Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas are Some Prayers.
Two Girls Praying by Emile Munier (1840-1895)
I know you've all been waiting for details from my cruise, or for Linzer Sables (which I did make). Or, perhaps you were expecting another crazy, madcap story about my adventures as an Accident Prawn. Maybe you've been looking for some telltale sign that the Holidays are upon us. I've tried, but I just don't have it in me right now.
You see, I did have a wonderful time on my cruise. It was relaxing and rejuvenating and wonderful. But, the series of events which transpired this past week has sapped me of my holiday enthusiasm and left me a little limp.
While still basking in the afterglow of a whole week the Caribbean, the first thing that Mr. SGCC did when we got home was turn on his cell phone. Big mistake! Waiting for him was a message that one of his clients had died. Not just any client, mind you, but a three year-old baby, who for the past two years lay in a nursing home, hopelessly brain damaged due to being violently shaken by his foster mother. This little boy had suffered so much! Some say that perhaps his passing was a blessing. I only feel overwhelming sadness at the tragic and senseless destruction of child's life.
A few days later, my in-laws called with more terrible news. Mr. SGCC's closest cousin P. had passed away. It was very sudden and completely unexpected. P. went in to get a routine flu shot, like millions of others do each year. Whatever was in the vaccine reacted negatively with another medication that P. was taking and twenty-four hours later, he was gone. Just like that. Gone. P. was only two years older than we are (and we aren't old). He was an only child and his father died last April. Now, his mother, Mr. SGCC's aunt, has lost her entire family within six months time.
My husband and his cousin grew up together. They spent every holiday, Spring Break and summer vacation together. Neither had siblings, so they were like each other's brother. P. lived in Pennsylvania and we live in Florida. Though "the boys" didn't get to visit very often in recent years, the bond was still there. As for me, I liked P. very much. He was warm and sweet and funny and genuine. He will be sorely missed.
Albrecht Durer's Praying Hands
Now, I'd like to tell you about my dear Uncle Sal. He's is a tough, old, wiry seventy-two year-old guy with the unfailing energy of a twenty-five year-old. He grew up in the same little Italian town as my father, and eventually married Dad's little sister. For over fifty years he's been a devoted husband, father and grandfather. Uncle Sal has survived cancer, open heart surgery and two serious car crashes. (Did I mention he was tough?) He's also the only Italian I've ever known with red hair and freckles!
On Saturday afternoon, Uncle Sal was up in his avocado tree picking avocados. At seventy-two, his tree climbing days should be long over, but nobody could ever tell HIM that. He lost his balance and somehow grabbed onto a live power line. Electricity jolted through his body as he plunged twenty-five feet to the ground. By some miracle he barely survived the fall, but his injuries are catastrophic. He is badly burned over much of his body and has broken his arm, leg, pelvis, sacrum, 8 ribs and several vertebra in his back. He was airlifted to a hospital in Tampa where he was in surgery all Saturday night. He is now in the burn unit in critical condition.
We have no idea at this point if, when or how he will recover from this. I do know that any recovery will surely be long and grueling. I am putting this out there because if there was ever a time my family needed some extra prayers, this is it. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer and if you are too, please put in a good word for my uncle.
So, my dear readers, as you now know, this has been a helluva week here in SGCC Land. Cooking and baking have been pretty far down the list of my priorities. I hope to be back on track tomorrow with my weekly Tuesdays with Dorie post. I'm heating the oven up now.