It was a hard night for friends and family of Steve McPhetres, the former school superintendent, runner, outdoorsman, musician, Juneau church leader, family man-- husband, father, grandfather, friend all around wonderful guy-- died at Harborview in Seattle following a fall deer hunting, or, I have heard, a stroke, or perhaps a combination. It doesn't really matter. He's suddenly gone, that's all I know. A light is out and I am sad.
"Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."-- From the Gospel according to John
As Guy Clarke sings, "It's blowin' like a hurricane and your riggin' will not stand it." Yes, it is about as nasty as it gets out there. All that freezing cold and lovely snow dashed and whipped around by rainy gales. On the plus side (that's my job right, to find the good, before some wise guy reminds me to), the weather is perfect for writing and a little light therapy.
It was so warm in my bed and so cold outside that I almost stayed right there instead of heading out to Morning Muscles in the frigid dark ( 12 degrees, snow as hard as iron, and blowing northern gales) but I'm glad I did. I have never regretted a workout. There were just five of us, and the big old barn of a Chilkat Center lobby wasn't a lot warmer than the parking lot. Even though Marnie put us through our paces I kept my fleece on.
Karen Garcia of the Chilkat Valley News wrote about the Mackowiak's crash and survival for last week's local paper and today's Alaska Dispatch News. It's a great read.
(So much to be thankful for on so many levels...)
It's so beautiful with the snow and low, blue November light that I don't want to moan too much about the darkness. (It's really dark though, isn't it?) I suppose there is a lesson here-- the less of something you have the more you appreciate it?
"Eternal light, shine in my heart; eternal hope, lift up mine eyes; eternal power, be my support; eternal wisdom, make me wise." -- From Hymn 466 in the Episcopal Church hymnal.
My grandfather was French, and was made a member of the French Legion of Honor for his role in the French Resistance to the Nazis. His photo, in his WW II uniform, hangs above my stairs with other family pictures. I like to see his smile. Sometimes I kiss my grandchildren the same way he kissed my sisters and I , always, on both cheeks.
There is nothing like good news on Monday morning. Martha is off the tubes and doing well. A friend visited her last night and report: "She looked Great!!.. She is recovering faster and better than the doctors expected (us Alaskans!). They are impressed." She said Mike and Martha asked for continued prayer, for all of them, it's a pretty big thing to survive a plane crash in Lynn Canal, and that cards may mailed to Martha Mackowiak, Patient, Harborview Medical Center, 325 9th Ave. Seattle, WA 98104.