a baby bundle (page #14) for missions.

The manger was overflowing with gifts!

I tried to share a meaningful children’s sermon trying to equate how hard it is for us to talk to ants vs. how hard it is for God to talk to us and that is why he sent Jesus—I even had glow in the dark bugs for the kids to have—but mostly they were amazed that I’d even consider talking to ant, b/c it would bite you, especially the red ones, and when I tried to say we were kind of like ants, one young one said, I don’t want to be an ant, I’d get squashed by somebody’s thumb!

Admitting defeat (or at least recognizing that the cinnamon rolls and candy before church were working their sugary magic) I thought it best to move on to the presents.

There were enough gifts for baby Jesus each child to open 2 or three. They tore into them and were excited that baby Jesus was going to give them to other babies who needed them. Then they started showing me what they were unwrapping and I appropriately express astonishment and wonder at each thing presented to me.

“Ohh diapers!”

“Wow a sleeper!”

“Look oneises!”

“What a soft blanket!” (A sweet 4 year old wanted to keep the flufy pink one for herself--it was very soft and very pink, and she did ask very nicely. She is also the one who almost had a sit-in in my office because I wouldn't let her take one of the lady bug stones I have in a fountain in my office; I've since learned that she has given tours of my office to her grandparents to show them the lady bugs. *grin* Oh, I did not let her have the blanket either.)

At some point there were more hands showing me things than I could keep up with and they gleefully started piling all the gifts on top of me. Giggling. While I was still trying to share/tell what all the gifts were for the benefit of those not up front with us. Thank God the worship leader came to my rescue and helped usher the kids in the direction of putting the unwrapped gifts back into the manger. Meanwhile, one 1st grade boy began picking up the paper saying, “I'm the trash monster, err, err, err!" Then 5 seconds later, as he contined efficiently picking up the paper, "I CAN'T believe I'm picking up the trash!"

Then some of the children then went to "Children’s Church" where they set up a birthday party, complete with cake for us to share after the worship service.

One child decided that she didn't want to go back to sit with her mom and grandparents so she stayed up front with me through a hymn and the prayer time until her grandpa came and fetched her. She was very well behaved and cuddled on my lap during the singing of Angels We Have Heard on High.

So to recap:
We fed everyone wonderful sugary home made cinnamon rolls before church.
Had a gift opening frenzy.
And then fed them birthday cake before we sent them home.

Later my sister remarked the only thing I didn’t do to jazz the kids up before sending them home was to give each one of them a puppy!



I hope to have some pictures to share with you soon from our church photographer.

I hope each of you had a very Merry Christmas too!

The Rev


Andy B. said...

Absolutely wonderful story! I am smiling still :)
- Andy B.