Horn Happenings

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Location: San Antonio, Texas, United States

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Home Away From Home

Have you ever been to a friend's house and the moment you walk in the door it feels like home? I have, and I'm so grateful for those who practice hospitality this way.

Being the recipient of such hospitality several times these past few weeks while away from home has made me all the more grateful for the Body of Christ and the fellowship of like-minded saints. It truly is a special privilege to feel as if you are with family even when far away from home.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ramblings on Snow, Dr.'s Offices and Other Miscellaneous Thoughts

1500 miles from my family, I sit perched upon my great-grandparents' couch in New Jersey. All is quiet. Freshly fallen snow lies on the ground, turning this little retirement village into a barely-covered winter wonderland.

Tonight found my boots crunching around in the snow during an after-dinner walk. It was glorious. Resisting the urge to plop down right in the middle of the beautiful white stuff, I called home to inform my parents of this wonderful experience of walking in the snow.

In previous years, disappointment might have set in at the meager amount of snow, but now this tiny inch felt like ten. Funny how one's perspective can change.

As some, if not most of you know, I've been given the opportunity to assist my great-grandparents for a few weeks. My great-grandfather has cancer, so during the course of my stay I am transporting him to his daily radiation treatments. A determined fighter, he is battling this cancer with all he is worth. Thankfully, side effects from his radiation have been limited and mostly treatable by medication.

Although only a few days have past, I've already established my waiting-room routine. After seating myself in one of the comfortable blue chairs, I pull out my history book to read and jot notes for further thought and discussion. Every now and again my eyes wander from the page to observe the actions and expressions of the other waiting-room occupants. Resignation, determination, hope, sadness - all of these emotions flit around the room like autumn leaves falling from a tree. We are all here for the same reason; a loved one is receiving radiation.

One older woman stands out among the group. Her hair is of medium length, gray, and pulled back into a simple ponytail. Her face is not one which draws notice, but it is her actions which so rivet my attention. It is her love.

Jose, her husband, is wheeled out to her each day following his treatment. Confused and disgruntled, he emphatically states in his refined Spanish accent, "We are just experiments in there. They just use us for experiments!" Not losing a beat, his wife sweetly comforts him, adjusts his wheelchair, offers him a mint and calls for the bus. All with a smile gently fixed upon her face.

Her eyes fill with tears as the nurse gently explains to Jose that his radiation treatments are almost complete, and they hope that soon he will be able to walk again. Wiping the tears from her eyes, she looks at her husband from eyes filled with love and devotion and whispers, "Only a few more. You're almost done." Even in the somber atmosphere of a radiology center waiting room, rays of sunshine cast their golden beams.

In no time at all it seems, my great-grandfather emerges from behind the heavy door and we head home - one more treatment to knock off the list.

The snow has now turned to rain. I can hear the drops hitting the roof and melting away the snow. Tomorrow promises to exchange this white landscape for one of green, but that's alright - at least I saw snow.

Signing off from New Jersey.