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

7 Comments:

Blogger Mr. Bishop said...

Oh man, what a month you've had. I'll be thinking about you, wishing you healing--both physical and spiritual.

July 01, 2009 7:25 AM  
Anonymous Marshall Massey (Iowa YM [C]) said...

I’m just glad you’re okay!

July 01, 2009 10:14 AM  
Blogger Cat Chapin-Bishop said...

Oh, Will! You frightened me! I am so relieved that you are healing, and will be all right.

I'm also grateful you were able to be with Bill, a man I scarcely knew but valued deeply anyway.

Whew! OK. Pulse rate returning to normal now.

BE WELL, friend!

*phew!*

July 01, 2009 11:25 AM  
Anonymous Carol said...

My own dearest friend died of a brain tumor when she was 39. It was a year in which I also got some very tough lessons in my own mortality. It sounds like you've had a similar look in the twin mirrors.

All I can say is that shattering is one way of opening up, and as a result of those blows I recommitted to my Quaker faith.

One thing I particularly wanted to share, Will, is that sometimes I found it too intense to participate in Meeting for Worship. I was raw in a way that the silence and the searching sometimes aggravated.

When I was in that condition, I learned not to push myself--or judge myself--and I learned to trust that God was with me no matter what and that God wasn't judging me either.

It was also the year that I first found comfort and meaning in the Bible. The book of Job helped me every time I turned to it.

May you know the peace that passes all understanding. It can come at these times.

July 03, 2009 1:20 PM  
Blogger Will T said...

Thank you all for your kind thoughts.

Will T

July 06, 2009 9:09 PM  
Blogger Rich in Brooklyn said...

Will,
I just saw this post now for the first time. I'm very sorry for the loss of your friend, Bill, and for the surgery and other trials you've had to go through yourself.

I'll miss your blogging, but certainly agree that right now you need to take care of yourself first.
Peace of Christ,
Rich Accetta-Evans

July 07, 2009 12:23 PM  
Blogger Liz Opp said...

Well, now it's more than a month since Rich commented, and here I am now, finally reading about how your summer got started! Oy vey!

Glad you are on the other side of some of these more trying times...

Blessings,
Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up

August 12, 2009 7:33 PM  

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