Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Mike's crash, Rachel's first date and her Confirmation

A good friend of mine, Mike Koch, is in the hospital. Mike was riding his bike Monday afternoon when an older guy in a car crossed the center-line and hit Mike head-on. Mike suffered a compound fracture in one of his lower legs with six breaks, a severely separated shoulder, and broken shoulder blade, several broken ribs and a punctured lung. He's expected to remain in the hospital for the next week before he's transferred either back home or possibly to a transitional care unit. Mike has been a roadie for the 25 years I've known him and I think this is his second crash. I hope he'll one day find the desire to ride again but I'm sure it's going to take some time.

When I first heard about Mike's crash I thought that maybe an inattentive driver using a cellphone was to blame. That's my biggest fear out on the road these days. Last month I had a car pass me on the white line with me just to the right of it. For the split second that the car was next to me, I could see the driver's hand holding a cellphone. My guess is they were either dialing a number or texting. Either way, my presence out on the road was less important than their need to communicate.

Mike's crash is unnerving news to me but I don't for a minute want to reconsider this thing I love to do.

Rachel had her first date last Friday night. A part of me was excited for her but there's the other part of me who doesn't want to admit that this little girl of ours is growing up and will be gone from the nest in a few short years. She met Grant at a ski outing with the youth group from Prince of Peace church a few months ago. It was a double date with two other kids from the group to go see Spiderman 3. The movie wasn't so good but they had a nice time. They're planning another double date this weekend to go bowling.

Rachel was telling us about a question posed to them in Social Studies class this week. They were talking about the practice of prearranged marriages in some parts of the world. Mr. Gassman wanted to know who they would trust to pick a partner for them. Rachel said that almost everyone said they'd trust their friends to choose for them. She said that she would have us decide for her and that she was very much in the minority for thinking that way. I think more than anything that speaks to the openness and trust we have between us. Of course, Tammy and I gave each other an approving smile and thought awe shucks.

I'm still not all that enthused about the idea of her dating but at the same time, I'm happy for her.

We went with Rachel to Prince of Peace this past Sunday. It was a nice service and I could see us going back occasionally. Rachel has been involved with their youth group for the past few years and seems to have found a home there. They've asked her if she would like to be confirmed with them in a couple weeks.

Confirmation has always been an important step in the Lutheran church but Tammy and I haven't placed much emphasis on it. Back when confirmation classes began for her at Hosanna there was a conflict with her dance lessons on the same night. She was going to make confirmation a priority and cancel her dance lessons but one of her dance instructors told her of a church in the area which offered classes on a night which would work for her. We enrolled her at Shepherd of the Valley where she attended several weeks before leaving and not returning. Read here to understand what happened.

When she tried to return to Hosanna she was told that there wasn't room in the class for her. So we left it at that.

Rachel has a beautiful faith and in my opinion,​ is miles ahead of other kids her age in that regard. Tammy and I decided that the lack of a Lutheran Confirmation wasn't going to matter and so we let the issue fade. She had been meeting with the kids from Prince of Peace whenever her schedule would allow and now that same group of kids is about to be confirmed. The youth director knew of Rachel's situation about the lack of classes but wanted Rachel to be confirmed with the class anyway. That was very nice of her to offer. Tammy and Rachel went out a couple weeks ago and bought her a dress to wear to her Confirmation.

I'm glad it's worked out this way. She has such a strong bond with the kids from Prince of Peace and it only seems right that she would be confirmed with them.

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