Sunday, March 22, 2009

Life, Death And All The Rest.

I have delivered a baby in an elevator, watched him take his first breath in my hands.
I've held a cold, stiff infant and told the new parents that he was gone.
I've felt the sweat drip from my face, having done CPR, worked, prayed and then despite my best efforts have pronounced husbands, wives, moms, dads, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters dead.
I have found limp, lifeless people and have heard the grieving sounds of family turn to hopeful joy when I say, "We got a pulse back".
I've seen the murdered, mangled, torn, broken and I've seen successful suicides.
I've helped the hopeless, homeless and the insane.
The raped, abused, forgotten and the very much loved.
Rich, poor, middle class, educated, clueless, lazy and hard working....all are susceptible

If life is like a box of chocolates then the reality is that after awhile it melts, goes rancid or gets eaten by ants.

I think life is more like a roller coaster with steep climbs, thrilling, fast drops, twists, turns, ups, downs, that turn you upside down, make you laugh, cry, trill, scare, scream, puke and pee your pants.
This past week, within the same 15 minute window I brought a pulseless, breathless 77 year old man back to life as just 7 hours away a 44 year old fraternity brother breathed his last in the ICU.
There's birth, death and the in between.

It's the in between that determines the later on.

The choices we make, the things we do or don't do, the thoughts, judgments.

Romans 6:23 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"

Paul wrote in the book of Timothy:
"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. - 1 Timothy 1:15"

I think Paul was actually speaking of me.

But Grace comes with these things.
None are good enough. Not the televangelists with the fancy suits, diamond rings and the fake hair.
Pontiffs, preachers, prostitutes, professors, politicians, policeman, pole dancers, paramedics....all sin..all will die.

All will stand before God.
None, not one earning their way to heaven.

"Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity," - 2 Timothy 1:9

No one is good enough.

James 2:10 " For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all."

So, no matter your demographic (I'll let you fill in the blank of separation or inclusion) is more worthy than the other.
All need Jesus to enter heaven.

"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." - John 14:6

People point and say, "but what about all of those hypocrites?"
We've all been hypocrites at one time or another.
That's why there is forgiveness.

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." - 1 John 1:9

You may agree or disagree.
It's your choice.
Free to, free not to.
Believe or don't.
But those choices are going to affect the later on.
And as I see too often in my job, we never know when that will come.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Inclán Inklings Of 08

In Lieu of a Christmas Letter Each Year we send out a Year In Review type letter to friends and family. This is the letter we sent.


Psalm 65:11 “You crown the year with a bountiful harvest;
 even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.”


What a full year 2008 was for the Inclán family.   So much so that many pages could be filled and not do justice to what had transpired. So, please indulge the brief synopses for each Inclán:


Dayan~ Is loving his job at EMSA. Was promoted again and is now sporting shiny Captain’s bars on his uniform collar. Even though work is going well he continues to be in the process for a position in the Fire Department. Next Fire academy is in July. What a long wait. Dayan is also missing an organ after having a cholecystectomy.   


Deanna~ Is also missing some organs: tonsils and turbinates.  We are both much happier after that!  Deanna has 3 schools, 5 therapy sessions for 3 kids each week that keep her busy.  In all of it, she has managed to start exercising and is on the downward weight trend.  J  


Genesis~ Is in the 4th Grade. She played her 1st season of soccer. Had many soccer parents comment that they were amazed that she played so well and were all quite certain that she had at least two years of experience.  She is still very talkative and social.  She is very quick to celebrate for fellow classmates.


Shamar~ Is flourishing in school and is showing to be a talented artist in just about every capacity of art. She writes, sings, draws, orates and can juggle chain saws. Well, nor really chain saws, but by the next letter maybe!  She remains the best cuddler around.


Corban~ Is loving Kindergarten!  He and Moriah are in separate classes and that has been the best thing ever for them!  He has lost both front teeth and another bottom one, which puts a huge strain on his speech!!  We know that eventually he will have to attend therapy too, but in the meantime, we enjoy him….”weawy”  (really).


Moriah & Asher~ Have finally found their forever family and it was made legal on Oct. 21st!!  We are so relived to have it over.  We are still working on their name change in the medical system, but we have all the important documents!  Moriah, also in Kindergarten, is doing well academically.  She is making friends and continues to get her hair shorter and shorter, on her request!  Asher is attending Early Head Start.  The program is providing some great things for him and we see him flourishing there.  We do look forward to him being at a school MUCH closer to home next year!


Grail~ Is a trooper!  He has grown into a great little boy.  Lost all his baby looks and has the emotions of a 4 year old who struggles to get his point across.  So we do have some frustrating moments in our home!  He will attend the same class next year but will go every day and in the afternoon.  He is potty training and doing very well.  We are looking at hearing aids for him and possible celiac disease.  This means he would have to be gluten free.  God is gracious and whatever comes up for any of us, He will provide for all our needs.  He provides rest and strength and chocolate when necessary!  *And He provides hot wings…can’t forget the bountiful provision of hot wings…(*added by Dayan)


Hope this finds you solidly in God’s will for your life and in His wonderful presence. 


Blessings to all!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Lord Taketh And The Lord Giveth

The Lord Giveth

It was a long time coming but the day finally happened.
Oct 21st the adoptions were finalized!
Woo, hoo!
For those of you who missed it we have been in the process of trying to adopt my great niece and nephew.
Moriah and Asher were my niece’s kids.
Long story short.
It’s been a long, hair pulling frustrating process, but we now an official family of 8.
Every one of the kids are Ecstatic.
Deanana and I are happy to get the weight off the shoulders and be a family.
Thank you Jesus.

The Lord Taketh

Yesterday I had my gallbladder out.
I’ve been having increasingly worse and increasingly more frequent epigastic pain since 2002.
It was one thing when I only had to grit my teeth and bare through 24 h ours of pain every 6-8 weeks. When it became once and twice a week… No, not going to do it.
Three years ago in Omaha they ran every test under the sun and found nothing.
Since moving to Tulsa it’s when it’s gotten worse. (maybe it’s Tulsa)
I had a doctor down here who only wanted to have me take Prilosec even though I told him that after 6 years of trial that PPI and Histamine-2 blockers and such didn’t work. He insisted that they would.
I changed doctors. And voila, after a series of tests they found a diseased gallbladder.
Six scars across my torso will be worth the elimination of the agony.So, now I have two weeks off of work (I’m going stir crazy the day after surgery so let’s see how that goes)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A Black September

Today marks a year of Sheyn's death.
I remember the joy in my heart when I was dialing his number to tell him I was going to take him to see his favorite football team play. Just the two of us having the quality brother time that he so deserved, but I had never given him.
How quickly that emotion changed.
Like driving your new sports car into a brick wall.
I have dreaded this day as it approached.
One year has not made it easier.
My heart is still heavy.
My eyes filled with tears.
I think of him often.
You never appreciate what you have until you lose it.
I miss him so much.

I saw the Eagles in concert Saturday.
Simply amazing.
Watching such Iconic musicians play right in front of me.
Glenn Fry, Don Henley, Timmothy B Shmit and Joe Walsh.
I thought of how much Sheyn loved music.
Watching Joe Walsh play the guitar I thought, "Wow, Sheyn would have really enjoyed seeing him play." I was having such a good time, but began weeping because you weren't there.
I wasn't able to call you and tell him about it.

Sheyn was more amazing than I ever really knew.
I am blown away by how many people still miss him so much.
People that just stop by my mom's house just to see Sheyn's mom.
Heck, there was even a memorial concert with several bands to raise money for his favorite charity in his memory.

Today sucks.

I miss you Sheyn.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

O Captain my Captain!

O Captain my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;

~Now, I hope that is the extent of what Whitman has for me as Captain, otherwise I'll be lying cold and dead on the deck. ;)

So, I've been at my job for 27 months and have promoted from Lieutenant to Captain in less than a year. Dang, I'm blown away and blessed.
I honestly did not expect it.
I've always tried to hope for the best, but expect the worst.
Kind of fatalistic maybe....

They know that I'm also testing for the Fire Department and have promoted me anyway.
It's flattering, but perplexing.
Maybe they are showing that they are clearing the path to promotion to Major soon and it's their way of trying to retain me. If so they have not said anything to that regard.

While EMSA has been very, good to me and I thoroughly enjoy my job , I have to move forward and see what God has planned for me.
I'll train and prepare for Fire, yet I will serve my new post faithfully and with every effort to honor the confidence my superiors have placed in me.
This is the direction I believe He has for me and will follow it until he says otherwise.
So, we'll see how it goes.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

"Grail" Expectations

The first time we saw Grail he was five months old. The birth family and adoption councilor were all oohs and aahs about how much he loved to snuggle in. Curious that they thought there was nothing wrong with the fact that a five month old could not lift his head. Most likely they blamed the Down Syndrome. Just like the glee they had in his lack of tongue control. “What do you expect, he has Down Syndrome” I made a vow to myself that I would expect more. No excuses, higher expectations. We saw right away that he was a people person. Grail loved to make eye contact. Loved to make interactive noises (His way of talking) to those in the room. Therapists told us that Grail’s awareness was a good sign. They hinted that his DS was on the “Milder” side. My resolve to have higher expectations for my son grew. I would have none of this sitting in the corner with his tongue hanging out. I envisioned my son with a job.
I just knew he’d be able to have a job busing tables or emptying the trashcans at the food court. I just knew that once he was old enough to leave home he’d be able to live in a group home with other DS adults and become pseudo-self sufficient.

As Grail grew he became much more physically active, strong and capable. He could run and climb. People in the nursery would call him, “That Fast kid”. I cultivated my expectant thoughts in the self-satisfied, if not sanctimonious recesses of my mind. Each milestone we celebrated as a little victory and every time pride welled within me as we saw how Grail grew into a strong, energy filled, and athletic little boy. Friends and family marveled at how obedient my son was. They remarked how amazing it was that a child of his age with DS could know what, “Get self control” meant. “Of course”, I would think smugly, “I have high expectations for my boy”.

Pride can be good, but pride when focused incorrectly, can be an ugly thing.

Welcome to Kansas City and the 2007 National Down Syndrome Congress Convention. Welcome to the slap in the face of my reality. Married DS couples? DS karate instructors? Oh my, DS associate degree holders who swim the English Channel!? My world was turned upside down. Cleaning tables? Taking out Trash? My “High expectations” that I held for my son seem pretty low if you ask me.

What I now realize is that it’s OK for me to have High expectations for Grail. My son may not earn an associates degree or run a marathon, but I need to cultivate and encourage his interests. While doing so I must support every goal that Grail sets and relish in every victory that Grail celebrates. Most importantly throughout whatever path Grail sets to follow I need to just enjoy my son.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

An Empty Box For Christmas

The tree is gilded

With tinsel and bells

But something is missing

My soul is not well

The presents are wrapped

With paper and flair

The empty seat a reminder

Of he who is not there

The cold of December

A deep winter chill

Tightens my heart

Still grieving and ill