Carolyn's Daily Posts: 2011

January 2, 2011

Life Wreaks Blessings & Havoc



     Nature was good to us for two days. The afternoon temperature on December 31, 2010, reached into the very low 50s (a heat streak, considering the time of year), and the sun was brilliantly set against blue skies with occasionally gray-tinted clouds.

     January 1, 2011, was somewhat less brilliant. The temperatures were lower, the skies were grayer, and clouds shrouded the tops of the mountains I passed while driving to a friend’s house. I pulled over to the side of the road to photograph the scene.

     The cold was due more to the damp than the temperatures—the Pittsburgh Penguin hockey team postponed their afternoon game to an evening game due to heavy rain.

     This transition from the death of an old year to the birth of a new year contrasts mightily with the 1997-1998 transition, when an ice storm hit the northeastern part of the United States, wreaking havoc from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Buffalo, New York, to Bangor and Presque Isle, Maine. Monte had spent New Year’s Day quietly and secretly making arrangements for me to fly into Bangor, where my mother was in the hospital with heart disease. He successfully accomplished his goal, and I spent the evening packing my suitcase. On January 2nd, I flew into Bangor. I spent a quiet time with my mother, my sister Jane, and my stepfather. I chose not to stay long because I felt I could visit with her the next day. I went to my accommodations—a section of rooms designed by the hospital for members of the patient’s family.

     Mother Nature, as well as other aspects of life, are like this: one time, very friendly to the world, another time, wreaking havoc.


     This year, havoc came from another direction. My grandson Alex, a present on my December 10th birthday six years ago, was in the hospital the week and a half before Christmas. He was destined to spend Christmas day there. He is still a very ill child.

     Alex’s appendix ruptured. He is developing multiple abscesses, cannot eat much, and is experiencing a great deal of pain. The doctors are waiting to remove his appendix until his infection reduces. Right now, he is at home, but his temperature and pain fluctuate.

     I talked to Alex while he was in the hospital, lecturing him on trying too hard to follow in my footsteps. You see, I was supposed to have died from a ruptured appendix when I was seven. This was something not expected with Alex—after all, he is not my genetic grandchild, but the grandchild of an unofficial adoption of his mother.

     Appendicitis can be a wicked situation. Its symptoms can be masked by other illnesses, especially a flu. That’s what happened to me, and it’s what happened to my son when he was eleven years old. I learned something with my son: a full-fledged appendicitis attack can be preceded by mini-appendix attacks. For about a year, or perhaps a little longer, he would have episodes where he woke up feeling ill in the morning, but would be quite normal by lunchtime. My Mother suggested he didn’t want to go to school, but she didn’t know this child who would bring homework home during the summer. Gradually, his attacks came closer together, until, following a flu episode, he landed in the hospital—for a month. He developed an abscess after his initial surgery, which required a second surgery. When his sons were born, I recommended that they have their appendix removed before his parents took them home. Of course, that wasn’t done—but my son must be super-vigilant in watching for appendicitis in his children.

     Yes, Mother Nature and life both had out the blessings and the challenges.


     Please pray for Alex, that his health returns and he can get back to being what he should be: a child running around, wreaking havoc for his parents while they tear their hair out.  


My December Birthday: Reflections on Fifty Years of Bonus Life

January Catalogues Lead to June Gardens

26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter Q





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