Challenges abound in everyone's lives but Ivy and I have been really moved by what a young couple in our extended family has been going through here in Portland.  I mentioned earlier about how a young mother with a two year old at home--who is also five months pregnant--has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and doesn't have much time.  We were able to talk with them a bit a few days before Jesse's wedding at a family gathering.  This young woman has amazing courage and class.  Ivy and I were basically moved to tears as she was sincerely asking us how we were doing and what we were planning on doing over the weekend.  We held it together while we were with her but it was tough.  She is living life to the full as best she can and has many close family--and her two year old daughter--close by.

One other thing I wanted to mention was how I actually was impacted by the washer repairman who came by our place last week.  He was a very kind, dignified, good-looking guy--he looked like a German banker with his glasses-- who was rather serious in his demeanor and also about his work.  When he finished and started explaining to me what he did to fix our machine, you could tell he had to work really hard to find the words.  I was struck by the fact that what is effortless for many people was very hard work for him.  Basically, I think he just wasn't born with the "computational power" that many other--luckier--people are.  I believe this guy would have been a "professional" (banker, businessman, etc) if he could have.  But you can tell that he has made the most of his situation and is very dignified nonetheless and takes great pride in his work.

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