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.