We’ve come to accept that, as Rudy’s stay in the hospital keeps extending itself, the demands of life and needs of our other kids are such that we can’t be with him around the clock. Even with that, it does feel surreal for both Trish and I to travel out of the area. We’ve had two places to check in on by phone over the last couple of days and are glad that kids in both places seem to miss us, but are doing well thanks to friends and professionals serving our family so generously (thanks Pammy and Robin for sitting with Rudy; thanks Sherry, Lisa and Emily for being so sweet to the Goleta three).
It would have to be a very rare person and relationship that pulled Trish and I away from Southern California right now. Uncle Rixie was that kind of person and we participated in a wonderful celebration of his life on the Stanford Campus. It was a beautiful afternoon and Memorial Church was lit up with the afternoon sunlight coming through the stained glass windows. It made me think of the times Rixie would walk with me through the church and, ever the historian, would tell of how Jane Stanford used to probe the carvings during construction with the tip of her umbrella to make sure the workmen were making them deep enough. Most touching was rediscovering his favorite quote carved into the West Transept which from then on became my own:
There are but few on earth free from cares, none but carry burdens of sorrow, and if all were asked to make a package of their troubles, and throw this package on a common pile, and then were asked to go and choose a package which they were willing to bear, all would select their own package again.
Your heartaches may be great, burdens heavy, but look about you, and with whom would you change?
Kind of fits with most seasons of life, but particularly this one. I don’t want anyone else’s problems. I’ll stick with my own.
We could have had a service that lasted for hours, but representative speakers did a great job capturing Rixie and the tremendous impact he had on so many lives and the University in his trademark way. One of the highlights (and Rixie would have LOVED it) was hearing Trish sing like an angel from the choir loft accompanied by the huge 1901 organ. Two amazing sets of pipes!! When I have more time, I will try to figure out if I can post recordings of her singing–it’s soooo cool!
Back at UCLA, Rudy is holding steady. Most comforting to us is the fact that he is resting and calm instead of being fussy. The team is keeping him sprinting and he’s making it through three 3-hour sprints a day without problem. The chest Xray looks very clear, so we’ll wait and see if they want to pull the tube again and give him another shot or if they want to get more clarity on why there were such secretions in the lungs last time. So glad we’re in the era of cellphones so they can keep up apprised as we drive back.