Monday, October 29, 2012

Painful October

My favorite aunt passed away last night.  She is the one who went to the ER two weekends ago (see previous post). I can't believe it.  While she suffered from pulmonary fibrosis, she was doing well.  When I visited her in the hospital, she was her usual chatty self.  She was even joking how she had to revise her bucket list and might not make it to Valencia. I am just heartbroken.  I am also heartbroken for her sons (my age) and their children.  She was such a unique, funny, and passionate person.  Even though I rarely got to see her, I always felt a special connection with her.  She got me and I got her.  I can't believe she is gone.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Installation & Fitting In

Today we attended the installation of my sister-in-law into her new church.  She is an ELCA (Lutheran) minister and was called to a new congregation. At first I didn't want to go.  I am still dealing with abandonment issues regarding her leaving the church that our kids attend school at and moving to a new congregation.  In the end, though, she obviously needs to do what is best for her and her family and I need to get over myself. 

It was really a great service.  I can understand why she is attracted to the congregation.  It is much more dynamic, open to innovative ideas on how service should be conducted.  Today, the Liberian members led the worship.  The kids and I loved the music.  It was just so joyful.  In fact, the whole service felt joyful and light.  While her installation was a special occasion and not every worship will be like this, I have the feeling that this is not unusual for them. 

Of course, I had to compare this with our UU congregation.  While we have our light-hearted moments, some times it just feels heavy and so serious. I am not sure why that is.  After the ELCA service, I felt like hanging out with these people and coming to their chili cook-off the following Saturday.  I then saw pictures of my congregations Halloween party on Facebook.  We were invited, but didn't attend.  In fact, we rarely go to events at the church.  I love many of the people at church and have several Sunday friends.  But, for some reason, I am reluctant to connect outside of the church morning.  What is my problem?! I feel like something is holding me back and I don't know what it is. I want to be fully connected, but somehow don't feel like I fully fit in.   We have been attending this congregation for a few years, but I am still struggling with committing 100 percent.  Any one else have these issues?  Any solutions?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Rough October

This past few weeks have been hard.  Every time I turn around another *surprise* hits. In the vein of Bridgett at South City Musings, I am going to attempt a "but..." list.

My Grandpa died.  It was horribly sad.  But, he had a long life, a loving family, and was ready to go.

I got ANOTHER speeding ticket.  But, it was on the way to South Dakota to see family I haven't seen in years and the ticket was worth it to get there sooner.

On the eve of grandpa's funeral, my aunt was rushed to the ER in Aberdeen due to lung problems.  But, it was fortunate that everyone was in town so we could all be there to support her and her sons in this difficult time.

My project in the class I am taking fell completely through, but we were assigned a new one that should be much more manageable.

My grandma (on the other side) has decided to stop eating. She is done. But, she has family that will make sure she is as comfortable as possible. And I am so grateful we got to see her this summer.

I had to cancel a lunch date with a new friend FOUR times, but we finally met this week and I am so thankful that we did.

My uncle has been diagnosed with acute leukemia. But, he has six brothers and sisters so hopefully they will find a good bone marrow match.

We received a letter from the IRS that we are being audited.  Actually, I am trying to see the positive in this, but can't!  All I can say is I am grateful a classmate of mine is a tax attorney.

I am knocking on wood that November greets us with a warm, reassuring hug.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Sadness Continues

Today my grandpa died.  He had been suffering from some lung issues and took a turn for the worse last week.  I am so grateful that we got to visit him this summer.  He was an awesome guy who loved his wife, seven kids, 34 grandkids and 45 great-grandkids with all his heart.  I will miss him greatly.  My only regret is that my kids didn't get to know him better. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

What to do with myself?

I am not sure what to do with myself! These past weeks, my life has been consumed with preparations for my cousin's wedding.  Between lots of music rehearsals and sewing the above red tuxedo, I haven't had much time to just breathe.  The wedding was last night and now I am feeling myself at a loss.  While there is PLENTY to do, nothing has to be done right now.  I have a whole Sunday afternoon off.  It is a complete luxury, but now I am twiddling my thumbs.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The USA Today Article

Did you all read this: Unitarian Faith Growing Stronger Nationwide?  What did you think?  I was quite surprised to see UU in a national publication.  I have also been under the impression that we are actually shrinking as a faith.  According to the UU World article by Chris Walton, UUA membership is in decline.  Perhaps there is a disconnect between UUA membership and UU identification?  I would love to think that our inclusive message is spreading and growing, but is it really?  While I did think the article was pretty fair, I was very disappointed in the last paragraph.  The author built UU up as a progressive faith only to end it with a quote that we are not spreading the "true" word.  Once again, reinforcing the stereotype that because UUs are not necessarily Christian, that our message is not worth hearing.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Weddding Music Jitters

This weekend my cousin is getting married.  We are all very excited for her.  What is causing me stress is that she asked me to play the wedding music!  Thankfully, I was able to convince the flute player in my quintet to join me (on the clarinet), so I won't have to be a solo act.  The music is beautiful and I love my cousin very much, so I don't want to screw it up!  I am grateful that the flute player is really good, so I can just focus on myself not getting squeaky and lost.  I have only played at one other wedding and that was with the whole quintet, so the stress level was a lot lower.  I could use some prayers this Saturday at 6.00pm!