Monday, December 21, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Since my last post, Killian was transferred from the small baby NICU to another different floor in the same hospital where they tend to focus more on post-surgery babies, or babies with respiratory or digestive issues. It is a little less intense and their goals for Killian are to wean him off the nasal cannula, let him gain more weight and teach him how to eat. A couple weeks ago some tests revealed that his blood-sugar level was too low so they have been testing him regularly since then every 3-12 hours depending on the circumstances. They have been able to stabilize it somewhat, but he is still on the low end of the scale, so the hope is that his little body will be able to grow out of it and find the right level.
Last night he weighed a whopping 4lbs 14.5oz, and about a week ago his double-chin first appeared! We were thrilled to see a little extra baby fat on our son who has been thin for so long. Nina made the comment that now he looks like a regular baby, just miniature, instead of like a fragile preemie. His periods of alertness are longer and he interacts with us at times - he loves it when we kiss his stomach.
At this point he still has a couple hurdles to jump before coming home becomes a topic of discussion. Those steps are for him to be completely independent of any breathing aids, stabilize and maintain safe glucose (blood-sugar) level, and learn how to eat on his own without the feeding tube. With all of that, it seems as though we have 3-4 weeks to go and then we can take our son home...
Here are some pictures from recent weeks:
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
He's continues to gain weight - yesterday he was 3lbs 5oz - and he seems to be very pleased with himself now that he is wearing clothes. Nina certainly enjoys being able to dress him every day with a new outfit.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
After one month of life, our little Killian continues to grow and make good strides in recovery. He did very well with the surgery last week and now has small scar on his back to show for it. His breathing has been improving as a result, and his general health as well. He is on the nasal cannula and the doctors are currently trying to wean him off that - the first attempt today did not go well, so he is back on it for a couple days before the next try. He broke the 3-pound mark over the weekend and tonight came in at 3lbs 3oz. He is now taking exclusively breast milk for his feeds with a small amount of calorie fortifier to help him gain weight. This past week he has become noticeably bigger - it really is amazing to see him grow. He's still tiny compared to a normal baby, but he is huge compared to what he was a month ago.
All of his IV lines have come out and the only tube going in his body at this point is his feeding tube; all the other wires are just sensors and monitors. He had to spend some time with an IV in his forehead and we were very happy to see that come out! We hope and pray to see more improvement from Killian and are grateful as always for your prayers.
A couple days ago he was moved from Small Baby Pod to Baby Pod 1. The move literally 30 feet to the next room was very significant for Killian as it meant that he is no longer considered high-risk and the focus of his care at this point is not to resolve existing conditions, but rather to give him all the means necessary to grow, gain weight, learn to breath on his own, and learn to eat from a bottle. It is a major milestone in the eventful life of a preemie, and we are grateful and proud of Killian for reaching it so quickly after his surgery.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
As a very simple but heartfelt way of trying to thank you, masses will be celebrated on December 2nd and January 2nd for the specific intention of the friends and family of Killian Patrick - all of you who have been praying for his safe delivery, successful surgery and continued recovery. Thank you, again, and may God bless you all.
Tim, Nina and Killian
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
On Sunday, after the latest round of blood tests came back positive, the doctors decided to let him off the ventilator early as he was breathing so well. They pulled the tubes out of his throat and put the CPAP on instead (a mask over his nose). Killian was happy to have the ventilator out, but he wasn't satisfied with just that so he immediately began pulling and tugging on the CPAP. He's determined to get out of that place quick!
Right after the operation they had to give him another IV line for a third blood transfusion. He already has one in his leg and another in his hand, and they had attempted to give him one in his other hand and leg already. That meant the best option left was to apply it in his head just above his right temple. Of the many tubes and wires I've seen hooked up to my son, this was the toughest to see. Killian handled it very well and did not seem to mind, but it bothered me and Nina a lot to see that line going into his head. He received the blood on Friday and, following protocol, they kept the IV line in until it wouldn't flush anymore. Luckily for us, it closed up over the weekend and they removed it shortly afterward.
He has been breathing well; his CPAP is giving him 25% oxygen (room air is 21%) and providing a little pressure to help his lungs expand and contract. They started his feeds back up - he is getting 6ml (1.2 teaspoons) every 3 hours and that will increase as his stomach builds up its tolerance to food again. Last night he weighed in at 2lbs 14.5oz and he is starting to look more and more mature each day. He's still tiny, but he's already grown big in our eyes, and in our hearts...there's nothing bigger.
Our Lord has been so good to us in blessing us with this little life to care for. He has become in so many ways our greatest joy in the world and, indeed, has become the focus of our world. In the midst of the daily ups and downs, the emotionally draining episodes, and Killian's continual battle to grow and develop, God has kindly granted us an underlying peace and happiness that only he can give. "Find your delight in the Lord who will give you your heart's desire. Commit your way to the Lord; trust that God will act." (Psalm 37)
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The operation lasted about 20 minutes and there were no complicating factors (first time we've heard that in a long time!). Killian is on a ventilator - a tube that goes down his throat to his lungs and provides artificial breathing - and he is sleeping off the sedative medication he was given. The doctors expect him to start responding and waking up this evening and become gradually more active again tomorrow, along with slowly getting back to normal feeds.
Everything went as well as could be hoped for and now we just have to see how he does in recovery. The medical staff all said because he was surprisingly strong and active going into the surgery he stands a good chance of having a speedy return to good health - please keep up the prayers!
In closing I need to mention an unexpected, but very welcome, visit from Fr. Mike Lumpe, pastor of St. Catharine's Parish in Columbus. He is a good friend of ours and had heard that Killian was having surgery this morning and decided to stop by afterward to check in on us. He did not find out about the change of time for the surgery, so he ended up walking into the NICU just as I was signing the consent papers moments before the operation began. What a blessed sight to see God's ordained priest before us right as our son was going into surgery! He was kind enough to give Killian a special blessing and then went with us to the waiting room where he spoke with us for some time and then gave us Holy Communion. Having such wonderful priests as Fr. Mike, Fr. LaCasse, Fr. Blau and Fr. Stash and others so present and available to us through all of this has strengthened us in the walk of faith. Thank you Fathers, and thank you everyone who have been praying for Killian and his parents. More pictures to come after we catch up on some sleep...
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Killian has been doing very well over the past few days. A couple days ago he was doing well enough with his breathing that the doctors decided to let him try it on his own without any aid. He did his best for two hours but then grew tired and had to be put back on the CPAP. He continued to do well after that so they shifted him to a smaller (and more comfortable) nasal cannula which you can see in the picture. He is already responsive to our voices when we are near his isolette and opens his eyes to look for us. Yesterday we witnessed his beautiful smile for the first time and he has flashed it numerous times since then...nothing like it!
He is a strong little lad. Today as I was holding him he decided he had enough with the position he was in, so he squirmed a little, then lifted up his head and turned to lay on his other cheek. Nina and I were both amazed.
The sad news is that Killian's echo test came back and he will need surgery on Thursday to close is the PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus). We had been hoping that the blood vessel would close on its own and he could continue to recover and grow stronger, but our Lord had planned otherwise. Killian will be put under general anesthesia and they will enter through his back to close the vessel near his heart. This is one of the most common operations among preemies and the surgery itself is not typically dangerous, but it will put him back at square one as far as his recovery goes. As I mentioned, he has been doing so well with his breathing, but he will be put on a ventilator just before the surgery begins and he will be on it for around two weeks. He will have to learn how to breathe again and build his lung strength back up. This morning he was taking 19ml of milk, but starting this afternoon he will be weaned off the milk and sustained with nutrients through his IV, and after the surgery it will be another gradual acclimation to receiving milk again. The toughest part of all this for us is seeing all the wonderful progress he has been making erased and starting back at the beginning again.
Please continue to pray for Killian, particularly on Thursday that all goes well and according to Our Lord's will.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Tomorrow (Monday) the doctors will conduct another echo test on his heart to determine how large the opening in his blood vessel is, and then make the decision on the surgery. Please say a little prayer that everything checks out okay and he can continue on without the surgery...
Friday, November 6, 2009
Almost two weeks have gone by since Killian was moved to Children's Hospital and since we have been able to post any updates or pictures. So much has happened in that brief timespan that it seems more like months, yet in many ways the situation is very much the same: supported by the prayers and love of so many friends and family, we continue to keep watch by Killian's bedside as he fights to improve daily.
In the last post I mentioned that he would need to have surgery to close a blood vessel close to his heart. The team of doctors decided to postpone the operation for the time being because he was not showing very many symptoms from the condition. The hope is to at least give him more time to gain strength and weight before the operation, and at best give the vessel a chance to close on it's own. At the latest test yesterday the "murmur" was loud which could be a good sign that it has constricted and the blood is making more noise as it tries to go through a more narrow passage. On Monday they will conduct another echo test where they will be able to determine the size of the opening. Those results will determine the next step. If the surgery does happen Killian will have to be put on a ventilator and as the nurses tell us frankly, "he will get sick before he gets better." Again, this operation does not necessarily put him in grave danger, but it definitely puts his recovery back significantly and opens the doors to other possibilities. We are praying that he will be able to continue on without the surgery.
In all other ways, he continues to beat the averages for his age and condition. As a medical fact, white boys tend to have the toughest time as premies - hence the name they've been given in NICU, "Wimpy White Boys." Killian seems to be more of a Feisty White Boy. He has gone from 2lbs 2oz to yesterday's measurement of 2lbs 10oz and is now very happily taking 11ml of Mommy's milk every 3 hours. He loves to kick and throw his arms around, and when he gets mad he will let you know about it with a little cry that surprises all the nurses for it's strength. His favorite position, though, is with both hands next to his cheeks - exactly how he was on our sonogram picture.
This week started off with three bad days and two bad nights when he had severe spells of bradycardia and apnea. One of those times the nurse called us at 2am to tell us that the spells had become so severe that they had to increase his doses of caffeine to the highest level and they upped his CPAP to the highest pressure. They also took blood samples and found that his white blood count was high, so they gave him a general antibiotic for infection. It turns out that the blood count was high because of a urinary tract infection that he had gotten over a couple days before but his system was still adjusting from it. After all that he needed a second blood transfusion. Mom and Dad had a little talk with our boy the next morning and told him that he wasn't supposed to be doing all that. I think by the time he has his first birthday I will have a complete set of gray hair! Those are the kind of things that he does day to day to keep us on our toes. Since those rough times he has done VERY well the past couple days and nights.
Last night Nina and I attended a Parents' Pizza night for the parents of kids in the NICU. It's a chance for couples get together and spend some time with other people who are going through the same situation so we can support each other. There were about 20 people there and we all gave a little intro about ourselves and our babies, where they had been and where they were at the moment. It struck us that some of the other people in the room had extremely difficult situations with their children. One young woman told us that her son had been in the hospital for 2 years and had every imaginable condition with his lungs, heart, digestive tract and brain. Others were also dealing with heartbreaking circumstances with their children and most all of them showed a joy that could only come from a suffering love such as theirs. We realized that, though our spot is a little difficult and not what we expected, there are many others that are suffering so much more and are so heroic about it. Killian is very healthy to so many of the babies around him and as of now he does not have anything that will be a permanent condition, so our heart goes out to those whose children are suffering from serious conditions. We are grateful for the many graces our Lord has granted Killian so far, and we continue to ask him to guide us on the path that he wants us to travel as a family.
One of the many resources that Children's provides for the parents is a monthly newsletter and information packet. In that packet was a something written by two parents of a child who was in NICU. Nina and I both identified with it in some ways and we wanted to share it with you as a way of expressing some of the emotions and experiences we are going through, as some of you have gone through as well:
I am not the patient, but please:
I am not supposed to be here. This wasn't supposed to happen. What is going to happen to my baby? Three months till discharge, you have got to be kidding. We can't see that far into the future. I am afraid to hope.
The story book image of pregnancy and birth has crumbled before my eyes. I feel alone, everyone else that we know has had a normal pregnancy. They don't understand what we are going through. How do I balance family life with life in the ward?
I feel broken and defective. What did I/we do wrong? The gremlins are knocking on the door. How can I get through this? You say that it might be 3 months before we go home. All of the everyday pressures are compounded by my child's illness, finances or job concerns and family issues to name a few. The bills are mounting, what should I do?
I feel inadequate. I'm the dad, the fix it guy. There is nothing I can do to help my child. There are daily decisions regarding my child that are potentially life altering. Lacking any medical knowledge, I still want to make an informed decision. The technology you use to assist my hcild is intimidating. Allow me to understand what is going on. I'm the mom who has someone else taking care of my baby.
I am supposed to be my child's advocate, let me get started. I know I can do this if you let me. I don't care how insignificant it seems, it starts the healing process for me.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Two weeks ago we never would have guessed what God had in store for our family. It all seems so surreal...
Some of you may have been expecting or hoping for some posts in the days following Killian's birth to let you know about his progress - which has largely been due to your prayers - and about Nina's recovery. As you can see, I have not posted anything for several days, and that was intentional. First, let me reiterate once more that we cannot express our gratitude for the many sincere gestures of concern and all the countless prayers offered for our young family during labor and delivery. Thank you. And God bless you for that. The reason we have not posted anything is that shortly after Nina was discharged from the hospital following delivery she experienced several complications that were both worrisome and emotionally draining for us. We finally arrived home today - having spent the last two weeks in the hospital. When she was diagnosed on Wednesday morning around 5am we were absolutely exhausted both physically and emotionally. Though we appreciated every word of kindness and all the prayers from all of you, we felt that we needed to keep things very private and have only our very immediate family as our support group. We were overwhelmed and just needed some quiet time to ourselves in the midst of all the unknowns.
Killian was born on Sunday October 18th and Nina was released from the hospital the following Tuesday at 7:00PM. We went home and were looking forward to the first night of more than 3-4 hours of sleep to try to recuperate. However, Nina woke up at 1:30am that morning with unbearable pain in her chest and abdomen, particularly when she breathed. We went straight back to the hospital; this time to the Emergency Room. They hooked her back up to the IV, gave her some pain killer, and sent her for a CAT scan, X-Ray and ultrasound - all in ER fashion which is not quite as civilized or caring as the Maternity Ward. When the results came back they found that she had pulmonary embolism ( a shower of blood clots in her lungs), she had a little pneumonia, and they also found that she had gall bladder stones. Needless to say, we were shocked. We had left the hospital no less than 10 hours before and she was in great shape, and here we were again.
The medical staff then took an ungodly amount of blood from her (they went in 6 different times before they successfully drew the blood) to run tests for every possible genetic deficiency to explain the cause of the blood clots. They also put her on blood thinner to help move the clots along. We stayed for several more hours in the ER until they moved us to the Clinical Decision Unit which is intended to be a kind of temporary holding area for no more than 23 hours. We spent three days there because there was no room for us in the main hospital. This unit was in the basement, with no windows, very small, and Nina was in tremendous pain. Though the causes of her pain were known, the solutions were not simple. Her condition was further complicated by the fact that she was only a couple days postpartum so that some of the "normal" treatments were not feasible for her. We spent a lot of time waiting, praying, and listening to the group of doctors who were in consult about what to do with her situation.
The most pressing issue was her pulmonary embolism. To resolve that, the first step they took was to install a filter in the primary vein leading to her heart which would serve to catch and resolve any future clots before they passed to her lungs. The operation was successful but of course added some more discomfort. That filter combined with the blood thinner ensured that Nina would be out of harms way, though she still had to get out of pain's way.
The next objective was to get the gall bladder taken care of. After a lot of back and forth and various specialists weighing in, the surgeon decided to go ahead with an operation to remove her gall bladder on Saturday. The procedure was a success and he said the sack was "full of rocks and sludge" so it was a good thing we got it taken care of sooner rather than later. They also had her on an antibiotic which kicked the pneumonia right out of her system.
Since then Nina has been recuperating and going across the hospital to see Killian as much as she could. It seems as though he took all the good health with him when he left the womb! Both of them have done incredibly well with all the medical interventions that have been necessary over the past weeks. A couple day ago we were able to start doing the "skin to skin" time with Killian where the doctors let us hold him on our chest so we can establish that bond with him. Words cannot express what those precious moments mean to us to hold our fragile little son. Nina has had 3 of these "kangaroo" sessions with him, and I have had one (mommy's privilege!). He just melts into you, settles in and sleeps for an hour without moving a bit. He is always a happy camper when he's with Mommy.
Killian has been doing well in most all aspects. He is breathing room air, though he has a nasal apparatus that applies pressure to his lungs to help him breathe even that is on the lowest setting. He has gained a little weight since his birth, and he loves to kick off as many of his sensors as possible. He is a feisty guy and is living up to his name "small, fierce."
The lone major set back he has encountered so far is a small vein that babies in utero have. It is a by-pass of sorts that sends blood from the lungs to the heart. When babies come to term the blood vessel closes on its own and everything is fine. With babies that are born premature, that vessel will remain open unless treated. The first step was to give him some medication through the IV that coaxes the vessel to constrict and close itself off. Killian was given two sets of that medication and the latest tests still show an opening. He is in stable condition and not showing any symptoms of that vessel still being open, but we have to get it closed, otherwise ultimately his heart would enlarge with the increased blood flow and eventually cause heart failure. The solution at this point is surgery. Killian was transported this evening from the hospital where he was born to another hospital in Columbus that specializes in child care. They will go in through his back and isolate the vessel in question; then they will clamp it off with a titanium clip which will stay there forever. It is not open heart surgery, but it is very close to his heart and requires a large opening in such a small lad. Because of this he will be back on the ventilator for a week or two and they will have to watch his feeds again. This operation is somewhat common among children as premature as Killian and they are confident it will go well, but that does not entirely ease our concern and worry about our little boy, nor does it take away from the fact that he will have a more difficult recovery period.
Please continue to pray for Killian above all, and also for his parents that we may be the instruments that God wants us to be in his young life. We'll be posting some more pictures and information in the future, and we hope you understand the reason for our silence the past few days. Thanks again for all the prayers and support.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Today was the day and now both Nina and Killian are resting after a successful delivery. Nina is much relieved to be in a more comfortable recovery bed instead of the stiff emergency bed she spent four days in, and Killian is being well-taken care of in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). God is good and so are all of you who have so kindly stormed heaven with prayers on our behalf over the past few days. Thank you again.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Check out this impromtu press conference he had on the steps of St. Patrick' Cathedral in New York: http://ny1.com/Default.aspx?ArID=97310 It's evident that this is man of God who will do tremendous things for the Church. Cheers to Archbishop Dolan and to his very fortunate flock!
Monday, April 13, 2009
In a very poignant and touching episode from the Last Supper, the Apostle John leans and rests his head on the chest of Jesus. John is deeply troubled and concerned, so he puts his head next to Christ’s Heart as though he were trying to listen to that Heart, as though he were attempting to find out what that Heart feels, as though he wanted to make his own heart like that of his Lord, abounding with love and forgiveness.
That scene in the Gospel (John 13:25) continually came to my mind as I had the privilege to participate with Bethesda Post-Abortion Healing Ministry at the annual Companion & Seminarian Formation Day. Disciples of Christ listening to His merciful Heart, ready to share that experience of hope with others.
On the weekend of Oct 3rd and 4th, 2008, Julia Shelava, Director of the Project Rachel program for the Archdiocese of Washington DC, and her two assistants Luz Menjivar and Sister Assumption, came to experience the richness and depth of Bethesda’s Companion & Seminarian Formation Day. Prior to the Formation Day, they also joined members of Bethesda Healing Ministry and Becky D’Alesio, representative of Project Rachel in Columbus for a day of prayer and dialogue. Project Rachel carries out tremendous work as a network of counselors and priests to assist those suffering from an abortion. In the Columbus Diocese, Project Rachel refers many of those wounded by abortion to Bethesda to experience God’s forgiveness and healing.
Bethesda strives to be a confidential, safe place providing support, prayer and reconciliation, and spiritual renewal for anyone wounded by the tragedy of abortion. In providing that care for souls we have been blessed with having the support and participation of seminarians and priests from the Pontifical College Josephinum. Our clergy obviously play a crucial role as they bring sacramental forgiveness and spiritual mentoring to those in need, and it is the great joy of Bethesda’s to be able to host the Companion & Seminarian Formation Day to help future priests serve in the vital, yet highly delicate ministry.
Thirty-five participants came for the Formation Day on October 4th, which included talks and presentations on topics related to post-abortion ministry, mass, testimonies from several women who have gone through the healing journey with Bethesda and now serve as Companions for others, and a panel discussion with Q&A. Theresa Shively, the Companion Coordinator for Bethesda, facilitated the day’s events and Fr Dean Mathewson, Bethesda’s Ministry Chaplain, offered advice to the seminarians on how they might incorporate these ideas into their priestly ministry in the future, teaching them how to approach and handle pastoral situations with the heart of Christ, and how to make sure the mercy of God does in fact reach souls. These were priests and future priests once more listening to the heart of Christ.
Nowhere was this more evident than when the Companions gave their testimonies. These women shared with everyone present their heart-rending stories of having made the sorrowful decision to abort their babies, the subsequent grief it caused them, and the effect it had on their lives. They spoke of the painful period - often years - when they struggled and grieved until they finally came to rediscover the love and forgiveness of God. They summoned the courage to start on the difficult journey of healing. They sought to come home to be made whole, to be forgiven. And they were.
There was not a dry eye in the room as these women spoke from the heart.
Afterward, one seminarian commented, “Now I know what my priesthood is for; now I know what it’s all about.” His classmates nearby all agreed and voiced similar sentiments. These seminarians and all those present for the Formation Day sought to make their hearts more like that of Jesus who is meek and humble of heart, like that of Jesus who leaves the ninety-nine sheep in search of the one lost sheep, like that of Jesus who died on the cross to forgive us our sins – even those that grieve us most.
Bethesda is a ministry of compassion and understanding, open to all men and women who have been wounded by abortion. We strive to guide these grieving women and men through a healing process to rediscover forgiveness and love. These two events enabled us to form more people who will guide souls on the path to healing, and helped us to reaffirm our own identity. We pray that all who suffer from the tragedy of abortion may find Bethesda to be a place of comfort and healing in the heart of Christ who offers the invitation to all, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are weary, for I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11-28)
November 30, 2008 The Catholic Times
Monday, March 9, 2009
That is astounding! In a major US city there are more agencies dedicated to providing women with health, safe and good alternatives when faced with a crisis pregnancy than there are agencies dedicated to the destruction of innocent life. The numbers don't lie - there are many Americans who oppose the tragedy of abortion: we numerically out-weigh the anti-life groups here in Columbus.
Take that to prayer tonight! God is good. It's a good chance to step back for a moment and realize that we do not stand alone in our struggle to uphold the dignity and sanctity of life!
On February 14th I joyfully celebrated the sacrament of marriage to my lovely bride Nina (Pezzutti). The wedding ceremony was beautiful and everything we hoped it would be. The reception that followed was a very fun time with friends and family all around. Nina and I both felt tremendously blest to be called to a vocation.
We spent our honeymoon in Italy - 4 days in Rome and 4 days in Positano (a small town on the Mediterranean coast south of Naples). Bella Italia!
Now we are back in the real world and I assure you that my posts will be more frequent and a little more regular. So until the next post from the Crossroads, ciao!
Friday, January 30, 2009
We all have our faults and failings and no one is perfect, but these men - Ben Roethlisberger and Kurt Warner - are decent men that appear to stand on principles. Unfortunately, that is not something we see a lot of in the world of sports these days.
My loyalties are rather split this Superbowl. The Steelers are the closest thing to a pro team in Ohio since the Brownies and the Bungels don't really count, not to mention they have a legendary tradition and aura about them. Add to that fact that my soon to be father-in-law is a die-hard Steelers fan, there are some reasons to throw in with the Iron Curtain. Nevertheless, my swing vote usually goes to the underdogs - in this case, the Cards.
In this case, the equalizing factor comes back to the QBs. I think they are both good men doing a fine job of leading and guiding their team through the war zone we call a football field. They both have valor, the ability to lead, and personal stature.
I would be just as happy to see either of these men walk of the field rewarded with another Superbowl ring to add to their collection.
To give Warner his share of the lime light, here is a story that has been circulating. Check it out:
"In a supermarket, Kurtis the stock boy, was busily working when a new
voice came over the loud speaker asking for a carry out at register 4.
Kurtis was almost finished, and wanted to get some fresh air, and
decided to answer the call. As he approached the check-out stand a
distant smile caught his eye, the new check-out girl was beautiful. She
was an older woman (maybe 26, and he was only 22) and he fell in love.
Later that day, after his shift was over, he waited by the punch clock
to find out her name. She came into the break room, smiled softly at
him, took her card and punched out, then left. He looked at her card,
He walked out only to see her start walking up the road.
Next day, he waited outside as she left the supermarket, and offered her
a ride home. He looked harmless enough, and she accepted. When he
dropped her off, he asked if maybe he could see her again, outside of
She simply said it wasn't possible.
He pressed and she explained she had two children and she couldn't
afford a baby-sitter, so he offered to pay for the baby-sitter.
Reluctantly she accepted his offer for a date for the following
Saturday. That Saturday night he arrived at her door only to have her
tell him that she was unable to go with him.
The baby-sitter had called and canceled. To which Kurtis simply said,
"Well, let's take the kids with us."
She tried to explain that taking the children was not an option, but
again not taking no for an answer, he pressed. Finally Brenda, brought
him inside to meet her children. She had an older daughter who was just
as cute as a bug, Kurtis thought, then Brenda brought out her son, in a
He was born a paraplegic with Down Syndrome.
Kurtis asked Brenda, "I still don't understand why the kids can't come
with us?" Brenda was amazed. Most men would run away from a woman with
two kids, especially if one had disabilities - just like her first
husband and father of her children had done. Kurtis was not ordinary -
he had a different mindset.
That evening Kurtis and Brenda loaded up the kids, went to dinner and
the movies. When her son needed anything Kurtis would take care of him.
When he needed to use the restroom, he picked him up out of his
wheelchair, took him and brought him back. The kids loved Kurtis. At
the end of the evening, Brenda knew this was the man she was going to
marry and spend the rest of her life with.
A year later, they were married and Kurtis adopted both of her children.
Since then they have added two more kids.
So what happened to Kurtis the stock boy and Brenda the check-out girl?
Well, Mr. & Mrs. Kurt Warner now live in Arizona, where he is
currently employed as the quarterback of the National Football League
Arizona Cardinals and has his Cardinals in the hunt for a possible
appearance in the Super Bowl. Is this a surprise ending or could you
have guessed that he was not an ordinary person.
It should be noted that he also quarterbacked the Rams in Super Bowl
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
“When I come before the judgment throne, I will plead the promise of God in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. I will not plead any work that I have done, although I will thank God that he has enabled me to do some good. I will plead no merits other than the merits of Christ, knowing that the merits of Mary and the saints are all from him; and for their company, their example, and their prayers throughout my earthly life I will give everlasting thanks. I will not plead that I had faith, for sometimes I was unsure of my faith, and in any event that would be to turn faith into a meritorious work of my won. I will not plead that I held the correct understanding of “justification by faith alone,” although I will thank God that he led me to know ever more fully the great truth that much misunderstood formulation was intended to protect. Whatever little growth in holiness I have experienced, whatever strength I have received from the company of the saints, whatever understanding I have attained of God and his ways - these and all other gifts received I will bring gratefully to the throne. But in seeking entry to that heavenly kingdom, I will…look to Christ and Christ alone.
Richard John Neuhaus. Death on a Friday Afternoon
By way of introduction, I chose the provisional name "Crossroads" for reasons both personal and societal. I'm getting married in two weeks and that of course brings with it lot of changes, joys and trials so I find myself at a very joyous crossroads in my life. At the same time our nation and our civilization in general face a myriad of crucial and devastatingly far-reaching decisions in the moral arena. The lines of battle have been drawn up and we all find ourselves at a crossroads; we must choose which path we trod and which banner we rally behind.
So this is my simple attempt to shout into the world of blog. Let's see how it goes.
Right now this post will just echo in cyberspace since no one knows it's here, but I'm confident the echo will resonate with some people out there.