Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Busy and Sad Week

Most people agree that time goes faster as one ages, so I guess time will never drag for me. However, I would really choose for January to be a long slow month without much going on—a time to hibernate, to rest up and absorb all the good things that happened over the holidays, to stay inside from the cold and to read lots of books. As delightful as that fantasy is, reality is much different. It seems that one week tumbles into another with not much time between Sundays. January is now half over, and I wish it were not.

I have continued making phone calls to community people who have told me about Cherokee ancestors. I’ve written notes in response to some Christmas mail, and sadly I’ve also had to write three sympathy notes. Katherine has been fighting infections this week, which made her multiple scleroses exacerbate, so Gerald and I have visited there more than usual. My brother had to have cardiac catherization followed by two stints and two days in the hospital, but I did not even consider driving to Springfield because of the slick roads up there. Because I wanted to help pack the “Angel Bags” that the churches in our rural community send home with kids on the weekend if they are likely to go hungry, I made the effort to go to midweek prayer and Bible study even though I was late for the 6 p.m. service. This is our church’s month. With many hands participating assembly-line style, it did not take long to fill the 29 bags the school said were needed.

Like the rest of the nation, I have grieved as I listened to the newscasts about the Tucson tragedy. My heart has broken thinking of the fiancĂ©e of Gabe Zimmerman and the parents of Christina—two beautiful people cut down so early in life, but I have also grieved for the parents of the assassin. None of us can even imagine what they may have gone through long before this terrible tragedy as they watched their son change and deteriorate. While most people with a mental illness are not harmless to others, a few are. The Tucson massacre should stir us for more research and more efforts to prevent such tragedies.

I was comforted by the enormous gathering of mourners and President Obama’s address at the memorial service for Judge John Roll, Christina-Taylor Green, Dorothy Morris, Gabe Zimmerman, Dorwin Stoddard, and Phyllis Schneck. I was cheered by his news that Representative Gabrielle Giffords had opened her eyes that afternoon. I was inspired by his urging that we make Christina’s death cause us to work for a better nation.

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