Christmas 2000

A Millennium Christmas

This year the problem has been learning how to cope without the continual trauma drama. We are gradually becoming used to the calmness and abundance which now pervades our lives. The Wedding at Canaan reminds us the servanthood of Christ can remain ever present even while the good times are enjoyed to the fullest.

Life is good. Every day at 4 I have a date with my Nordic Trac and Oprah. Chai keeps my energy up. PremPro keeps my hot flashes down. My rationale for my inexorable weight gain is to look from Cruella Deville and the Wicked Witch of the West to Aunt Jemima and the Pillsbury Dough Boy – which look less pinched? Which exude largesse and generosity – it ain’t the skinny ones! I think my audiences would be less apt to be able to identify with me if I were thin so for everyone’s sake I keep those pounds coming! Another life change – On the spur of the moment an old and dear friend and I got matching gold toe rings at the state fair. Life is cosmically different when you look out at it over toe rings your husband bought you. Try it. The freedom to say “Yes” to life’s opportunities keeps me laughing.

I continue to find my wide variety of work extremely satisfying. My small booklet on Therapeutic Parenting continues to sell well. There must be a readership that enjoys vicarious pain. The lecture circuit and private practice continue to thrive – with the immense amount of travel required the only drawback, though Paul has been able to join me on occasion. He joined me in Baltimore where we saw the July 4th fireworks over the harbor, in New York where we climbed to the crown of the Statue of Liberty, and in Washington DC where he went to the Smithsonian while I worked. I was also able to participate in the Million Mom March between engagements. MAPS Colorado, my therapeutic foster care and adoption agency, is small, but gaining in reputation for serving children with special needs. I am grateful people continue to contact me as every phone call potentially represents a child going home to a family. Since Paul has made it clear they are not coming here I need those calls and emails to keep coming. As part of the adoption work I have been blessed to be able to travel to orphanages around the world with Dawn Degenhardt, a hero of mine and executive director of MAPS. This year we went to the Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam. I am now working with Heifer Project International to sponsor a cooperative project in an orphanage which we sponsor. No more details yet, however, we are hoping to begin an animal husbandry project which would provide food subsistence. (Be forewarned! I need to raise approximately $60,000 over the next two years – that translates into monthly pledges totaling $2500!)

Surviving another merger and downsizing, Paul has traded directing gas and electric utility operations in the mountains of Colorado for doing much the same in the plains of the Texas Panhandle and southern Colorado. After 16 years in the Silverthorne office, he is really enjoying the change. His office is in Denver in a new addition to the building where his father started with the company years ago. He makes regular trips to Amarillo, Texas and surrounding areas (usually on a corporate jet) and to Pueblo and Alamosa, Colorado (usually in a Chevy Cavalier). Alamosa is where his dad retired and his mom still lives. Paul enjoys this connection with the locations that were bookends to his dad’s career with the company. We bought a small condo in Denver where Paul stays week nights when not traveling and where we both enjoy spending time when in Denver to do “big city” things and/or visit family that live down there. Paul is becoming quite the TV dinner connoisseur! Proving you can say “Yes” to just about anything.

The kids are saying “Yes” to life in a variety of ways. Rebecca is doing her rocket science work in DC. Matthew is finishing up his commercial pilot’s license and has won awards at student pilot competitions. Jonathan loves his flight attendant’s job, which is remarkable as he can’t stand heights so never looks out the window of the plane! Ruben is cooking up a storm and is second in command at a local eatery near here. Rachel, just 22, and Kellie are in doctoral programs in sociology in North Carolina and finding the work very rigorous! Robert is in a pre release program in the prison system and is expected to be out and about January 22. James is getting straight A’s in an associate’s degree program behind his walls. Jesse is a bar tender in Denver, works on his music and sees his children when he can. Dominique is now 2 and Damien is 1. Amber is attending massage therapy school. We have scheduled some practice massages on me. Can’t wait. Brandon and his girlfriend of 2 years just had a baby – Katerina. He is a shift manager at Arby’s. Haven’t heard from Aeriana and her son Kevin in several years but trust they are well. Alex calls me often and it is good to hear his voice. The kids are all either where they want to be or need to be and our love for them remains unchanged by either their distance or decisions.

For those of you who have suffered hardship and sorrow this year, may you find a way for peace to enter your lives. Say “Yes” often to the opportunities life brings you – the unwed Mary said “Yes” to being the mother of Jesus, a “Yes” which has reverberated through time and space to benefit all the ages.

Peace and Joy to you and yours,

Deborah and Paul