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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A Sober Joy

Kobayashi Maru has news about his brother. Last week the doctors were offering very low odds that the treatments would be effective. This week the tests on his brother rebut the presumption:
Yesterday, I think we got a down-payment on the miracle we'd been asking for: some lab results showing that recent chemo and radiation have beaten back a key part of the leukemia, achieving a 99.7% (!!) reduction in blast cells in his spinal column and stabilization of his blood chemistry. If anyone had told me this last week, I would either have said "no way", or rushed up and hugged them flat.
Kobayashi Maru's brother is makiing jokes, has gotten up and even took a walk outside the hospital with his daughter, who is five. Please keep praying and leaving messages of comfort. (Esther, you are such a wonderful person!) I have been in a hospital visiting a relative with a mask over her face and seen the doleful faces of the doctors and nurses who thought there was no hope. That memory makes me smile now, because that relative has been living her life free of cancer for over ten years.

God does work miracles, but we must give him permission to do so. Prayers work even if you don't believe. So pray for Kobayashi Maru's brother and family and for all those who suffer and are in peril, and pray for all those who are trying to protect the innocent, help the weak and cure the ill. Give your permission for That Which Is to load the dice in this world. (Sorry, Albert!)

Last week The Anchoress asked her readers to pray for Kobayashi Maru's brother. This week she and her family need yours. Her father-in-law has had a stroke. As she writes:
The most worrisome, to my way of thinking is My Father-in-Law’s small stroke this weekend. The MRI confirmed it, and now he is wearing a heart monitor for a day, heading to a neurologist, making appointments with vasuclar guys and such. His reason is sound, but his vision is blurred, and worse, this fearless man is scared.

I’m scared, too. Pop has endured enormous grief and he’s done it with the stoicism of a samurai warrior…which, I think, is part of the problem. “The eyes of a samurai know not moisture,” is an old proverb, but I don’t know if it is the wisest way to live. Pop has taken his grief - the loss of his son and its effect on his wife, and internalized it, and now his infrastructure seems to be crumbling under the weight of it all. Please pray for him, and for Mom, because she’s not going to last if he does not. This is a couple that will live and die as a couple.
Please pray for peace of mind for him and comfort in their grief. The Anchoress needs your prayers too. She has been and is ill. Her brother died last year of AIDS. Grief is a heavy burden that wears out both the body and the spirit.

Finally, last week I read of Steven Vincent being assassinated in Iraq. This week, Minh-Duc at State Of Flux posts an absolutely unbelievable letter from Vincent's wife. Minh-Duc is a stalwart person and so is Lisa Ramaci-Vincent. This is a letter you must read, which was written in defense of a husband who died trying to tell the truth and has now been misrepresented in death. May all of us so live our lives that those left behind could say such words with such passion about us.

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