New Wine in Old Blood Vessels

01/16/2018

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the wineskins, and the wine will pour out, and the wineskins will be lost. Instead, new wine must be put into new wineskins.” – Mark 2:22

Except when you get a VAD. Then you get new wine into old, brittle wineskins. Not sure if anybody thought about that…

Dad, Mom, and everybody Easter Sunday 2016 (03-27-16) _MG_8398

Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016 – Dad with his LVAD batteries holstered

I can’t hear (read) this Gospel any more without thinking of Dad, my dad, Norb Kwiecinski. He got a new lease on life in February 2014. An LVAD, a Left Ventricular Assist Device because his left ventricle was failing. It couldn’t sufficiently empty blood from his heart any longer. And he was dying.

450_300_mayolvad rendering of LVAD courtesy Mayo Clinic

Rendering of a Ventricular Assist Device, courtesy of Mayo Clinic

Lack of blood supply means lack of oxygen. Lack of oxygen means dying a slow death.

The LVAD gave him new life. It pumped blood through his body for him. But that lack of blood flow for so many years meant veins that had turned into old wineskins. And Dad’s new wine, in the form of a vibrant, fresh blood supply, was too much for the old wineskins to handle.

After being discharged from his four-month journey through intensive care, five staredowns with death, and an incredibly intense physical rehabilitation, Dad became a frequent visitor at the hospital.

Why? He constantly needed more blood. Where was it going?

Despite numerous tests, there was little evidence of a single source of a leak. It wasn’t showing up. So why did he need blood? Where was it going? Was his body like an old automobile engine, burning oil?

My humble, yet considered theory is that his arteries and veins — and especially the fine, delicate capillaries that deliver blood to the extremities and up to the skin — had become brittle from years of poor blood flow. When the LVAD powerfully and efficiently delivered blood, this force was more than these delicate tissues could handle. And the blood was absorbed into the body. It had seemingly disappeared. But it really hadn’t.

Is that really what happened? Is this really the explanation for why Dad consistently needed blood transfusions?

Nobody can convince me otherwise. No one else had a better, more plausible, more scientific explanation. And my theory seems to make sense.

Anyway… today’s Gospel triggered these memories today. Always happens. And the memories of those troubling, yet exhilarating and joyful months come flooding back into consciousness as if they happened yesterday.

I love you, Dad. Still miss you like crazy. Still blame you for my coffee addiction. Still ask you for help with the simplest home repair projects. And I still hear you say, chidingly, “atta boy” when I finally figure it out.

And we have the most serious man-to-man philosophical discussions… well, sure, they’re slightly one-sided. But they’re real. And really serious.

#dadupdate

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How Much Money Do You Waste On Supplements?

01/11/2018

We’re deep in the throes of post-holiday ordinariness and Resolution Season. Not quite the middle of January, so most people haven’t given up on their resolutions. Yet. (Note: that’s unscientific speculation on the part of yours truly.)

Grocery store ads are replete with healthy food, fat burners, energy boosters, basic fitness essentials, and other “health” products.

Are any of these products worth the cost? Nicole Akers delves into the subject of wasting money on vitamins and supplements in her latest blog post, Stop Wasting Your Money on Vitamins and Supplements:

medications-money-cure-tablets-47327-Nicole Akers

http://www.wetalkhealthy.com/stop-wasting-money-vitamins-supplements/

Nicole blogs frequently at WeTalkHealthy.com. She also has some healthy recipe books you will enjoy.

I’m not a pill taker. I down a pain killer reluctantly. And I do take a multivitamin daily as an insurance policy against a day of poor nutrition or inconsistent eating. Oh. And a baby aspirin per my physician, since my family has a history of heart issues. But that’s it.

Supplements… just one. Protein powder. Why? It’s faster and more convenient than having to cook something early in the morning when I’m battling cats and the clock to get to my first appointment. And it’s most convenient as a post-workout fuel when mixed with simple sugar. My favorite concoction is lemon lime Gatorade and vanilla flavored protein. It’s a tolerable taste.

Do you swear by any vitamin or other health supplements? Let me know in the comments.


Two Tales of Sexual Abuse

11/20/2017

I have been absent for much too long and I apologize. Ever since Dad died, not only were my emotions turned inside out… my schedule has been absolute insanity. My conversation has moved, primarily, to Facebook simply because it’s so much easier to pop in there, write a few lines, start a live video, whatever.

But that doesn’t do you much good if you’re not a Facebook fan. I keep thinking that I need to put those same videos and conversations over here, too.

Now I’ve started writing for Medium and Publishous, so my time is even more divided.

Go figure.

There’s probably a way to share my latest post here, but if you will indulge me, just click on the link below to read:

My latest story on Medium

It’s a timely piece that combines a couple of old, bad memories with my thoughts on a deadly serious subject that melds with current events.

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A Punch in the Gut

05/09/2017

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give glory to God, for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns, alleluia.”

Revelations 19:7,6  –  Entrance Antiphon, Fourth Tuesday of Easter

Not easy sometimes to embrace this when we’re hurting. A year ago today, Mom buried her beloved husband, Norb Kwiecinski. A year ago today, Sarah and Andy lost their biological father, Dan Vincent. The timing was a punch in the gut.

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But we’re not here for this life. Yeah, we live it to the full while we’re here. We’re supposed to serve others, do our best, love with every ounce… but we rejoice because Jesus embraces all the crap, all the hurt, all the tears, all the anguish, all the sadness, all the depression, all the torment and torture, all the injustice.

All the sorrow.

It sucks.

But He says “Let me take it. Rejoice.”

It’s still so hard. So please pray for us. Sarah and Daniel, who also lost his dad this year, and their kids, our grandchildren. Andy and Cheryl, who lost her dad ten years ago, and their kids, our grandchildren. Douglas and Amy and sweet little Imogen, who never had the pleasure of meeting Great Grandpa. Stephen and Martha. My sweet wife, Kathy, who lost her mom, Dorothy, three years ago, and her dad, Malcolm, in 1981. My sisters and brothers in law. My nieces and nephews who miss their Grandpa. Uncle Stan, who misses his brother. Butch, who misses his Uncle Norb. Countless relatives and friends who loved Dad. I could go on and on listing names, but I will leave out too many.

And please pray especially for Mom, Barb Kwiecinski. I know she misses the guOI2047625967_Kwiecinskiy who gave her such grief, who gave her such a hard time, who was always there to calm her down when she needed it, who was always there for her, even when he was so broken down he couldn’t even care for himself.

Dad, we miss you. But nobody more so than Mom.      

Rejoice. That’s what we’ll do someday when we all get together again. Right now, we smile and laugh … and cry … when we remember.


Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 18, 2016

12/18/2016

A reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah 7:10-14

10 And the Lord spoke further to Ahaz, saying:

11 “Ask for a sign for yourself from the Lord your God, from the depths below, even to the heights above.”

12 And Ahaz said, “I will not ask, for I will not tempt the Lord.”

13 And (Isaiah) said: “Then listen, O house of David. Is it such a small thing for you to trouble men, that you must also trouble my God? 14 For this reason, the Lord himself will grant to you a sign. Behold, a virgin will conceive, and she will give birth to a son, and his name will be called Immanuel.”

The word of the Lord.


Responsorial Psalm 24(23):1-2, 3-4, 5-6

(7c and 10b) And the King of Glory shall enter. He himself is the King of Glory.

1 The earth and all its fullness belong to the Lord: the whole world and all that dwells in it. 2 For he has founded it upon the seas, and he has prepared it upon the rivers.

And the King of Glory shall enter. He himself is the King of Glory.

3 Who will ascend to the mountain of the Lord? And who will stand in his holy place? 4 The innocent of hands and the clean of heart, who has not received his soul in vain, nor sworn deceitfully to his neighbor.

And the King of Glory shall enter. He himself is the King of Glory.

5 He will receive a blessing from the Lord, and mercy from God, his Savior. 6 This is the generation that seeks him, that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.

And the King of Glory shall enter. He himself is the King of Glory.


A reading from the book of St. Paul to the Romans 1:1-7

1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called as an Apostle, separated for the Gospel of God, 2 which he had promised beforehand, through his Prophets, in the Holy Scriptures, 3 about his Son, who was made for him from the offspring of David according to the flesh, 4 the Son of God, who was predestined in virtue according to the Spirit of sanctification from the resurrection of the dead, our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 through whom we have received grace and Apostleship, for the sake of his name, for the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles, 6 from whom you also have been called by Jesus Christ: 7 To all who are at Rome, the beloved of God, called as saints. Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

The word of the Lord.


A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew 1:18-24

18 Now the procreation of the Christ occurred in this way. After his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they lived together, she was found to have conceived in her womb by the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph, her husband, since he was just and was not willing to hand her over, preferred to send her away secretly. 20 But while thinking over these things, behold, an Angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to accept Mary as your wife. For what has been formed in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she shall give birth to a son. And you shall call his name JESUS. For he shall accomplish the salvation of his people from their sins.” 22 Now all this occurred in order to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 Behold, a virgin shall conceive in her womb, and she shall give birth to a son. And they shall call his name Emmanuel, which means: God is with us. 24 Then Joseph, arising from sleep, did just as the Angel of the Lord had instructed him, and he accepted her as his wife.

The Gospel of the Lord.

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video image courtesy of Sweet Publishing/FreeBibleimages.org

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Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read and listen to the daily Mass readings. The readings are taken and adapted from the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Holy Bible.

I appreciate your help and encouragement. Please let me know how I can help you. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time.

This is where Kit Kat and now Lady are both buried. R.I.P. Daddy's Little Babies.


Saturday of the Third Week in Advent, December 17, 2016

12/17/2016

A reading from the book of Genesis 49:2, 8-10

1 Then Jacob called his sons, and he said to them: “Gather together and listen, O sons of Jacob. Listen to Israel, your father. 8 Judah, your brothers will praise you. Your hand will be at the necks of your enemies; the sons of your father will reverence you. 9 Judah is a lion’s young. You have gone up to the prey, my son. While resting, you have lain like a lion. And just like a lioness, who would rouse him? 10 The scepter from Judah and the leader from his thigh will not be taken away, until he who will be sent arrives, and he will be the expectation of Gentiles.

The word of the Lord.


Responsorial Psalm 72(71):1-2, 3-4ab, 7-8, 17

(7) Justice will rise like the sun, with abundance of peace, until the moon is taken away.

2 Give your judgment, O God, to the king, and your justice to the king’s son, to judge your people with justice and your poor with judgment.

Justice will rise like the sun, with abundance of peace, until the moon is taken away.

3 Let the mountains take up peace for the people, and the hills, justice. 4 He will judge the poor of the people, and he will bring salvation to the sons of the poor.

Justice will rise like the sun, with abundance of peace, until the moon is taken away.

7 In his days, justice will rise like the sun, with abundance of peace, until the moon is taken away. 8 And he will rule from sea to sea and from the river to the limits of the whole world.

Justice will rise like the sun, with abundance of peace, until the moon is taken away.

17 May his name be blessed forever; may his name remain before the sun. And all the tribes of the earth will be blessed in him. All nations will magnify him.

Justice will rise like the sun, with abundance of peace, until the moon is taken away.


A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew 1;1-17

1 The book of the lineage of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

2 Abraham conceived Isaac. And Isaac conceived Jacob. And Jacob conceived Judah and his brothers. 3 And Judah conceived Perez and Zerah by Tamar. And Perez conceived Hezron. And Hezron conceived Ram. 4 And Ram conceived Amminadab. And Amminadab conceived Nahshon. And Nahshon conceived Salmon. 5 And Salmon conceived Boaz by Rahab. And Boaz conceived Obed by Ruth. And Obed conceived Jesse. 6 And Jesse conceived king David.

And king David conceived Solomon, by her who had been the wife of Uriah. 7 And Solomon conceived Rehoboam. And Rehoboam conceived Abijah. And Abijah conceived Asa. 8 And Asa conceived Jehoshaphat. And Jehoshaphat conceived Joram. And Joram conceived Uzziah. 9 And Uzziah conceived Jotham. And Jotham conceived Ahaz. And Ahaz conceived Hezekiah. 10 And Hezekiah conceived Manasseh. And Manasseh conceived Amos. And Amos conceived Josiah. 11 And Josiah conceived Jechoniah and his brothers in the transmigration of Babylon.

12 And after the transmigration of Babylon, Jechoniah conceived Shealtiel. And Shealtiel conceived Zerubbabel. 13 And Zerubbabel conceived Abiud. And Abiud conceived Eliakim. And Eliakim conceived Azor. 14 And Azor conceived Zadok. And Zadok conceived Achim. And Achim conceived Eliud. 15 And Eliud conceived Eleazar. And Eleazar conceived Matthan. And Matthan conceived Jacob. 16 And Jacob conceived Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

17 And so, all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the transmigration of Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the transmigration of Babylon to the Christ, fourteen generations.

The Gospel of the Lord.

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Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read and listen to the daily Mass readings. The readings are taken and adapted from the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Holy Bible.

I appreciate your help and encouragement. Please let me know how I can help you. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time.

This is where Kit Kat and now Lady are both buried. R.I.P. Daddy's Little Babies.


Feast of Our Lady Of Guadalupe, December 12, 2016

12/12/2016

A reading from the book of the prophet Zechariah 2:14-17(10-13)

10 Sing praise and rejoice, daughter of Zion. For behold, I approach, and I will dwell in your midst, says the Lord. 11 And many nations will be joined to the Lord in that day, and they will be my people, and I will dwell in your midst. And you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. 12 And the Lord will possess his portion, Judah, in the sanctified land, and still he will single out Jerusalem. 13 Let all flesh be silent before the face of the Lord: for he has arisen from his holy dwelling place.

The word of the Lord.


Responsorial Psalm Judith 12:18(23)bcde, 19(24)

(Judith 15:9(10)) (You) are the honor of our people.

23 O daughter, you have been blessed by the Lord, the most high God, above all the women on earth.

(You) are the honor of our people.

24 Blessed is the Lord, who made heaven and earth, who has guided you in harming the head of the leader of our enemies.

(You) are the honor of our people.


A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke 1:39-47

39 And in those days, Mary, rising up, traveled quickly into the hill country, to a city of Judah. 40 And she entered into the house of Zechariah, and she greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it happened that, as Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 And she cried out with a loud voice and said: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And how does this concern me, so that the mother of my Lord would come to me? 44 For behold, as the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed are you who believed, for the things that were spoken to you by the Lord shall be accomplished.”

46 And Mary said:

“My soul magnifies the Lord. 47 And my spirit leaps for joy in God my Savior.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

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Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read and listen to the daily Mass readings. The readings are taken and adapted from the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Holy Bible.

I appreciate your help and encouragement. Please let me know how I can help you. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time.

This is where Kit Kat is buried. R.I.P. little buddy.

 


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