Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tough times---KEEP LOOKING UP!

Well, from the frying pan to the fire...I suppose it is the time of life through which I'm traveling.

First, Mother is the same, just a slow, steady decline.

Second, day before yesterday, Aunt Joy's husband, Jim Morgan, was admitted to the hospital in San Antonio with kidney issues. Aunt Joy reads my blog, so sweetie, know that I am praying for Jim's swift recovery.

Third, while I knew this was going on, I thought we had it licked. Apparently we did not.

During your life, you have different people who are big influences on who you are as an adult, both within your family and outside your family.

One of my big influences (and my friend Robert's, and all of us, really, from San Antonio) was Leroy Yarbrough (that's "Luh ROY", not "Lee Roy") and his lovely wife, Edwyna (Edy).

Leroy was Minister of Music at Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio. We had a huge youth program there, and most of us were in the youth choir, the Mainstream. We were 125-150 strong. We made some big trips, but the biggest of all was the "Grand Tour"---Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria. It was wonderful, both the trip and the time.

Leroy embodied the phrase, "Southern Christian Gentleman". He wasn't a prude, he wasn't a religionista, but you always knew where he stood. He talked the talk and walked the walk.

He had fabulous taste in music; I learned everything I know about music from the base he gave me. He was a total perfectionist who would NEVER accept anything less than your absolute best. If your best was a little sharp or a little flat, he wouldn't complain, but if he knew you could do better, he DEMANDED it.

That's why his choirs won every award in the book, were invited to sing all over the place, and were a huge influence on many, many lives.

Now, just because he was a strict choirmaster doesn't mean that he was dour, or scary, or mean. Leroy was/is a riot to be around; he's funny, witty, and sharp; "more fun than a barrel of monkeys" is the phrase that comes to mind. When it comes to thinking up fun things to do, Leroy is one of the people you'd want to call.

Last February, Leroy wasn't feeling well and went to the doctor. He was diagnosed with lymphoma (he never smoked) and it was being aggressively treated.

So far as I knew, his treatment was progressing well and we had some remission going, but apparently that is not the case. Over Thanksgiving, he was transported here to Houston to M. D. Anderson, where he remains in Intensive Care, fighting for his life. I found out tonight and was going to rush over there, but he can't have any visitors and I'm sure Edy and the family (they had two lovely daughters, now middle aged like me, who married well and have sweet kids) are just worn out.

That's a trifecta right there, Mother, Jim, and Leroy. We have hopes for all of them, but it's not looking good for Mother and Leroy.

Keep Looking Up! I had that poster sometime, somewhere but no longer have it.

In any event, I'd ask anyone reading this to pray for my friends.

Most people, when asked, will say their favourite Psalm is the 23rd. I like that one fine, but it's not my favourite. My favourite is Psalm 121 (especially in Anglican Chant). <<(if you want to know what I think of when I think "church", click the link. Now THAT's CHURCH!)(It's St. Paul's London, which I had the great privilege to visit back in 2006).

Psalm 121

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.

The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

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