Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What I Did On My Summer...Vacation???

At the Reunion
Looking back now, I should have seen the inevitable crash coming. It was really pretty obvious, but I chose to ignore the warning signs and revel in my own little world. Some of you will remember that on April 20 of this year there was a reunion for folks who had been part of the student ministry of the First United Church of Kissimmee between 1994-2000 when I served there. Every moment of that weekend was glorious, surpassing even my most unreasonable expectations!  For the week that followed, we relived the event through pictures and Facebook interactions, and talked boldly about when the next reunion might occur. Then the talk died down, and everyone returned to their normal lives. And I simply crashed.  All of the joy of the weekend turned into a bit of depression as I began to face the facts that I had spent a year planning, anticipating, connecting with old friends and dreaming about that weekend, and now it was over.  It had been my "next big thing," and now I was left without one. I realized how badly I missed youth ministry, how badly I missed the big events. I found myself longing to be with a group like that again, and wanting to so much to have a reunion with my old Springfield Friends Meeting group before we all join AARP. But those things are not possible right now. Throw in some extenuating circumstances in my personal life, and suddenly I was having a very hard time finding the joy in life. Exactly one month after the event, I stopped blogging. I backed off of Twitter. And I didn't quite know what to do with myself.

Marilyn & Will
Fortunately, my son Will had enough going on for us both.  On May 31st he graduated from Sickles High School- with honors! It was a great day, and we were so proud of his accomplishments. Marilyn's mom and sister came down for the big event, and we all attended together.  That evening for dinner we all met up with Michelle's (Will's girlfriend) family and shared a celebration at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse. It was a special day, and I know Will enjoyed the festivities- which is really all that matters. But even in the midst of the joy, I was struggling.  My mom had planned to attend, but was too sick to make the hour-long drive to Tampa. Not only did I miss her being with us, but her absence made me miss my father (he passed away in 2006) even more than usual.  I cannot overstate the influence my parents had on Will's life, especially when he was much younger. To have neither of them at his graduation just felt wrong.  I cried more than once that day. Life is filled with joys and sorrows, huh?

Alex, Michelle, Will, Marilyn, Jerry & Lisa
June and early July passed without anything huge impacting my life, just the general ups and downs of living with my circumstances. For those who don't know or may have forgotten, I live under a fair number of legal restrictions.  I was diagnosed with diabetes and had the left toe on my big foot amputated on November 1, 2012. There are days when it feels like too much to deal with and I feel sorry for myself, and this was multiplied by the general funk I was still feeling. Friends and family did their best to encourage me and give me reasons to smile, and there were plenty of good days. Lots of trips to see summer blockbuster movies with family and friends. A few overnight visits from Jerry Hanbery, and a chance to catch up with old friends like Ben Thacker and Josh & Sarah Crudele-Fry. Lots of texts from people I love and care about. There were plenty of ups. But I was struggling.  I looked forward to July 16th and Will's 18th birthday. A group of us were headed to Bahama Breeze for dinner and to celebrate in style, including Michelle, her brother Alex and our dear friends Lisa Jewett and the aforementioned Mr. Hanbery.  The weekend before I began to feel bad- stomach issues and just a general weakness.  I rested for a few days, hoping to be at full strength by Tuesday the 16th. But instead, things got worse, and I finally had to admit that I could not go to the party. I was miserable. I felt awful anyway, and missing the party just about did me in.  After Marilyn returned home, I noticed a stain on my sock and checked it out.  One of the toes on my right foot looked awful. We made immediate plans to see the podiatrist (whom I had just seen a week earlier and been given a clean bill of health) the next morning. My life was about to take another drastic turn...

Join us tomorrow, dear readers, and I will sing you (well, tell you) the Ballad of 7 Toe Jones!

Because of Jesus,


  1. Anonymous8/28/2013

    Not meaning to intrude too far into any personal/medical situations....but you know many of us do know how to pray, and will gladly share the load of prayer for healing of body, mind, and soul...Just call. We are still around, but our esp doesn't work as well as it used to many moons ago! Continuing inprayer, UBD

  2. Thanks UBD. I have always been better at praying than at asking for it, and that is still a weakness. But the prayers are appreciated. And I will work on getting you a new antenna for the ESP...


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