Friday, August 20, 2010

An Eloquent Set of Excuses

Dear All:

I am writing to apologize to everyone who follows this blog. There aren't many of you, but you deserve to receive an explaination because of the attention you so kindly pay.

My preaching style has undergone some significant changes, ones that are still being ironed out. Where I used to stand in the pulpit and preach from a manuscript that was easily transferred to this blog, a few months ago, I began to preach more extemporaneously. At first, it was driven by knowing what I wanted to say but not having the time to compose it on the page. I was also influenced by the encouragement that some of my parishioners gave me when I did step down out of the pulpit.

At first, I sought to generate a manuscript of the sermon by recording myself and using a transcription software, but for various reasons, the learning curve on such a project has been difficult and time consuming. This is why there has not been a sermon entry since the 4th of July.

My goal now is to go back to what my old preaching professor at Perkins/SMU, Zan Holmes, taught--preach extemporaneously all you want, but generate the manuscript anyway. This is now what I will start doing. there may be a false start or two as I develop a new habit, and the other current draws on my time and energy continue to be great, but this is at least my resolve. I also hope to find a way to post the recordings, which I will continue to make.

Thanks for your patience and understanding!

Fryer Drew

Donna's Caringbridge posting, August 20, 2010

(I am currently having some trouble pasting in my entry from MS Word to the Caringbridge site, so I have posted this entry to my blog, here.)
All right, Judy. It was about time for an update anyway, I finally had a few things to tell.

Since I last wrote, Josiah turned 11. The mother of one of his school friends threw a paintball party, and sweetly invited Josiah to celebrate his birthday as well (the boys are about a week apart). I believe, and all the parents sitting in the safe room that day agreed, that when those boys graduate high school, they will still remember that party as one of their seminal common experiences! Joe wasn’t sure about it after getting hit in the mask where his mouth was covered by a plastic grille, and the paint splashed into his mouth, but he did end up loving the day, and wants to go again. Right after that party, I whisked him away to sleepaway church camp, and then a week later, on his actual birthday, we ate birthday cake (made by my mom) in the dining room at Mercy Center with Donna, and my mom, dad, and step mom all came up to eat it!

Donna started receiving physical therapy after that cold she had last month, she was just not getting stronger, and it was starting to affect how she got out of bed, toileted, etc. She also started receiving speech therapy as well this week. Speech therapy is kind of a misnomer, catch-all sort of title, because it seems to encompass everything having to do with the throat, from communication to swallowing. Donna had been having some trouble swallowing food, not getting it all the way down, and so they engaged their speech therapist on Monday this week.

Donna is doing well otherwise, though much more tired in the evenings because of all the work she is doing. She was sitting in the sunroom last night, with two or three other residents, and it was very quiet. I’ve fallen into the habit of bringing her ice cream when I come at night. Last night was a Coffee Toffee Twisted Frosty night, and I asked her if she wanted to go to her room, and she said that she preferred being with some company, but liked the quiet, there were people around and less stimuli. Or rather, when I suggested that that was what she was preferring about being there, she said “yeah, that”, and smiled.

It’s a tough couple weeks, because Josiah is in a two week spread between the last organized summer activity and the beginning of school, and though he would be all for it, I’m not interested in his playing Wii for ten hours a day for two weeks. So, I need to invent things to keep him occupied, like having friends over (where they play Wii or their DS’s together, as well as go outside and play soccer or football), or having him go to their houses. He will also run errands with me, and school supplies and shoes need to be bought for school. I’m also continuing to re-engage in the life of my two churches, which sometimes sends me places where Joe cannot go with me. It’s a very busy time, and some days I go to bed late and just can’t get to sleep. I’d always heard that you can be too tired to sleep, but I’ve never really experienced it until now. The car that I bought in March already has 15000 more miles on it than it had when I bought it.

All of this other activity means that Donna comes out on the short end of that stick a little bit. When I can see her, lately, with or without Joe, it’s usually when she and I are both at our weariest.

Dr. Oley ordered a new MRI last week, because we want to know how far, or even if, the tumor has progressed. We’re waiting on the approval of insurance for that, now.

One last item: the process of obtaining medical assistance has now been completed, and she has started receiving some.