Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Sometimes It's The Hard Thing

I was driving to work this morning, and as I  have been trying to do during Lent, I was saying the Rosary.  Being Tuesday, I started on the Sorrowful Mysteries.  For those that are not Catholic, the Sorrowful Mysteries are:

  • the Agony in the Garden
  • the Scourging at the Pillar
  • the Crowning of Thorns
  • Jesus carries His Cross
  • The Passion and Death of the Lord
As I started, the thought came to mind.. " I don't want this.  Lord, I don't want to do the Sorrowful Mysteries.  Can't I do the Joyful ones?  I want something happy today."

And... that's the point, isn't it?  Jesus would have liked to skip the sorrowful ones too!  He asked the Father for that.  But it was not to be.

My lesson (reminder) for the day... sometimes it's hard.  Sometimes we have to do the hard thing.  Jesus didn't promise us we wouldn't have hard times (quite the opposite, despite what some preachers say!).  He DID promise us that He'd be with us, and he sent us the Spirit to get us through.  So... a good lesson to renew commitments and keep on keeping on.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

4th Anniversary

I drove down to Tucson after work today for Schola rehearsal (we are singing for Good Friday).  I took the Miata, since my Ford is in the shop still.  Normally I don't drive the Miata such long distances -- I have easily doubled the number of miles I drive in a year with this trip :-).

Today is also the 4th anniversary of my Dad's death.  Driving the Miata (it was his car) always makes me feel close to him.  Even though it wasn't on a fun, curvy road, it still was nice.

Miss you, Dad.

Sunday, March 19, 2017


I was in Tucson today for a concert by the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra . My friend Julie was kind enough to give me one of her comps, and her company when she wasn't playing/busy.

It was a great concert!  Some Walton, some Ravel, and the Faure Requiem, among other things.  I was struck by the connections I had:
  • My friend Julie plays with them.  A couple of Sinfonian brothers also sometimes play with them, but weren't there today.
  • I bumped into my stepfather at the concert! (his wife plays with them).
  • I saw my friends Erica and DeWayne (they were singing in the chorus).
  • The piano soloist for the Ravel is a student of our accompanist at SSPP.
  • My friend Yelena (who I met at SSPP when she was our accompanist) is going to be their guest artist in November for the Rachmaninoff 3rd Piano Concert (it and she are both amazing).
It's very heartwarming to realize even though I left Tucson 11 (!) years ago I still have these connections.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Madison's Funeral

I see that I did not comment here on my friend Madison's Defler's illness.  Sadly, she passed away Saturday January 14th.  She was 20.  She was diagnosed in November 2015 with a rhabdomyosarcoma behind her right eye.  She went through chemo and radiation and in August 2016 was declared cancer-free.  Her family and friends rejoiced.

Sadly, 6 weeks or so later followup scans showed the cancer was back, in her brain and spine.  She underwent more chemo and other therapies but this time the results were only good for a time, but the overall trend was bad.  She finally succumbed this Saturday, in the presence of her family and some close friends.

I got the word Saturday night and while I guess I was not actually surprised, it hit me very hard.  I've known Madison since she was 10 or so -- we met at Sherwood, of course.  We spent a lot of time together on the ice and I got to see her grow from a spunky, sweet young girl into a smart, talented, hardworking, beautiful, and still spunky young woman.  She had graduated in June 2015 and had started college at Chapman University, pledging the Delta Delta Delta sorority.  Shortly after she got her diagnosis.

I flew up to Portland Wednesday night and attended the memorial service at her synagogue (Shaarie Torah), then the graveside service.  I had never attended a Jewish funeral.  It was beautiful, but hard. So many skating family were there, though, including coaches Ikaika, Shannon, Krissy, Sonya and Kelli, Zena and Emmy, Karly and her mom, Sierra, Kris C., Casey and her parents, Aziza and her mom, and so many more.  It helped a lot.

My heart goes out to the Defler family and all her family and friends.  She will be missed.