I need to apologize, my last two posts here have been negative and whiny. Nobody wants to hear me complain, and that isn’t really an accurate depiction of our life right now anyway.

Having Eli around is great. He doesn’t do anything yet other than eat and cry and poop, but we like him and he’s getting cuter all the time. Gretchen and I are getting the hang of having another little guy around and Sammy likes him too. Whenever he sees Eli he walks over and lays his head against him for a second and nuzzles him like a little dog. It’s very cute. He does cry a little more than Sammy did, and it’s tougher to get him to calm down when he’s worked up, but thats a very minor issue.

My new job is great too. I am still in Pittsburgh and the weather is still nasty, but the job itself is far, far better than what I was doing a few months ago. If you aren’t familiar with hospice, it’s a program for people who have a terminal or life-limiting illness and their families. The idea is that dying is a natural part of life, and hospice helps people navigate the process of death with comfort and dignity. In order to meet all the needs of our patients the hospice team consists of doctors, nurses, chaplains and volunteers. A hospice volunteer might sit with a patient while family members run errands, or help with transportation or babysitting or household chores. Some volunteers make crafts for patients, write letters, knit blankets, etc.

My role with hospice is volunteer coordinator. I’m responsible for recruiting volunteers, training them and getting to know our patients to that I can assign them appropriate volunteers. I also do some backup chaplain duties when our chaplain is swamped, and I do activities with seniors in assisted living facilities. So, I spend a lot of time with people who are about to die and I get to do crafts with sweet little old ladies. It’s a great job really, and It’s much more in line with my theocratic-communistic ideology (just kidding, sort of).

I have some really interesting hospice stories to tell, but I can’t for reasons of confidentiality. I will post some comments on death later though, it’s been very thought provoking being around it so much lately.

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