Saturday, May 20, 2017

L’Arche Across America — Day 11 — Seattle

Someone is watching over us on this trip, either the Big Fellow Himself or a flotilla of guardian angels. Or both.

Just when we needed a rest, we got it. Just when we needed community, we have been enfolded by it.

We are staying three nights (Thursday thru Saturday) in two homes (Angeline and Shuinota) of L’Arche Seattle, when all along it was our intention to stay only one. And in our neediness, the community has been so hospitable to us, so kind, so good.

In the photo above, I am with Robin and Andrew at the breakfast table in Angeline House. Their kindness and that of so many others in community, beginning with Isaac, who has orchestrated our entire visit with Todd, is deeply appreciated.

The thing is, we were wearing out.

The breaking point came Thursday evening when, after a worrisome bout of coughing, Todd and I took John to the hospital ER. At 1:30 am on Friday, he was admitted. By the time Todd and I visited John again Friday morning, he was a new man. Rested, hydrated, fully tested (the man’s numbers were great), John even had a voice!

For as long as I’ve known him (seven months), John has spoken in a sort of wry whisper—great sense of humor, superb comic timing, but not much vibration in his words. Yesterday morning when we visited him at Virginia Mason Medical Center, he was forming resonant, fully voiced words. We were amazed.

John’s hospital stay (he is being discharged Saturday morning) has been a mercy to us all, since it has allowed us to experience more fully an exceptional community at L’Arche Seattle.

And, though they may not admit it, everyone in our travel party has had a needed break from each other. Todd and I have been accompanying John closely on this trip. For the last two nights at Angeline, with John cared for in hospital, Todd and I have had a grateful rest, sleeping on different floors, in our own rooms. That may not seem like much until you know that Todd is a night person (bedtime 2am), I’m a morning person (up usually by 5am). We’ve developed a pretty good daily rhythm that allows both of us to sleep adequately, but even so.

Meanwhile, over at Shuinota, Woody and Doris would be staying with Jane, except that Jane has returned to Boston during this stretch to take care of some personal business, and Shonda has come west to replace her in the rotation. Shonda has been great, taking everything the lovebirds can throw at her with aplomb. Yesterday (photo), she walked with Woody to the graves of Bruce Lee and his son Brandon, not far from Shuinota.

So God bless L’Arche Seattle, and all of our many newfound friends here. Thanks to you and to Him, I am not sleepless here.

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