Friday, February 01, 2008


So, I went "home" last Saturday because 3 of my 4 sibs, their significant others, children, and I were planning to go to the nursing home on Sunday and celebrate Ma's 68th birthday with her. OB was invited, he just didn't show.

Saturday was a pretty ordinary day, except in the evening, Sis and BiL invited me to dinner with BiL's sister and her boyfriend. I went because they already had a sitter for the boys and YS was at work. We went to a REALLY nice restaurant. It's called "The Fish House." I think they have them all over the place. I know there is one in Springfield. It was good food and good company, so all was well. Plus, they listened to me talk about my trip to I/P.

When Sunday morning rolled around, I went to church. I gave Pastor the "scrap" of olive wood he requested from Israel. I had it wrapped up in a plastic bag just in case it had bugs on it or something. He said, "What's this?" I told him that the people didn't really understand the concept of "scrap," and so I said to them, "uncarved olive wood." The guy looked at me like I was crazy, but said, "Let me go see." He brought me back a log of olive wood that probably was 3 inches in diameter and 14 inches long. Ha. Pastor laughed and I said, "I hope you can use it." He thinks it will be just fine, and in fact, said he'd probably start working with it today. He's going to make us some olive wood crosses, so I'm excited.

While we were waiting to go into the sanctuary before church started, people were talking to me and asking me how the trip went and things, and I was happy to tell them. But, pretty soon, the organ started playing, and I get a little nervous if I'm not in the sanctuary by the time the music starts playing. So, I went in.

The sermon Pastor delivered this past Sunday was REALLY good. And don't worry, I DID tell him I enjoyed it. It was about hope, even when things don't FEEL hopeful, and about how Jesus calls us to him and we are fed, kind of like when Pastor's childhood neighbor would beat on a bucket and say to the cows, "Here mboss," and all the cows would come in from the field because they KNEW that the bucket would lead them to one who cared for them. Even if that's just a case of classical conditioning. I'm not doing the sermon justice; let's just leave it at that. Oh, and because last Sunday's Gospel text had a bunch of places in it, Pastor looked down at me sitting there in my usual, 4th pew from the front on the pulpit side spot and saw me smiling. He said, "Trish just got back from a trip to the Holy Land and so she probably has an all new appreciation for reading about these biblical sites." And we talked for a quick minute and he made a joke and people laughed before he got back into the sermon. He's good like that.

When it was time to collect the offering, the organist started playing, obviously, and one of the ushers came forward and talked to the doctor who sits right in front of me. He got up and went out, and I figured someone in the congregation was having difficulties. A minute or so later, he called out, "Does anyone have any nitroglycerin tablets?" A woman from the congregation got up and went to offer hers. Pastor went back there while Doc was doing his thing, and I think he probably had a word of prayer or something-I don't know. I said a prayer for him.

The organist started playing the offertory and Pastor came back up front and concluded the service at warp-speed. He told us to dismiss out the sides because the ambulance was there taking care of "Hercules," an older gentleman of the congregation who I wrote about here, as the man who times my sermons.

As I walked out, Hercules had an oxygen mask on and was sitting in his pew still. He looked awful. He was all ashy-white and he looked worried, as would I if I were having a heart attack. I stood out in the fellowship hall to talk to more people if they wanted. I also was going to ask Herc's wife if she needed a ride, but I heard someone else ask her and she had things squared away. When the EMTs brought Herc out of the sanctuary on the stretcher, he looked even worse. They loaded him up and took off, with his wife soon following.

I learned later that he died. I am so sorry to hear that, but I "knew" it was going to happen. Remember this and this and this? Sometimes I just "know" these things because I've seen them before, and sometimes I just have a really strong suspicion. Hercules will be missed. He was a longtime member of the church, he had a fun laugh, and he was able to talk to people. One time before I was leading worship, he even called me over before the service to tell me about some guy who made the world record of number of skydives in a twenty-four hour period. It had been in the previous day's newspaper.

It was kind of weird not being the one "in charge" in the situation. I have seen 6 heart attacks close up. One happened when I was 4 or 5-My Aunt Joyce, who was severely mentally handicapped, had a heart attack on the couch in my parent's living room and died. I remember it pretty well. Both of my parents had heart attacks in 1995. I was with them both. Mom's wasn't evident though, so I didn't do anything. Dad's WAS, and so I did do something. Next was the guy at Restaurant, where I monitored the pulse and breathing of the customer who crashed pretty much as soon as the EMTs got there, and one heart attack was at the hospital when I was doing CPE, so obviously, I didn't do anything, and now, number 6, Hercules. Doc was doing what he could for someone who was conscious, breathing, and alert.

This most recent situation has made me think. Doc did everything he could to help Herc. And the things he did and the things I did for the guy at Restaurant were remarkably similar. Granted, the customer was unconscious and Herc was alert, but other than that-similar. So, I think I did everything "right," as they say, and it's not my fault. Good to know. Let me file that one away in my mind...

This has turned into a really long post, and I need to go medicate again. I'm out, yo.

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