On September 30, Micky, Sean and I flew to Michigan to celebrate my 40th class reunion from the University of Michigan Medical School. We graduated 226 people but less than a fifth of the class came back. It may of course be just a sampling error but I noticed that the ones who showed up were old! I didn’t remember that my classmates were that much older than I was back in the seventies but it must be so – I can come up with no other viable alternative hypothesis. It was good to renew acquaintances (some people attended who I have yet to look up in my class yearbook because I didn’t even remember their names, let alone their faces). We had a wonderful time the next day at a tailgate party and to again be in the Big House with 111,000 other fans (the 270th game in a row with over 100,000 in the stands). Even better, the Michigan Wolverines limped to a win over the Wisconsin Badgers. Sean had a blast at his first ever college football game on a beautiful fall Michigan day and Micky and I enjoyed reliving our student experiences there.
Just as I was still wondering how a young fella such as myself could possibly have a 40th reunion of anything, a birthday also intruded into my life. It was presaged by a card in the mail promising free medical care. I never knew they gave Medicare cards to young folks. We celebrated the day itself with the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. Even nature raged at the injustice of yet another year in my total.
Since my sisters and I had planned to close down my parents’ home in Lapeer, Michigan this past week, I tried to change my return flight from the preceding reunion weekend in Michigan. It turned out to be much cheaper to just get a new ticket, so I flew home with the family on Sunday night and then went back to the airport early on Monday to fly back to the same airport. Seems silly, doesn’t it?
We arranged and carried out a massive estate sale and literally sold everything in the house except an old electric stove and 15 boxes of stuff that we donated to a future charity garage sale. The sale went from Wednesday through Friday and it was rare to have less than six cars in the yard. Cathy and Dave Cronin, a couple dear to my folks, had done a huge amount of preparation. Even so, the whole experience still closely resembled work. Always amazes me the things that do sell and the nice things that don’t – and how some people hunt for a bargain. We also signed a contract with an old family friend and realtor to list the house and property for commercial sale. We are relieved to have it all done, but it was emotionally difficult to see things of sentimental value sell for pennies and to empty out the family home that I as a child helped my father build. I also visited my parents’ and grandmother’s grave with my sisters. Praise God that we will see them again.
While I was in Lapeer, Micky had to have her blocked nephrostomy tube changed for the third time. Fortunately, they were successful. Her surgery is scheduled in Raleigh on October 26 and hopefully, this tube change will be the last one. She is thoroughly tired of the problem and asks for your prayers for a successful repair.
PAACS and CMDE: PAACS continues apace. Reports from the COSECSA exams are trickling in and most are doing well. We are in the midst of selecting new residents from the new academic year which starts in January. I am also working on arrangements for a trip to Kenya and Egypt in December and a more complex trip to Kenya, Tanzania and Thailand in January and February. I am finding the transition and mentoring process awkward – not because of my replacement who is a wonderful friend but rather because of the mental, psychological and emotional components.
Micky has spent many long hours reconciling the reports from the end of last fiscal year and she and I finally sent out the report to the PAACS Commission on Friday. We still have some program-by-program reconciliation to do and the end of the year reconciliation yet to come for the Continuing Medical & Dental Association.
I also spent part of two days renewing my instructor status for Basic Life Support and for Advanced Cardiac Life Certification. I have the Pediatric Advanced Life Support renewal yet to go. I will use those certifications to teach again at the upcoming CMDA-CMDE course in Thailand in February, 2017.
This coming weekend is the Prescription for Renewal medical missions conference at the Cove near Asheville, NC. I will be attending but Micky will not. Ever since 2001, my folks made it a point to come and watch Sean so we could attend (they don’t allow children). Even after my Dad died and my mother became ill, she continued the tradition. This year, Sean will stay in school and Micky will stay home.
S3 Ministries: We were pleased to be part of the process of ordering yet another pediatric bronchoscopic and esophagoscopic set for Kibuye Mission Hospital in Burundi. We also granted full free use of our two mission books to Greg Seager, the CEO of the Christian Health Service Corps, a relatively new mission agency concentrating solely on medical missionaries.