Christmas 2005

Rebecca, Pedro, Alexandra and of course, Eduardo in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower
Rebecca, Pedro, Alexandra and of course, Eduardo in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower

2005 produced a boomlet of Hagelets!  Rachel and Kellie gave birth to Derek September 27 and Alexandra, born to Rebecca and Pedro, followed 5 days later, October 2.

Kellie received her doctorate this year from Duke and is now an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Nebraska . Rachel and Kellie bought a wonderful home in Lincoln and settled in to wait for Derek’s birth. He arrived at 2:41 pm , weighing 7 lbs, 14 oz and 21″ long. In short he was huge for a woman who weighs 100 lbs and stands 4’10”, necessitating an emergency c-section. Kellie stood by in agony as Rachel was rushed out of the delivery room and then again as Derek, blue and low apgar after a very prolonged labor, was placed in the neonatal care unit. We are grateful that a week later Rachel and Derek were both discharged with flying colors and he now is strong and husky, alert and bright eyed. Rachel’s job now, in addition to being Derek’s full time mom, is to complete her dissertation in time to defend it this spring while teaching part time at the University. With a new baby, this is going to be difficult but if anyone can do it Rachel can.

Meanwhile, in Paris, where Pedro has accepted a 2 year diplomatic post at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, when Rebecca went into labor, they leisurely walked to the metro train, traveled to the American Hospital, and at 2:25 pm delivered Alexandra Michelle Espina,, 49 cm (or 7 lbs 3 ozs, 19 ½”). Rebecca is now getting back into shape by running laps around the base of the Eiffel Tower, 2 blocks away from their very Parisian apartment……tiny rooms, a kitchen the size of a closet, but very high rococo ceilings and large airy windows. I had to visit there twice this year. Once to see Rebecca settled in and once when Alexandra was a few weeks old. What a tough life I have! 12/19/05: This just arrived, Alexandra is 10 weeks old.

Rebecca with Alexandra - 10 weeks old
Ruben reading to Cassie ... her favorite pastime
Cassie ... all dressed up for Thanksgiving

Ruben, a cook in a local restaurant, is going to be given a promotion of sorts. In January he is going to be transferred to another restaurant owned by the same man and given more autonomy. Sadly, mother Alexis, left their 17 month old daughter Cassie and him in August to make a different life for herself. With 4 doting grandparents nearby and an incredible devoted dad Cassie is not suffering, but……the way is hard. We fill her days with her very favorite toys – books!

After years of applying, even while working with another airline, Jonathan is now wearing the uniform he has always wanted……a Continental uniform. He loves the bigger planes, the more varied schedule. He doesn’t like living in Newark , too far from home, too cold, too wet, and is hoping for a transfer to Houston soon. From Houston he will be able to commute to Denver more often.

Johnathan, Wings Class Valedictorian
Matt's Unique Takeoff

Matthew continues to fly for Air Now, a cargo delivery service. In the down time he is working on a degree in Sociology. Mom is a social worker and sis is a sociologist. How strange is that? The picture is of a recent take-off when he flew into a flock of sea gulls that rose up from the runway as he was taking off. One cracked the windshield, one went through the engine emerging as feathers and one bounced off the wing, denting it. No major damage so he continued his route.

Mom & Dad,Airplane with Matthew at the controls, taking off through a flock of birds

So I thought I should send you a picture that was taken while I was at work on Wednesday. An engineer that is working at the airport in Potdam, New York snapped this shot at just the right second during my
take-off. As you will see it is a moment in time that I will never forget and it is truly amazing that
there is a photo of it. Needless to say I am ok but the aircraft needed some work when I landed. The birds however faired even worse. Well that’s about it.
School and work are going great and I will keep you posted on any news from my end. Talk with you soon. Love,Matt

Amber has a great job in a Camping World. Loves working with a warehouse full of men! Jesse is looking for work to tide him over between his rap “gigs”. Jamie has been released from prison and is studying art. He got financial help from the Art Institute for Animation based on the portfolio he created while in prison so is well on his way to a dream he has had beginning in high school. Brandon, Shannon , and their two children live about 100 miles away. They are doing very well, particularly since Brandon has a new, fairly high paying job, with an oil rig company and logs lots of overtime. They might even take the big step this spring and mark a new stage in their relationship by getting married! Robert remains at San Carlos Mental Health facility under the care of the Department of Corrections.

Amber engaging in her favorite activity ... Needlepoint
Brandon, Andrew & Kat at our 2005 Family Reunion

Paul, no longer retired in any remote usage of the word, is working full time as a paint manager for BigHorn Lumber near our home. He loves the people, the low key work…..after all mixing a paint the wrong color does not generate nearly the phone calls and anger that electrical outages used to. He fills every open minute with participation on governing boards at church and in the condo associations where we have rental property. I continue to lecture and my private practice continues to diminish as I find spending time with my children, grandchildren, mother, brothers and sisters far more rewarding. There’s no money in it but a huge amount of joy!

The work in Haiti continues but very slowly and painfully. Paul and I went to Peru for a week to build more classrooms with a group of friends we had assembled. We then took a one week tour off the beaten track and found ourselves in some very remote locations. Huge fun! Such a contrast to working and traveling in Haiti .

Paul making cement
Deb laying bricks
Our work crew in Manchay

During the dark times of years past when some of the children were estranged and others were in prison, when some were mindless with drugs and others were struggling with depression I have pondered the incomprehensibility of their sad choices. Weeping I would confide in my mother and she would always say, “Honey, this too will pass. The last chapter hasn’t been written.” Well, most of what we have had to endure has passed. Jamie is out of prison. Jesse is back in touch and getting himself off drugs. We have survived….more then survived. We have thrived. My mother was right, it has all passed and the last chapter has not been written on anything. The trauma we are now experiencing in our country will pass. The last chapter has not been written about Iraq , and torture and secret prisons, on Katrina, on capital punishment……

That is God for you. He sent a savior and that led to a sorry end. But the last chapter was not written on the cross. Over the centuries, despite crushing defeats humanity has had some extraordinary successes and the work done in the name of the Christ has changed the world for the better. The last chapter has not yet been written. When it is it will be filled with life and safety, hope and laughter. The ultimate will of God, which is love, will prevail. Cassie, Derek, Alexandra, Dominique, Katerina, Damien, and Andrew are signs of that.

This is most certainly true!