Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mr. Seth

I met a new friend on our trip to Ohio. His name was Seth. He is the first green-colored Seth I've ever known! He is Seth, the bamboo plant pet.

Rachael brought him with her to Ohio because she felt that Katie would love him as much as she (Rache) does. However, I guess Katie was in no frame of mind to pay any attention to a stranger. BUT, he had a wonderful ride from Utah to Ohio!
Seth lives in a glass house filled with rocks and dirt! (The lack of dirt was the first attraction for me.) I looked at him (and at his Rachael) with more than a little dubious-ness when I would catch her talking to him in the back seat.

I have talked to plants before, and I absolutely know that they react to that, but I thought it was just the warm air from my breath that inspired them to continue to grow beautiful leaves! I have failed to talk to them with such passion, though, and I guess that was the reason I did not previously experience the communication that was revealed to me during our trip!

The second day out, Rachael went to sleep on the seat, thereby denying Seth any ability to observe the outside world. His new station became the floor of the back seat....not a happy place. I looked at him, and he was CRYING! Well, at least he must have been crying because his leaves were wrinkled from what I assumed to be the dampness from wiping the tears. I immediately took him up with Gpa (Dad) and I, setting him in the drink holder between us, where he could feel the sun and witness the beautiful tree tops beside the road.

The only words I spoke to him were, "There, that's better." But they must have been very much appreciated, because without further communication, it only took about 10 minutes for his leaves to smooth out, brighten up and he honestly seemed to be smiling!! The really amazing thing was that he was reaching those uplifted leaves toward his hero.............ME! It was evident that he was reaching for me, but still, I thought, it COULD just be my imagination, couldn't it? So, I turned him 180 degrees to check it out.

Ten more minutes passed before I checked on him again. Once again, he was definitely reaching toward ME! It was incredible!

Later, when Seth was back in his rightful position with Rachael, she also turned him around a few times, and every single time, he would end up reaching for her in a few minutes! So I am now a true believer!

The second motel-stay night, I am not sure what happened, but I think he was in too dark a place. Yes, I realize that other bamboo people grow in dim and damp surroundings, but Seth is not a conformer. He either didn't like the dim light, or else he was too cold, because the next morning when we realized his discomfort by his drooping arms (some people call them leaves all the time), we placed him in the window to bask in the sunshine while we hurried and got ready for the day. We didn't notice how long it took before his arms were stretched up and outward in a joyous and graceful, grateful form! But when we did notice, there was absolutely no doubt....he was happily shouting "Good Morning!" in his bamboo language!

I was supposed to bring him home with us, but I forgot. He may never speak to me again.
                                                     -- G'ma

 Rachael's Point of View: "I sleepily start to awaken from my nap in the back seat of my parents car on the long drive to Cincinnati. Stirring, I slowly remember where and why I am and soon I remember Seth my bamboo plant, but I realize he's GONZO! So I sit up and see THIS VERY SIGHT:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Memory from Buddy

When I was 16 or so, I was riding with Gma and Gpa Whicker in their old-people car in downtown Salt Lake. In fact, we were just headed down Capitol Hill. Some argument had arisen between the two of them, and it got just about as tense as I had ever felt it between them, which isn't very tense at all. But it was definitely contentious! And the subject matter was quite silly, too. I remember thinking, "Wow, why are you arguing about this again?" But at the same time I was formulating my own position in my head. Anyway, there was then a moment of heavy silence that could have been hewn with a butter knife, and it was Gpa's turn to rebut. I can't remember the subject, but for the moment we'll assume it was directions. I'll never forget what he said:

"Well, you always did know your way around better than me." He smiled at her, and then looked back at me and winked as quick as lightning.

Feelings of jest and love came swiftly to diffuse the tension, and I stood all amazed. Actually, I was sitting at the time. Since then I've tried to do what he did just as quickly and effectively, but I have not yet succeeded. But I'll never forget it! And someday I hope to achieve the same!

And one last thought--having heard a bit about Gpa's temper in days of yore, I ask this: Is such change possible without the Gospel of Jesus Christ? I say unto you, NAY!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Summer... about over, and I have not written any emails to speak of to any of you, so here's a quick synopsis.

Most of you know that Dad/Gpa and I went to Ohio to be with Glenn, Pam and Katie for a couple of weeks during the last of July and half of August. Rachael went with us, leaving her personal activities and time with Brooks and her boys and girl (4 boys, 1 girl!!) for exactly a month, hoping to be of as much help as possible to Pam and Katie while Glenn had to be back in St. George. That was a great and loving sacrifice, and yet she kept telling Dad/Gpa and I over and over how grateful she was that we gave her that opportunity! Thanks much, Rache.

Katie has been brave and in my opinion, VERY tolerant with a lot of pain and inconvenience and endurance. I believe that this was possible because of her own faith and the faith and support of her parents and sisters, brothers and nieces and nephews, as well as the extended families of Stones and Whickers, and her friends. It has been a long, painful and yet sometimes very boring time for her! There was never a moment (except during the actual surgeries) when Rachael or one or both of her parents were not with her, except at the very last when she felt stable enough to wander some in the Ronald McDonald House by herself. She is truly a blessed and loved young lady!

We stayed in a "hotel" that was actually an old fact, still operating as a medical clinic and light surgery hospital every day. They made the 3rd floor into rooms for families to stay in while they were supporting loved ones in the Children's Hospital. It is less than a block away (as the sparrow flies) from the hospital. We were quite pleased when we checked out and found out that because they gave us a weekly rate, we only ended up paying $33.33 a day! The accommodations weren't perfect, but considering the absolutely horrible road placements in a very UNplanned city............I was so grateful that we didn't have to navigate to a regular motel every night and back again the next day! We had to buy a GPS there just to hope to get from one place to another, as even landmarks seemed to change locations! (Ry's note: it was SO cold at night in that hotel...that Rache took the following photo of our Daddy sleepng in Mom's hoodie. :))

We had a good time seeing some new things, such as the Cincinnati Museum and the Zoo. The tickets for all of the things that any of us attended were donated by different organizations, to the Ronald McDonald House, for whoever wanted to use them! I couldn't walk around those big places, so Dad had to push me in a wheelchair, and that made the Zoo quite miserable for me, even though I enjoyed the things we saw. It just wasn't good for Dad to have to do that, because that Zoo is very, very hilly. Had I known that, I would have stayed home and let the rest of them go! He was pretty worn out that night and the next day. Pam pushed Katie, too, as she wasn't strong enough yet, and it was hard for her, too, but of course, she didn't have nearly as much weight to manage. I will check the terrain before I do anything like that again!

My favorite thing was the Wright Brothers' Museum and field. They had a display of the history of parachutes there which was fascinating, too. Those two little boys (Wright Brothers) had NO idea what part they were playing in history! In fact at one time they declared that this flying business would never work, or something to that effect! I was especially impressed with a quote from one of the boys that was on a large display in the museum. It said, (paraphrased) "The secret for success is to be born to good parents and grow up in Ohio." Not a profound statement, but such a humble and sincere and grateful one!

Katie, Rachael and Pam also got to attend a Cincinnati Reds game after Dad and I left, and I think Katie's very favorite thing was probably the tennis matches that they witnessed on the following Saturday. They all got too much sun that day, but for Katie, at least, it was worth it!

Rachael worked for hours and hours on a special necklace she wanted to finish for Katie during the month. I don't know if she got it done or not, but it was quite beautiful, even unfinished! That takes so much time and focus and coordinated hand work! Not my kind of thing to DO, but I sure do love to see the finished products! Rachael also gave Katie a piece of amethyst that she broke off from a larger piece that she has at home. She (Rache) has studied a lot about the healing and encouraging properties of different stones and rocks...she'll have to explain about the amethyst.

When we went to church with them, we met a Dr. who specializes in the research of DNA and cells, I believe it is, and he had taken a sample of Katie's blood and sent it off for research on Treacher Collins. I hope we get to hear about any findings they gather on that project. He is very interested in Katie''s case.

Well it is now Monday Morning, and we have heard that the Glenn Whickers and the Rachael Gibbs got home safely, which was wonderful news! Yesterday evening, we went to the Waltons for a little celebration for Nathan's birthday and got to have a nice visit with them, which is rather rare even though they live 3 miles away! Then later, Jeff and Lynda and Taz paid us a visit, which is also rare! What on earth has happened to the front-porch-rocker visiting? Time seems to be our problem, and time is such a sneaky thing!

Love you all,