Sunday, June 12, 2011

When Is It Okay To Slap Ruban?

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A while back my niece Kathryn came for a week to help Faith out with Myrtle and me. It was a huge help and a new face was a welcomed change in conversation too. A little after that my oldest brother Dion texted me regarding his daughter Montana.
All kidding aside it was nice to know help was coming. Myrtle is the most social baby I know, she loves people and extra attention. Sometimes I'm not always having enough energy to play or help out with Myrtle when she's ready for it. So Montana here will be a welcomed addition. 

She arrived last night flying from Salt Lake City to Seattle. From there she took her first cab ride from the airport to the Clipper ferry which brought her to the island. My parents picked her up and dropped her off here. Knowing that Montana is a voracious reader (she's read the dictionary) I asked "So do you play Scrabble?" Before I knew it I was playing with a real live person (online Scrabble isn't quite the same). Caught up in the excitement of it all I realized mid-game I ought to let her dad know she arrived safely.

Montana has only played a Scrabble a few times, whereas I have played hundreds upon hundreds for about ten years. One might think I went easy on her, one would be wrong. One might think my I wouldn't gloat in my victory, one would be wrong. 
Montana: 169 & Uncle Ruban: 298
Truth is I was scared, the game started out with her winning and my guess is that she'll be winning in the end before she flies back home.
I'm blogging all the above for me to remember what sacrifices have been made on my behalf. It's not a cheap trip for Montana to make and I doubt not every 17 year old is willing to spend two weeks of their summer helping out their families version of Uncle Buck

After I blogged about the quilt my sister-in-law Colleen made me, the next day we had an hour long Skype video chat. Colleen showed me what each square on the quilt meant. She said that since we live far away from each other, dropping off meals, visiting or watching Myrtle of course wasn't possible. However, making the quilt was a way for her to contribute, to show love and support.

Dion echoed Colleen's sentiments; wanting to help but being 1,580 km's away he wasn't too sure how. He said "Well in the olden days a family would send over their daughter to help." Who knows, maybe in 17 years Dion will be sick and I'll be sending Myrtle down. Maybe I should start a quilt now incase Colleen ever gets sick.

We never know when someone will need help or what to do when that happens. I know prayer of others has helped me tremendously. I'm not sure still how/why it works, just that it has. My cousin-in-law Dana asked how I knew I was being prayed for and I didn't have a great answer. There are outward manifestations: having great health (considering I'm in the middle of cancer treatment); people crossing my path that have aided in my my healing; kind emails and phone calls; having not worked since September yet still eating and putting gas in the tank (thank you to those who donated). The inward/spiritual manifestations have been peace of mind, stillness of heart, faith and hope. Our soul needs that as much as our bodies require food and air.

My cousin Emily wrote "I will be thinking about you and Faith and Myrtle ...and praying for you as well since prayers are even better than thoughts... I will also be praying to know what I can do for you and your family. "

Sometimes the "do" is visiting, emailing, forgiving, more praying, phone calls, texting, paging, faxing, smoke signals or giving me a three pound bag of quinoa (thanks Cindy, I can't wait to Google what to do with it!).  Asking what can be done is appreciated and sometimes it's just as exhausting to answer too. 

On Thursday I had one of those days where I wondered how is life going to really work. Where is my dignity? How am I going to make ends meet? Will I really heal? Can I be the father that Myrtle needs? It doesn't matter what happened.  I suppose what "happened" was life plans didn't seem to be panning out and I was lacking faith and lost some perspective.

After all the help I've been given please slap some sense in me if I ever see another's lack and I not share. 

Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves; the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others...By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves." 
— Gordon B. Hinckley

Here I am with energy to write, but too sore to play with Myrtle and there's Montana playing with Myrtle. My brother saw that I was in need and sent his daughter to do what I can't. In fact while I was writing my Aunt Lyn emailed me "Isn't it amazing... when you need help... help arrives..." 

Yes, it is amazing!


  1. Thank you Ruban, I totally needed to hear your words. I've been thinking about the song "Because I have been Given Much" since Tuesday. I loved the quote from Pres. Hinckley. You have so many people who love you and your family!

  2. I have a great recepie for quinoa chocolate cake!
    Wonderful blog as usual. I think your positive attitude is making a positive influence on your health. Your an inspiration. We love you

  3. Ruban, I just heard the news about your cancer (I was always a bit behind). I just want you to know that I am praying for you and hope that you are able to continue to get the help you need even once life is settled back to 'normal?'. Reading your blog reminds me that life is so precious, and not not to be taken for granted. My mother was just treated with cancer as well and it runs strongly in our family-which is all the more reason for me to look at what I have, make the changes I need to and be prepared to face what comes ahead. I am glad this has been more of a faith building proces than the other way-your faith has lifted mine