Monday, August 24, 2015

Corona With Oak Leaves


The bravest thing I ever did was continuing to live when I wanted to die...unattributed Facebook quote.

"Wanted" is a poor choice of words.  "Needed to" is more accurate.  I refer not to depression, but to physical suffering, which can be so intense even oblivion becomes preferable to continuing the pain. Only my loyal and devoted family gave me cause to suffer on and endure.

My loyal and loving children and grandchildren who have stood by me and been my support and strength each deserve a Corona Civica...

The Civic Crown (Latincorona civica) was a chaplet of common oak leaves woven to form a crown. During the Roman Republic and the subsequent Principate, it was regarded as the second highest military decoration to which a citizen could aspire (the Grass Crown being held in higher regard). It was reserved for Roman citizens who saved the lives of fellow citizens by slaying an enemy on a spot not further held by the enemy that same day. The citizen saved must admit it; no one else could be a witness.[1]

Nature Red In Tooth And Claw


Tennyson's pre-Darwin observation on the struggle for survival is on target today. We have moved into the new home and we love it here, but there are still so many things to do. Everyone's overwhelmed and struggling hard to keep going and in the midst of this the children are forced to deal with their mother's battle to survive.

In the past few days she has been in and out of surgery several times with no surgery actually performed. As far as I can tell the problem is at once simple to state and very difficult to resolve. It seems that the situation entirely a matter of playing the odds. 

The MERSA in her leg is continuing to spread and cause more and more damage.  The terrible choice is to remove the leg or let the MERSA eventually kill her. However, her heart is in such bad condition that the anesthesiologist does not want to put her under for fear that she will die as a result.

So what is worse? What is the best bet for her to survive? It really isn't all that clear.  The kids are very upset with the hospital, understandably so. But I think the doctors are truly doing their best. The surgeon wants that leg removed so that he can control the infection. But when they bring her into the operating room the anesthesiologist sees that she is not in condition to survive being rendered unconscious. As horrible as it is for everyone, I hardly think the doctors are being callous about this. Instead, I expect they are agonizing over this terrible decision.

We have just heard that she is going into surgery once again. Whether the surgery will actually be performed and whether she will survive it are open questions.

To get back to Tennyson, when we look at the world we see its beauty. That beauty is real. But we usually neglect to see the ugliness that lies underneath it. We struggle and we do our best we try to find what joy and happiness we can. We are not wrong to do so. But the brutality of the battle to survive is always ready to make itself known.

Bless Me, Lord, For I Deserve It


In response to a Facebook post advising people who have been "church hurt" not to walk away from God and to believe that, in time, they who have offended will pay the price. 

If I understand the term "church hurt" correctly, this meme hits home.  Today's sanctimonious and hypocritical Pharisees are as full of their own holiness and as empty of love as the original Pharisees who so irritated Christ.  Some of the best and too many of the worst people I have known are deeply committed and loudly self proclaimed good Christians.  In some cases, methinks they dost proclaim too much.

Come to think about it, the best ones were actually quite quiet about their beliefs, it was their fellow congregants who made the noise.  It seems that at least some Christians have read Matthew 6.  “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.  And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you."

As it happens, I do not blame God for the excesses of His hypocritical followers.  They are so busy blessing themselves, they have neither time nor room for His. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Dickens Redux

Still continuing with the best of times and the worst of times.  Many things to do and a lot that is very confusing. On the other hand the house is ours. Registered with the government and everything. We're about half moved there and have another 21 days to get finished.

Wonderful time with my dear old friend Susan. She came to help and helped a great deal. But more important she gave me great joy reminiscing about old times. 
Also lots of time with the grandkids.  That's really hard in the middle of all of this, but it's also so refreshing to my spirit and my soul. It is family that matters to me first foremost and always.  

We split living arrangements for now. One of us lives in the old house and one in the new. That will continue until the old house is empty.
Tonight I'm exhausted. But at least I had the kids so it wasn't a total loss day for me even though I did nothing toward the house. And there's a huge list to be worked on tomorrow. I'll get there soon enough.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Progress Report

It's about time for an update.  As I expressed around the beginning of the year, I hoped 2015 would be an improvement on 2014. Last year had been difficult in so very many ways that a little bit of hope was more than called for.
And the first six months of this year have certainly been a time of change.  It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. A very appropriate quote.
Some of the bad things came to an end, some have continued. One or two have gotten worse.  
But it is also true that some very good things have happened.  All in all, a mixed bag, with more good than bad.
So it has not been an easy year so far, but I would have to say that if you look at the whole picture there has been, in some significant ways, an improvement over last year.
In a few days we will start moving. Officially the house is not ours yet, but everyone is agreed that there's really nothing that can go wrong now. It's time to begin getting out and starting a new chapter of my life.
Some of the things so long on my list and never done have either gotten done or are in the process of getting done. That is a massive improvement.
So, I must say that right now it looks as if this will indeed be a year in which old problems either got cleaned up, or at least didn't get too much worse (with an exception or two) and in which some new beginnings have given the promise of a future flowering.
So it seems that this year is living up to expectations halfway in. Things should get much better in many areas over the next few months, although for a few I'm afraid there seems to be little hope.
Clearly difficult challenges lie ahead, not the least of which is moving!  But we're definitely moving in the right direction in most areas and I am cautiously hopeful.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Too Little, Far Too Late

A post from a Biker group defended the Confederacy, claiming that revisionists were deceiving us all.  They declared that the Civil war had nothing to do with slavery.  I reposted and  commented:

This is a pack of bizarre lies.  Every leader of the confederacy declared, in writing, repeatedly, that the preservation of slavery to maintain white supremacy the one and only issue leading to their secession.  Google the documents they wrote and signed.  Either the glorious leaders of the South were filthy liars or slavery was the the only reason for secession.  Their plans to conquer neighboring nations to spread their slave empire are a matter of cold hard fact.

Revisionist history?  You mean accurate history.  You mean factual history.  Your "history" is delusional.

Later, a friend posted that " I am a firm believer that it is never to late to do the right thing" regarding the lowering of the Confederate flag. I added:  I understand the people who have emotional ties to the flag and want to cling to it.  I am half Texan and once I was as blind to the flag's historical evil as they still are.  I was bitterly resentful of the racists who, I felt, shamed the flag by using it it in their cause.  But facts are facts, and I realized that I was the one who was distorting the flag's meaning. It never stood for anything other than racism and slavery. 

1 Corinthians 13:11
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

The South may finally be giving up its childish ways...we can hope.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Soul Sisters

Soul Sisters

These two battle flags share the same meanings:

-  They stand for White supremacy.
-  They stand for a slave empire.
-  They affirm that the superior master race has the right to expand that empire through war and             conquest.
-  They represent the historical heritage of a people and of their ancestors.
-   They declare the right of the master race to rule the world.
-   They have been used as symbols of rebellion against authority by teenagers and others.

Do I really need to go on making comparisons or do you get the pont?