It's been another one of those weeks. The kind where I don't blog because there are so many things running around in my head that I have no idea where to start, or if I have some idea about that, then I have no idea where to go from there. But, a friend recently expressed regret that I don't blog enough, so I will attempt to make some sense of all my rambling thoughts. I just got back from a midnight run to Wendy's for protein and iron in a squareish, greasy shape, so I just might have the energy for it. Plus, I still have to finish my "large" drink, which is approximately six gallons.
Sunday, I found myself simultaneously closer to and further from an answer to my question about calling. I think a part of the answer is to seek humility. I think my yearning for a "Calling" is rooted at least in part in pride - a desire to be Something Special in the kingdom. Gotta shake that. Or, maybe just the opposite. Maybe I need to fight with God more. Jacob wrestled with God until he blessed him, Lot begged the angels to let him stay in the Little city, and somehow, for all his sins and whinyness, he still wound up with eulogized as "a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men" (2 Peter 2:7). Or maybe that goes back to pride, too. If I had lived in Bible times, I expect I wouldn't have been a main character. Perhaps a "servant who was standing near the edge of the crowd" and that's about it. I should be okay with that. The main characters often get the short end of the stick in their lives, even if they DO end up with good eulogies.
From there, my week got better and worse. Monday, I found out that I am going to be an aunt. Which is great news, and I am very happy. But I am also a little sad, because a part of me has been craving that particular blessing for so long that it's hard to see someone else, well, beat me to it. When we moved down here eight months ago, we did it because we wanted to start a family. I never imagined that I would still be waiting, this far down the road, for the time to be right. And, I suppose, pride comes in here, too. Because Jer and I were both the first in our families to get married, and I always imagined we would be the first to have kids, too. But being an aunt should be pretty cool, too.
Tuesday, I had coffee with a friend from church, which was a really nice time, although it took an unexpected turn. A few minutes into our conversation, a woman came up to us and told us she had a favour to ask. My inner skeptical-city-girl braced herself for a sob story and plea for charity. I was surprised to find, however, that I completely believed her, and that she wasn't asking me for anything that I couldn't afford to give. She had just flown in from California to check her father out of the nursing home and bring him home with her. But the nursing home wouldn't let her check him out without filing power of attorney forms, and they needed two witnesses, and they couldn't be family members, and no, none of their staff could act as witnesses, either. I saw the helplessness on her face - the system had really left her with her hands tied, and she had to hope to find kindness in strangers. Without hesitation, my friend and I agreed, and went with her to the nursing home. It was a really special moment to be a part of, and it gave me hope to see such love in the children's and father's eyes for one another, and such gratitude to us, the charitable strangers. It was almost surreal.
Wednesday, I had made Jer an appointment with a chiropractor. As we were getting ready to go, I told Jer to grab his wallet because we would need his insurance card, and we spent the next five minutes looking everywhere for his wallet. Then he remembered that his mom had it at the last doctor's appointment, so we tried to call his mom at school. We couldn't get ahold of her, though, so Jer's dad drove off in one direction to the school to get the wallet, and we drove off in the other to the chiropractor's office. Or rather, to the address that the name of the office returned when we googled it, which was apparently not where the chiropractor's office actually was. Frustrated and running very late, we raced home to call Jer's dad on his cell phone before he got to the address we had given him and disturbed the poor, confused young woman who lived at not-the-chiropractor's-address for a second time in the same afternoon. We caught him just in time, and he brought the wallet to us while I phoned the chiropractor's office and found out where it was actually located, and asked if it was okay that we would be a little bit late.
We arrived at the chiropractor's office about 30 minutes after our appointment was scheduled to start, an appointment that we were supposed to be about 30 minutes early for in order to fill out paperwork. But everyone was very nice, and they waited for us as we filled out paperwork, and then we met with the chiropractor. And for the first time since the start of this whole illness, I felt like a medical professional was actually listening to everything we had to say, and putting it all together into a coherent picture, and coming up with logical next steps for us to take other than the "maybe it's this, let's run these tests and see" answers we have been getting from everyone else. (And, since I've already admitted twice in this post to being a prideful beast, I'll confess that it helped my opinion of him even more when he made at least three separate observations that I have been saying all along but that every other doctor has not thought worth considering.)
The drawback of having an amazing, attentive, thorough chiropractor is that the first visit went way longer than I had anticipated. So, when we pulled out of the chiropractor's office, it was after six, and I had planned on being downtown to meet some friends for dinner by 5:45. And I still had to drive Jer home (15 minutes) drive to the train station (10 minutes) and take the train downtown (45 minutes). Fortunately, I have very understanding (and also somewhat running-lateing) friends.
I met my friends, and we took the subway together to West Philly, because that's where you have to go if you want good Ethiopian food. And boy was it good. It looked like there was no way we would ever consume all that food when she brought us out our platter, but we not only managed to finish, but we also managed to polish off a fair amount of the plate-lining injera as well. Oh. So. Good. If you're ever in Philly, I highly recommend Abyssinia.
After dinner, Jon and I somehow decided that we had room for gelato, although I don't know how we came to that conclusion. We headed back into center city, and wandered around for a while looking for gelato places, Jon asking random strangers where to find gelato and me trying to look like I had no idea who this weirdo who talks to strangers might be. At one corner, we saw a pizza place, and I brightened up and said hey, pizza and gelato come from the same country, we must be in the right neighbourhood! To which Jon responded by going into the pizza restaurant and asking the staff where we should go to get gelato. I followed him inside, since standing on the sidewalk by myself seemed equally awkward, but the trip proved entirely worth it, because it turns out that hey, Italians DO know where the best gelato places in the city are to be found!
So, we had gelato at Capogiro, which was easily the best gelato I have ever had (sorry, Piccolo Grande!). It was expensive, but dinner had been so cheap that it totally made up for it. It was a late night, but I didn't have to work in the morning. I was a little worried that I might miss the last train home, but fortunately, I had parked at the train station that has three trains instead of just one, so I was still able to catch one of them.
Today, we got Jer's lab results from the bloodwork that the last specialist had ordered. It looked like pretty much everything was negative, but there was a little scrap of prescription paper in there with two almost illegible words scrawled on it. We're pretty sure it said, "unspecified hepatitis". We have absolutely no idea what this means, but apparently he's not dying very quickly, because the next appointment they offered him was over a month away. So, of course I googled "unspecified hepatitis" and didn't really find out anything useful, but Wikipedia suggested to me that dandruff shampoo and Advil can cause hepatitis. So, now I'm trying not to be worried, because apparently the doctors aren't worried, and I am looking forward more than anything to next Friday, when we will be following up with the chiropractor, who seems to have a better idea about what's going on than all of the other doctors combined, and see what he thinks of the lab results.
See? This is what you get when you ask me to blog more. Six pages later, you start to wish you had never mentioned anything. But, as a special treat for those of you who made it all the way to the end of this post, here is a special prize: Number one search result for Vellernatians!