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Tuesday, May 30, 2017
As both a gifted creator and an admirer of animation and of giraffes, Daniel would have appreciated the following short film by Nicolas Deveaux : I'm thinking that you would too.
Monday, May 29, 2017
On the occasion of Memorial Day, I would like to thank a person from my own life, for spending her own in our military.
Lieutenant Commander Doris N. Artz was a navy nurse who ran the naval hospital in Hawaii at the time of Pearl Harbor. She also served with distinction in a number of ways in the profession of nursing, including as a writer of nursing board exam questions and in the structuring of nursing programs.
She was also an extremely bright and independent woman who loved playing the piano, gardening, teaching, and taking six year olds to Christmas pageants and church functions. She was also a very good soldier of Jesus Christ.
Courtesy of her extremely good health in retirement, she was also my piano teacher, good friend, and, I suppose, mentor when I was six years old.
Despite the fact that there are papers of her's held by the Naval Museum in D.C., there may not be enough data or enough people that knew her and about her life and times for me to write the book she so richly deserves.
Instead, I must honor her today for all she did, for our country, for the soldiers in her care, and for me. At least part of the registered nurse I was and am, was seeded by Lieutenant Commander Artz in those days we shared. She conveyed a love of animals and of God's world, a meticulousness in her desire to aid living things, but never in a manner which interfered with nature or did harm.
Thank you Doris, for the gifts you gave to me, both material and symbolic. Thank you for all you did for me, and for our country. You are remembered not only on this day, but always.
Sunday, May 14, 2017
I am not a big proponent of days devoted to special groups. I would rather that people treated me with respect and consideration all year rather than saving it for a special day and calling it Mother's Day. I also have a birthday and one day a year is enough for me. That said, I usually am treated well and so the special day is not normally a point of my focus.
Once you lose a child, Mother's Day becomes a bit of a double-edged sword. It can become one of those days in which there are both happy and profoundly sad memories. I am not advocating that you ignore the day for such mothers, but I am advocating that you perhaps ask before surprising mothers who have lost a child or a baby. It would be nice to acknowledge the day without making it an exercise in endurance. Consider flowers carefully. Sometimes flowers conjure funeral memories for some Moms especially if the loss was fairly recent.
If you are a mother reading this post today, then you are likely processing a loss. I send prayers for you for a good day, and for lovely memories for you, despite their bittersweet nature on this day.
And to Daniel, we will always be connected through space and time, even though we might not occupy the same dimensional space here on Earth. Some connections are static in time, and not subject to entropy. Love endures all things. I love you, bug. Today and every day.
Sunday, May 7, 2017
In cases of sudden death of this age, most often physicians feel they are due to a sudden heart rhythm disturbance which can lead to a rhythm called ventricular tachycardia. Sometimes, v-tach will cause a seizure because the brain is instantly deprived of oxygen. In such cases, the siblings of such youngsters are examined by cardiologists to help to ensure that they too do not have a cardiac conduction issue that may predispose to sudden death.
It has been one and a half years now since Grace's sudden departure. I pray for her parents, Charlie and Katie Heitzig,her older sister Ellie, her many relatives, and her friends.
Friday, May 5, 2017
|Joshua Isaac Perkins|
Most of the time, I hear fairly quickly about someone who died under similar circumstances to Daniel. Occasionally, I do not. Joshua Isaac Perkins died suddenly and unexpectedly at age thirteen a year ago. Like Daniel, Joshua was the youngest of four children. Joshua had been homeschooled and also had attended New Covenant Christian Fellowship School. Daniel died at home, but Joshua collapsed at church, and despite CPR, he was pronounced dead later at Sturdy Memorial Hospital in
Joshua will always be the beloved youngest son of Mark A Perkins and of Carleen A (Hazen) Perkins. Joshua also left three siblings, (Jacob, Brandon and Hannah) many relatives and lots and lots of friends. He brought light wherever he went. He loved video games, board games, and the family's beloved beagle, Buddy. He loved hiking, movies, and fishing with his grandpa. He loved being with his family.
This happens to too many children, and particularly to too many boys of Daniel's and Joshua's age. Please pray for this family. A year is a short time on a journey of grief.
His family requests that donations in memory of Joshua be made to:
Massachusetts General Hospital in support of cardiology research led by Dr. Tomas Neilan.
Gifts can be made online at giving.massgeneral.org/donate,
or mailed to
MGH Development Office,
Attn: Carrie Powers,
125 Nashua St., Suite 540,
Boston, MA 02114
payable to Massachusetts General Hospital. Please include in honor of Joshua Perkins on the memo line.
|Is this an adult enough cake ?|
Happy twenty-first birthday, Daniel ! I know that once you leave the Earth that celebrations commemorating the age of the flesh suit aren't important, but your birthdays are cherished memories for me, and I need them, so please indulge me for just a moment. It has now been eight and a half years now since your abrupt departure from the farm, and yet in some ways, it seems like yesterday. You are still discussed here, and we laugh about things that would have amused you. We talk about your friends and what your responses to some of the things they are doing would have been. Your toddler nephew knows you from pictures and calls you, "Unco Daniel". Among our many dogs, there are still three dogs, Sally, Sable and Benjamin, who remain here that you knew and loved. They are all very old and will probably join you there soon, but we are very much enjoying their continued presence here, particularly since they remain healthy.
Please know that I love you with all my heart and that you are missed from here every day. My faith remains strong that God called you for a specific reason and for specific tasks and that is a comfort to me. I continue to keep the promises I made to you on the day that you were absent from your beautiful flesh suit. I am sending a hug just like the one we shared, when Papa Lawrence was in the hospital. I know you remember. Please send my love to him as well. Happy Birthday, you gorgeous brilliant man ! I have always been so very proud of you, and I still am, even though I don't really know everything you are doing.
I love you, and I still feel your presence sometimes especially when something momentous happens. Happy Birthday !
Thursday, May 4, 2017
I had the very strangest dream last weekend between about 2 and 3 am. I had a particularly vivid dream in which I was summoned by Queen Elizabeth. I was permitted to bring my children and my grandchild. My daughter and her son attended but the others were not able to go. Even in the dream I thought this was preposterous. I am not a subject of the Queen. Why would she wish to see me, on an urgent matter? She must have confused me with someone else, I thought. She does own land adjacent to mine in Canada, perhaps it's related to that, I thought.
When I arrived, she was in bed with the head of the bed elevated. My daughter and her little son would visit briefly after I spoke to her, but she seemed to know who I was, and wanted to talk to me. She was feeling well but believed she would pass shortly and she wanted a chance to ask me to do something for her. What could I possibly do for a sitting monarch ? "I want you to forgive your mother", she said. This made just a little more sense. Until her passing, my mother was a British subject who, despite the fact she married an American and lived a good deal of her life afterward in the US, kept her citizenship. My mother had a particular respect for Queen Elizabeth primarily because of her conduct during the second world war. Both my mother and Queen Elizabeth had been born the same year, and in the same approximate area. When they were young, they truly resembled each other. My mother would have been the taller version of Elizabeth.
|I have few pictures of my mother, but this is one of them.|
Queen Elizabeth went on to say that my mother endured sorrows and losses that were both beyond my knowledge and beyond my comprehension, during the war, and that it was actually remarkable that she recovered to the point that she did and went on to live a life. She went on to say that the most difficult skill in this life, is the task of true forgiveness. "Now that you are a grandmother", she said, "this is a task that you should master." Rather than discussing the matter with the sitting monarch, I wondered how she knew my mother and why this was important to her. She said something about her task being the communication of this message, and that she did not need an answer. Then she went on to visit very briefly with my daughter and two year old grandson. In totality, there was no warmth in our meeting. This was the passing of a message not unlike the passing of a wish she might have had for a small commonwealth nation.
I awoke with a start. What a vivid yet strange dream. Several days later, I am still recalling it, and wondering if my mother, in fact, during the war, did know Queen Elizabeth.