Archive for December, 2010

As I said in a Christmas letter that has not gone out to all recipients yet, “This year was the first full year we were in the United States since 2007.”  That is a bit amazing.  Here are some highlights, in no particular order.

  • Sharon Southard has moved in with the intention of helping us form Christian household.
  • We hosted the beautiful Castells’ Christmas Carolfest at our house this year – “O Holy Night”!
  • After 10 years, the “guest” room is finally finished (with the assistance of Forbes Home Improvement Inc.).
  • Jane graduated from Trinity at Meadow View and went off to University of Virginia.
  • Maria discovered she had Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (a form of Hypothyroidism).
  • John constructed a railing for the front porch and enhanced our front walk with Rock Salt lights we brought home from Britain
  • Maria started a part-time job at St. Philip’s church as liturgical assistant – suits her just fine.
  • John began lectoring at the parish.
  • We have just the boys at home which is a big change for our family of 3 girls / 2 boys.   🙂
  • Brand/Elliott beach trip with many young friends at the Hazelton’s Sea-renity beach house in Corolla NC
  • Rose Brand & Chris Marquis got engaged that week… first of our kids’ friends to do that (teary eyes…)
  • We had two 50th year parties. first for Maria then John – SURPRISE!
  • Kathryn studied for a semester abroad in Ecuador!
  • Maria experienced surgery – a thyroidectomy; it went as well as possible and NO CANCER!
  • Our new pastor at St. Philip’s, named Father Denis Donohue, inspires us to work harder for the Lord.
  • The NoVA branch of the People of Praise has redrawn the Area lines; we will meet in the new area configurations very soon.  Our family will be in the “new” South Area.  Exciting!
  • Today (last day of the year) four out of five of our kids will drive to be with Margarita’s family to “ring in” the new year!

God is good as always!


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Feelin’ Stronger Every Day

Yes, I know this is the name of a song by Chicago.  Just in case you have been unfortunate never to have heard it, here is a link:  (this version is from  Chicago VI which came out my freshman year in high school.)

Feeling Stronger – Chicago

“The best thing to happen to you is the best thing to happen to me…”

… being HEALTHY!

Not only am I feeling a little better each day (except day 3 for whatever reason), I also got the good news from Johns Hopkins that the thyroid was completely benign – NO CANCER!

I am rejoicing and thanking the Lord that I can move on and know I’m O.K. – at least for the time being.

Thank you for your prayers and kind thoughts.  May you all have a safe, peaceful, and love-filled Christmas!

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Hope full of immortality

Sunday, Fourth Week of Advent

We are created for immortality.  Now I feel the pain of the surgery and somewhat tormented physically and spiritually.  I am still recovering.   However, as it says in Wisdom 3:1-4…

But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them.    They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction.  But they are in peace.  For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality …

Though not having passed away yet (!), something about being unwell since early summer and having this surgery in December gets one reflective.

Christmas is really about that hope full of immortality.  God making good on his promise to save his people by sending his Son to restore the immortal life lost by Man’s original sin – now THAT is hopeful!

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Friday, Third Week of Advent

On Wednesday, December 15, John drove me to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to have a really skilled surgeon perform a thyroidectomy at 10:00 a.m. on me.  It’s over!  And they said it was successful!

Today is Friday, around 8:19 p.m., and I just thought I would let you know a few things.

  1. The intern who works with the surgeon, met me the next morning at 5:30 a.m.  He said this was a ” ‘picture perfect’ surgery, quite easy really, could not have gone better.”  I know he wasn’t kidding, so I thanked God for the blessing of all the people who were praying.  He heard and answered – THANKS BE TO GOD!
  2. I am recovering at home; this is the second day (they released me within 24 hours of completing the surgery.)  I thought I might be coming down with a cold on Wednesday morning (before surgery), and I still have disturbing symptoms like stuffy nose, ringing ears, malaise, and sore throat. . . sneezed twice this evening . . .
  3. I am feeling pretty good, considering having anesthesia and being cut open in my neck.  I can walk around, albeit slower than usual.  The sore throat I have now could have been caused by the breathing tube at the surgery.  Most importantly – I can talk with a minimum of hoarseness.  Finally, have a bit of a cough that I am avoiding mightily with fluids and some decongestant.    Haven’t tried to sing yet . . .
  4. Jane came home from college yesterday (John turned around after driving me home in a snow storm to go down to UVA to get her!  What a man!)
  5. I am so ready to give the “troops” their marching orders on cleaning tasks, room inspection, and deployment for decorating – prepared to make this simple but comprehensive .  Getting ourselves tidy, clean, and dejunked, then moving on to decking the halls with boughs of holly.  Not Mission Impossible.

More later when I’m up to it.  But please do keep up the prayers for healing, recovery, and NO cancer – and for me AND for my housemate, Sharon, who came down with a virus yesterday and is sneezing, coughing, and honking away.  My hope is that no one else in the family gets sick.

The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.  “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.  ~Lk 1: 30-31

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Traditional Works of Mercy

Las Obras de Misericordia Espirituales:

  • Enseñar al que no sabe
  • Dar buen consejo al que lo necesita
  • Corregir con respeto al que se equivocal
  • Perdonar las injurias
  • Consolar al triste
  • Sufrir con paciencia las adversidades y flaquezas del prójimo
  • Rogar a Dios por los vivos y los muertos

Las Obras de Misericordia Corporales:

  • Dar de comer al hambriento
  • Dar de beber al sediento
  • Vestir al desnudo
  • Visitar al enfermo
  • Dar posada al peregrine
  • Socorrer al cautivo
  • Enterrar a los muertos

Spiritual works of mercy:

  • Instruct the ignorant
  • counsel the doubtful
  • Admonish sinners
  • Bear wrongs patiently
  • comfort the afflicted
  • Pray for the living and the dead

Corporal works of mercy:

  • To feed the hungry
  • To give drink to the thirsty
  • To clothe the naked
  • To shelter the homeless
  • To visit the sick
  • To ransom the captive
  • To bury the dead.

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Pre-Op Visit

As I have surgery for a thyroidectomy on December 15, there are pre-operative things that need doing.  Today is my day to go to Johns Hopkins Medical Center to 1) Meet the surgeon (important to see if she “makes the cut” – sorry, folks!),  2) have an ultrasound of my neck, and  3) do other tests and exams (to see if I “make the cut” and can have this surgery.

No hay problemas – no se preocupe!  (No problems, no worries)  Well, mostly.

I read an interesting article in the Arlington Catholic Herald (November 11/17) by Father Hoyos, the director of the Spanish Apostolate recently – in Spanish.  I had to look up a few words that I had ready in mi diccionario, but I was able to get through the piece because I was interested in the topic – “Obras de Misericordia Espirituales”.  He also talked about Las Corporales, listing each one.  More on that later, but I think Advent is a good time to meditate on such things.

Dash way, dash away, dash away, dash away all!

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