It's been almost a month since I've blogged, and I feel really rotten about that.
It's been a rugged road since December 12, filled with joys and concerns of epic proportions ( at least that's how it feels to me.)
On December 12, DH and I met and fell in love with an eight week old golden retriever and scooped her up in our arms and carried her home. She's the third golden retriever we've owned, the first cream colored golden we've had, and the first female. It was love at first sight. Her name is Lucy. (You'll recall that we've been missing our 13 year old golden, Chase, who died in October.)
On December 18th a remarkable woman in our congregation passed away quite suddenly. She was our Clerk of Session, and also one of the most creative, encouraging people I've ever had the privilege of serving with. She had so many best friends. She was just 59 years old. I am honored to have been one of her pastors. We had her memorial service on December 22.
We took a little trip to southern Illinois from the 25th til the 28th to visit family. Lucy was a big hit, especially with the extended family's grown-up shelties, labradoodle and golden retriever.
On December 28th we took Lucy for her first appointment with our vet, who diagnosed a heart murmur, of the grade three sort. Turns out that there are six grades, with one being innocent and outgrowable and six being very severe. We were referred to an animal cardiologist, whom we saw on January 5th at a specialty veterinary hospital 45 minutes from our home. Dr. W did an ultrasound and diagnosed Lucy with PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus)which is a common heart defect in dogs, but rare in goldens.
On December 31,one of our most vibrant deacons underwent quadruple bypass surgery. She's in her early 50's. At this point, the foundation of my faith felt a little unsteady. Thankfully, she is doing well.
On January 5th, my dad came to visit for four days. I'm sure he felt like he had walked into a daytime drama. Still, it was wonderful to have him visit.
On January 10, I drove FBC back to college and returned home in a snowstorm. I don't heart lake effect snow.
On January 11, Lucy underwent heart surgery at the specialty hospital 45 minutes from our home. She came home yesterday, having done well. Today was spent carrying her up and down stairs (doctor's orders for the next two weeks) and trying to be a calming presence as she expresses her dismay with the cone of shame she must wear to prevent gnawing at stitches. A colleague at work commented to DH, "You must really love that dog", alluding what he correctly assumed was the significant cost of her surgery. DH replied, "Sure. And when I thought, "New car or save smebody's life?" it was not a difficult decision at all."
I think Lucy's in our lives for a reason.
Today we've watched and listened to the news with heavy hearts for the people of Haiti. I've long been a supporter of Paul Farmer and Partners in Health and the Presbyterian Church (USA) has had an historic commitment to the people of Haiti. God, have mercy.
In 2010 I'm going to learn how to upload pictures from my cell phone. I want you to see Lucy grow. This is not Lucy, but someone who looks just like her: