Friday, June 25, 2010


Tomorrow I get my daughter back.  I couldn't be more excited, or more proud.  She has been with our church's high school group on a "mission trip" (inasmuch as Unitarians have anything like a mission) to New Orleans to help rebuild and restore neighborhoods damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  I could not be more proud of her.  No conversions, no handing out tracts or bibles, just hard work and walking the walk instead of just talking the talk.  I know she has hammered and painted and spent the day sweating and rebuilding a neighborhood garden -- working all the time one-handed because she rescued a little snail and refused to just discard it; she waited until she had a safe place to put it back into the garden.  That's my girl.  Respectful of the tiniest of karmas, her.

I'm especially proud that she decided to brave the weather and the heat knowing full well that her heart condition could be a limiting factor, and she didn't allow it to limit her.  Olivia has something called Long Q-T Interval, a heartbeat irregularity that causes her heart to beat more slowly under stress rather than faster.  Often, the only symptom of Long Q-T is sudden death.  We were lucky in catching it when she was five and she has been under the care of the area's most excellent cardiologist ever since.  He took her out of organized sports (so long, soccer) and put the kibosh on her riding a bicycle through the Navajo reservation a couple of years ago, but her mind was made up about this trip:  she was going to go where help was needed and do some good.

There are times I am just so very pleased to see the young woman she is becoming.  I used to worry so much, because I didn't have her in my life until I was 40; because she is an only child and will have no immediate family when my wife and I are gone.  But the connections she is building just because of the life she is living don't leave much room for worry on my part any more.

Welcome home, sweetheart.  I am so proud of you.

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