This has been, as I've said, a very very hard week. The daughter of two long-time friends passed away Sunday evening after a very long and difficult illness. Family is scattered all over, from NE Ohio to Florida, Paris (France, not Texas), New Jersey, northern Pennsylvania, west Tennessee, and perhaps elsewhere as well. I knew her parents before they knew each other, and, while I'm not technically family, am about as close as you be without the blood connections. There were and are a lot of pains and strains as is perhaps inevitable in our world. There is no good way to bury one's child. Thank the Lord I've not been faced with that. Her illness and passing have been a strain. Now, we go on.
Thursday morning, Wife was heading next door around 06:45 to "watch" the Beloved Great Niece. I got one of those "get over her right now" messages from her moments later, so I did. Background: we live in the Rust Belt. About 2 years ago, the house on the other side of niece's house burned. Not to the ground, but heavy structural damage. The shell still stands, as is too often the case in this area. Vandals and such have, I'm told, stripped the copper plumbing and wires. And it's become a lair of chipmunks, raccoons, and feral cats. So. Apparently, some of those feral cats seek other night time lairs. As in, on top of the tires of parked cars. And niece started up to go to work. Two young kittens got squashed. Niece's husband and I got detailed to deal with the squished bodies. Fortunately, Thursday morning is when the trash is collected here, so the remains were put in used grocery bags, and placed in the trash cans. Momma cat and 3rd kitten were nowhere around. Or so we thought. Yesterday, nephew found the remains of momma cat, who had been mortally wounded and crawled off to the unmowed lawn in front of the burned-out house and died there. Baby kitten, the 3rd one, appeared by niece's place. And, this morning, niece came to us. Neither her existing 3 cats nor her husband are willing to take in the baby. So, I guess, she's staying here until my sister-in-law bestirs herself to come for it. The ears are "tipped", which implies a patient of a "spay and release" program. She's filthy, flea-infested, and starving- just matted fur skin and skeleton. We've fed her, with some flea killer in the food. Wife bathed her and clipped some of the matted fur off and given her a good brushing. We already have two male cats, one fixed, one not, which is three too many for me (a joke, ok?) but what else can we do? Not that I have a vote.
The Old Testament reading is Psalms 59, 60, and 61
The New Testament reading is verses 16-31 of Acts 28.
This concludes this year's journey through the Acts.