The title? Don’t ask. Oh, alright. I was teaching Latin tonight. That’s a model of the first declension, singular. It means land or earth. I have so much to write tonight I hope I can hit it all. Stick with me and we’ll see if I achieve my goal or fall flat on my face.
First, a few nights ago I wanted to write about my niece, Bernadette. Bernadette is the fifth child (fifth daughter) out of six born to my sister Barbara and her husband Ron. They had their only boy, Matt, a year later. Early in her pregnancy Barbara was told that her daughter would be born with a defect called anencephaly. Basically, her brain and/or skull would not be properly formed. The prognosis was certain death for her baby. Barbara and Ron would never have considered not bringing this child into the world. And so (Itaque in Latin) on March 7th, 2008 little Bernadette came into the world. For someone who was labeled as defective she was the most adorable, most beautiful little girl in the world. I’m so thankful to have a sister like Barbara. And for a child who’s time on this earth wasn’t supposed to number hours, little Bernadette stayed with us a remarkable five days. In her short time here she glorified God in a way many people never do. Without a word spoken, her whole being radiated gentleness and love. I consider it a blessing that I happened to be present when God called her home. I think of her every day. Monday was her third birthday.
Today we celebrated Ash Wednesday. Yes, I did say “celebrated”. Someone commented to me this morning that this sounded oxymoronic since the day is a solemn one. I pointed out (in my capacity as a Catholic school teacher for whatever that’s worth) that solemn does not mean somber. This is the start of a journey with Christ to Calvary. As St. Francis tells us, it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. That being said my lovely wife has come up with a host of Lenten “stuff” for us to do as a family apart from the usual prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Actually, the things she came up with are extensions of those other things. For instance, we now have a nifty Lenten Calendar in our kitchen where each of the forty days is marked with the names of family members. They are our primary prayer intentions for that day. Today it was my parents. Tomorrow it is Karla’s folks. Never a dull moment in our house.
This is actually my body.
Tonight I finally started physical therapy for my back! Yes! Winning! Sorry, I promised myself no more Charlie Sheen references. For one solid hour tonight a young woman named Monica stretched me, pulled me, rolled me over, and made me do things I did not know I could do nor would I ever want to see anyone else do. I had forgotten how much fun PT was. The prognosis here is very good. We think that within the four week course I should be able to come off the pills and improve my flexibility and core strength. But for the hour I was on the table I would have sworn I was already on the cross with Christ. Actually, getting up I felt great. I could move a little better and wasn’t feeling the constant soreness that had plagued me when I walked in. It was a bit odd lying there with a long rope that resembled a dog leash lashed around my foot while holding the same over my head for thirty seconds; but, hey… whatever works!
Finally, the topic for tonight:
“What are your favorite slang words?”
I refuse to answer this question 1) on the grounds that it might incriminate me and 2) because it’s totally unfair to everyone else. I work with teenagers all day.
Not my best writing by a long shot but after my sister Bridget commented to me on Facebook about how in her opinion I didn’t “need” to be Freshly Pressed I have decided she’s right. I am me and these are my words. To hell with them! You know, unless, of course, they want to press me.