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Usually by this time, the presents are spilling out from under the tree.  Right now there are only a couple.  The lack of gifts is not due to the economic crisis, but to family crises. It’s not even Christmas and my family has heard enough bad news in the past two weeks to make up for the entire year.  It started a few weeks ago when my dad had surgery to remove part of his colon. After a few complications (ie internal bleeding) and a lengthened hospital stay, he was able to go home feeling much better.  He was recovering well until he was hit with a high fever.  A late night call to the hospital led to a 911 call.  It’s just a little unnerving to see paramedics wheel a stretcher into your house at two in the morning to whisk your dad away.  Another week’s stay at the hospital was warranted to cure a severe infection (he had gone septic) and balance his electrolytes which effected the rhythm of his heart.  Ironically, he ended up on the floor my mom works on as a nurse, the cardiac stepdown unit to monitor his heart.  Needless to say, he received very good care there and just a little extra special attention. Although very sick and giving us a good scare, dad is getting better every day and is home.

Overlapping my dad’s illness was another mid night wake-up.  This time it was an uncle informing us that my 15 year old second cousin was killed in a car accident.  High winds blew the car off the road, hit a tree, and rolled.  News story and video here.  He was the only one of four not wearing a seat belt. The other three teenagers walked away (let this be a good lesson to PLEASE always wear your seat belts!). Ironically, it was 22 years to the day his grandfather (my uncle) passed away.  The funeral will be on the same day as well, Christmas Eve.

Although Nicholas was extended family I would see at the occasional family gathering, I couldn’t shake the depression of the news.  This will be the first funeral I attend of someone young.  Usually family funerals are for older relatives and are easier to endure. I am dreading this like a root canal but the best thing I can do is go and offer my support to the family.

In a way, it’s a good thing I was home for these things to come to event however, I much would have preferred they hadn’t.  It would have also been of greater console had Trav been here as well.  He’s been there as much as he can though and has been wonderful throughout.

So, I hope this holiday season finds you in good spirits and good company.  I am staying encouraged that 2009 will begin better than 2008 ended. 

Rest in Peace, Nicholas

“He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever.”

Revelation 21:4

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