Monday, May 26, 2008
OK then, here is an accounting of our miracle at Kanaraville. Keep in mind that it has a beautiful and miraculous ending, so don't get too upset as you read.
We were here at Kolob to pick up the horses, and to do a little riding--on them and on a Harley in Zions. Monday was a beautiful day, and we rode the horses in the morning up on the cedar hills to the north of the property, and galloped around the edge of the plowed field. Mom just glides along on Duffy, and I do my best to keep up on Lady. We did some upkeep and repairs on the house in the afternoon and then loaded the horses up to ride that evening in a gorgeous slot canyon up by Kanaraville, which is just four miles from the house (you go right under the freeway on our road and keep going around to the left).
This canyon is unbelievable. Jonah showed it to me last year. It looks like Zion narrows or maybe like Petra--huge red walls rising on each side, and riding down through a narrow canyon (sometimes only 10 or 20 feet across) along the stream bed hundreds of feet below the rim. The evening sun was on the top of the cliffs, turning them orange and yellow, and its slanting rays gave a dramatic back lighting to the new spring green oaks and cottonwoods and willows down by the stream as we rode along. It was an ethereal, magical ride.
We rode up as far as we could go, and then turned around and rode down the canyon, seeing a whole new perspective going through the slots looking down instead of up. It seemed like an awesome, almost holy experience, the beauty was so profound. It's so fun to see beauty with mom, because she is so touched by it, and because she tells me about all the colors I can't see.
We were still kind of in that glow as we loaded the horses up (we just had Lady and Duffy.) We usually put King in first, but since he was back in the pasture, Lady goes in first, and she always needs the touch of a rope being pulled up behind her to jump up in. She had loaded fine at the pasture though, so we weren't thinking much about it. I led her into the trailer, and Mom held the rope strung behind her and she jumped right in and I had mom close the trailer door because I didn't want her to think about backing out before I tied her and swung the diagonal bar around that keeps her positioned in the trailer.
I looped her rope through the tie on inside the trailer and suddenly she reared and bolted backward out of the trailer. (What I was not thinking of was that she sometimes panics when you tie her head. My suspicion is that someone tied her up and beat her way back before we owned her, and horses never forget. We knew she was mistreated by her previous owner. She actually broke a lead rope a couple of years ago when she reared while tied to the outside of the trailer, and last summer she bolted in the trailer just as I was tieing her and fell backward out of the trailer right on her butt.) Anyway, Mom had just shut the door, but not latched it, and as she heard Lady rearing back, her instinct was to hold the door so she couldn't back out. But of course the 1100 pound horse hit that door like a freight train, and the door flew back into Mom and threw her like a rag doll. Lady came right out on top of her, trying to get her footing and balance, and, thank goodness, not falling out on her butt as she had last Summer.
It all happened in an instant and from my horrible perspective it was surreal. Through the tunnel of the trailer, I saw the door fly open, saw Mom thrown back on to the ground, and saw Lady stepping on and around her, trying not to fall. It happened so extremely fast, and thinking back, it is clear that Lady was desperately trying to get her footing, and trying not to step on Mom, but in that awful little dance I she stepped in a lot of places, and I could see that some of them were on Mom. I could see that she never got near Mom's head, but it looked like she stepped on her back and maybe on her arm or hand.
I can't remember running out of the trailer, as it happened, but suddenly Lady was gone and I was there, holding up Mom's head and praying. The first thing she said was "I can move my hands and feet." I cradled her beautiful head in my arms and instantly gave her a Priesthood blessing. It was an amazing and marvelous experience. I felt, (and Mom said later that she did too) a soft peace settle over us and I blessed her that she would be fine, with no permanent damage to any part of her body and that her injuries would be fleeting and her recovery fast. I felt her body relax and her breathing return to normal. I have never loved her more or been more grateful for her (well, except in the couple of days since) than at that moment, looking down into her now peaceful face.
She said she thought she could get to the car, and despite the fact that I know you should not move people that may have back injuries, I could see that she could move, and by then had weight on her elbow, so I helped her up, and have never been so grateful to see someone walk--around to the side of the truck. When she was able to climb up into the passenger seat (pretty high in that truck) I knew she would be OK.
Now you know Mom. By then she was saying "I'm fine, lets just go to Kolob and I will soak in a hot tub." Then she said "I'm OK, I'll just sit here while you go find the horses (who, of course, had run off to who knows where.) It was hard to think at that point. I had such a strange mixture of horror, gratitude, panic, and relief. I tried first to walk and then to drive a little further up the road to see if I could see the horses, but then realized that what mattered was to get Mom to a hospital to check everything out. We got on the freeway and headed for Cedar City, and it was getting dark, about 9 o clock by now. Mom was trying to reassure me at this point, even joking around a little to show me she was OK. I realized the trailer was still on the truck, so I pulled over in a rest stop and took it off, and we buzzed on in, 15 minutes, to the Cedar hospital emergency entrance. I ran in to get a nurse and a wheelchair, and in the lobby as I walked by, a TV was on and was showing, can you believe it, a Rodeo.
A nice ER doctor checked Mom out, nurses cleaned her scrapes, and X rays were taken of her left hand and, most importantly, of her spine. The Doc said that as well as she was moving, he was not very worried about the spine, but we wanted to be sure. He came back with the good news, a little bone crack in the bone above her pinky on the left hand, and no sign of fracture or injury to the spine.
Actually, the biggest worry I had when I saw the hoof bruise in the small of her back, off to the left side a little, was her kidney. The Doc said kidneys were pretty tough, but the easy way to check that was to see if there was any blood in the urine, and he said it would be immediate if there was any serious kidney injury. We struggled into the bathroom, and Mom produced a marvelously clear specimen!
We talked about any and every other possible internal or external injury we could imagine, and eliminated them by lack of symptoms, got a removable splint for her hand, and finally about midnight we headed for home. Back at Kolob, we got Mom settled down, and I went back out on the freeway and got the trailer. (We had called 911 and asked the Sherrif's department to look for the horses so they would not get out on a road and cause an accident.....but they never found them.)
With the help of Loritab and ice (I have a big belief in ice on injuries by the way--lots of it for a long time--it even cured my groin pull from the tennis tournament a couple of weeks ago) Mom had a pretty good night, and though we knew the next day--Tuesday (yesterday) would be the most painful, she was confident in the Loritab and as happy and chipper as she always is, so I went out to look for the horses. I drove around and walked around the area a lot and saw no sighs of them, and then it occurred to me that I had another horse. I got King, saddled him up, and actually started tracking from the scene of the accident. That's another story, but, amazingly, about two miles away, through a couple of broken fences, I found them in a field with four other horses, and managed to lead them back, get them in the trailer, and back to Kolob.
We spent the rest of the day yesterday in an interesting kind of grateful bliss. I just had the feeling that "who cares about the little details of what's happening, or whether I get anything done, I've got my sweetheart and my partner--her life and her health have been saved--my life has been saved--all I can feel is joy and gratitude." Mom, the movie girl of all time, even felt so good that we went, in the afternoon, to see Ironman!
Mom had a good, restful night, and it's early Wednesday as I write this. Thee weather has turned cool and rainy, and if she feels up to it, we will probably drive back to SLC today. Thanks for your prayers and your love. The Lord lives, the Priesthood works, and you have the most marvelous and cherished Mother on the planet.
Friday, May 23, 2008
/wow, talk about close to heaven, sitting here listening to everyone
talk to Charity on the speakerphone, in our room at JB Mop. looking at
the picture on the wall of the family so many years ago in Hawaii at
Grand Wialia, Charity just a little 5 or 6 year old, loved so much by
all those big siblings, and then glancing at the computer screen where
family pictures come up at random, ears on the ongoing conversation,
with "love" every other word, and as the underlying feeling
omnipresent. Josh reminiscing about the same areas, Sar and Shawn
putting each kid on to talk to their hero missionary, mom gushing about
how proud and how amazed we are at her success.
Charity with that special lilt of voice that makes her seem completely
different and totally transformed from her earlier life....an accent
that is a cross between a modest British and a standard missionary
cadence. She is so happy in her service and her joy and trust.
Now Saydi joins and Hazel babbling on to her Chi Chi, and then Aniston
bounces on and asks about her Chi Chi too and now everyone is on
together, a little backed up and who cares because there is so much love
there, struggling to get expressed above the din. Jeff jumps in and says
How are you Cheech. Saydi says the same thing about intonation and
accent and asks what is her favorite thing so far. As with the kids
questions the answer is all about the Spirit and about Christ. Saydi
gets cut off the line just as Char asks how she is feeling, so Jonah,
who has joined, answers for her and says "She is feeling fat and
pregnant'" and Charity yells "What!" because she didn't know before.
And then Jo starts reminiscing about how great the British way is and
how much he misses the place. A third of the nine as London missionaries!
Love knows no boundaries and respects no distance as Boston and Arizona
and Southern Utah and NYC and England fly up and blend in a stratosphere
of family and commitment and familiarity and love.
Of course the occasion is Mothers day, and Linda gets her best present
as she comes in and joins me in the master b.r. and sits there in the
chair just basking in the love of her kids for eachother and smiling
that madonna smile from ear to ear, blue eyes sparkling with delight.
Tal sparks on with "what's up girlfriend" and comments on the voice, a
little higher tone, and tells her that her cardboard cut out was more
popular than Elder Perry at the wedding breakfast. Bows out early with
a comment on how everything feels right
Then Noah and Kristi, the organizers of the call tell her that they read
every word when it comes wherever they are, and Kristi feels like she
just saw her at the wedding, and that the baby is kicking right along
and Flibidigibut is due the end of July but is going to try to push it
out on Char's birthday and maybe the middle name will be Cheech or Chaz.
McKay babbles a little like Charlie and Camden did, but comes up with a
clear "I love you and I miss you."
Can you imagine a richer missionary, rich with a great companion, great
success, great president and wife, and an awesome, huge, multi
generational family that cherishes her and sends their love via the air,
each in their own unique and special way.
This was our only chance to have baby showers for Chelsia, due May 30th with a girl and Tenille, due June 17th with a boy! These kids are so terrific...played string quartet music for us during the reception, are such fun cousins and will be terrific moms! Even Charity got to come and a fun time was had by all~
Howdy there Eyrealm!
There was lots of "journeying" this past week. I spent the first part of it competing in a national tennis tournament in Rancho Mirage near Palm Springs. (Don't ask how I did, because it was not pretty!)
As you all know, I am trying to finish that book that uses tennis as a metaphor for life, and as part of the research, I am playing in my age group in the four national tournaments — one on hard courts, one on grass, one on clay, and one indoors. These tournaments are good places to meet good players (and nice people) who still love to compete.
The tournament was in a very exclusive club in a gated community, which I always find interesting. It is as though people are trying to create an artificial bubble to live in, isolated and removed from the real world.
From there I went to Redwood City to attend the Global Philanthropy Forum, which is about the plight of the third world, and focuses on the 2 billion people on the planet who live on less than $2 per day. It is always so great to be with my Sis Chris and to learn from him and his incredibly interesting world. It's cool to be reminded that Chris is a major, major player in the vastly important world of philanthropy and that he rubs shoulders regularly with people who are really my heroes in this world.
Going to these two events back-to-back was an interesting opportunity to juxtaposition the exclusive rich with the world’s poor. There is such excess among the wealthy in this country, and such an ever-growing gap between it and the dollar-a-day poverty that envelops a third of humanity (more than 2 billion people, the poorest of the poor).
In his 58th chapter, Isaiah admonished those in our day to be "repairers of the breach" or of that gap, and that is what the people at this Global Philanthropy Forum are all trying to do — each in his own way. There were "social entrepreneurs" of all types there — micro-lending, nutrition and hunger experts, third world education advocates, people with clean water ideas, and "rescuers" of all types who have ideas for everything from saving abandoned kids to stopping the slave trade that still thrives in parts of the world.
Partly because the conference was held near the Silicon Valley, many of the "solutions" were technology based — or perhaps it would be better to say that, because technology is at the heart of many of the potential solutions to global problems, the conference was held near the Silicon Valley. Many presenters felt that the "digital divide" would close before the rich-poor gap, and that the one would ultimately be the solution to the other.
The digital divide is the difference between people who have the Internet, or cell phones, or some way to connect, and those who don't. Human connectivity, which may be almost universal in five years, may be the means (or at least open the possibilities) for a living wage for all, and for a further reduction in atrocities.
(Instead of "Big Brother" we have the phenomenon of "little brother" in the form of ordinary people with cell phones who can take pictures that document human rights violations and can send those images out where they can be picked up by media and expose the kinds of evil that cannot thrive except in secrecy. I was thinking the end to "secret combinations.")
Desmond Tutu, the archbishop of Johannesburg and the man who headed the "Truth and Reconciliation" hearings after Apartheid ended in South Africa, was the keynote speaker. His message was one of hope in the deepest sense, and it ultimately centered on God and on faith. He told one story of a little priest who spent several hours listening to a brilliant scientist who explained all of his reasons for atheism and finally concluded grandly with the statement, "And for all those reasons, I do not believe in God." The little priest took his hand and said, "That's OK, because He believes in you!"
The world, he said, is actually becoming a better place in many ways. There are 80 percent fewer conflict related deaths each year in the world than there were during the Cold War. It seems like more, but that is just because we are more aware of them due to the openness and far-reaching news coverage of today.
It is that openness, he said, along with more structured and connected civil societies giving more early warnings of impending conflicts, that have allowed a certain progress in stopping or shortening some conflicts in the world. Tutu is one of 12 "Elders" — a group of wise and respected leaders including Nelson Mandela, Mohammed Unis, Jimmy Carter, and Kofi Annan — who can be deployed into areas where conflict is brewing to talk to the leaders of governments or factions in an effort to avert widespread bloodshed, genocide, or cival war. (Kofi Annan played that role recently in Kenya and may have prevented extensive further violence.) "The Elders" were the brainchild of Richard Branson (the airline and business executive) and Peter Gabriel (the singer), both of whom also addressed the conference.
Marvelous as the ideas and altruism were, I couldn't help think of another group of 12 Elders, of about the same average age, this one with the true authority and the true message that will ultimately save the world.
In the tennis tournament I mentioned at the top of the column, along with my age group (which I will not reveal specifically, but which I have a hard time admitting to myself) there was a nationally USTA sanctioned tournament for players 95 and above. Can you believe that? Singles and doubles! Dude, I am going to win that division in 33 or 34 years!
I watched these near-centenarians, and was amazed at the mobility and agility and optimism that they have managed to preserve so long. It gives me hope for a long autumn and then a pretty good winter of life.
Some may have seen a recent Barbara Walters special about living longer. Several of the scientists she interviewed felt that there are huge breakthroughs that are possible in the next decade or so that could extend life to 150 years or more. One researcher looking for the piece in the genetic DNA chain that controls degenerative aging even said that he thought it would be possible once again for people to live to the "Biblical" ages of 800 or 900 years!
Would you want to? I certainly have my doubts, because I think it would be a long "winter." But I will certainly do all I can to stretch out my "autumn." I think of the autumn of life much as I think of the autumn of the year — rich, full, energized, beautiful. A time of three-generation families (with us as the first generation, enjoying children and grandchildren even as our own lives reach their time of greatest potential and contribution.
Further snippets of my notes from the Global Philanthropy Forum:
- One third of the pregnant women on the entire continent of Africa are infected with the H.I.V. virus, and will pass it on to their children unless they receive medication that is rarely available, partially because pharmaceutical giants are too busy producing "high-profit western medications."
- Young, really young internet entrepreneurs are becoming socially conscious, like Sean Parker, 27, founder of Napster and of Facebook, who has now added a "causes" section on Facebook — where 11 million people have been linked on line with various humanitarian causes and charitable organizations.
- World leaders, including President Bush, really would be well advised to boycott the opening ceremonies of this summer's Olympics in Beijing in protest of China's human rights policies and occupation of Tibet. Boycotting the opening ceremonies (not the games themselves) would not penalize the athletes or diminish the competition or its spirit, yet would send a message that needs to be sent.
- Countries with the most natural resources are invariably the countries with the most political corruption. And within the U.S., the states with the most natural resources are the states with the most political corruption. The greater the temptation ...
- The three great global curses of poverty, human rights violations, and climate change are really one three-part curse, because they are so interrelated. Most of those who cut down the rainforests are slaves. Those who desecrate human rights create poverty. Continued global warming will affect the poor the most. (Bangladesh, for example, is not only one of the poorest countries, but also one of the lowest elevation countries, and a rising ocean level could make 100 million of its citizens homeless.)
- There are 60 million gender-selected global abortions each year.
The world is hurtling, ever faster, through a continual sequence of inequity, jealousy, resentment and terrorism that could threaten all of us, but the world is also hurtling, ever faster, toward connectivity, positive globalization, and the end of secrecy — which allows us all to see each other and care about and help each other. Let’s hope the second and positive sequence gains more momentum and spreads faster than the first.
Do we seek a more equal, more egalitarian world? Certainly we do in terms of ending poverty and closing the gap (or Isaiah's "breach"). But perhaps as globalization and technology takes over and gradually closes the gap and mitigates poverty (and maybe even slows climate change and further cuts human rights violations), will it also begin to rob our world of its marvelous diversity and merge all of the distinctive and colorful cultures of the world into one homogeneous and uniform global culture. (We could end up with a McDonalds in every village.)
Perhaps, in that paradigm, we could argue that those of us who live today live in the greatest and most interesting era of history. Technology allows us to be connected, and even to physically reach any spot on the globe in 24 hours, yet as we reach those spots, we still see distinctive and unique cultures. A few years ago we could not get to these places or connect; and when we get to them in a few years they may have ceased to exist.
Maybe this time, our time, is the golden moment in between, maybe Eyrealm flourishes in the Earth's truly golden age!
Love you all to Kolob. DAD
WOW! Did we have a fun weekend! Saren and Jared and family, Jonah and
Aja and family, Julie and Eli, Chris, Grandma and Kevan, Adam Lawyer and
their two beautiful teen-aged daughter all came for the weekend. Some
for a shower for Eli and Julie at Lenna's and all for conference!!! We
had so much fun! The kids did horse shows and chipmunk shows for us,
Jonah and Aja stayed up that the new house with the kids. Ana and Cam
slept in the mattress box, just for fun. Why didn't I take a picture?
Anyway, lots of fun, lots of food, lots of enjoying conference two
tickets at a time downtown and on two TVs here. Julie, Saren and I got
to go to the amazing Sunday afternoon session and loved basking in the
spirit of that building and all that goes with it! President Monson was
spectacular. How blessed we are to have a new, enthusiastic, loving
prophet to follow our beloved President Hinckley! I loved Sister
Tanners talk about "Delight" because I am feel so much delight and
rejoicing in our lives right now. Of course there are always hard
things...really hard things...like the concrete that Jonah had blown
into the dirt to hold the hill up has now also cracked. He's slogging it
out every day! Sometimes the overall effect of fasting takes a while!
It was so fun to see grandma, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews and
friends and enjoy Lenna's beautiful new home and generosity for the
shower, as usual! This morning it is also SNOWING as usual! Should
snow for the next five days! More pics coming in the next email.
Hope you all had a fabulous conference weekend! What were your favorite
talks and your best aha moments?
We're in Toronto trying to figure out where Chris and Hedy will live and
work. We're at a place called The Old Mill that is an absolutely
fabulous place built hundreds of years ago, burned down and rebuilt 90
years ago. We're feeling pretty spoiled but next week we're doing an EO
meeting at Winnepeg and we'll be staying at a Holiday Inn Express so
that will keep us grounded! It's cold but at least most of the snow has
gone. We got 5 inches on Saturday in SL and another couple last night.
We'll never be able to get into that house for the reception without a
snow plow! The Canadian dollar is worth less than the US dollar so we
won't be doing much shopping! Our event is tomorrow night and then
we'll be home on Friday night for the weekend. Chris, Kevan and Rawlin
are coming to the house to interview and record Grandma Ruthie on
Friday. Lovely Lenna is having a shower at her house for Julie and Eli
on Saturday between sessions. We're getting the flowers arranged with
Lindsay and we're talking food with Lori Tolbert on Monday. Things are
moving along. Next week is the big week to send out the invitations and
then we'll be off again until the end of the month except for a couple
of days here and there.
The pig is progressing with the normal disasters every day...but
actually it's going to be pretty cute! We have a great painter. Wish
we'd had him on the big house!
The other day I thought of the perfect name for the new house...although
I don't think the chances of changing from BCRANK is too likely. But
it's good one: BALIWOOD!
We're dying to get word from Charity today. We hope that Jean was
baptized on Saturday! We're also anxiously awaiting a picture in large
format that we can turn into a "Sister Poster" for the wedding!
OKAY THIS IS THE QUESTION: We are thinking that the reunion is set as
outlined last week which means that after the reunion we'll have MFME
and then the rest of that week at the house with as many as can stay for
the reunion in Star Valley probably on August 2nd although I haven't
heard for sure on that. How many of you think you can stay that
long? If so, we'll want to take the ones who can stay to the reunion on
Saturday. I know the working guys will all be gone. Noah called to ask
if they could possibly have his missionary friends come for that
weekend. I'm wondering if the ones who can stay would be okay with
staying up at the lighthouse or over at the tennis house for a night.
One other issue is that the Carvers will probably stop on their way up
to the reunion if it's that weekend and possibly stay overnight on
Friday. Noah, if that happens how would you feel about having your
friends come just Saturday and Sunday? I'll call VerNon who is setting
up the reunion to see if August 2 is the date they've decided on for
sure before we go any further.
We need to know what others of you might be thinking about having
friends. Although we love having them, it got pretty crazy last summer
by the end. I would say having friends come for an overnight might work
toward the first of the month. Let us know what you're thinking. Could
everybody give their arrival and departure dates as close as you can? I
think that Saydi and Shawni are coming after the 1st week of July but I
haven't heard any other commitments for sure. I know that Noah and
Kristi can't be there until the reunion starts...if we're lucky and that
Josh,Tal and Dave will have to go back right after the reunion.
Hopefully Eli and Julie can stay for two more days to get Julie to the
MFME if Eli's boss can let him stay. Others I just don't know. Let's
get it on a spread sheet okay?