Loretta Schoen – Under HIS Wings

Discover the Other Side of Medical Adversity from Being Pressed to Feeling Blessed

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 Grace for the Asking

Along my entry walkway I have three terracotta pot people.  Each made using terracotta pots of varying sixes placed together to form a man, a woman, and a child.  Overtime these little pot people get covered in dirt, mold mildew and even algae.  Periodically they need a good scrubbing to bring them back to their original condition.


Today was the day to scrub away their grime.  I carried them into the laundry room and as I scrubbed away the months of grime, I began to think about how we are not so different from the pot people.

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Can I afford to live?

A recent conversation with my cousin got me to thinking about how long I could afford to live.  Recently my cousin returned to her oncologist after an experimental protocol she was on failed to keep her cancer in remission.  She was prepared to pay the oncologist the $279.00 fee but unprepared for the subsequent bill she received from the hospital for $350.00.

A hospital can charge a patient for a facility fee every time they see a doctor whose office resides within one of its buildings.  This is called a user or facility fee.  Think of it as “wear and tear” or cost of maintaining the building.

However, when a hospital’s facility fee is more than the doctor’s fee, one begins to wonder if you can afford to take care of yourself.

Did my cousin really cause that much wear and tear on the building?  She wondered: “Not only do I have to figure out how to stay alive, but I have to figure out how I am going to pay for it”.

This reminds me of a conversation I had with my mother many years ago.  In addition to her monthly living expenses and the constant assessments her condo association passed to pay for the aging buildings; she had to contend with her cancer medical bills which were coming in fast and furious.  She used to joke that if she could just figure out how long she was going to live; she would know how much she could spend.

That was 24 years ago.  Not much has changed except that it is now our generation thinking the same thing.    And it’s no joke.

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It’s Time to Play Ball

I almost lost my husband to testicular cancer.  Not once, but twice.  The first time was when he was 31 years old and our daughter was 11 months old.  Then second time she was 16.  As he says: “Don’t have to worry about that anymore – I’m out of balls!”  Funny?  Maybe, since our story had a happy ending.  Not everyone is as blessed.

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Blessed Birth Transcends Time

On March 4, 1920 a father rejoiced in the birth of his son.  It was a birth that was not to have happened for his wife had a weakened heart. And yet, there was his beautiful wife offering his son up into his arms.  As he held this baby, his own heart felt as if it would burst with love.   In his passion and his gratefulness to God for making this miracle happen, he used his talent to create and write the song Gesu Bambino.

It tells the story of the miracle of Jesus’s birth and the gift that God bestowed to the earth.  It allows us to glimpse the wonderment of that night, recapture the light of the world and rejoice in it.  Its simple melody and words became an instant sensation, propelling the young man into infamy that would remain far past his life on earth.  It is a song that is heard in churches, music stations and performed in concerts the world over during Christmastime.  It remains as beautiful today as it did the day it was written.

Imagine how passionate God was at the birth of His son, Jesus!  Feel the excitement God had as the miraculous birth was announced by angels, and stars guided the shepherds and kings to pay homage.    Jesus came as an infant, dressed in swaddling cloth, to show us how to live, to love, and to share and care for this earth that the Father created.  While Jesus lived a short time on earth, His words, His life, His ways continue to live throughout the world.  He lives in each of us, simply, by asking Him to come into our lives and into our hearts.

Gesu Bambino reminds us to rejoice and adore Him. To follow the lead of the wise men and humbly worship and follow the star that is Jesus Christ.  It is my hope that you will steal away from the hustle and bustle to sit quietly in the wonderment of God’s great love.  Let Jesus into your life and heart and show your gratefulness by raising your voices to acclaim His name.  For “from paradise to earth He came that we might indeed dwell with Him”.

May the spirit that is Jesus fill your soul this Christmas Day.

p.s. Gesu Bambino was written by my grandfather, Pietro A. Yon.  Please click on the link below and enjoy this inspirational music.

Gesu Bambino by Pietro Yon

When blossoms flower e’er ‘mid the snows,
Upon a winter night,
Was born the child, the Christmas rose,
The king of love and light.
The angels sang, the shepherds sang,
The grateful earth rejoiced;
And at his blessed birth the stars
Their exultation voiced.
O come let us adore him
O come let us adore him
O come let us adore him
Christ the lord.
Again the heart with rapture glows
To greet the holy night,
That gave the world it’s Christmas rose,
Its king of love and light
Let ev’ry voice acclaim his name,
The grateful chorus swell
From paradise to earth he came
That we with him might dwell.



Claiming Disability

I was receiving medical care recently and the nurse was reviewing my medical history.  There is a lot of history, folks – a plethora of history – a history that makes one tired just reading about it.  As she reviewed my history, I told her that my COBRA coverage was ending and that I had just made arrangements for the new insurance to begin but was still recovering from the sticker price.  She then suggested with all my history, I should claim disability which would allow me to go on Medicare at my age of 60.  I was stunned.

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Who is at the Helm of This Ship?

I had been receiving antibiotic infusions for the last ten days and had not seen a doctor since that first late afternoon when I presented to their office with cellulitis of the breast.  I was feeling like a cow that was brought in to be milked daily.  The IV nurses were wonderful and they know what they are doing.  I had met some nice people who are, like me, receiving treatment for one type of infection or another.  Dutifully, we came in at our appointed time and got “hooked up and juiced”.  We’d chat, commiserate, and wish each other good health and new energy.

But I wondered: when was I going to see a doctor, get the results of my blood cultures and how long was I going to need treatment?

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Not Just for Breakfast…

Its morning and I wander into my favorite room– the living room.  It’s away from the beehive hum of the house and bombardment of world news on the TV.  It has a warm, study like feel to it.  The sun streams into the window and the sound of the waterfall in the atrium calms my senses and settles my soul.  My living room invites me to begin my day and sit with a cup of my favorite tea, my bible, several devotionals and God.  Even the dogs like to come in and they know its “our” quiet time.  If I get distracted by the days schedule, my dog, Sheba will get up and stand by the entrance to the living room and look at me as if to say “I really need this time – don’t you?”  She reminds me that a day hemmed in prayer is less likely to unravel.

So why is it so hard sometimes to go to this wonderful space and spend time with God?

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