Saturday, August 23, 2014

“Not Rare Enough”


So I did the Ice Bucket Challenge. I dumped ice water over myself to raise awareness for ALS. The video is below, just to prove I did. Kinda silly, I suppose.

I could have just sent money to an ALS related charity or skipped the whole thing. It’s like being volunteered to make cookies for the bake sale. You didn’t say you would so you don’t have to.

But my sister, my son and I were nominated by my brother. I am doing the challenge. My sister donated and will give an additonal donation for each niece and nephew who participates. For us, it’s personal. 

My son never actually got to meet my dad, though they are much alike in looks and personality. My father had died four years before Jordan was born – died of ALS.

I remember that Dad’s doctor at Lahey Clinic in Burlington said that ALS was the diagnosis he most dreaded giving. There is no cure and no effective treatment for the disease, just a few ways to make patients more comfortable and perhaps add a few weeks to their life spans.

ALS is a degenerative motor neuron disease. My father had the “bulbar onset” meaning the first symptoms affected his speech and breathing. He died two years after diagnosis, in 1995. People with symptoms beginning in the arms or legs usually live a little longer. With ALS, muscles can not strengthen. The nerves connected to them stop working. People lose the ability to walk, eat, speak and breathe. The intellect remains intact.

My father was a generous, hard-working and helpful man who loved his family. He enjoyed making people laugh. His jokes were famous in our circle of friends.

Shortly after his diagnosis, a man at church asked what my father had. My father said that it was Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). “That’s rare isn’t it?” asked the man. “Not rare enough,” quipped my dad. And it still isn't. It won't be until no one gets it all. Nineteen years after my father’s death, ALS remains incurable and largely untreatable.

Humor remained a part of my father’s life to the end. When he could no longer speak, his favorite gesture – used even on his final night – was the thumbs up sign. It showed his good attitude and lack of fear. Later, a group of us would walk in the ALS walk, under the name “Team Thumbs Up.”
           

I still my miss dad and wish my son could have known him.

So that’s why I dumped water on my head. And here’s the video to prove it: 

video

(I did nominate three people, but you have to know me personally to find out who they are, for the sake of their privacy.)


Have you done the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?





Links:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Nigerian Girls .. not to be forgotten.

It seems that the world has moved on from the story of the kidnapped and missing Nigerian Girls. There's been no news, really, apparently nothing new tor report.

But, those girls ... and it's not just them, actually, there are others living the same nightmare... are still out there, still afraid, very possibly abused in a 100 ways, possibly "married." They still need finding, they still need prayer.

So I had an idea... perhaps there are people who would wear a bracelet bearing a girl's name until that girl is safely returned to her home. The bracelet would remind you to pray and also create opportunities for you to remind others of the plight of the girls (and others).

I am thinking to keep it simple. Here's what to do.

Choose a name (I don't have a complete list, so sadly some girls are listed as "unnamed girl" with a number. Remember, God knows her name. Special blessings on those of you who take one of those 54 as it will be easier to assign the named people.) If you are already praying for a particular girl by name you may want to choose that one.

Let me know which name you choose and I will add your name here. Once all the names are taken, feel free to choose one again. The more people involved the better.

Make a bracelet the says "Pray for (girl's mame)"-- you can use a plastic bracelet and a sharpie, letter beads and twine, or whatever works. Feel free to make an anklet, necklace, etc instead of a bracelet.

Wear your bracelet all the time and pray for your girl, using any opportunity to explain what it is about.

That's it!

Here are the names.


1. Deborah ​
2. Awa ​
3. Hauwa ​
4. Asabe ​
5. Mwa ​
6. Patiant ​(Louise)
7. Saraya ​
8. Mary ​
9. Gloria ​
10. Hanatu ​
11. Gloria ​
12. Tabitha ​
13. Maifa ​
14. Ruth ​
15. Esther ​
16. Awa ​
17. Anthonia
18. Kume ​--( Melinda)
19. Aisha ​
20. Nguba ​
21. Kwanta ​
22. Kummai ​
23. Esther ​(Barbara)
24. Hana ​
25. Rifkatu ​
26 Rebecca ​
27. Blessing ​
28. Ladi ​
29. Tabitha ​
30 Ruth ​
31. Safiya ​
32. Na’omi ​
33. Solomi ​
34. Rhoda ​(Linda)
35. Rebecca ​
36. Christy ​
37. Rebecca ​
38. Laraba ​
39 Saratu ​
40. Mary ​
41 Debora ​
42. Naomi ​
43 Hanatu ​
44. Hauwa ​
45. Juliana ​(Rachel)
46. Suzana ​
47.Saraya ​
48. Jummai ​
49. Mary ​
50. Jummai ​
51. Yanke ​
52. Muli ​
53. Fatima ​
54. Eli ​
55.Saratu ​
56. Deborah
57. Rahila ​
58. Luggwa ​
59. Kauna ​
60. Lydia ​
61. Laraba ​
62. Hauwa ​
63. Confort ​
64. Hauwa ​
65. Hauwa ​
66. Yana ​
67. Laraba ​
68. Saraya ​
69. Glory ​
70. Na’omi ​
71. Godiya ​
72. Awa ​
73. Na’omi ​
74. Maryamu
75. Tabitha ​
76. Mary ​
77. Ladi ​
78. Rejoice ​
79. Luggwa ​
80. Comfort ​
81. Saraya ​
82. Sicker ​
83.Talata ​
84. Rejoice ​
85. Deborah ​
86. Salomi ​
87. Mary ​
88. Ruth ​
89. Esther ​
90. Esther ​
91. Maryamu
91. Zara ​
93. Maryamu
94. Lydia ​
95. Laraba ​
96. Na’omi ​
97. Rahila ​
98. Ruth ​
99. Ladi ​
100 Mary ​
101. Esther ​
102. Helen ​
103. Margret
104. Deborah
105. Filo ​
106. Febi ​
107. Ruth ​
108. Racheal
109. Rifkatu
110. Mairama
111. Saratu ​
112. Jinkai ​
113. Margret
114. Yana ​
115. Grace ​
116. Amina ​
117. Palmata
118. Awagana
119. Pindar ​
120. Yana ​
121. Saraya ​
122. Hauwa ​
123. Hauwa ​
125. Hauwa ​
126. Maryamu
127. Maimuna
128. Rebeca
129. Liyatu ​
130. Rifkatu
131. Naomi ​
132. Deborah
133. Ladi ​
134. Asabe ​
135. Maryamu
136. Ruth ​
137. Mary ​
138. Abigail
139. Deborah
140. Saraya ​
141. Kauna ​
142. Christiana
143. Yana ​
144. Hauwa ​
145. Hadiza ​
146. Lydia ​
147. Ruth ​
148. Mary ​
149. Lugwa ​
150. Muwa ​
151. Hanatu ​
152. Monica
153. Margret
154. Docas ​
155. Rhoda ​
156. Rifkatu
157. Saratu ​
158. Naomi ​
159. Hauwa ​
160. Rahap ​
162. Deborah
163. Hauwa ​
164. Hauwa ​
165. Serah ​
166. Aishatu
167. Aishatu
168. Hauwa ​
169. Hamsatu
170. Mairama
171. Hauwa ​
172. Ihyi ​
173. Hasana
174. Rakiya ​
175. Halima ​
176. Aisha ​
177. Kabu ​
178. Yayi ​
179. Falta ​
180. Kwadugu
181. Unnamed Girl 1
182. Unnamed Girl 2
183. Unnamed Girl 3
184. Unnamed Girl 4
185. Unnamed Girl 5
186. Unnamed Girl 6
187. Unnamed Girl 7
188. Unnamed Girl 8
189. Unnamed Girl 9
190. Unnamed Girl 10
181. Unnamed Girl 11
182. Unnamed Girl 12
183. Unnamed Girl 13
184. Unnamed Girl 14
185. Unnamed Girl 15
186. Unnamed Girl 16
187. Unnamed Girl 17
188. Unnamed Girl 18
189. Unnamed Girl 19
190. Unnamed Girl 20
191. Unnamed Girl 21
192. Unnamed Girl 22
193. Unnamed Girl 23
194. Unnamed Girl 24
195. Unnamed Girl 25
196. Unnamed Girl 26
197. Unnamed Girl 27
198. Unnamed Girl 28
199. Unnamed Girl 29
200. Unnamed Girl 30
211. Unnamed Girl 31
212. Unnamed Girl 32
213. Unnamed Girl 33
214. Unnamed Girl 34
215. Unnamed Girl 35
216. Unnamed Girl 36
217. Unnamed Girl 37
218. Unnamed Girl 38
219. Unnamed Girl 39
220. Unnamed Girl 40
221. Unnamed Girl 41
222. Unnamed Girl42
223. Unnamed Girl 43
224. Unnamed Girl 44
225. Unnamed Girl 45
226. Unnamed Girl 46
227. Unnamed Girl 47
228. Unnamed Girl 48
229. Unnamed Girl 49
230. Unnamed Girl 50
231. Unnamed Girl 51
232. Unnamed Girl 52
233. Unnamed Girl 53
234. Unnamed Girl 54
    *Pam is making a bracelet for all 54 unnamed girls. 

 Thoughts always welcome! God bless your efforts!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Yeah, that,

So I am in Ocean Park, ME. 'Cause it is beautiful and a bit of a change is nice.

CYC is going on now (which is why I am visiting now, really.)


Today I witnessed something I had to report to the men's camp director. I was in the soda fountain, getting a Raspberry Lime Rickey. As a stood in line, I became aware of a young man from the camp interacting with an elderly couple who were using mobility aids --the man a wheelchair, the woman a cane. The Judson man (that's what CYC calls it's male campers) stood in line for the couple, ordered their food and twice refused their offer to pay for his ice cream saying it wasn't necessary. He noticed the man was wearing a veteran's t-shirt and thanked him for his service.

I couldn't help but smile.

Then, I have been a believer in Christian camp for 30+ years.


I am not the only one convinced. Sometimes people join the community and just "click." That seems to have been the case with this year's chaplaincy duo. Never having been with us ever, they seemed to know what to expect and what was needed. The husband of the team even blogged about the experience. Check out what he had to say here.

See, it's not just me.

I also saw a  variety of posts on Commitment Night from people who couldn't attend but wished they could or shared other memories of their experiences. Not all entirely positive but everyone had some good memories. Not to mention some of the alumni who (like me) were present in person.. for the 35th, 40th or 48th time.

What's been your experience with summer camp?





Tuesday, August 12, 2014

(Belated) Song for Sunday: The Tears of a Clown

Robin Williams is dead and many people are shocked. They didn't know that the comedian battled depression. Many figured such an amazingly funny person must be happy.

Check your perceptions. Class clowns are often trying to divert attention for something -- an incompetence in some area, a learning disability, having missed something because of inattention....or depression.

Back in 1971, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles performed The Tears of a Clown. It's lyrics are an authentic expression of the experience of many. Of course, song lyrics can only go so far. The deep pain of so many defies true expression.


So in memory of not only Robin Williams, but all of the other class clowns and comedians who have died by their own hand and in hopes that this will help raise awareness and ease the struggle for others, The Tears of a Clown is today's Song for Sunday. 


 


God bless your journey.


 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Song for Sunday: Beautiful Day

It's a beautiful day. The weather is nice -- sunny and cool. I got to worship, work with youth, celebrate a graduation with friends.

Today also would have been my Mom's 74th birthday. My friend Paul rode the PanMass challenge in memory of his wife but also my mother, in honor of his sister-in-law, but also my sister. We are grateful for him.

There is someplace I would rather be than here today, but that isn't what's happening.

So I try to enjoy today as it is... full of worship, work, celebration, memory, and longing. And it's a Beautiful Day, so the U2 song of that name became today's Song for Sunday.




What songs are you enjoying today?