The FENX and Physicians…

Posted: December 20, 2010 in Uncategorized
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December: the greatest and worst month of the year. It’s a period of 31 days filled with great hope and wonder. The hope of a coming Savior now arrived and fulfilled. The wonder of grappling with those implications and seeing the bright faces of children during the season as it washes over them (or in some cases folks who just grow old but never bothered to grow up). It’s also filled with Winter, with snow, and with cold; the older I get the less I like that – it makes my life harder. In the midst of this period of days stand days long remembered, never forgotten. Every year I spend time reflecting on the two and a half weeks that changed my life, where a young boy persevered though pain and trial and came close enough to Death to shoot the Reaper’s eye out with a paintball gun; much better than a BB gun, I don’t care what a kid who stuck his tongue to a pole and yet wants said armament at Christmas says.

Much like a previous post where I talked about The FENX Project as a “mobile” Alter of Remembrance, my time in Erie, PA 14 years ago is also an alter of the same kind. It reminds me that life is hard and some of us are asked to endure things that are beyond us, and the implications and aftereffects of those things we’ve endured. A dear friend of mine recently offered the best assessment I’ve ever heard of my tendencies and approach to life: “Welty, you’re a big kid who loves all the things you love because your life is hard and circumstances forced you to grow up long ago – it’s your great escape. In reality you do the world around you a service because you give those of us that love you and know you well inspiration to act the same way when we need to”. This alter also reminds me that the Creator, the Master of the Universe has a plan for my life – a destiny that is mine alone. Granted I may not be chosen to defend the Frontier against Xur and the Kodan armada, blow up a fully operational battle station that has the capacity to destroy planets, or save the world from an evil sentient computer network, but that’s ok – even if it would be cool. I am however the one to get a bill passed which immortalized a man loved by his family and his community in my home state – giving them the best Christmas present anyone could have done last year. To see the joy and thankfulness on their faces at the dedication last Spring was worth the two and a half years of work. It’s been a hard year with many difficult lessons learned and sometimes wanting to throw in the towel, but I often must remind myself that all of this difficulty does not negate the overall plan but rather under-girds it – these last few years of my life do serve a purpose, much like hard times did for David and Joseph. I do believe it’s part of this destiny to take the story of The FENX Project (and the more important back story) and tell it to as many as will listen as to offer them encouragement and hope in the midst of their own journey.

The more I reflect on my time at Shriners Hospital (and things that happened long before that); it gives me a deeper appreciation and amazement for my Mom and Dad. I just don’t know how they did it, how they managed. As much as some of these experiences caused me pain, fear, and other feelings and emotions it probably messed with them just as much – in some cases I know it did. I’ll never forget the night the orderlies tried to keep me still while the X-ray technician tried to do her job – Mom and I were both freaking out. Even long before that, how do you handle your young son having to spend most of his early life in the hospital in the early 80’s when the country wasn’t in the best shape economically AND you don’t know if he’s going to live? That time period was tough on most Americans and my parents have to deal with me on top of that? I just don’t know, but they probably deserve a medal. If nothing else they are additional proof that there IS a plan and the Master knows what He’s up to.

Minding the Past, Managing the Present, Moving Futureward; Narnia may still have need of me.

Riding Towards Eternity,



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