Wednesday, July 30, 2008

James Robert Tracy (Cousin Jay)

Tonight at seven, Jay went to be with Jesus. Those were the words my Aunt Carolyn shared with me when I returned her call around 10 o’clock tonight on my way to Pasadena. She and my Uncle Jim rejoice that my cousin Jay is no longer in pain and is home with his King, but I know how deeply sad and exhausted they must be after caring for Jay all these months and years, traveling back and forth between Albuquerque and their home in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Jay had been suffering from the effects of AIDS and he was only 38 years old.

Tribute to Keith Coros

Today I want to pay tribute to my friend, Keith Coros. Keith was killed last Wednesday as he was crossing a street in South Bend in his wheelchair. I became friends with Keith at Bella Vita Coffee in Granger, Indiana. Keith had cerebral palsy which tended to make conversations very slow and deliberate on both sides, but like the baristas that opened the door and welcomed him with a smile, I too fell into easy and enjoyable conversations with Keith about life, work and eventually his cause.

Keith sought support and understanding for the organization that he founded, Michiana Center for Independent Living. He made it his mission to provide information, accessibility and rights for people who were disabled locally. Unfortunately, finding the help and especially the funding was never easy. In an e-mail on January 5, 2007, Keith told me, “I have met some very nice people as we try to go forward, but I have a feeling that business people don’t take me seriously.”

If you could get beyond the discomfort or embarrassment of not quite understanding him speak at first, and really listened, you’d find that Keith was a very smart and compassionate man who knew what his purpose was. He was determined and independent, and used every tool he knew how to get his message out.

Lord bless you and welcome you home, Keith.

See South Bend Tribune stories July 24 and July 25.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Maddie's deep thought

While we were walking: "... daddy, what if we get to Heaven but we forgot to die?"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Responding to Melissa's Blog Question July 21

I wanted to respond to Melissa’s question since I have a blog that I haven’t posted to since last October. First I thought I should mention why I do (or did) feel like blogging.

When I was traveling every week to Texas and back, I hoped it might be a way to stay rooted with my real life while my body was physically removed from my family and the routines of life in Indiana slowly started to fade. The nature of the season was temporary, leading ultimately to life back in California, so the whole period was to be an adventure I could write about.

So for the reasons I haven’t blogged for the past nine months, here are a few:

1. Life gets busy. When I was “living” in my apartment in Texas, the idea of writing everyday seemed doable. It was for a while, but my trips became shorter and less frequent, and the whole travel thing was more sporadic and unpredictable, with recovery periods lasting a long time and the guilt of tasks left undone or time spent with family always taking precedence.

2. What to choose to write about? As weeks pass by, I become frustrated that I can’t capture each enjoyable experience before the next one comes along. The kids will say or do something worthy of cherishing forever, and then it’s gone. I’ll read a passage in one of my books or devotions, underlining or asterisking like crazy, and then I turn the page and forget to share it. I’ll watch a movie, or hear a song, or feel like basking in the weather and wanting to somehow describe it to somebody far away, and then I arrive at my destination, and I forget.

3. Privacy. When I was traveling to Texas I was careful not to say where I actually lived, lest I lead some online predator to my fatherless family. Also, I was careful, maybe paranoid, about getting too specific about my kids, their ages, where they went to school, or something, and simply kept everything I wrote safe or vague. I know there’s nothing fun about reading a blog that doesn’t somehow give the reader a glimpse into the author’s private thoughts or insights, but I was guarded, and probably overly so.

4. Anonymity. I really didn’t think anybody was reading, and frankly I don’t think I ever told anybody that I had a blog at all. Apparently Melissa had a link to it, and at least one person was reading the blog which I figured out when I ran into a friend at Bella Vita (oh no, did I just share a specific place?) and he said he’d read the last posting about bottled water. I was totally convinced nobody had ever seen it.

So these are the answers that come to mind, and just writing them causes me to want to have a do-over and give it another chance.