Monday, November 26, 2007

Post-Thanksgiving Update

Well, the weekend has come and gone. All things considered, it went pretty well. What things are to be considered?

House still not done. Contractor has walked off job. Does not answer phone nor his door.

Truck was not done. Still a few more weeks. Maybe. I rather doubt it.

Tough travel weather, but two beautiful Fall snowfalls within a few days of each other. I hope this is a trend that carries over and through Winter.

Pursuant to the Thanksgiving Day snow, my kids baptized a snowman in the baptistry at Jacob's Dream. Hey. He was a snowman in Abilene. Of course he was lost.

20 people at our house with lots of fun.

Great food.

More to be thankful for than anyone could ever articulate.

All things considered...


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Another transfusion (not from me) and he is feeling better.
House will not be ready for Thanksgiving company as promised.
Truck will not be ready for Thanksgiving as promised.
Faith in Jesus strong; faith in people in the crapper. Still enough to make Thanksgiving somewhat understated.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Dad Update Correction

Now that he is actually back and I got to visit with him for a little longer, I realized I was misinformed in my last post. Dad has not actually begun treatment for the cancer but has instead begun medication for symptoms caused by the cancer. Since his red blood cell count dives so severely (hence the need for the transfusions) he is being treated for that. Depending on how that goes he may start chemo treatments in a few months. At least it's a start.


The project I did not discuss in the last post is the truck I am trying to restore. This truck has been in the family for fifty years. That's 5-0. My dad's dad bought it as a demo and we've had it around ever since. Trouble is, it hasn't been road-worthy for as long as I can remember. In a matter of days, however, it will hopefully be running like a well-oiled machine. Actually it will be a well-oiled machine. Anyway, it will also be as shiny as a fresh coat of paint. Come to think of it, it will have a fresh coat of paint. So... if you see my dad driving around in a 1957 Chevy pickup (or me if I'm lucky) looking like the picture here (not the actual truck) you'll know I actually managed to finish one of the things I'm working on (or paying someone to work on).

Saturday, November 10, 2007


First, Dad got back from M D Anderson today. They actually started a treatment regimen. He will continue said regimen here in Abilene and only go to Houston periodically for check-ups. (Coincidentally, as a young tike that is how I pronounced ketchup, "checkup.") There is some relief to the fact that he has actually started some kind of treatment after 2 1/2 months of frustration. Now its "wait and see."

The house remodeling that was supposed to be done over a month ago continues with family coming in about 9 days. Kendra and I have been sleeping on the floor for two weeks. Our clothes have been in the living room and garage. Everything in our home is covered in a fine- oh, who am I kidding- thick layer of sheetrock dust. Our dog has not had a fenced yard for 2 months. The work being performed is often at best sub-standard and I am under the gun regarding time and therefore cringe when I make them do something over because I know it just delays things further. If you are in the Abilene area and need work done, be sure to ask me about who not to use. Actually, he was a bit of a last resort. I called several people who would never call back and this guy came recommended and ready. Actually, parts of it have been better than I dreamed. The finish work, however... well, I'll stop before I say something inappropriate.

I took a friend to the doctor yesterday in San Antonio. It was actually a nice trip for a day. He asked me to go back and visit with the doctor with him. It was kind of funny. The doctor came in with the X-rays and two young MDs. My friend's case was so unusual that the doctor could not hide his excitement over the value of the teaching moment. Still, he also showed an appropriate amount of concern. It was oddly humorous even though I felt he struck a good balance.

Tenors at Highland are getting hard to come by. I now have two teams needing tenors. I am open to suggestions. Actually, tenors may not be my biggest problem tomorrow. My allergies have been so bad this week that I may not be able to sing. Maybe I should be more interested in finding a worship leader instead of a tenor. On the up side, my head is so congested that I cannot hear the mosquitos all the workers have let in while they work on our house.

While the trip to San Antonio and back made for a rather long one-day trip, having a fantastic wife greet you at the door makes it easy to shake the road-weariness and remember why it is so good to be home.

I have several friends who are in transition phases when it comes to their employment. I have been there and I think it is safe to say that I totally freak out when I am between jobs. That having been said, pray for people in that circumstance that peace will prevail until that next, better thing comes along. Or maybe just pray that that thing comes along very soon.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Who Cain't Be Topical?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Dad Update

Well, I'm not sure we know a lot, but one of the doctors from M.D. Anderson called and said that a consortium of at least 20 physicians met and decided Dad probably has a hybrid of lymphoma and leukemia. Given that hybrids are all the rage, this probably as close to being in style as Dad has ever been. At any rate, they think this will not move as agressively as lymphoma, but nor will it move as slowly as leukemia. The treatment, then, should be similar- not as agressive as for lymphoma but more agressive than would be typical for leukemia. When they start and for how long they will continue are still uncertain.

Now, on another and more tragic matter, a young lady named Monica lost a physical battle with cancer last night. She was a 5th grader where my kids go to school. I defy anyone to tell me how things like a child with cancer can in any way exist in the same realm as the popular interpretation of the Prayer of Jabez. Tragedy and luxury cannot co-exist. It is like a mathematical equation. A negative multiplied by a positive still yields a negative product. While we may think of luxury as a positive thing, when applied to the negative of a lack of sacrifice and concern for others, the product is still tragic.

Come quickly.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Not much to report on Dad. Still no word from M.D. Anderson so it's a bit frustrating. My birthday was this week so we had dinner with Dad and Colleen and she pointed out that he is exactly twice as old as I am. I know all of this is obvious to everyone, but the striking part of that fact is that he was my age when I was born. For some reason, that is very strange to me. It kind of makes me feel older somehow. To make it even more bizarre, I am exactly half as mature as my age would suggest. (Help me somebody...)

I have gotten to witness how people react to families in crisis a few times, I suppose. That's kind of weird to say, because I frankly feel like my family has been incredibly blessed. Sure, some hard times have come our way but I think they have been flash fires rather than smoldering fires. Both leave scars, but we have been able to move on- never forgetting the landscape before the fire and maybe wondering if our charred surroundings will ever flourish again, but still being able to function in the wake of those memories rather than constantly fighting flames. Other families have had to deal with chronic difficulties like disabilities, abuse, poverty, family disfinction, war, etcetera. As dark as it may seem when cancer casts a shadow over a family, at least we have the opportunity to see hope in the situation. At least that's how I see it.

I also believe that our ability to see this glimmer of hope through the haze of smoke (or to use another favorite image from a hymn- to trace the rainbow through the rain) is not directly anchored in the belief that God will heal my Dad (of whatever it is he has). In fact, I don't think He will. Dad doesn't either. We both believe whole-heartedly that God can. It's just that after all we've seen, we don't think He works that way, necessarily. Who knows? God is God and we are not. He'll work that out and we'll just trust Him. That should work pretty well, I think.

Anyway, in seeing how people react to families in crisis, I can still be surprised. Here are some of the things I have heard from people who have learned of Dad's illness. As Dave Barry would say, I am not making this up.

"Wait- where will he be buried?"

"Oh, that's too bad. Who is this?"

"So, after your mom and your sister and now your dad, you're probably wondering when you'll be next, huh?"

"Well, at least you've been through this before."

Except for the "Who is this?" which was funny and happened when my aunt thought I was someone else, none of the others were things I had thought of on my own. The last two have actually been said to me more than once in the last few weeks. It's a crazy world. Yep. Someone should sell tickets...

Back to the more mundane, I would just like to say that there are three kinds of people in thie world; those who can count and those who can't.

Remember that remodeling being done on our house that was supposed to take 30 days and started on September 7? Yeah, well I am getting very anxious about having a lot of company at Thanksgiving while some walls and doors may be missing and floors have no covering.

Our family has just been introduced to Guitar Hero (Guitar Hero 3, to be exact). Are all the addiction support groups already full?

Cooper v. Abilene High tomorrow. Hoo boy! Isn't it enough to know we're all winners in our own way? No? AHS by 8.

They sang to me at a restaurant the other night. Happy Birthday, dear Gert! Apparently when there's cheesecake involved, I'll answer to anything.