Mason County News
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009 • Posted June 24, 2009

Keeping the Faith…

Column #320 for Release Saturday, June 20, 2009

You remember the sign on the bookstore door when the business went south: “Words Failed Us.”

That pretty much describes our reflection on the blurry weeks involving diagnosis/surgery/convalescence faced recently. By way of short review, my wife, Brenda, is ahead of schedule as she works back toward driving a car, lifting more than 20 pounds and resuming every day life following a bilateral mastectomy on June 3.

She was undergirded by a deep faith, the prayers of many and innumerable acts of kindness. I would wax poetic theologically if only I knew more theology. Like the guy who doesn’t know art but knows what he likes, I join my wife in being overwhelmed by gracious acts of friends who are living out Christ’s teachings…

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Brenda’s prognosis is excellent. Comforted by doctors’ findings, we now are free to sort out dream-like moments in the surgery waiting room. Some comments that lightened hearts at the time, in retrospect, provide wider grins as time from her surgery now is weeks instead of days.

For example: Dominating the bunch of three dozen or so in our corner of the large waiting area were members of our Sunday school class, mostly 70-somethings. Some of us there wore “we’ve had it” looks on furrowed brows, fitting cowboys’ descriptions of “rode hard and put up wet.”

A majority had seen the snows of many winters, these friends with heads topped with graying hair, or, in some cases, nary a strand at all….

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One was Raymond West. He surveyed the crowd, then, with one sentence, reduced tensions.

“From the looks of the crowd, it seems to me that if a feller set up a Metamucil stand up here, he’d make a killing.”

Point taken….

  • * * * *

Our caring daughters were faced with the need to disrupt their daily schedules in deference to their mom’s surgery. Included were last-minute calls for child-sitters, etc.

Jeanie, about to dash out the door to the hospital, detected a sheepish look on the face of four-year-old Jonah. Dick Tracy-types aren’t needed to get the truth from pre-schoolers, a truism Jeanie now knows.

“I’ve been splashing on Dad’s cologne,” he admitted. “Carly’s coming over, and I want to smell good for her so she’ll follow me around.” Carly is the four-year-old daughter of a family friend coming over to “kid-sit.”…

  • * * * *

Jana, our Tyler daughter who has made numerous trips to the Metroplex of late to see her mom, was flustered the other day upon hearing an unfamiliar cell phone ring in her home.

She traced it to her luggage. (Now quit filling in the blanks, and let me finish the paragraph!)

Yes, it was MY cell phone that had fallen into her suitcase, and yes, she sent it back with overnight delivery. She even provided a new temporary message, explaining to callers that the phone was on a Fed-Ex truck somewhere between Tyler and the Metroplex. Yes, I reimbursed her for the cost of shipping the phone. The figure was considerably more than the value of my archaic cell phone which is heavy enough to weigh down whatever side of my clothes in which it rests….

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Grandparents, by the trainloads, wince when their kids’ kids say or do something to jump the tracks. This in mind, it should be trumpeted when they “do good.”

Brittin, our granddaughter who just turned five, took her mom’s instructions seriously as they entered the Harris Hospital parking garage. “I have much on my mind,” Julie, her mom, said. “It is your job to remember where to find our car.”

The garage has numbered levels, each of which is named for animals, perhaps so pre-schoolers can help befuddled parents find their cars. Later, when they returned to the garage, Brittin confidently pushed the correct elevator button. They exited the elevator and she hopped, bunny-like, toward their car. “It was easy to remember, Mom,” she said. “You parked exactly nine hops from the elevator on the jackrabbit floor.”…

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Dr. Newbury is a speaker and writer in the Metroplex. He welcomes inquiries and comments. Email: Phone: 817-447-3872. Website:

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