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9:59 PM In keeping with the new title for this website, I guess there's not much to post on Sophie's health, but I'll check in anyway. I had a very, very good visit with the folks (friends and such) in New Mexico. The back-to-back "retreats" (one with the clergy of the New Mexico Annual Conference and one on my own) were very refreshing, if in different ways. It was nice spending a lot of time with other clergy from the New Mexico conference, particularly if I will be returning there some day. I also very much appreciated the time away by myself at Christ in the Desert (a Benedictine monastery in the Chama valley in northern NM). Maybe it's all that we've been through with Sophie, or maybe it's being out of school, but I'm in a fairly reflective mood lately (not that I've come to any startling revelations or anything--yet). I guess that I'm finally learning to "fit" all of our experiences in the last year and a half into some kind of coherent whole.

I am so, so, so very thankful that Sophie is doing well, barring any future complications or whatnot. I am also so very thankful that Elisabeth seems no worse for the wear, and I am absolutely positive that this whole experience has worn on her, perhaps in ways that we may never know. Sophie's illness has also tested the relationship betewen Susan and me. We've learned a lot about ourselves and each other (I hope) and also learned (I hope) how fragile life and relationships can be. Susan and I usually communicate very well, but the simple fact of the matter is that when you are going through a life-threatening illness, you probably are not going to be at your best, and neither of us has been at our best 100% of the time in the past 21 months. But, somehow, we have all managed to hang in there with each other and (I hope) our family is stronger as a result. We've certainly tried, and what we could not do on our own, we have asked for help, which is not an easy thing for anyone. Maybe in the end, that has been the biggest lesson for us--to ask for help.

So, for those of you who have helped (and you may not even know how helpful you have been), thank you!