Christmas is about choices. What to buy and where to buy it. Will Aunt Susie like the scarf? Will Uncle Harry like the socks? Choices we make and the outcomes that follow are part and parcel of this season of the year. What stands out to me is the decision that God made a few thousand years ago. A decision that still confounds the wise. God chose Mary but why?
Phyllis was eighty years old when she enrolled in our outpatient hospice program with lung cancer. Phyllis, her husband, Floyd, and their six children lived an adventurous life. They lived in Xenia, Ohio for five years; owned and operated a grocery store in Wilmington, Ohio until it burned down; moved to Phoenix, Arizona and then operated a “Stuckey’s” roadside service station-restaurant in the desert between Las Angeles and Los Vegas.
This is the eighth and final part of a series about Jerry, my departed friend, a gentle spirit, an old hippie with a need for speed. Jerry was a friend who “Sticks closer than a brother,” (Proverbs 18:24). Five minutes before Jerry died, I stood beside his bed, placed my hand on his chest and told him, “I Love you brother. This is the last time I’ll see you here, but I’ll see you at home.” As I drove back to Portsmouth from Springfield that November night I prayed, “Father, it feels like Jerry took a piece of me with him when he left.” Then I suddenly realized, “No! Jerry left a piece of himself with me.” I realized that I am who I am, to a large degree, because of our friendship, for, “As Iron sharpens Iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend,” (Proverbs 27:17).
This is part seven of a series about my friend, Jerry, who departed from this world at age sixty-eight after a prolonged battle with prostate cancer. Jerry endured repeated biopsies, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and experimental trials, but the cancer continued to metastasize to his bones, back, shoulder, neck, sternum, and both femurs and to who knows where. The cancer and treatments left Jerry as weak as a kitten and his balance poor. Excruciating pain is typically associated with bone cancer, nevertheless Jerry didn’t complain much and he never gave up.
It was in the fall of 1774 when the delegates to the First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia where we gain a clear perspective on the mindset they each had as they began their work. Before their discussions and their speeches, before their concerns, agreements and disagreements were aired, they sought God. September 7, 1774 was the date when the meeting began with the reading of Psalm 35 which concludes with a verse of joyous gratitude, “And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.” The reading was followed by prayer led by Rev. Jacob Duch`e, the Pastor of Christ’s Church. According to John Adams, when the Rev. Duch`e finished praying, even the Quakers were moved with emotion!
There has recently been a lot of unreasonable worry about RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) infections again. RSV can cause bronchiolitis which is inflammation of the small airways of infants and children. Bronchiolitis causes wheezing and can be quite distressful, especially in babies with heart disease, prematurity, lung disease or other serious illness. However RSV usually causes just a runny nose and a cough, which closely resembles the cold caused by many other viruses. Also other viruses can cause bronchiolitis and wheezing. Whether just a cold or wheezing is caused by RSV, or some other virus makes no difference for the treatment or management. There is no specific treatment. Asthma medications, used to treat wheezing in older children with asthma, do not help and can add to the problem because they increase heart rate, make it difficult to rest and increase oxygen need.
As soon as my eyes open each morning, I give thanks for the air going in and out of my lungs. Another day – I am alive. God still has a purpose for this timeworn gal. So, I pray for my family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and humans around the globe; some I know and most I don’t know.
My name is Collin Docterman. I currently serve as Chair of the Scioto County Democratic Party. I am a hospice nurse aide and my wife and I currently foster two young children.
To quote that timeless sage Yogi Berra, “The future ain’t what it used to be.” Just last week, a House committee hearing on abortion restrictions took an unexpected turn Thursday when a Democratic witness who works for Planned Parenthood testified that men can become pregnant. Dr. Bhavik Kumar, medical director for primary and trans care at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, replied in the affirmative after being asked by Rep. Andrew Clyde, Georgia Republican, if men could become pregnant. “So men can have pregnancies, especially trans men,” Dr. Kumar told the House Oversight and Reform Committee. Wait, what? If I would have written, posted or even said aloud what I just wrote 10 years ago I wouldn’t have believed my own words!