Following is a Facebook Post that isn’t about a book, but it is closely aligned to my next release. Which, by the way, I’m renaming after my bride and Beta Readers have suggested that although the title meant much to be, it was a little obtuse. So, at the moment, the next book will be titled, “Blessed Brokenness: Seeing God’s Glory in the Ashes of Life” At any rate: here’s the post – I hope it means something to somebody. I read a post by a cousin and commented on it. But it reminded me of a post I made around Christmas time and some thoughts I had on Christmas, 2021. I realized at the Neurologist’s office today that I remember the exact day that a doctor put a replacement medication pump in my wife. October 28, 2021, was the day that began a sequence of events that not only brought some of the worst parts of my life screaming to the forefront of my mind as well as causing my daughter and me to begin making sure we could make final preparations if need be. I was lining people up to handle different things for me and making sure we had a place for a service that would handle the crowd I expected and someone to do the service that knew her well enough but would be emotionally able to do it. A botched surgery and the “fix” for that surgery also being botched ended up creating a brain infection that caused the same condition that killed my brother, and I will always have to be watching for the signs that it is returning. You dance a very fine line between “Why would an insurance company pay for unneeded testing” and “We have a very short time to save her life.” But tonight I remembered 2 things. First, that I insisted we try to salvage some of the family Christmas by having a real dinner in a home and that my daughter and I prepare at least the one favorite dish that everybody loves (and that we can make without my wife giving instructions). I also remembered Christmas morning. Someone had lent me their vacation condo for a few days through Christmas. I got up that morning and was at the hospital by 8 am. As I pulled into the parking lot and got the very best van handicapped spot, I wasn’t sure whether to be sad or angry. The place was deserted. Her hospitalist had told me more than once how much he appreciated that I was there nearly every day as he had many patients who never had visitors or advocates at all. I sat and held her hand and read from the Bible then prayed with her, then just sat and held her hand some more. I did that until noon. Then as I was leaving, I saw that the lobby and parking lot were full of people and cars (the cars were in the parking lot only). Then I flashed back to being I think 4 years old and my brother was 8. He was at Los Angeles Children’s Memorial over Christmas. It’s the only year I ever remember both sets of grandparents being together. I remembered crying because my grandparents gave David the red truck and me the blue one when red was my favorite color and blue was his. I remembered this game that my Grandpa Hogan and I boisterously played until both grandmas and my mom yelled at us because they had asked us more than once to get out of the kitchen so they could serve breakfast. That’s when I realized that we weren’t there first thing Christmas morning. We did Christmas morning at the house then loaded up all his presents and took them to the hospital (where I had an asthma attack in the lobby, but that’s another story). So, suddenly, through the tears of my own came smiles of joy for all the families that were with their loved ones after making the best out of a disrupted holiday. It’s a strange juggling act. When you have a loved one that may very well be dying or is at least alone and you have family that is looking to you to decide how things will go. But both are important. My daughter has said that if mom went, she wouldn’t be surprised if I followed shortly after. That’s the love that we’ve built. But as much as I might selfishly want that, I love my daughter dearly too. And I knew that I couldn’t allow myself to crawl into that hole. Not on Christmas morning and not if, heaven forbid, the worst happened. I don’t think we ever said the word, even when I was making sure a friend would help spread the word and another would handle a service. I don’t think my daughter or I ever uttered the ‘D’ word. As I listen to her talk in her sleep (she did it before, but never this amount) I think about how much we will have to handle in the months to come all while being so grateful that I could bust. I don’t know if I really had a point to this. I like to have a point. Or as I think Mr. Peabody always came to the moral of the story… But I don’t have one, just what came flooding to my brain tonight.

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