Growing Together in the Light

A place for Friends and others to explore Quakerism. A place where, in the Light that comes from God, we may all grow and where we may hope to find a unity that underlies our diversity of language.

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Location: Arlington, Massachusetts, United States

Raised a Friend, I am currently a member of Fresh Pond Meeting in Cambridge, Mass. I am also active in Salem Quarterly Meeting and in New England Yearly Meeting.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What has happened to Will T

I have been absent from this blog for a long time.  I have received a request for a report on the latest General Board meeting that was held last weekend.  I expect to post a report at some point, but not immediately.  To explain why the delay, let me recount what has happened since I last posted in April.

The short version is that life happened.  The long version is a lot longer.

I went to Meeting on my birthday at the end of April.  My wife is very into birthdays and she could never figure out why I wanted to get up early on Sunday and go to meeting on my birthday when I could have slept in and had a perfectly nice day.  Maybe I should have listened to her.  After meeting we had a brief presentation on Quakerism for newcomers, which I attended.  Almost at the end I started having what felt like severe stomach cramps.  As soon as the presentation was over I stood up and walked around but I had no relief.  I told my wife I needed to leave right away.  She questioned me in the car and had me diagnosed before we were half way home.  She called the doctor and we headed to the emergency room.  The pain went away before the doctor in the ER actually saw me, but they wouldn't let me leave.  Their diagnosis matched my wife's.  I had passed a gall stone.  They kept me in the hospital over night for observation.  (So much for our birthday dinner reservations.)  The next day they recommended that I have my gall bladder removed.  Not being one to waste a good fast, I agreed.  In ten minutes I was being wheeled down to the operating room.

It was about a week and a half before I started going back to work.  It was only a few hours a day at first.  I had thought that I might be able to write a lot while I was recuperating.  I seriously underestimated how much energy our cells use up knitting themselves back together after your insides have been rearranged.  I only had laproscopic surgery so there were no large incisions to heal, but the surgeon said that they still did a lot of work under the skin and it would take time to heal.  She was right.

The only writing I was able to do was to revise an article on Quakers and the Bible that I had already submitted to Quaker Life and my papers for the final residency of the Way of Ministry Program.  At the same time, my friend Bill who had a brain tumor was in worsening condition.  As I prepared for and attended the final residency it became clear to me that, in the short term, the only ministry I had was that of accompaniment for Bill and his family.  My daughter came up from Philadelphia on Memorial Day weekend (while I was at Pendle Hill for the Way of Ministry.)  She went wedding dress shopping and during the following week arranged for the DJ and photographer for her wedding next June.  She is a wonderfully organized young woman.  On Memorial Day she and my wife went out to visit Bill.  He was sitting in a chair on the front yard of their house and waved to them as they arrived.  They had a nice visit and pushed him in his wheel chair up and down the street.

Later that week I went out to his house with some presents from people in the Way of Ministry and he was in a hospital bed in his family room.  Every visit after that he was progressively less responsive.  He died on the morning of Tuesday, June 9, six months from his initial diagnosis.  Thursday I went to the FUM General Board meeting, returning Saturday night so I could go to meeting with my community.  The following Saturday the memorial service.

I have much I can write about, but it might be a while yet before I can.  This is a time for me to take stock of where I have been spending my time and what is important.  For now that will probably mean less time on line but I don't expect to disappear.

Blessings to all,
God is good, all the time.

Will T