Monday, May 28, 2007

my new favorite band

OK, I'm shamelessly bragging -- so sue me! Dot Rama is my new favorite band (I happen to have given birth to two of the members so, yes, I am biased)
Check out their newly recorded music

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Death is a violent visitor.

We've seen its aggressive behavior in the movies and far-away, foreign places like Virginia Tech.

Yesterday I saw death in a passive-aggressive disguise. I'm wondering which is the more evil.

All day I sat on the sidelines of this contest between breathing and not breathing, pain and medicated calm, consciousness and incohorence. The dying man was not the only player in this match. The family, too, veered between tears and laughter, polite conversation and grieving embrace, anger and love. And what I saw left no doubt that death is an evil visitor in any state.

"This is not how its supposed to be!"

I wanted to shout that into the hospital hallway and into the face of the tottering, placating priest.

People aren't supposed to die in this indignity of scrambled speech and ugly gowns that don't cover the bruised flesh.

Hospitals are abusive to my senses anyway. There is not one single beautiful thing to look at when you are trying not to notice the scars and nakedness of the sick and dying. There is not one lovely aroma to cover the furious battle between industrial disinfectant and the atrophy of bodily function. The only sounds that attempt to mask the groaning and babbling of illness and death come out as perfunctory -- anochronistic attempts at masking the fact that suffering exists and is waiting for each one of us.

"This is not how it's supposed to be!"

I wanted to whisper into the ears of each of the grown-up children who stood by the bedside of a man whom their intellect instructed them to love and their experience scoffed that was a fool's errand.

When a son holds his dying father's hand he is supposed to be washed in memories of playing catch and throwing out fishing line and getting homework signed. He is supposed to be able to remember the firm grip of those hands telling the boy he is a man at important events like graduation and marriage and the birth of his own children.

When a son holds down the flailing, bruised arm of his dying father he is supposed to be able to remember times those arms were muscled and warm in late-night lifts into bed and early Saturday -morning pancake flipping. He is supposed to be able to remember those arms bulging under the weight of vacation-packed-suitcases and wood for the backyard bonfire. He is supposed to recall a crushing embrace after injury or discipline.

When a daughter lifts the head of her dying father and arranges his pillow and smooths the blankets that he has kicked off in a fit of painful agitation, she is supposed to recall the times that he did the same for her when she was 5 and he was singing her to sleep and when she was 10 and had a nightmare and when she was 15 and was sleepless in hormonal angst.

When children of a dying man gather around his bed to comfort him and say good-bye they are supposed to be able to remember all of the similar words of comfort and care and guidance and blessing and love that he had spoken to them hundreds of times. They are supposed to be able to reflect his life back to him. To return to him what he has invested in the sweat and blood and prayer and love for them and their mother over a lifetime. Thy are not supposed to have to look at each other and wonder if it is OK to cry...wonder if they are doing this -- this being sons and daughter to a dying man -- right.

"This is not how it's supposed to be."

I did not have the privilege to speak it yesterday as I watched death steal life-giving oxygen from a man. I say it to my husband's true Father now.

"Thank you for being a father to the fatherless. Thank you for sparing the sins of the father on his children and his children's children. Thank you for giving him a taste of how it is supposed to be. Please show him how to grieve now."

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

having one of those days??

Every once in awhile I see a piece of art that I want to share with all of you!! I love the title, "Can I Get Some Help Here?" Hope you are having a much better day than this fellow!

(click here to see more of this artist's work)

Monday, May 14, 2007

a laugh on Mother's Day...

You've gotta read my friend, Irrationallove's post from Mother's Day...

Friday, May 11, 2007


My word for the day happens to be one of my all-time favorite words ever...

denouement \day-noo-MAWN\, noun:
1. The final resolution of the main complication of a literary or dramatic work.
2. The outcome of a complex sequence of events

I am very thankful it is Friday. I am thankful the sun is shining. I am thankful for a crammed-full week of walking in community, working hard, learning lots, caring for family and growing up in Christ. Boy, am I pooped! The denouement for this complex sequence of events includes a good book, an ice-cold glass of water and the back deck.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

he had me at hello!

I'm a little speechless from my guest blogger (see previous post)! Maybe we should all take a few days to read and re-read that post -- and to meditate deeply on its meaning....

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Livingpalm's Blog

I am lovingly, I'm sure, referred to in this blog as B -- LP's husband.

I have been very lax about keeping up with her blog even though she is the most important thing on earth to me. So, imagine my surprise when I looked it up tonight and found that her last post was about me and my speaking engagement at BU. (I join LP, by the way, THANK YOU for praying for me.)

I do not share the same passion for blogging as many of you do, but I do have a passion for Livingpalm and her life. Many of you have gotten to know her more personally through these postings, and I suspect you are beginning to realize, as I have always known, that LP is amazingly complex and wonderfully profound all at the same time. She is... well here is the reason that I do not blog on a regular basis... words fail me.

Let me explain. Yesterday I dropped her off at her hairdressers and then went on to run some errands. These errands were somewhat mindless, but I did have to mix in a couple of work- related stops as well. When I am alone in the car completing mundane tasks my mind often wanders to more stressful things -- finances, conflicts, and future plans.

When I returned to the hairdressers my wife looked more beautiful than when I dropped her off -- which I am sure is how it is supposed to work, but is hard for me to believe since she was unbelievably beautiful when I dropped her off. She turned in the chair to face me and she took my breath away. She was gorgeous!

And I said... "Do you think that you can keep your hair that way, Tam?"

Yeah, that was it... "Can you keep it that way?"

Therefore, I thought I would use one of the few times I have ever posted to a blog to go back in time and say exactly what I think of Livingpalm.

You are the most beautiful woman I know.
I know I am not the easiest guy to live with. Thank you for putting up with me. Because of you, I am where I am today.
I love your creativity, even though I do not always understand it.
I love the way you process things. You are far deeper in the way you approach life than I will ever be. It has made me a better man.
I appreciate your compassion for people.
I enjoy watching your mercy and personality demonstrated in our children. They are creative, real, and smart because of you. You are a great mom.
You are sexy.
You are confident.
You are a leader.
You are strong.
You are gentle.
You care deeply about your and my relationship with The Creator.

Here is what I learned yesterday. They say that life happens when you're making other plans. It's true, but I will be careful to acknowledge the wonderful things that God has placed in my life -- starting with my Livingpalm (and her blog).

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