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Barb's Mantle

Imagine going around a curve, or up a steep hill, and your car starts sputtering, and the speed begins to lower. It doesn't matter how much you press on the gas, it is not going anywhere. You let off a little, and it feels as though it's going to start running, and perhaps it does pick up speed for a little while, that is, until you come upon that next hill. Then, it drops down to 10 MPH again! You are constantly praying, "Lord, just let me make it up the hill to a place to stop". All the while, you have traffic backing up behind you, and you are sure they are foaming at the mouth!

The last straw is for one to start blowing his horn at you, and you can't get the emergency flasher to work! But, who in their right mind would be going up a hill practically crawling at 10 MPH? Not me, that's for sure! But, this did happen to me this afternoon, and I was going up the hill at that speed, did have the man to blow his horn at me rather annoyed, as though I could do anything with my car!

My thoughts weren't too nice about the guy, that's for sure. They went from that of just being annoyed at him, until it actually made me mad, as he went flying by me, as though I had been doing this . . .

This entire week, the television has been swamped with news about the Terri Schiavo case. This is a woman who has lived for fifteen years with a feeding tube, but nothing else to keep her alive. A feeding tube gives her the same nutrients you and I get from a glass of water or the food we eat. It just happens to be liquid.

So many say this woman ?has a right to die?, but I feel she also ?has a right to life?. How easy it is to believe that anyone in her condition would just want to give up on life, because of the way ?WE? perceive her to be in her body. In fact, many say she's ?not there?. How do we know when someone isn't in their body, when their body is so alive? Who are we to give directions to live or die? Who are we to take something like this in our own hands? If her life has been sustained on the feeding tube for these many years, and has no other sicknesses or diseases in her body, why isn't it okay to let her live until the Lord gets ready to take her home?

How ironic that this situation is playing out during Holy Week, and her seventh day without food and water will be Good Friday. I wonder if the Judge realized what was taking place this week, when he set the date for her feeding tube to be removed. I sort of doubt it, since he's been so adamant  . . .

We often face things that we don't want to do, or places we don't want to go. But, our answer often tells lots about who we really are.

If someone asks you to come to church, and you say, "I?ll be there next Sunday", can you be trusted to be there, or do you often break your word? If you are asked to help at church on some project, do you agree to help, but never show up, or come late, hoping the work will be done? Have you promised to meet someone for lunch or perhaps to shop, but, at the last minute, decided you didn't want to go?

Sometimes our answers often reflect what we think a person wants to hear, never realizing that what we say may come back to haunt us. We should never quickly give an answer to the positive, unless we are willing to do what we have promised. When we back down, it makes . . .

When your children or grandchildren play sports, you become an avid sports fan, believe me! We have four grandchildren playing sports - football, basketball, and soccer. Right now, it's soccer season, and with three playing, we will be kept busy.

Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing our only granddaughter, a ninth grader, play for her school on the Varsity Girls team. This is her second year to play for the school. Up until then, she played for the City League. Well, last night sure wasn't a pleasurable game, although it was a joy to watch her play! They lost the game in sudden death - the other team scored their 10th point at the beginning of the second half without our girls making a point. In fact, they could hardly get it over the center line! But, it wasn't because they didn't play hard, or put their all in it! They chased that other team, which surely outranked our girls in experience and expertise (they were definitely Varsity!), because our team . . .

So much time is spent worrying about what the Joneses have! What do they have? A large, new home, extravagantly furnished, is built in the up-scaled district of town. Their transportation has been upgraded to a new BMW. Man, does it sparkle! They have also added a Jacuzzi, new hot tub to the back deck, a tennis court in the rear, and a beautiful garden of flowers surrounding all these. They go on extravagant vacations ? cruises to the Mediterranean, flights to the mountains for skiing and days at the beach, basking in the sun. Their children have a in-house nanny, go to private schools fit for the Queen, and wear the most expensive ?oxfords? you can find! What a family!

What do I have, in comparison? I have a delightful home in the country, without a mortgage. I have no hot tub on the deck; in fact, I have no deck! My vacations are short trips to relatives or on a short bus tour with seniors citizens. My children are grown and gone from home, but, when . . .

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