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Filed under: — jen d @ 12:34 pm

What does one say to the idea–no, to the fact–of 50,000* dead in a moment? When one’s own biggest grief lately has been when to find the time to make holiday returns? Or how to squeeze in an extra half-hour of sleep in the morning? Or the fact that Starbucks has yet to install a drive-through along Route 9 to facilitate the morning commute?

I sicken myself. In my holiday “stress” (please), I hadn’t taken the time to stay abreast of world events. I was late to church Sunday morning, and caught the tail-end of my Pastor’s reminder that, as we closed our first portion of worship with prayer, we ought to pray for this situation in which “these thousands have died.” What thousands? I wondered. I assumed the calamity was Iraq-related. Another offensive. A rebel attack gone awry. Another mistake. “The greatest natural disaster of the millenium” hadn’t crossed my mind. I felt a slight pang of tragedy and prayed quickly and silently for people I didn’t know so as to get back to work preparing the bulletins… (more…)


What Could Have Been

Filed under: — jen d @ 2:25 pm

Well, hi. It’s been a while since I’ve had two seconds together to do anything correspondence-related, including blog. I have yet to mail out Christmas gifts to some very deserving people (sorry Tomania, Katherine, and Quen… If it’s any consolation, the gifts were bought and wrapped before the 25th… That’s the best I can offer!)

Does anyone else feel guilty for feeling happy that Christmas is officially over? Every year I say that THIS is the year that I will relax and get things done ahead of schedule so that I can enjoy this most wonderful of holidays in all proper respects; it seems, however, that THIS year I failed most miserably in doing just that. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the holiday. On the contrary. It’s just that I never quite got the feeling that there was any ground beneath my feet. A flying carpet, maybe. Or one of those moving floors like they have in big airports. Or quicksand. In any case, I had no desire to be flying, gliding, or sinking; I wanted to stroll at a liesurely pace, stop and smell the pine trees, and just…be. No such luck. Not much, anyway, but I can take the blame for that. In any case, the ground is stabilizing, slowly but surely, and hopefully things will be solid by…spring? Maybe? Just in time for an Easter thaw? Here’s hoping. (more…)


An HWB of One’s Own

Filed under: — jen d @ 10:39 am

Well, this is an official Public Thank You Note to Mels.

Mels, I and my toasty-warm feet love you.

For those of you stumped about what to get that hard-to-shop-for friend or loved one, may I make a suggestion??? A Hot Water Bottle (aka, the “HWB”) makes a fine gift on any occasion, and though one may at first be at a slight loss at what to do with such a contraption (such a person must not be keeping up with Mels’ blog), he’ll quickly come ’round and see the value of a leak-proof rubber water-balloon. I received a darling, heart-shaped HWB in the mail this weekend, all the way from Germany, and introduced it to my bed sheets and my shivering feet just last night. It was lovely. Really and truly. Not one leak, not one moment of cold-fishy-ness (that thing stayed quite warm for hours!)… At 3:30am I woke from a lovely nightmare about haunted Polish crockery (don’t ask) and couldn’t sleep. I retreated to the couch with a Bible-sized copy of Anna Karenina, a colassal mug of tea, and a refreshed HWB. Worries melt away! Plug in the Christmas tree, light a few candles, read, sip, and enjoy toasty toes. It’s great. Really, you’ve got to try this.

So, Mels, here’s to you and your warm generosity (in getting me a gift at all) and your foresight (in managing to get it to me on TIME…I was proud of myself for just getting those cards out, finally!) and all of your Melsy-ness in general. You’re terrific!


Pre-ops and Prayers: Lisa’s Latest

Filed under: — jen d @ 9:04 am

This morning I found a wonderful e-mail from Lisa Knies herself, right in my very own inbox! It’s been a while since I’ve heard from her personally, as she is apparently having some e-mail trouble. She’d hi-jacked a local library computer and was doing her best to catch up on e-mails without the aid of an address book. She’s been encouraged by the comments and posts here, as well as by all of the personal snail mail she’s been getting. She’s not competely in the clear yet, however; she’s back in the hospital today getting prepped for her second surgery. She sent this message along and asked that I post it: (more…)


Don’t Do This to Mom and Dad

Filed under: — jen d @ 10:41 am

On Thursday, we had services for my grandmother. We called her “Nanny.” Funny, that even amongst family members, people can have different names for a grandmother. My aunt, Karen (her daughter) calls her “Nanna” when referring to her in conversation with us grandkids. Karen is a sweet woman. I wish I knew her better than I do. She has two lovely boys and a kind, gentle husband who I can tell loves her very much, who I like, but I only see them once or twice a year. This year will be one of the “2x” years, because of the funeral. Death shouldn’t be the only thing that brings us together; we will see them over Christmas. It’s a shame that the two events have so closely coincided.

I was dreading Thursday, I’ll admit it. Who wouldn’t? I don’t enjoy the business of death anymore than the rest of you. On the other hand, my grandmother, as was pointed out in the memorial service, had been trapped inside what had become the prison of her mind and body over the past several years, due to Alzheimer’s. Had I any personal assurance that she had indeed trusted Christ as her Savior, her death would have honestly been a time of rejoicing. I hope that my death is a cause of rejoicing amongst my fellow believers, particularly if I am in pain; because I know that in death I will be born into ultimate Life, and be with my King, my Savior, and my God! Don’t cry for me, unless it be tears of joy, for I will be free, and only waiting for you.

But where is joy in the death of one for whom one has no such assurance? And what good is it in gathering around to remember, to deliver platitudes and false hope? It seemed a sham to me, and I felt guilty about this; it also made me think harder about the needs of the dieing around me. Death is important; we all face it – perhaps sooner than later. And Eternity is a long, long time. (more…)

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