Saturday, March 3, 2018

The First Two Months

If the next 10 months are as fast-paced 
as the first 2 months....I'm really in for it!

 Baby Boy and his Great-Grandmother

 The Wongs from El Sobrante made their way to Torrance!

 Chapel Song Time over at the St. Mark's Campus.

 Praying with ALL their might!
 Redondo Beach is AMAZING at Sunset

 Susan Jo is in town!  That's amazing, too!

 Fa La La...that is CRAZY fog!

 Beauty in CA...and in January

Fireplace time, before and after

 Honestly.  Look at that fog.

 Welcome 2018!

Nothing like a good ZOOM session to start the week.
We all look so enthralled....we really do like each other!

 Oliver Joshua, Child of God!

Just a happy Godmama and her happy Godson

 Stylin' little man - 07 January 2018

 PEEK-A-BOO, baby boy!

Kathleen's Office at HER Internship

Ollie and his Baptismal Cross

 How I miss this kiddo

 Cracker Barrel is a pensive breakfast place

 Little man still cracks me up

 Where is that little infant I held in my arms?

Taking a quick walk in Arizona

 What a happy day!

 Love those little fingers

What a doll...

 ...a beautiful, sleeping doll.

 Flight delay after delay...and a hysterical seat mate!

 HA!  Colton is very appreciative for his diapers!  :)  

 The beauty after a storm here in Torrance

Time to bring you up to speed on a special couple 
that has been close to my heart since early January.  

What Happened:  Around 8:15am on Thursday, January 11th, 2018, Patti and Marcus Smith were involved in a tragic car accident that claimed the life of Marcus and sent Patti to the hospital with many broken bones.  Patti and Marcus were both in Susan's Contemplative Center groups over in Colorado, and were on vacation in California (where I live).  

A man driving a Ford F150 pickup truck drove across the solid, double-yellow lines on a 2-land road, putting him in directly into the path of Patti and Marcus’s Lexus SUV. 

With absolutely no time to react or for Patti to steer clear of the oncoming truck, the two vehicles crashed head-on.  The pick-up truck rolled several times, crashed alongside the road, and burst into flames, killing the lone occupant.  The crash also proved fatal to Marcus, who died at the scene.  The photo you see is Patti's car up close, and the burned-out pickup in the field.  

Patti was air-lifted to a regional trauma center, where she was treated for a broken cervical spine (a halo was put in place), 12 broken ribs, a broken clavicle, a broken ankle, a broken sternum, and ultimately, a broken heart.  

Patti’s daughter, Cheri, has been by her mother’s side since the accident, having put her job and life on pause to care for her mother.  Marcus's family in the United Kingdom has been sending their love and prayers as we have all united to care for Patti on her road to recovery.  

Hearing that Patti was only and hour and a half away from my current city in California, I made the drive to the Trauma Center, and have been with the family ever since, serving as their Chaplain and main communicator on Patti's CaringBridge site (found here).    

 Sarah came to town!  Obviously, beach time. And BOBA Tea!

Hiding behind the tree near Our Lady of Angels Cathedral.
Super stealth, that's me.

My favorite tapestry at the Cathedral

Patti:  Halo removed, neck surgery a success.

Cheri brought lots of delicious, organic food for her mom.  

 Check out the growing, little man!

 Then the GIRLS came to visit for the weekend!
Bren, Caitlyn, Rachel, and Hallie!!

 How we LOVE our kiddos at First Lutheran Church and School

 Look into my eyes...

So glad to see him happy at Day Care

Moved from the Trauma Center to a Rehab Center
and MOVING in a Wheelchair! 

 Had a chance to catch up with my Aunt Kathy and Uncle Gary,
who lived right near Patti's Rehab Center

 How grateful I am for FaceTime, and the chance to see these loves!

 Making God's Eyes with Mary Jo at FirstFriends

Next time I ask the kids to bring soup cans,
I might need to be more specific...FULL soup cans!

Studying "Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible" on Saturday mornings

 AH!  What a doll!

 How exciting to see Patti outside of a building

 Oh, what a sad month it has been.  

Adam (with the controller) and Andrew, his twin.

He was a little guy I taught during his entire elementary school years from age 5 – 12.  He died in his sleep early Saturday morning, having battled Cerebral Palsy for the past 17 years.  Loved that boy and his bright, turquoise walker.  That little man would shimmy and shake using his little walker in my music class, and he opened my eyes to the world of adapted music, where I bought any and every tool I could find to allow him to experience the full realm of the musical classroom.  

He was going to graduate this Spring with his twin brother, Andrew.  
Adam will be the 6th student I’ve had to bury...and my heart is breaking once again.  He was such a special boy in my life - I flew back to Colorado to be with his family as he was laid to rest.  

If I'm going to fly into Colorado, you can be I'm 
going to stop by the nephew's home!

 What's UP!?

 Gerber Baby

Building up those muscles

 The Happy Family

 He LOVES going on his Dad's shoulders!

 If I'm going to be in Colorado, 
you can BET I'll be spending time with Susan!

 Even got a chance to sneak in a little time with these beans!

 Sigh.  Another sadness.  

Sally and I went to high school in Sheboygan together.  Her mother, Bonnie, also in Colorado Springs, was dying of a brain tumor, and I was grateful to be able to visit with her and her husband.  Such faith-filled people, who are unfairly having to struggle with Glioblastoma, the horrible disease that's taken so many dear people from this world.  

+Bonnie+ passed away last night, March 2 - may light perpetual shine upon her.

 This Colorado girl was happy to see the flakes on the ground...

...and a few on the windshield.   

Adam's Memorial Service was beautiful.  
So many people who genuinely knew him shared 
charming stories of our little stinker.  What a boy.  

 Another move for Patti:  into Cheri's home!

Baby BOY!

Had to sneak in ONE more visit with the boy!

Praying.  Snuggles.  Sleeping. 
Couldn't be happier.

 Sweet little boy

 Not as squishy as a teether...but close!

 Hang on, little buddy.

 Brought dinner and the little man to Brad at work.

 How I love that boy!

One last breakfast at Toast with Sus.  Much like my Chaplaincy, 
she was my rock during this heartbreaking weekend.  

Burning the Palm fronds so that they could be used on Ash Wednesday

  Pr. Bill's granddaughter, Charlotte, mashing the last of the ashes.

 Showing the kiddos in Chapel that it won't hurt
for use to put ashes on their foreheads.  

 Remember you are dust...and to dust you shall return.

Remember that you are marked with the cross of Christ,
and signed with the Holy Spirit forever.

 Early Childhood Center kiddos were curious about that big instrument over there, 
so we fired up the organ and put those pipes in action!

 Gotta love Snapchat filters!

We gathered with Marcus's UK daughter, sisters, and brother in San Marcos, CA to remember him.  We participated in a Witness Cremation at the Crematorium, where we stayed with Marcus's body until it was placed into the flames.  It was actually quite lovely - just as a casket is lowered into a hole in the ground, Marcus entered the cremation oven for his final journey.  Prayers and blessings were said before the flames were turned on.  

 We then drove to Cheri's house so that we could hold the service with Patti.
Readings from Marcus's favorite authors were shared,
as well as a hymn he loved.  

What a delight to discover old videos of Marcus 
dancing the Hukilau while on vacation in Hawaii.

Simon, Arthur, and Artreyo, the super dog. 

 The munchkins on campus all celebrated the Chinese New Year.

 Look who has his first High Chair!

Little Cinco LOVES crawling under the covers.  
And is it me...or is she SMILING!?

The parentals came to visit...and brought COOKIES!

It's still February - we still get to celebrate birthday #39.

 Little bugaboos, going for a ride on campus!
 While I personally think this particular pulpit looks like a vehicle out of 
Star Wars, I do so LOVE being in that pulpit and sharing the word of God!

 Mom and Dad got to experience just what 
the life of a busy Vicar looks and feels like!

My sweet, little congregation at Welbrook Retirement Center.

After three services with BARELY a voice, it was time for the BEACH!
What joy to just the February!

Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach - such crazy looking creatures!

A lovely lunch...once the man sanding the countertop finally finished! 

Almost too delicious to eat.  Almost....chomp chomp. 

And THEN!  Off to the Queen Mary...WITH Mary. (I must be the Queen!)

Can you believe that the SET from the movie "The Darkest Hour" 
is now ON the Queen Mary!?  Too cool to actually be there!

 Just Hanging Out on the Queen Mary

BABY BOY!  How we love random pictures of our Colton Boy!

YAY!  We love anything Princess Diana, 
and they extended the exhibit into the summer.  Hurray!

 A day in Los Angeles brought us back to the Cathedral,
and downstairs into the Mausoleum where Gregory Peck was entombed.

 Mom captured an AWESOME shot of the Disney Concert Hall.

 Even though she TOTALLY spent most of her lift with a married man,
there is still something about Katharine Hepburn that is appealing to me.
Probably the pants suits and the big house by the sea.

 Ah, her favorite voice, Barry.

 Caught the Broadway tour of "Aladdin" at the Pantages in Hollywood.

This guy CARRIED the entire show!
Like Robin Williams with a 21st century, current twist.  

 Glasses off for a quick pic (in our tiny, tiny, theater seats).

A morning ZOOM session put lots of familiar faces on the screen.
Can't believe we're FINALLY talking about Assignment!

  Chapel time for the wee ones.

 FirstFriends wanted a Valentines Party.
Candy, Puzzles, Snacks, and Fun

The little ones always enjoy the ukulele. 

 My sweet, little babes...I can't believe they all sleep at the same time.

 Cheers to whatever March might bring.

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