Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Little Richard

Little Richard Martinez came through a six-hour heart surgery very well yesterday at Hospital Bloom, San Salvador. I talked to Maria, his mother, yesterday; she said that the surgeon was pleased with how things had gone. This next 24-hour period is very crucial, so please continue to keep Richard in your prayers.

Maria was very relieved, and sent thanks to all who fulfilled her dream by making this surgery possible.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I haven't posted to this blog for a couple of weeks, mostly because I am in medical never-never land, waiting for a diagnosis of the inflammation in my bronchi. I long to get to the treatment phase, but, of course, only with the right diagnosis - so I'm practicing patience, which has been a major learning from my time in El Salvador. God making use, as usual, of everything in a life.

Meanwhile, I called El Salvador this morning to learn how little Richard Stanley was doing after his heart valve replacement surgery, only to learn that the surgery was postponed because they didn't have a bed available for him in Intensive Care. He is now rescheduled for next Monday, and I'm praying that all will be well then. Maria, Richard's mother, was nearly frantic with worry, as you can imagine. Please pray for them both. Here's a photo of this very loving mother and son.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

rhodys and rabbits

A little rabbit colony has found St. Mary-on-the-Lake - a very natural locale for them, except for the bald eagles that often sit at the tops of our trees and warble their strange cries while - no doubt - looking around for the odd rabbit. I hear there's a coyote in the park that's almost next door. But meanwhile the rabbits are roaming around, the rhododendrons are in glorious bloom, and it's OK if the sun is not shining that often - it's still a paradise here!

Strange to think that this is equally a blooming time in El Salvador, though now that the daily rains are well established most of the blooms will be swept down the drains.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Home time

I'm back in Bellevue for the month of June and for (again) some medical attention. I have an unexplained and - so far - undiagnosable chunk of gunk in my bronchia that shows up in coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and general discomobulation. There's a bronchoscopy scheduled Friday - following up on two of those in March. I hope for diagnosis and a treatment plan!

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the glories of late spring at St. Mary-on-the-Lake. The rhododendrons are in full bloom, along with azaleas, strawberries, dogwoods, salal and a Chilean Fire Tree. The view from anywhere, but especially from our chapel where you look out onto a 30 foot tall red rhody in full bloom, is spectacular. All the evergreens, the western red cedar and douglas fir and spruce and yew, have fresh new light green tips. I haven't been back at this time for two years, and I'd almost forgotten what it's like!

The special joy of this time has been celebrating our six Jubilarians - I was very honored to be asked to reflect on the readings for the Jubilee Mass, and very glad that Sr. Carmel Little kindly read the reflections for me, as I didn't want to cough my way through them. You can read a bit of them on our Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace website.

The special sorrow of these days was the death of our Sister Rita Mary Lyons. I knew that she was receiving hospice care and was quietly taking her leave of us, but really wanted to be able to tell her how much I loved and honored her. I was able to do that the night I came home; she died the next day. Sister Rita Mary was a nurse and nursing teacher and supervisor for most of her active years as a sister; in Ketchikan in the 1970s (I think), she became a chaplain and offered her understanding heart and wisdom to staff and patients. When health forced her to retire to St. Mary-on-the-Lake in the 1990s, she saw the opportunity to do all the reading that she didn't have time for in her very active life. She must have read her way through almost every book in our fairly large library of spirituality and theology, as well as a few entertaining novels. She was a woman of few words and deep wisdom, a wisdom worn with great humility. I will miss her greatly.