The Final Stretch

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My roommate downstairs—the ill one, who is, BTW, feeling much better after yesterday’s treatment, although he’s still got a long road and now he has to live with a hemodialysis catheter stuck to his chest (they need the large size for his procedure, which is NOT hemodialysis) for a few weeks—seemed to be happy when he moved in and saw that he could once again watch his favorite shows. Game of Thrones and so on, all via streaming with a Roku I gave him, via my wifi network. It kept him occupied. And he split the extra cost of HBO with me.

What this means, though, is that he uses my accounts to watch various things. Amazon, YouTube, etc. He could set up his own accounts but he doesn’t really understand how, I think. And I bet he doesn’t know the need.

Because I can see everything he watches. His “recently watched” tab is wide open whenever I go to YouTube, for example.

This isn’t a bad thing, even if he’d probably prefer I didn’t have his watching history. Me too. But it’s not like he watches filth. Mostly news.

But he seems to be interested in atheists, and arguments between very intelligent atheists and various straw men, ridiculous people who argue for the existence of God based on fairy dust and cookie crumbs. It’s not a fair fight, but that’s all. I move on, don’t pay attention. I’m just aware.

That, and the fact that he brings up certain subjects with me in the car about church. He’s generally respectful but I can tell. Again, no skin off my nose. If he wants to believe all religious people are like these idiots, and he refuses to see the intellectual dishonesty in that (many people he admires for their humanity and their intelligence are very passionate believers), it’s none of my business.

But, you know. All are welcome at the table. I don’t begrudge him some reinforcements. Quite a few of my friends fall into this category.

...

But at least I know where some of his goofy ideas come from. He seems to believe that there’s this ongoing battle between Protestants and Catholics in this country, and he was shocked to learn that we not only serve communion at our little Presbyterian church, we do it almost every week (we use grape juice and not wine, because we’re not those kind).

Truth is, we’re a very liturgical church for being Presbyterians, but we’re not alone. We understand the power of ritual and symbols. So do you, even if it’s not in a church. It’s a human thing.

And many of us come from a background in a higher church, either RC or Episcopal or some other. A lot of this is just convenience, some involves people jumping the papal ship after the molestation news, and a lot has to do with homosexuality. We are an open and affirming church, which are code words for saying all are welcome. We’ve always been this way. Openly gay and lesbian members have always served in positions of leadership. I can’t tell you many times an interested person has come to our church, and gets into a deep discussion with one of our pastors on this very issue. In some cases, they have a good friend or family member who is gay, and they refuse to belong to a church (which they desire) that demonizes them. They feel welcome here, as they should.

We’re about to jump into it, too. Palm Sunday is this Sunday, and then all heaven breaks loose. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Easter Sunday we have services. I’ll be at every one, IgM protein willing. And then this Lent will be over.

And you bet I’ll be a different person. Maybe that’s just situational, but I’ll take it.

...

I think I had a point here, but your guess is as good as mine. Yesterday was difficult, as I predicted, but it had nothing to do with my duties. The duties I had were minimal; drop him off at the hospital, hang around an hour, take him home. He felt so much better (this was a weekly procedure to clean out his blood, get rid of that pesky protein for a few days).

It’s just that I got him home, and tried to deal with a few things here, and then my wife headed home and asked if I wanted to go out for Taco Tuesdays, which I did. We went out to a nice dinner, came home around 8pm, I sat down in my recliner, and the next thing I knew it was 11pm. I stumbled to bed and stumbled out this morning, still groggy, feeling very much like I’d been drugged (I have no experience with this but I’ve seen all the Bourne movies). Still sort of feel that way. No wonder I miss the point.

...

At the end, when it comes, I imagine I’ll have one more experience under my belt, then. Probably will come in handy. I’m flailing when it comes to keeping track of four different specialties calling and trying to make appointments, apparently incapable of looking at his hospital appointment sheet (which I can see online), but I’m now at the point that I’m leaving that to them. I don’t blame them for trying to help; there’s no way to be in three places at once, though, and as soon as they figure that out it’ll be better.

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Our appointments are booked for Arizona this summer (thank you, Alaska Airlines miles), when we attend our 36th reunion of the summer of 1983, when a group of us sang and danced for our suppers (and a meager paycheck). A week after we return, we head for Scotland for two weeks. This will be a summer to remember.

A year to remember, I think.

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Housekeeping—I realized that for many people, or all people, or just sticklers for detail, and probably depending on different things, Lent officially begins on Ash Wednesday. I tend to think of it starting on the Thursday after. There’s a lively discussion about this somewhere on the Internet, I’m sure.

Anyway, as far as my numbering is concerned, this is day #32 and day #40 will fall on Good Friday. In case anyone gets their underwear in a bunch. This is my way and I’m sticking to it.

And I’m a better person. Maybe I just got used to things I don’t normally experience. Maybe it woke me. Maybe it inspired me.

Maybe it just made me the person I was supposed to be, and I do believe that was the point, and I’m pretty sure I won.

Chuck Sigars3 Comments