Not so far away after all

I’ve gone through numerous highs and lows in my spiritual life – times when I’ve felt close enough to God that I could almost touch Him, and times when He seems so far away that praying seems futile and I’m not sure He’s even there at all. The latter would describe my current feelings pretty well.

I mentioned these feelings as we visited with friends Saturday evening. Their responses were filled with compassion and understanding, and some shared their own experiences in such beautiful, descriptive ways that doubting was impossible.

Last night as I drifted off to sleep, I offered a prayer of thanks for my marvelous life. My partner, my friends, and even my home seem to be working in tandem to make my life as comfortable and happy as possible. That’s when it hit me… even when God seems to have completely disappeared, He’s still there. I see Him in the faces of my friends, my partner, even my pets. He permeates everything.

I got up this morning still thinking about this “revelation,” and remembered the words of an old song with much greater understanding.

Yes, I see God where the mountains reach the sky
I see God when the eagle starts to fly
I see God in a little baby’s smile
I see God and He makes my life worthwhile

Yes, I see God when the bridegroom meets his bride
I see God in a father’s loving eyes
I see God when a mother starts to cry
I see God in a love that never dies

I see God where the people meet to pray
I see God in the things they do and say
I see God when the little children play
I see God and I know He’s near always

I see God, yes, I see God

– From “Yes, I See God” by Dolly Parton

Back on the grid

Electricity was restored to my street around 3:30 pm last Friday, thanks to the efforts of our neighbor’s son. While retrieving the mail, he noticed a bucket truck heading down a nearby road and jumped in his truck in hot pursuit. After catching up with them a couple of miles away and asking them to please restore our power, they followed him back and had it going in less than a hour.

I arrived home from work just as it came back on and hurried inside to check that all of our appliances and electronics still worked (they did) and then relished in the cold air from the ac for a few minutes before heading outside to tackle the downed trees and limbs on the lawn. Dad had loaned me his chainsaw (which I thoroughly enjoyed using) and I felt rather butch as the motor revved and the sawdust flew.

We are still without telephone and internet service, but hopefully that will be restored today or tomorrow. I realize how fortunate we were when compared to places like Galveston, but it was still a week that won’t be soon forgotten.

Powerless

We are still without electricity and phone service at home. Of all the houses in our subdivision, only five are without power. A tree fell across some lines and disrupted our service during the freak storm on Sunday, and since the electric company is more concerned with restoring power to larger lines, we figure we’ll be one of the last places to get service restored. Some estimates are no earlier than Friday.

My neighbor’s son (who I’ve grown quite fond of already… I know, I’m a softie) has been down to the electric company’s office for the last two mornings, even spinning a big yarn about his “bed-ridden mother” and her Life Alert button. That didn’t even get any sympathy. Oh well.

We’ve been toughing it out as best we can. It’s like living in the wild, wild West – without all the gun fights and hangings. It’s almost romantic to sit around every night with candlelight and nothing to do but talk to one another.

Unfortunately, our daylight hours have been pretty full of backbreaking yard work. The tree is off the roof, thanks to my dad and some coworkers. The roof is considerably damaged, but the insurance company seems to be more than willing to cooperate with repairs. We’re just thankful that it isn’t any worse, and that no one got hurt during the storm or the cleanup.

On the bright side, I have power and internet at work. Otherwise, I’d be in a straitjacket from withdrawals.

Seven years ago

It doesn’t quite seem possible that it’s been that long, but on this day, seven years ago, I was on top of the World Trade Center. The view was unimaginable and even though my knees were quivering from the excitement, I knew this was the experience of a lifetime. I’m a little scared of heights, so it was strangely comforting to see the sister tower just a few feet away – hovering in the heavens right along with us. It was incomprehensible to see her standing alone for those brief, fateful minutes a couple of days later.

I’m not sure I could ever forget what happened on 9/11, but I want to make sure that I never let time erase any of the fear and sorrow that I felt on that horrific day. Last night I watched a documentary – one that started out as a film about NY firefighters, but became an insider’s view of terror. It was hard to watch, but I must remember for the sake of those who died, those who sacrificed their lives trying to help others, and even those of us who watched helplessly as 3,000 of our fellow humans beings lost their lives.

“We stand, as it were, on the shore, and see multitudes of our fellow beings struggling in the water, stretching forth their arms, sinking, drowning, and we are powerless to assist them.” – Felix Adler

Update on my so-called life

Some of my regular readers have pointed out that I don’t really write much anymore. I post little tidbits and mindless dribble about politics and celebrities, but very little about myself. There are several reasons why I haven’t been putting forth much effort in that department, but the primary ones are laziness, feeling like I’m repeating myself, and not really having anything that important going on in my life. When I started this blog I intended to use it as a virtual diary, so I’m going to try to head back in that direction.

The best thing that has happened in my life recently is that my partner finally got to return to school to finish his degree. We are both elated that he can move forward and hopefully have a bachelor’s degree under his belt sometime in December.

Speaking of school, I’ve put my plans of changing careers on hold. Changing jobs and all the on-the-clock training that entails has left me with little desire to further my education in the classroom. I did feel a few pangs of jealousy recently when I went to registration with Honey, but I know that I’m still young enough that I can afford to procrastinate a bit. I’m making good money now, so while having a degree might give me a little more self-worth, I’m not sure it would really improve my quality of life.

Things are still a little weird with my family. My sister and I started talking again recently (although most of our contact consists of text-messaging). She made the first move – calling me and leaving a rather kind message on my machine. My mother contacted me yesterday via email – our first correspondence in around four months.

While I’ll feel much better when things are back to “normal” with my family, the part that continues to make me angry is that my feelings never seem to matter. They discriminate, I get angry and make ultimatums, then we just go on with our little lives like nothing ever happened. I guess that’s the definition of “dysfunctional family,” eh?

Speaking of “dysfunctional,” it seems that my body is falling to pieces. The nuclear test that was ran on my gallbladder a few weeks ago showed that it is only working 30% of the time. This seems to be wreaking havoc on my digestive system, since the extra bile the organ stores when malfunctioning gets flushed into my stomach all at once. My stomach tries to counteract the extra bile by producing more acid – causing acid reflux and the resulting chest pain. Doctor advised that I have it removed as quickly as possible, but not wanting to have surgery, I told her that I needed some time to think about it.

A few nights ago, I started getting a fever without any indication of being ill. It went to 101.5 before I caved in and took some Tylenol. I spent most of the next day feeling like crap – no appetite, no energy. The fever returned the next night, along with pain when urinating and sitting down.

Seems my prostate is the culprit, and after a rather thorough and embarrassing exam, Doctor joked that I was falling apart and playfully referred to me as “Humpty Dumpty.” Then she put me on antibiotics and abstinence for two weeks. And… she’s setting me up with a surgeon to get the gallbladder removed. Here’s to feeling twice your age (clink).

So, that’s about it. Just don’t expect the posts about politics to go away anytime soon.