Monday, February 14, 2011

Heroic journeys

Do you believe in magic?
These people have been on my mind.

Aaron is a former student of mine, who, along with his wife Diane, has a small farm ( in Venus, Texas – a farm and a state of mind where new hope is found – where the answer is Yes – where a man with far-advanced alcoholism (a fifth/day) became sober and more than a year later is still sober – where a child with no place else to turn found a home and love and a new life – where furniture made by refugees can be bought – where dogs find refuge – where people find refuge. Some people wonder, what’s the deal on the child who found refuge at One World Farm and the answer is, there’s no deal, it just is. Here is something on Youtube on the Karen. Photo: Here comes the sun ... it's alright

Claire was working in the garden, was bitten by a mosquito, infected with West Nile virus, ended up in critical care for many weeks, became a “feeder” (fed via a tube), and many months later is still wearing leg braces, using a cane, and suffering lingering neurologic effects. The rehab team wanted to do some cognitive restructuring, so assigned her mental exercises like designing a shopping center. Let’s see, do we want the paint store next to the hardware store or the tire store? Claire said, “Naw, I’m not gonna do that.” Instead, she studied for her nurse practitioner boards to become re-licensed – a very very difficult and complex undertaking. And she passed. Next on the agenda was finding a place to get in the many clinical hours required for re-licensure. After several rebuffs she ended up volunteering at Agape, where she distinguished herself in providing women’s health services, helping people deal with sexual issues, inspiring staff and volunteers, and keeping it real.

Chuck has renal cell carcinoma with distal metastases. He has known despair and defeat and has persevered. Markedly thinner than before, sometimes the sadness written clearly on his face, he has continued to study and teach his faith. This past Christmas he asked for help in connecting with people in need. I put him in touch with Nora (speaking of Heroic!) and by the time Christmas rolled around, 54 people – the poorest of the poor, the ones who never get to a Christmas handout program – had a nice Christmas. And good grief, he continues to referee basketball games! I should also note that his wife Joan, a beautiful and good woman, is central in this journey.

Small wonder that I would be thinking of them - Imagine!

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