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Week 39: Familiar Roads

My mom and I were driving home from one of my doctor’s appointments and she simply said, “It’s good to drive down familiar roads.”  We were driving down the main road that our neighborhood is off of in Broken Arrow, so we both had many memories along this route.  I pondered if she was thinking of a specific memory, “What makes you say that?”  She said, “A week or two after you were born, we had to take you to the hospital to have your liver tested because of all the complications with your birth.  Grandma had come down from Kansas and didn’t want to drive on the main roads, so we took this back route because she felt like she could drive on the back roads.  I remember holding you in my arms and how at the hospital they made me leave the room when they poked you because they didn’t want me to have to hear you cry.  Then we drove back home on this road again with you in my arms, slow and steady with Grandma.”  “I’ve never heard that story before, mom,” I said.

Some roads are more familiar than we realize.

Remembering Ron Heck

My Sunday school teacher while I was in elementary school, fishing buddy, and friend, Ron Heck, died this past Thursday.  As I walked the mile between matatu stops journeying back from Westlands to Karen I reflected on Ron and 3 distinct memories came to mind:

  1.  My family started attending the First Presbyterian Church of Broken Arrow when I was in the third grade and Ron and his wife, Mary Ann, were my Sunday School teachers from then until I finished fifth grade.  I distinctly remember the first time I heard Ron read scripture to us and the first time I heard many Bible stories was from Ron’s voice.  I don’t think I realized what a big impact Sunday School teachers for elementary age kids can have on someones life until I reflected upon this during the week.
  2. When my best friend Brad and I were Confirmed in the 8th grade, Ron took us both aside, sat us down, and gave us both a self help book that was a major part of his business success he told us.  He also gave us both a pack of highlighters.  Ron wanted to pass on his success to us, 2 8th grade teenagers.  He didn’t want to keep it to himself.  I love that he took interest in two 8th graders and treated us with respect and like adults.  I believe this speaks volumes about his character.
  3. When I was in high school, Ron and our friend Thompson would take me fishing.  They both taught me how to fish and I cherish the memories of the 3 of us sitting out in the middle of the lake in silence for hours and then talking for hours because we hadn’t caught anything.

I have always envisioned Ron and Mary Ann at my Ordination Service because they were my first Sunday School teachers and they are good friends.  They are at the top of my list of people I want to be there.  Now Ron won’t be there in the way that I had envisioned, but he will be there.  May you rest in peace Ron.

Tired, But Ready To Go…

It’s Thursday night and I have 3 weeks and a day left of my summer internship in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) (hospital chaplaincy).  It’s amazing to think of where I started out at the beginning of the summer compared to now.  Arrive at a brand new hospital and your supervisor tells you that you have 32 rooms to cover and let’s you at it.  My comfort level, pastoral presence, and understanding of how to interact with a patient have all changed and grown extremely since that first week.  However, I am draining more quickly each week.  For the first few weeks, I wouldn’t get tired until Friday afternoon.  Then it was Friday.  Now it is Thursday at some point.  I don’t know what causes it, but I assume that the euphoric feeling and surprise of chaplaincy are wearing off and it is becoming more of a regular job.  I am not saying that I don’t feel called to go to the hospital everyday because I do, but my energy level isn’t lasting as long.  I think that I am still working on how to pace myself in a hospital chaplaincy setting.  I don’t think that I will find a good balance during my internship this summer, but that is something I would develop if I was doing this full time.  My feeling at first and still is that I should see as many patients as possible in a day, but then I am not able to see as many by the end of the week.  It reminds me of how the same thing would happen at Dwight during the summer time.  By the end of the summer everybody was wiped out and tired for the last week or two because they had given everything they had at the beginning of the summer.  We had to learn how to pace ourselves.

So now that I am back to the pacing myself drawing board, I need energy…  Sleep might help that category.  I am excited about going to the hospital tomorrow because we’re playing Space Invaders.  Word.


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