Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

7-quick takes

Join Jen and the other Quicktakers over at the Conversion Diary.

1.  I can remember years and years ago, feeling very safe with the knowledge that there was no cancer in my family - especially in first degree relatives.  Safe and kind of secure.  I knew that diabetes and heart disease were still possibilities, but at least I thought I could be pro-active and try to avoid those.

However, at the doctor's office this week it occurred to me that with my family medical history changing (mom died of ovarian cancer) I'm more in the cancer cross hairs than I've cared to admit!  And that feeling of safety and security is no longer as strong as it used to be.

2.  I had a similar feeling with the exotic Ebola virus!

  It used to be an obscure infection somewhere in the jungles of Africa.  Then thanks to the brilliance of our current government - it moved to Texas - which is awful but still a long way away.  But this week, we found out that the second nurse infected with the Ebola virus was in the town next to mine over the weekend.  That put a large lump in my throat but there was still a wall of safety I thought - until I found out that the school just down the road was closed and people were being quarantined because someone there knew the infected nurse and spent time with her over the weekend.

My safety walls are completely knocked down!

3.  So without overly freaking out my kids, we've decided not to be sharing the communion cup at church for a while. When I was a kid when only received communion under one species anyway, so for me it's more a retro move - but it was sure hard to explain this to Rosie without having her freak out!

4.  Speaking of a doctor's visit - I've had this patch of hyperpigmentation on my back for about 10 years now.  Mr. Pete noticed it and has been keeping an eye on it. It waxes and wanes so I never did much about it.  Then one day in August I wore a workout top to take my walk in and my son Noah noticed it.

"What's that thing on your back mom?"

"Oh nothing, it's been there for a long time," I replied.  "Does it look bad"?

"Well it doesn't look good!"  and in typical teenage boy fashion, he grabbed his sandwich and just left me sitting there stunned.

I did a lot of googling and I thought it was this, but I still wanted my doctor's opinion.  The problem is, if I went in for this problem, it would cost me a lot of money for an office visit.  But-if I went in for a check up and then just threw the back in as an, "Oh by the way, can you take a look at this?" it should be covered as preventive care!  So I decided to play the system and do it that way.  The downside is I made the appointment in August and couldn't get in for a regular check up until this week.

5.  In a way I was excited about seeing my doctor.  I haven't seen her since I lost all of this weight and I was looking forward to the praise and encouragement!

It was not forthcoming.

She came in a bit flustered and upset about something administrative, and it took a while for her computer to do what she wanted it to do.  Then she started zipping off a review of systems so fast that I barely had time to think about each thing as she said them!

Basically though, my back is fine.  If I want to do anything about it I'll have to see a dermatologist, she'll be happy to work up my tinnitus if I want to get an MRI (I don't), and she said I should exercise and watch my weight (grrrrr...).  Oh - and she never heard of Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book and she still thinks I should get a mammogram.  I left with an order for lab work and a feeling of bewilderment over what just happened at that appointment!

6.  Mr. Pete and I have a young nephew who is in that awkward "What am I going to do with my life?" phase that many of us went through in our early 20s.  Said nephew started to give us a litany of all the sorrows in his life and Mr. Pete and I started countering that with our own.

Here's the lesson to learn from this - you shouldn't compare suffering and loss and you certainly can't compare the losses you have had at 20 something to the losses of a people in their 50s, 60s, 70s etc.

Which reminded me of my beloved Aunt Dot who lost her last sibling a few months ago and this month buried her oldest child.  At 93 she's lost her grandparents, parents, siblings, friends, husband and two children!  That's a lot of heartache.

But she still gets up every morning, she still thinks life is worth living, and she still loves the Lord!  She's my inspiration.

7.  Noah Runs in his first district meet EVER tomorrow.  The team has a small chance to make it in to regionals and they'll be working had towards that.  But if they don't make it - this is the last week for running.  So exciting, nerve wracking and bittersweet all at the same time!