Dear Friends,
I’m getting this out a little later on Monday than usual.  I’m needed around home a bit more these days.  Helen is not very mobile and won’t be for awhile as two hairline fractures in her pelvis heal.  (She took a bad fall on our Thanksgiving trip to Portland.  We are “giving thanks” it wasn’t worse.)
In one of my rare spare moments since we got back, I read the Thanksgiving newspaper and was interested in the story about Boise State women’s head basketball coach, Gordy Presnell.  The first sentence was written as they teach you in journalism school, to make the reader want to keep reading.
Gordy Presnell has kept quiet about the personal reasons that contributed to his three losing seasons in 32 years as a head coach.
You had to read awhile to get to the personal stuff.  Both his parents had developed Parkinson’s disease.  Gordy is an only child, so it made sense for them to move in with his family.  His father did not live long, but his mother did.  Eventually her symptoms got much worse and were complicated by dementia.  She needed constant care from either him or his wife.  It reached the point where she was more than they could handle, but even after she moved to assisted living, she was still her son’s number one priority.
There were a lot of times he wasn’t at practice because he was up in the middle of the night having to deal with things with his mom.  He was gone quite a bit and I’m sure that was hard for the players, as well, who maybe didn’t understand everything that was going on because he is so private.
Caring for a loved one is a big part of life for many, many people.  Or being cared for.  I’m not sure which is harder.  We like to be independent and free to do whatever we want to do.  But life does not always work that way.  That’s why God gave us each other.
It has occurred to me these last few days that most of you know quite a bit about this subject.  You have been there.  And it was probably a lot more trying than the six weeks or so we are dealing with.  For many of you this is not some distant memory.  This is your life right now.  I have the highest respect and admiration for you.  And also for all those whose professional job involves caring for others.
I guess that’s a pastor’s job, too.  In a way.  But it’s a lot easier to encourage people, pray with them, and write sermons (and Monday Musings) than it is to help with the nitty gritty realities of another person’s daily living.
Many of you have offered to help, and that is greatly appreciated.  We really feel your love and support.  But I think I am speaking for Helen and I know I am speaking for myself when I say that it is a privilege to be able to help each other.  That’s really what marriage is all about, isn’t it?  Again, many of you know a lot more about this than we do, but we are learning.  And we are also so very grateful to be part of such a loving and caring family of faith.  Thank you.
In Christ,
John