Showing posts from February, 2012

Tonight a Lighter Heart

By Belinda I can breathe again and tonight I sorted out the food in my fridge and baked apple crisp and salmon and roasted vegetables and made chocolate banana bread. I made a good start on the things that have been on hold because I was too distracted to focus on them. Rob was of course expecting my call when I got home from work, and had cautiously encouraging news. I tossed aside the "cautiously" and focused only on "encouraging." Mum drank a cup full of liquid from a plastic coffee cup with a bendy straw today while Rob visited. She is still hooked up to an IV, and the bag was full today. Yesterday it was empty when Rob arrived. The nurses were busy when he went out and mentioned it and said they would take care of it in a bit. But they didn't. It was still empty when he left for home. We were brought up to be polite and not pushy but I felt like hopping on a plane right away--"tiger woman." I had to try not to make Rob feel bad for leaving w

Tuesday Update

By Belinda Just a quick update tonight. Mum moved onto a different ward and is still in isolation. Rob had to wear a plastic apron when in the room and a nurse chided him when he tried to leave the room with it on to get a smaller chair so that he could actually sit beside the bed. He quite sensibly wondered why it would make a difference as he would eventually be leaving with his coat which had been in the room. Never mind. We both agreed that we appreciated all efforts to keep patients safe from infection in hospitals. Mum's speech was a little bit better. When Rob arrived she said twice, "I didn't think that you were going to come," and she said, "I'm wondering when I can come home." Rob said though that she's looking very old and very frail and told me, "I don't want to build your hopes up Belinda." Friends will be driving down from both Newcastle, and Kendal in the Lake District, this weekend, so she will be surrounded with

From Liz

By Belinda I had an email from Liz, my paramedic friend in England this morning. This is what she had to say (below.) God's angel of mercy at just the right moment. How wonderful that when I cannot be there, God has his agents to take our place. Hello Belinda, Hope you are all well. I was at Redditch hospital today, and when my colleague and i went  onto M.A.U ward, i recognised a familiar face........your lovely Mum  Peiter. I was surprised to see her through the window of a side room. I  asked the nurse if it was at all possible to go and say hello before we  went. Your Mum said yes  when i asked her if she remembered me, and  Robert said he did, it would have been from the photo's. It was lovely  to see your mum again, but obviously not in hospital.......hoping she  makes a speedy recovery. I do hope the nurse took the sponges in to your mum, i asked her for.  They will help to moisten her mouth and freshen it for her. I know  Robert came out and asked for them before w

Today's Blessings

By Belinda I'm sorry for not writing about anything but Mum right now. There are many things I would love to write about and ideas that percolate on the edges of my brain, but I find I'm too distracted to settle on them. I'm not worrying about Mum, I know she's safe and being well cared for (I'm so very grateful for that,) but at the same time, I have this low level anxiety that shows itself in an inability to focus on doing much. Usually I put anxiety to good use by cleaning. Maybe tomorrow! :) These are the blessings of today:  Rob spent a couple of hours with Mum. She still can't speak but a speech therapist has been working with her. Those of you who read here regularly, can you imagine how even much more precious those prayers she said for me when I was with her in January are now? Before she had her first stroke in 2003, the last thing she did was post a letter to me in which she had recorded my birth story, then having put it in the post box, she c

A Little More on Mum

By Belinda Rob's words last night when we talked were, "There's a lot of concern in 'The Close'," (about Mum.) The parking issues and recent local tragedy are eclipsed by care for one of their own. I dropped my bags in the hallway on my way to the phone after morning church today. Rob was expecting my call and had encouraging news. Mum is comfortable and peaceful. She isn't stressed or anxious about being in the hospital (which normally she hates.) She still hasn't got her speech back; Rob wonders if she had a small stroke. Lots of tests are being done though and her care could not be better. My dear brother who is very fastidious and fussy in a good way, said that she smells clean and her bed is set to the perfect position. Apparently the hospitals in the U.K. have had a lot of bad press lately and standards of care are being raised since being under the microscope. Her expression was serene and the smile that is always on her face was there

Praying Friends

By Belinda After talking to Rob this morning, and posting my news blurt, my body was here but my heart and mind were with Mum. I visualized the paramedics or nurses trying to find a vein in Mum's frail, dehydrated body for the IV and would have gladly offered up my body as a pin cushion if only I could. The phone rang. It was Susan. She had read the blog post about Mum and rang to give support and to catch up after being away on a trip to Ottawa for most of the week. She knew I was leaving at 12.30 for two grandson's hockey games, but before saying goodbye, she prayed over the phone for Mum. She had the joy of knowing her and loves her, as everyone does who has ever met her. It was a great comfort to have her prayers to carry me through the afternoon. As I walked in the door at about 5.30, Paul said that Rob had called and Mum was settled in the hospital and being well cared for. I called Rob back. Indeed it had been hard hooking her up to an IV and the first doctor tha

She is on My Mind

By Belinda I'm writing this at the time I would normally be talking to Rob and Mum on a Saturday morning, but this morning, Rob called earlier than usual. As he always does at times like this, he started by saying, "I don't want to worry you Belinda, but I wanted you to know..." I spoke to them both on Monday, but since then Mum has had gastr-enteritis, become dehydrated and is taking in only about half an inch in a glass of fluid a day. Three days of that and she is very weak and not really lucid. Rob said she has grabbed for his hand several times and kissed it, and has "that faraway look in her eyes." There is a nurse on Mum's fleet of Helping Hands ladies, named Julie. Julie said that she would call the paramedics normally at a time like this, so after a day of agonizing over that decision because Mum normally fiercely fights leaving home, Rob was about to call. She's on my mind and I'm praying that she will feel Jesus close by. - "Ignite The Road to Justice"--Full Circle--Former Miss Canada Tara Teng 1/2

Hi Friends, Susan sent me a link to an interview on 100 Huntley Street that I just had to share. Tara Teng breaks the stereotype of "Miss Canada" that some of us may have, and is using her public platform to raise awareness of issues such as those she speaks on here, and to be an excellent role model for young women. - "Ignite The Road to Justice"--Full Circle--Former Miss Canada Tara Teng 1/2

Whatever it Takes - A Dangerous Prayer

By Susan (first posted in Dec. 2007) Heading south on the Tottenham Road early this week, I was talking to the Lord, as I often do when driving, when I felt an unusually strong sense of his presence. I experienced a surge of inexplicable joy, and I remember looking quickly down at the soft grey material covering the passenger seat and thinking that it wasn’t hard to imagine him sitting right there. It was that real. “Lord, make me more like you,” I said. “Conform me to your image. I don’t want there to be anything between us. Not a single thing.” I paused at that point because I understood the seriousness of what I was about to say. After taking a brief moment to consider what it could mean, and knowing what it could be potentially be, I added, “whatever the cost”. I knew I was praying for him to go deep into the hidden places of my heart - to bring things to the surface – out of the dark hidden places and up to where the Light is – the only place our sin can be dealt wit


By Belinda    From BBC Mobile News;  Hereford and Worcester PM tribute to Alvechurch ski trip coach crash victims   "The prime minister has paid tribute to the victims of a coach crash, in which a Worcestershire teacher was killed. Peter Rippington, 59, a teacher at Alvechurch School, died and more than 20 people were hurt in Sunday's crash in northern France. Pupils and parents were among those returning from a skiing trip when their coach went down a motorway embankment. David Cameron said Mr Rippington was "much respected in the local community". He added that consulate staff were working to support those still in France. The prime minister was responding to a question in the House of Commons from Conservative MP for Bromsgrove Sajid Javid. Mr Cameron said: "The thoughts and sincere condolences I'm sure of everyone in the House will be with my honourable friend's constituent   and everyone who's been affected." And good news from

From the Scottish Sunday Express

A BRITISH coach driver appeared in court in France last night and admitted he may have fallen asleep at the wheel of his vehicle before the crash which killed a teacher and left a schoolgirl in a coma. Derek Thompson, 47, was charged with manslaughter after the horrific motorway crash in northern France as he drove a party of school­children home from a skiing holiday. It came after Mr Thompson appeared before an examining judge in the Palais de Justice in the ­eastern town of Chalons-en-­Champagne. Last night Mr Thompson – who is believed to live with his girlfriend near Tamworth, Staffs – was released on bail pending further inquiries. Christian de Rocquigny, the Chalons prosecutor, confirmed Mr Thompson had been formally charged with “manslaughter and involuntary causing injuries”. The hearing was held behind-closed-doors but Mr de Rocquigny said outside court: “While being questioned the driver, having denied falling asleep, has acknowledged that it was possible that
By Belinda  Yesterday afternoon our phone rang several times and each time there was no sound at the other end when we answered, not even a dial tone. In the end we thought we had a phone problem. Today, because I was home for Family Day, I called England to share some news with Rob and Mum and found out that it had been Rob trying to get through to us with the news of the tragic accident. Peter Rippington, the teacher who died in the crash, was only 59, and had been a school mate of Rob's when they were both students at Alvechurch Church of England School. His older sister Elizabeth was in my class. Rob said that Peter was going to retire this year and was already saying he was not going to be taking the children on any more trips.. Peter's 25 year old daughter Amy, was also on the bus that crashed. I have a photograph of her with my nephew John, who was in a school Christmas concert with her when they were about 5. She was Mary and he was Joseph. In Alvechurch eve

Tragedy Strikes Alvechurch School

BBC NEWS HEREFORD & WORCs. Alvechurch School coach crash: Driver due in French court The accident occurred on the A26 motorway near Chalons-en-Champagne Continue reading the main story Related Stories Ten in hospital after fatal crash Tributes to an 'amazing' teacher Teacher dies in school trip crash The driver of a coach carrying a Worcestershire school party that crashed in northern France, killing a teacher, is due before a French court. Derek Thompson, 47, was behind the wheel of the vehicle when it went down an embankment on the A26 motorway. He is being held by police in Chalons-en-Champagne. Peter Rippington, 59, who taught at Alvechurch School, died and more than 20 people were hurt in Sunday's crash. Eleven remain in hospital. According to French prosecutor Christian de Rocquigny, six of those are thought to be seriously injured, including a 13-year-old girl who underwent surgery in Paris. 'Formal investigation' Po

A Family Weekend in Canada

By Belinda In Canada, the third Monday in February is Family Day. How great is that? Family is worthy of celebration, whether defined as flesh and blood, or family of the heart. It's all the about precious relationships in our lives and being reminded how important they are. Brenda and Kevin went away  overnight  on Friday,  to a gorgeous bed and breakfast in  Niagara on the Lake, complete with dinner and a wine tasting tour--a wedding gift from Kevin's parents. Paul and I were "home alone" with Tippy, Tori & Molson. The girls were off school on Friday and Paul was working from his home office. Tori, ("Miss Sociability,") had plans to play at the park in town for the day with a group of her friends and Tippy ("Miss Reflective Introvert") just wanted time alone to draw and to recover from several busy weekends with no time to herself. I went to work on Friday morning but gave almost 13 years old Tori my cell phone number and told her to

Forgotten Gifts

By Belinda On Sunday evening, stumbling around in my very cluttered little sitting room, I knocked over a CD tower. It was late, and I was tempted to leave the pile of CD's where they had fallen, along with the dislocated pieces of the tower, but I knew that the next day would have enough mess of its own, so I put the  tower back together and began gathering up the old CD's that it had housed. That was when I found magic. Back in 1978, Oma Schipper, Mum's mother, was living with her in England. A few years before that, Mum had bought a tape recorder. It was ten years after Paul and I had left for Canada and Mum had already made good use of this new technology that came into common usage in the early 1970's.  She used her cassette tape recorder to record Dad's snoring at night. She could then prove just how loud it was! She recorded bell ringing practice at St. Laurence church,  on a Tuesday night in Alvechurch. And she also recorded herself telling The


 Note by Belinda: Jane, our cell group study leader, sent this forwarded email, with the subject title, "Holy Conversation," which is the topic we are studying. I had to share!     This   is one of the best explanations on the nature of God that I have ever seen...   A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As  the barber began to work, they began to have a good  conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the  barber said: 'I don't believe that God exists.'     'Why do you say that?' asked the customer. 'Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist.  Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children?     If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain.  I can't imagine a loving God who wou