Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Message of the Manger

The Message of the Manger

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room with a hospital window. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour a day to drain the fluids from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in the bed next to the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the hospital window. The man in the other bed would live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the outside world.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake, the man had said. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Lovers walked arm in arm amid flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man could not hear the band, he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Unexpectedly, an alien thought entered his head:
Why should he have all the pleasure of seeing everything while I never get to see anything? It didn't seem fair. As the thought fermented, the man felt ashamed at first. But as the days passed and he missed seeing more sights, his envy eroded into resentment and soon turned him sour. He began to brood and found himself unable to sleep. He should be by that hospital window - and that thought now controlled his life.

Late one night, as he lay staring at the ceiling, the man by the hospital window began to cough. He was choking on the fluid in his lungs. The other man watched in the dimly lit room as the struggling man by the hospital window groped for the button to call for help. Listening from across the room, he never moved, never pushed his own button which would have brought the nurse running. In less than five minutes, the coughing and choking stopped, along with the sound of breathing.

Now, there was only silence-deathly silence.

The following morning the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths. When she found the lifeless body of the man by the hospital window, she was saddened and called the hospital attendant to take it away-no works, no fuss. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the man asked if he could be moved next to the hospital window. The nurse was happy to make the switch and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it all himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the hospital window beside the bed only to face a blank wall.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas with a special heart felt thank you to those who served for the freedoms of our wonderful nation. Since my son Joshua left for Iraq, I have a better appreciation of what that service requires. Many before him made the ultimate sacrifice and prepared a safer course for my son and our country. How do you thank a father, mother, wife, husband, son or daughter for such a sacrifice? As a father of a child in a hostile location, I fight the demons everyday but I trust in God for his purpose and protection. As the holidays loom closer, I will surely miss him more, if that is possible. Nevertheless, a plate will be set at the table and gifts under the tree as a reminder for all who are absent from their families.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

GRILLED BALONEYS picture of the week.
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I love history and Virginia is full of it. My daughter and I toured St John’s Church this fall while attending The Italian Street Festival on Church Hill. I love the architecture of the old buildings, the smell of the musty, aged wood and sounds of the creaking floors as we walked the isles of that old church. My sanity was unexpectedly in question when I swear I could hear Patrick Henry's fervent petition being deafened by the roar of the gentleman patriots. I scanned the walls for evidence of something, of what I was uncertain. I wondered which patriot sat in the pew next to me. My imagination ran with excitement unable to contain its course. It was a stirring occurrence and I felt compelled to pursue the event further. I have read the words of the famous speech before during my formative years. Mostly because I had to for some school assignment or other reason for which it didn’t really matter. But this time, during this moment in time it was different. Months later and still haunted by the experience I gave into whatever had disturbed me from that day. I read his speech, I was moved. I read it again and several more times after that, my mind drifting with each sentence. Line by line its purpose became evident as the words stirred in me. I couldn’t help but question where are the patriots of this day? Those words were momentous then, changing the course of our nation and are relevant today. I encourage you to read the full speech, see below for link.

“Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it."

Patrick Henry St. John's Church, Richmond, VirginiaMarch 23, 1775

Sunday, November 16, 2008

RUSH: "The Trees"

There is unrest in the forest,
There is trouble with the trees,
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas.

The trouble with the maples,
(And they're quite convinced they're right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light.
But the oaks can't help their feelings
If they like the way they're made.
And they wonder why the maples
Can't be happy in their shade.

There is trouble in the forest,
And the creatures all have fled,
As the maples scream "Oppression!"
And the oaks just shake their heads

So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights.
"The oaks are just too greedy;
We will make them give us light."
Now there's no more oak oppression,
For they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe, and saw

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Richmond Italian Street Festival!

Featuring: Tony Reno, Ron Moody & The Centaurs, Rachel Disselkamp, Claudio Raguzzi 4th annual Richmond Italian Street Festival! The mission of the Richmond Italian Street Festival is to promote the Italian culture to Central Virginia, unify the Italian Community and provide an entertainment/cultural venue that is beneficial to all.
Cultural displays will be provided by local Italian organizations, live demonstrations, wine tasting and live music are among the many events planned for our two day Festival.
Authentic Italian cuisine will be provided by local Italian restaurants; Calzones, pasta, pizza, and gelato are only a few of the delicacies that will be available during this two day festival.