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Howdy. We've moved from Cayce, but St. Elizabeth of South Rose Hill or Lizette de Waccamaw de Sud just don't do it for me.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wednesday of the 3rd Week in Advent

So very behind on my idea of reading and reflecting on the readings each day.  So much realizing that mere force of will doesn't change the habits and business of life, even when the seasons change.

So, stuff I don't want to forget when the busyness of the season is over.
Wonderful, wonderful opportunity to sing in at Lessons and Carols in Durham on the 8th -- and even yesterday one of the lovely carols was resonating in my head.  I do so miss the folks at our old church.  But, as Izzy and I have discussed, moving back there would mean moving back to a different life. We aren't Presbyterian anymore, and that "outpost of the Kingdom of God" wouldn't be the center of our lives.
I am so glad our church doesn't have a running water font.  It's tough needing to wear earplugs during Mass--makes it very hard to sing.

Follow-up to last week's call from the breast center:
It was forever to the next morning when I could call and schedule the appointment for a recheck.  What was seen was described as "asymmetric density" when compared with lat year's X-rays. Doctor Google gave possible causes for asymmetric density ranging from an undifferentiated mass (time to get the will written) to "an island of normal breast tissue." I opted to only communicate with one friend prior to the repeat mammogram.  We're usually very open people, but there was nothing to be gained from frightening a bunch of folks.  Bottom line, the "spot compression" views (emphasis on the word compression) were normal.  We held each other close, toasted and gave thanks for our very good fortune, and I had the first non-Italian dinner in 5 nights as izzy prepared a feast of gratitude.  

Last Sunday's Gaudete Mass was again a capella, solo.  But for once, there was only one Mass to do over the weekend,  Izzy was actually surprised when I didn't head over early Saturday afternoon to get warmed up.  
Lots of babysitting-including for several little guys and a little girl Sunday. Parents were attending a baptism, and and out of town funeral.  We think one of the little ones may have opted to share a virus with us.  After sitting again last night (Tuesday), I came home and realized that whatever awfulness I was feeling was not just from the workplace brunch.  Brunches don't give fevers, at least not quickly.  So, I was home all day, sleepy and achy.  Izzy came home early, and is now in bed with a fever.  Fortunately, we stay well stocked in stock, plus ginger and garlic.  We'll be better by Friday, I'm sure, in plenty of time to stand as godparents for an adorable, very squishy, little guy this Sunday.  

That's it for now.  The only Christmassy thing we've put up on the leg lamp nightlight in the bathroom. I could say we haven't decorate because we are scrupulously keeping Advent, but it's more about motivation and time stewardship.  

Back to work tomorrow.  

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thursday of the 2nd Week in Advent

Also the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Didn't get to Daily Mass like I have in the past for this date - meetings at work -- face-to-face and virtual.  

Called the Breast Center today and was told that the radiologist compared last year's films with this year's and noted "asymmetric density" on the left breast.  Doctor Google tells me that it would be everything from an undifferentiated mass (not good) to an "island of normal breast tissue" (presumably good.)  Repeat mammogram and sonogram tomorrow.  I've seen good flow charts showing what happens next, but we'll cross those bridges later.
Wonderful, very supportive text and phone convos with a dear friend who recently began his own cancer journey.  He wisely noted that the worry and fear one feels in this stage is the 2nd worse set of emotions -- the worst is the fear that comes with every odd symptoms that suggests that the cancer might be returning.  
Good evening with Italian food (4th night in a row) and babies.  I'd so missed my little now three year old buddy.  Big smiles from his baby sister lighted up Izzy's evening.    
The weekend may have lots of babysitting.  There will be music for Gaudete Sunday, as soon as I pick it out  Life will go on, and I have far too much to get done in far too little time to worry about asymmetric density.  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday of the 2nd Week in Advent

A bit of an emotional day.  

This morning I awoke, curled up on Izzy's pillow, nestled in the covers that still carried his scent, and took advantage of an extra hour of sleep.  I loved that extra time and the warmth he'd left for me.
I didn't have to leave the house until a little after 10 -- in order to snag seats for ourselves and our godson and his mother.  Today was the Mass of Christian Burial for the husband half of the couple who stood up as our confirmation sponsors when we were received into the Holy Catholic Church, 10 years ago now.  
R&D were married 51 years. They had a blow-out celebration for their 50th -- we were blessed to be there for the Mass and reception.  R was "large and in charge" that day, and so very doting on and smitten with his beloved.  I wish we'd posed for pictures that day -- there were so many others taken.  I thought I'd taken pics, but I have not been able to find them this week.  We could have also made the opportunity for a picture of us with our "godparents" (technically sponsors, but neither Izzy nor I got godparents as children, so R&D would have to do), and our godchildren.  
Convoluted sentence construction, but I want to remember to say what needs to be said when I think of it.  Take the pics when I get the idea.  
We sat at the church with 2 godchildren (one of whom will be baptized on the 4th Sunday in Advent) and one parent of each of them, plus MK's big brother JG (aka "His Cuteness").  I got some good baby time in the cry room -- big smiles, too.  JG copied the priest's motions during the consecration and pretended to ring the bells.  Awesome!
At the graveside service, with military honors,I teared up as I expected for Taps and the gun salute. 
A bit of an shocker at work when several of us found out we will have to move offices.  I'll be losing my space to someone ranked higher than me, who is losing her space to someone with better political connections.  And so it goes. The new space is half of what I've had before.  Since my current office is a total wreck with far too much in it, I've actually been working in the smaller office already.  This move will allow me to do the purge I've been meaning to do.  Blessing in disguise?
So, that gets me to going home.  Izzy is busy in the kitchen, getting a dinner of spiced green beans, and ravioli with his homemade onion and tomato marina.  He tells me I have a message from the breast imaging center.  It's a voicemail merely asking me to call them.  It's been a week since the mammogram.  Those messages are never to ask the patient to call in to receive good news.  
So, now we're in the time of uncertainty and what-ifs.  Can't get any answers for another 10-12 hours. Don't expect answers then.
R had been admitted to hospice Friday with a new diagnosis of a blood cancer. He'd been working hard to recover from the stroke.  Another friend's step mother (MK's grandmother) died overnight from a very recently diagnosed lymphoma.  Earlier in the year, we lost a friend (and another of MK's grandmothers) from a year and a half battle with pancreatic cancer.  
Now, I read in today's Advent Prayer guide about preparing the way for The Lord and we heard today in the funeral homily about being a light to guide others to Christ, rather than pointing to ourselves.  
That may come.  Right now, we're holding each other up and Izzy is feeling lots of emotions that I'm too full of logistical questions to feel fully. 
Evening ends with Treme, and my favorite port.  

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Monday of the First Week of Advent

Today was a day of working hard, and realizing that my motivations and attitudes were based on my (slowly dawning) realization that my boss just doesn't like me. I might get some begrudging respect, but never friendship or even collegiality. At this point, having realistically assessed the job market, and being stuck where I am, I've decided to focus on being grateful for employment and working to finish up ongoing projects as if I am preparing to leave.

Tonight's reading was on Noah-who worked in futility most of the time leading up to the flood. I'm praying for stamina and blameless performance that reflects my skills and gives full value to my employer. 
A friend who lost her mother to cancer has received terrible cancer news about her stepmother. They have another horrible journey ahead of their family. I pray to be faithful in prayer for them--maybe the promotions I've consistently not gotten give me time for others--time that would have been taken up at work. 

Update: Carol died early in the morning of December 11.  I sat with her son-in-law and grandchildren at a funeral later that morning.  I held and played with a baby while we said good bye to a father/grandfather/godfather; the little child I held never got to meet her step-grandmother, who was always too ill whenever visits were suggested. Take those pics when I have a chance is my take-away,  
Rest in peace, Carol. 

Sunday, December 01, 2013

First Sunday in Advent, 2013

Happy New Year!

I find it wonderful that Holy Mother Church allows us a preview New Year's. It's a chance to get a jump on New Year's resolutions, to make them stick before the calendar turns over.
So, for today, I have read in the booklet given to us by our parish. I also have a few thoughts, based on having cantored for three Masses this weekend, and having heard the same things over and over again. I think this is part of God's plan for me-if He can't get a message through, I'll end up with extra Masses to attend.
1. Our first reading ends with the phrase "O house of Jacob come let us walk in the light of the Lord!" Based upon that in the light theme (not to say "leight motif" of Advent, I picked two songs related to light. Christ be our light and We Are Called. They both exhort the singer to seek God and to seek the light of His presence.  However, I was struck over and over again about how much of those songs is also about the externals. "We are called to act with Justice." "Make us your building, sheltering others, walls made of living stone." That, and the obvious economic justice messages and songs we sing each week, especially in the responsorial Psalms, fit well with the message released by the Holy Father this week. A message I need to read.
2. It was wonderful to hear such a high percentage of our congregation singing the mass parts in Latin at the three masses I did this weekend. I was especially pleased to see a young man who looked up the passages to make sure he could share the words with his girlfriend.
3. It is amazing how little time you actually have over a four-day Thanksgiving holiday. I assumed I would get a lot more done, have long visits with family here in Columbia, etc. Between the great visit from out-of-town relatives, spending time with our godson's family, and cleaning up plus food preparation, and all the music oreparation and singing, and let's not forget the football watching Saturday night, the weekend is over. I expect December to whiz by, but hope to keep up the discipline of reading each day and posting something about what God is showing me. 
4. The songs that kept entering my head as I heard the Word proclaimed this weekend included "I can't wait to see Jesus" by Pat Terry, and "I wish we'd all been ready" by Larry Norman.