Friday, October 31, 2008

A Perfect Day for a Parade!

Today, on a beautiful October morning, I drove to the Malvern train station hoping to board and meet up with our dear friends Jerry and Nicki. There were Phillies fans swarming everywhere, and not enough trains to accommodate us all. We ended up driving to the airport and taking that train into the city, after a mad dash to the mobbed train.
Nicki and I had curbside seats with a tree for a backrest as we waited for the parade.

We wildly cheered the Phillies as they were driven by!! The majority of fans lining the parade route weren't even born the only other time the Phillies were world champions, in 1980.
Very loyal fans Jerry, Nicki, and Chris savoring the great conclusion of the 2008 season! Chris displayed his devotion by driving up from Birmingham, Alabama yesterday, to attend the parade.
It was very exciting to see the players, who thanked the fans for their support at the ceremony in the ball park.
We really appreciate a championship in Philadelphia- we have to live in the present moment!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

World Champions!!!!

We are so proud of our Phillies for their incredible teamwork, perseverance, and devotion to each other. They are a great example to us and have brought joy to all long suffering Philadelphia sports fans!!! We're looking forward to the parade!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Best Tonic

Time spent with children and grandchildren is the best tonic!!
We had a wonderful week long visit with the Berg family.
Catherine, Frederick, Gemma, and I went to the zoo on a perfect fall day.

We had lots of fun in the woods behind our house.
The child sized John Deere gator was a huge hit with the boys!
Enjoying cousin time!
Family, brisk air, and sunshine- a recipe for good health!
Grandad's room is a fun place to play.
The two Freds having a Connect 4 competition.
Catherine, Gemma, and I spent a glorious fall afternoon at Longwood Gardens, while Greg and Tom held down the home front.
Gemma's smile could melt the hardest heart!
Relaxing with Uncle Greg.
Watch out for these drivers!!
A pick up game in our family room.

Giving the Bergs a proper send-off. Fortunately we had a two day visit with the Browns!
Riding the tractor with Daddy is a treat.
Nothing beats a tire swing!
Fred, energized by our family visits, did a fine job of standing with the therapists' help today!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Thank God It Went Well"

Those were the words of Fred's urologist this morning after spending a few hours doing all kinds of procedures on Fred. The kidney stone was broken apart by lithotripsy ( shock waves focused directly at the stone, passing harmlessly through the body), and a stent placed in the kidney. The doctor used a laser to remove two areas of scar tissue in the urinary tract and bladder stones. Fred is quite the trooper, and we came home this afternoon, loaded up with prescriptions, especially for pain management. So far, so good. Thank you for praying! I'm quite relieved that things went well. Hopefully, we can get some good rest tonight. This morning we had a classic encounter that illustrates Fred's six degrees of separation. At 7 AM Fred was being rolled down to radiology for an xray to make sure the kidney stone was still in the same place. He got a big grin when he saw the technician- an old friend from Villanova days! They had gone on double dates to basketball games at the Palestra; Fred and a friend from Villanova went with her and her sister. Fred was thrilled to see her and reminisce! One of our old neighbors was also helping in the OR so we knew Fred was in good hands. I included the picture of Fred from about 1973 , since we had traveled down memory lane today (don't you love the plaid pants?)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

We Wait in Joyful Hope

One of my favorite prayers during Mass is right after the Our Father, when the priest says, "Protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ". About three weeks ago when Fred was critically ill, much of our family gathered together.
The grandchildren helped us, as always, to live in the present moment.

The boys are good examples of joyfulness!
Making the most of time together, and enjoying our neighbors who shared their trucks.
Monica, reveling in her newly acquired skill of walking with a balloon!

Enjoying the fresh air, sunshine, and grassy expanses.
Taking a walk is always a tonic!
Another tonic is our neighbor's well tended garden, enjoyed with cousins.
Busy mothers Carolyn and Jaye have learned about enjoying the present moment.
Sharon and Lydia already know how to do that!
Lydia is a perfect example of confident trust!
Now, thank God, Fred is home, enjoying life and waiting in joyful hope! ( Good thing he's not dependent on the Eagles' game outcome for his joyful hope). As Jesus said, "Unless you become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven."

Friday, October 3, 2008

That Was the Week That Was

Whew! This week has been jam packed and extremely tiring. Outpatient doctor visits, many phone calls, several visits with nurses and therapists, coordinating blood draws for lab work, and last but not least, a five hour visit to Paoli Hospital's ER on Wed. We had a cardiology appointment that morning, and as we were leaving I got concerned that the catheter in Fred's kidney might have slipped out of place, because there was drainage I hadn't seen before. After waiting for a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis, and xrays, it turned out that the catheter was right where it was supposed to be. We needed those tests anyway for the urologist. I'll feel better when Fred has the procedure to remove the kidney stones, and I don't have to deal with the catheter to drain his kidney. It's attached to Fred by two stitches, and makes me nervous because it seems so easy to pull out. During the last three weeks I realized that I have had to explain the story of Fred's accident and injuries many times to doctors, nurses, and therapists, which is emotionally draining. Fred has been waking up more at night, and all that interrupted sleep takes it's toll. I had a few meltdowns today and could commiserate with Teresa of Avila; "If this is how you treat your friends Lord, no wonder you don't have many!" However, the last day of a very trying week contained it's own measure of comic relief. This morning at 8:45 I had successfully helped Fred with his morning routine, given him his IV antibiotic, and was watching as he sat in his motorized chair at the table with a lovely breakfast, supervised by the speech therapist. I was feeling proud of myself for these accomplishments in my sleep deprived state. All of a sudden Fred's chair starting moving forward, tipping the table on top of his therapist, who was trapped in the corner with Fred's big chair moving closer. Fred's control for the chair had become stuck under the table with the power on. I madly scrambled to turn off the chair in the nick of time! His therapist seemed none the worst for wear, but I had seen fear in her eyes. Fred and that humongous wheelchair can be a formidable combination, and that was a close call. This too shall pass!