The good news on Don: (1) his calcium level is now normal; (2) his bilirubin level has come down to around 10 after hovering for several days in the 18-20 range; (3) he makes the effort to walk around the entire floor corridor at least once a day.

The other side: Whatever the cause may be, Don is in his own state of reality. He is planning dinner parties, taking care of tropical fish, and is convinced he is ready to pack up and go home. He tries to get up repeatedly, and the nursing staff has activated his bed alarm so they know when he is getting out of bed. They think this comes from too high levels of pain medication, and we’re hoping that adjustments will resolve this soon.

He had many, many visitors over the Thanksgiving weekend, including friends from out of town. James Snook, a long time friend and Starbucks colleague (and creator/designer of this website), made several poster-size reprints of beautiful family pictures for Don, and those are now taped to the wall facing his bed. Last night a group of neighbors plus Johnny & Bo showed up with guitar and songbooks and sang for Don for about an hour. The woman patient in the next room heard the singing through the wall, and asked through her son for the group to sing her one song. After finishing with Don, they went to her room and sang two Christmas carols for her.

Linda Tarman, a long time close friend now living in Washington, DC, wrote a poem that really touches the heart. She gave us permission to put it on the blog. Thanks for your continued prayers.

Skip, for Don & Heather


Linda Tarman
November 23, 2007
For Don Valencia

Dancing On The Edge

He says he’s dancing,
Moving to some eternal rhythm
That we, who are planted on this earth
Can’t quite perceive.

He sees the essential goodness in the movement
Taking steps,
Held closely,
Eyes riveted on his partner,
As the music crescendos, his heart leaps.
He’s dancing on the edge of love.

He trusts where the dance will lead him
In the reality of where they’re headed.
He is not alone,
But surrounded by friends and family
Who he invites on to the floor.
As they seek to encourage him,
He draws from the well of knowing
To quench their troubled hearts.

It is not their time.
It is not their dance.

He adapts to every new step,
Learning to follow the nudges of his partner.
And in time, he allows himself to lean into those strong arms.
His tug to lead is diminished
Listening to the gentle whispers of love.

“All is well. All is well, my love.


He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. 1 Cor. 1:8-9

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2 Comments so far

  1. James on November 27, 2007 1:34 am

    Wow! Woohoo! This is such wonderful news for today!

  2. Connie on November 27, 2007 10:18 am

    I am celebrating your news today! and praying, praying, praying for more!

    Love to you all,

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