One week from today is my son John's wedding to a wonderful young woman, Kasey. How I love this girl! First because of who she is, a warm, gracious, wonderful, bright, caring, beautiful woman, and in addition to that our son is happier than he's ever been in the 40 years I've had the joy of knowing him. If that weren't enough, she is an awesome step-mom to our granddaughter Ashlyn, and she loves me too. (If you only knew how much it touches my heart to say the latter!) To know Kasey is to love her. I can't imagine anyone not loving her. I'm really excited about the wedding! We're taking off Thursday morning to check into a hotel in Fargo where the reception will be held. My mom and youngest sister are coming on Thursday evening. It will be great to have time on Friday to visit a bit before the wedding. We will be staying at the hotel through next Sunday night and coming home on that Monday. I"m taking Monday and Tuesday off from work to regroup. Originally I'd planned to take more time off and to go visit Kasey's parents at their lake cabin, but I need to get back to work.
Work has been really busy most of the past few months since I last blogged. Some successes in families, and a constant drain on my energy. I fell going into a client's house mid May, and it's taken a lot of time trying to recover from the fall. I damaged 3 of 4 quad muscles in my left leg, had to hassle with Worker's Compensation who has continued to ignore requests, phone calls from me and my PT for more PT sessions, so I'm continuing to do the PT exercises on my own. The month after my fall was a haze of pain and medication. I'm better now, still have pain, but it's pretty much manageable. The whole experience was an opportunity to more deeply empathize with those who suffer with chronic pain. For that I am thankful. And I'm thankful that my pain is lessened to a minor inconvenience at times. I gained weight as I was just not physically able to be so active, and I realize that I've been a little depressed too, mostly from the pain. But the long bright days have been helpful with that too as I'm able to be outside more now. (When this years plague of mosquitoes allows)
Tom and I spend as much time as we can on the front porch sipping drinks and talking. I have been with this man for 42 years and still we always have so much to talk about! The other evening we stayed up until after 1AM talking on the front porch. It's a joy! We dream of retiring to both have time to do the things we really love.
Most spare moments I've had I've been working on reading the George RR Martin series A Song of Ice and Fire, I'm currently nearing the end of the 3rd of 5 books of epic length. It's been fascinating to notice the differences between the books and the screen adaptation of these for the series on HBO. The characters are amazing, the plot thickens and twists with each book, with unexpected turns in the story-lines. I love how he makes so many of the women strong women. When asked how he does that, writing as if he knows the mind of women, he replied. "I've always thought of women as, you know...PEOPLE." ha!
Today I have an art date with Dessa! I've not made much art over the past few months. It's just been so wild with a heavy caseload and my recuperation from the fall. I'm really looking forward to spending the day with her at her house. We were to have done it at our house this time, but Tom has been crazy busy too and we just haven't had a chance to clean. I'm hoping that this week will be different. I'm behind on paperwork again with several new referrals and closing with several families. Both create much extra work.
Tomorrow there is an "informational meeting" at the congregation here in town to share information on the new Minnesota Law that will allow same sex marriage as of August 1st. We anticipate tomorrow's meeting to be unpleasant. Tom has agreed to do a wedding for two men on August 17th; the couple has been together in a monogamous relationship for many years. There are people in the parish who are upset by that, and want to tell him that he can't do that, that they are his boss and he has to do what they tell him to do. Such bullstinkie! First of all they don't understand the nature of being called to serve, and employment. There is a lot of fear involved, homophobia, ignorance, feelings of powerlessness, and fear of change. There is a very real possibility that we may have to leave here. Tom has to follow his conscience and do what he thinks is right. The law does not say that he has to do these weddings, the law allows for churches to disallow the ceremonies in their churches if they object. He is doing the wedding because he sees it as a matter of civil rights for all people. He is not doing the wedding in one of the parish churches, he is doing it in another setting. But the whole thing has been stressful! There are several people who are strongly supportive of this new law from the state of Minnesota. So it is a possibility that there will be some kind of split. It would have been so much easier for him to say "No", but he has never taken the easy way out, I admire him so for that! He has a gift for ministering to the disenfranchised and those people on the fringes of mainstream society who have no church but need someone to baptize, marry, or bury them. However, even in the midst of the stress we are surprised to find that we are at peace with the idea of doing what we see to be the right thing.
Having said all that, we are committed, or at least I am committed to staying here through at least May next year. Dessa works as a child protection worker for the county, but is currently pursuing her MSW and her first field placement will be for two semesters with our agency. I will be a site supervisor for her internship. It's an exciting opportunity for me to do this! She and I are most often on the same page for treatment of the families that the county refers to my agency for family counseling in the home. We realize there will be some boundaries between the two roles she may play over this next year, and will define them. She is an old soul in a young body! Should Tom need to leave before that I will be able to find someone in the area with whom I can stay during the week. We managed the long distance relationship thing for 3 years, while I was in grad school for 2 years, and then working for the hospital in Thief River Falls while I worked there until the position for my current job up here opened in July 1998. I have just passed my 15 year anniversary with the agency. :-)
So dear readers, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow as Tom will moderate the informational meeting and try to keep it from becoming something other than what is should be.
LIFE IS GOOD!!!