short excerpts...other writings...upon occasion or as prompted...
The tiger in the water? A representation of my life -- spirit and environment!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Time Out from Blogging in Reverence for Life

You may have noticed a lack of blog posts this week. There is an explanation beyond the fact that I am once again on the road, this time in Washington, D.C. (or more accurately, Arlington, Virginia). I will probably be able to post Quick Takes tomorrow evening since I wrote most of them on the plane here. However, anything else may take a few days.

Upon arriving here, I received an urgent phone call from Noelle. Her significant other of ten years' duration had a heart attack during dialysis (he has no functional kidneys) and is currently unresponsive. X-rays show a swollen brain, and doctors would like to have permission to pull the plug. Noelle, our hopelessly hopeful, never-say-never, that-empty-glass-will-soon-be-overflowing child, wants to wait. Probably Lizzie will be the one to make the decision for everyone, as she did in her grandmother's case ten years ago. That time she decided that keeping her grandmother alive artificially was in no one's interest, including her grandmother's, since even if her grandmother came out of the coma, she would not be able to care for herself or even think since all functional brain tissue had been destroyed by a brain bleed. Since Lizzie is a professor of cognitive neuroscience, doctors are willing to share records and test results with her that they would not normally share with family members; they know that she will look at them dispassionately and make an objective and measured judgment as a professional colleague.

Lizzie has conditionally weighed in on Ray. Not having the x-rays yet and just listening to the description of what has occurred and considering his comatosity, she has informed her sister that in her opinion the situation is "bad." However, she won't give any final advice until she sees documentation.

A little background: Ray lost kidney function in 2006 and was comatose (without brain swelling or damage) for several months, then was on life support in a city five hours away until December 2007. It was a wonderful Christmas present to have him be taken off life support and breathing on his own. Then, in December 2008, he was released into a care facility and transferred to Salts where he was just a few minutes away from Noelle. That was another wonderful Christmas present and a prayer answered. Ray and Noelle have had a full year beyond what they hoped for together (or as together as they can be, considering that Ray cannot even come home to visit).

Until Lizzie weighs in with an informed opinion, we wait and pray. I have asked for Ray to be put on the Old Mission prayer list, and I would ask you to pray, too. It is difficult to know what to pray for since Ray, even if he regains consciousness, will never be able to come home, will always be tied to a dialysis machine, and will likely be in pain much of the time. Since God knows better than I do in all cases, I personally am praying that God will do what is best for Ray. No matter what we personally would like to see happen, the rest of us really are insignificant in this instance. I am sure that God will take good care of Ray without prompting, but I like to pray about it, anyway. I love the support and guidance.

So, with the exception of the Quick Takes and the MMM, I plan not to spend time blogging but being available to my family and to Noelle. (I will be home on Saturday.) Life itself is special, and we should take time to acknowledge that and show our reverence for what God has given us. It is unfortunate that we tend to do so only when Death looms or has completed its reaping. Nonetheless, better now than never.

Update January 17: Ray died on Friday at 09:20 in the morning. Details have been posted on Blest Atheist.


  1. Praying for Ray, Noelle, and all of you. Also praying a special prayer for Lizzie for GOD's wisdom and discernment.
    If you would like a prayer button for Ray for your blog and for others to share, go to: and ask Edie to make you one. She makes them free for urgent prayer requests. Just tell her I sent you. She is a precious lady.
    Blessings, hugs, and prayers, andrea

  2. Thanks. I will do that. I was going to step away from the computer after putting up the posts but have not yet done so. So, I just caught your comment coming in.

  3. Step away and tend to the things important to your heart...this is one of those things.

    I will keep you all in my thoughts.

  4. Yes - be with family and friends and those who need you and your support! my thoughts go out to Noelle and Ray and Lizzie and everyone else....

  5. Dear Val and Kathryn, thank you for your understanding and support.

  6. We have different priorities when one of our own has a need. Be available to your family. That is so important.

    I will pray for God to guide your family through this and for His will.

  7. Thank you, Quietspirit. Especially for the prayers. We are seeing indications of progress; I will try to find a way to do an update on this site. The doctors are no longer talking about pulling the plug. Ray has moved his shoulder and his eyes are moving. The doctors think that this is an indication of dreaming. He is still on life support, and he is still comatose. But hope springs eternal, and there now seems to be some reason for hope. Nonetheless, one day at a time, under God's control...

  8. Hi Elizabeth, I am so sorry to hear about Nolle's partner. Those are always hard decisions to make. Thank goodness Lizzie can help. My love and prayers to you and your family. Take care --and don't worry about blogging. We will all be here when you return.


  9. Thanks, Betsy. I have managed to keep up my Blest Atheist blog with short posts and updates on Ray's condition; otherwise, I have slowed down considerably. Lizzie still does not have the records; the doctors do not seem eager to share them. In the interim, Ray took a turn for the worse this morning, around 2 a.m., and now the doctors are once again urging that he be removed from life support. (I think it was easier in the old days when we did not have technology that could reach beyond the human condition.) Anyway, thanks for your prayers. They are needed!


About Me

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I am the mother of 4 birth children (plus 3 others who lived with us) and grandmother of 2, all of them exceptional children. Married for 42 years, I grew up in Maine, live in California, and work in many places in education, linguistics, and program management. In my spare time, I rescue and tame feral cats and have the scars to prove it. A long-time ignorantly blissful atheist converted by a theophanic experience to Catholicism, I am now a joyful catechist. Oh, I also authored a dozen books, two under my pen name of Mahlou (Blest Atheist and A Believer-in-Waiting's First Encounters with God).

My Other Blogs

100th Lamb. This is my main blog, the one I keep most updated.

The Clan of Mahlou
. This is background information about various members of the extended Mahlou family. It is very much a work still in progress. Soon I will begin posting excerpts from a new book I am writing, Raising God's Rainbow Makers.

Modern Mysticism. This blog discusses the mystical in our pragmatic, practical, realistic, and rational 21st century world and is to those who spend some or much of their time in an irrational/mystical relationship with God. If such things do not strain your credulity, you are welcome to follow the blog and participate in it.

Recommended Reading List

Because I am blog inept, I don't quite know how to get a reading list to stay at the end of the page and not disappear from sight. Therefore, I entered it as my first post. I suppose that is not all that bad because readers started commenting about the books, even suggesting additional readings. So, you can participate with others in my reading list by clicking here.
I do post additional books as I read them and find them to be meaningful to me, and therefore, hopefully, meaningful to you. One advantage of all the plane traveling I do is that I acquire reading time that I might not otherwise take.