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    31st July 2006

    The saga continues…

    This past weekend I went down to Colorado Springs with my brother Mike. We were going to the Desperation Conference at New Life Church and staying with my friends Drew and Jeanie who live in the Cheyenne Mountain area of the Springs.

    Drew was one of my neighbors at Craig Hospital, having suffered a spinal cord injury in a skiing accident. We had done all sorts of therapy activities together at the hospital, notably the chocolate-chip-cookie bake-off and the greatest-dinner-ever-made-by-in-patients-in-a-hospital. Since then we’ve kept in contact and seen eachother at the DIII national cross-country meet where their son Stephen was running for Williams and I was watching my friends run for Calvin.

    I’ve done some handcycling last fall and this summer, but Drew has done a lot of handcycling. He rode the Tour of Colorado a few weeks ago, 450 miles in 6 days or something like that, and also done a couple century rides this summer. So we were planning on going out for a couple rides while we were down staying with them, and I was super-excited to have Drew show me some of the things he’s learned.

    We packed up and left early Thursday morning because I had a small appointment at Craig Hospital in Denver at 10 o’clock. After that we stopped by Denver Seminary’s new campus so I could drop off some papers and take a look at the campus. (I guess now is a good time to announce here that I’m taking classes at Denver Seminary this fall…) After that we headed down to the conference. Last minute registration started at 2pm so we were there right on time for that, and then we went to drop off our stuff at Drew and Jeanie’s because the first session of the conference wasn’t until 7.

    After being shown our rooms, we decided to take a little ride – as long as we were all there and it was hot but lovely out, why shouldn’t we? So we got our gear together, Drew and I on handcycles and Jeanie and Mike on bikes (Michael outfitted with one of the Wills Family cycles). Jeanie insisted that I get my sunglasses from the car and then we were off. We turned onto 21st, the major road by their house, and went north down a large hill.

    At the bottom of the hill there was a fair amount of loose sand and gravel, and I instinctively swerved a bit to avoid the gravel and then remembered the traffic and swerved a bit back to avoid the traffic. At the speed I was going, the correction turned into an overcorrection and I wobbled one way and the other a few times and in a split second of terror, which I don’t really like thinking about, I knew that I was going over.

    I flipped sideways onto my left side, hitting my helmeted head and dragging along the cement for a ways. I’m not sure of all the details in there because it was pretty fast. Mike and Jeanie were behind and witnessed the whole thing. I knew that it was going to be ugly, and when I stopped there I tried to move from my bike out of traffic but was pretty tangled up.

    More than physical pain was the anguish of knowing I somehow managed to get hurt again and that I would have to call my mom and tell her about stitches and whatever else.

    I quickly made a survey of what I could tell about the situation. My mouth was full of gravel, so I assumed that my teeth were probably in trouble, but in checking with my tongue I found them all to be intact. Amazing. I spit out sand and there was a ton of blood. Then I thought, what about my eye? I had ridden the pavement pretty hard – and there! were those sunglasses, now destroyed, but my eye was fine.

    A few cars stopped and we figured out a way to get me back to their house, less than half a mile away. There I showered off to clean as much dirt as possible. Clearly it looked worse than it actually was (road-rash usually does), but a trip to the ER was still necessary. Jeanie took Michael and I down to Memorial Hospital while Drew waited for some expected dinner guests. He really did not want to stay there, but would have much rather come with.

    We did the city hospital ER thing and waited around for a long while in a couple of different waiting rooms, and then in a patient room. When I had finally been cleaned up a doctor came to see what kind of stitching he could do. A few above my left eye, and a few below – but what to do with the mess inbetween my lip and my left nostril?

    “I can’t really figure out how this skin goes together…” he said. “Maybe here, but there’s probably some skin missing…”

    So he put a few little sutures in and then cut out some of the other tissue so he could pull the skin together and stitch it up, leaving a little circle of blue stitches. Of course my favorite parts of the process were his little exclamations of frustration and failure, and the fact that his first surgical kit didn’t have “forceps” – also known as tweezers – and then the scissors in the second kit wouldn’t cut the thread.

    We entered the hospital at about 4:30 and didn’t leave until around 11. In this way, we spent the first day of the Desperation Conference. We missed the opening sesion, and the morning session on Friday as we were picking up some prescriptions at a pharmacy.

    But then, once we finally made it, Desperation was sweet. The main sessions were powerful – great worship time and great teaching. It was fun seeing a few folks from the past who work at the church there, and hanging out with some friends from Loveland’s Church of the Good Shepherd. And Mike and I ate like kings thanks to Jeanie (and Drew on the grill for Saturday’s dinner). The Desperation Band was awesome (two of the members, Glen Packiam and Jared Anderson, were my brother Eric’s roomates at Oral Roberts University).

    And of course the Hillsong United band was amazing – partly because of the obsession that I have (and Michael also has) with their powerful songs and crazy Australian style.

    All in all, it ended up being a good weekend, and I didn’t even have to buy any souvenirs to know that I’ll be remembering it well for a long time – I’ve got a map of the places I’ve been (read: the times I’ve needed stitches) on my face!

    5 comments

    25th July 2006

    A new hero…

    My brother Eric’s wife Melissa gave birth to their third child last week. I’ve only been able to go up and see Isabelle Rose Holmlund once so far, but I can tell you that she is a beautiful tiny thing (I’m not sure that thing is the right word at all, but I’m sticking with it). She joins her brother Josiah and sister Emmy in making up a picture-perfect family. (I just thought of this right now, but with this addition, the Fort Collins Holmlunds now have a composition fairly similar to the Simpsons – Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie – but I don’t think that is an analogy worth pursuing at the moment.)

    Anyways, up there in the hospital, I was struck by what a man my brother Eric is. He loves his wife and his family more than anything under heaven. Men, witness and take note, as I have: He has done all the in-hospital diaper work for his children so that Melissa could rest from her labors (or, after her labor?…) for a time. And he is obviously a man of integrity in work, even in the times when he is working way too much.

    One need only look at the fruit of his life to see what quality he puts in and that he is a pointer to something greater than himself. His children are probably the most significant example of this fruit. Emmy and Josiah are two of the smartest and most honest children that have ever been. The way that Josiah willingly fesses up when he does something wrong makes in obvious that he knows he is loved no matter what he does and that he wants to respond to that love by living in what his parents desire for him.

    As for his work, I would recommend looking at his business site, www.ericstips.com, and checking out his last two posts – about some hyperVRE or something, and then about the birth of his daughter. Reading what he wrote is fine, but check out the comments for each of those posts – first the hyperVRE one and then the other.

    On the first one, there are a lot of people who were quite upset by the program he reviewed and some upset with Eric for recommending trying it, and Eric patiently tried to respond to all of them that demanded response. But in reading them you can tell that all of these folks respect Eric a great deal and that he has dealt fairly with them in the past. And then seeing how many people have written nice comments to Eric about Isabelle (212 people as I write this) – again you can tell what a devote bunch of readers Eric has. It’s sort of like Jesus – we only have the writings and stories of his disciples, nothing that he wrote himself, but from those writings you can tell that Jesus must have been an amazing man to inspire such devotion – but again, here is an analogy not worthy of further pursuit. (And of course, I also believe that Jesus is still alive and active in the world today, especially in the work of the Holy Spirit!)

    Ok, and in other news, I’m done with work at Measured Progress in Longmont. There is nothing more for us to grade there. I’ve been putting off writing on this site because I kept thinking that I would be done already, but then they would ask us to come back for more. I had an adventure filled weekend, and hopefully I’ll get a chance to write a short story about that and post it tomorrow or sometime. I’m going to Colorado Springs for the Desperation Conference and hopefully will get to handcycle with my friend Drew Wills whilst down there. Also, look for a near future post describing some of my amazing comrades whilst at Measured Progress.

    4 comments

    19th July 2006

    Welcome to Isabelle!

    My sister-in-law Melissa had a baby this morning!

    1 comment

    9th July 2006

    A letter to the internet…

    Dear Internet,

    Or should I call you The World Wide Web? It’s a little bit awkward writing to you, but I think you’ll understand. See, my older brother Eric makes his living by means of yourself, and lately he’s been working very, very hard on a project. I’m not exactly sure of all the details – I’ve never really understood most of the stuff that he does – but I get the general feeling that he somehow makes money appear from out of nowhere. And I get the feeling that he’s really, really good at it. (You can check out what he’s up to at www.ericstips.com).

    Each time he starts a new projecthe vows to work it out differently so he doesn’t spend as much time on it, but then after a while he’s working more than he wants to and has to make a change. His current project was supposed to be more or less done on the 5th but he has had some issues that he needed to work out. My little bro’ Mike and I have missed seeing him around at such family gatherings as the 4th of July at the Stovers’ and dinner with the Verville family.

    I know that you’re really big and really busy, but I would really appreciate it if you would help Old Man Eric out – maybe help him to get some time outside the house – or if its not too much to ask, just help him to make a couple million dollars really fast so he doesn’t have to work for money anymore and can just do things that are really good and that he really likes doing. He’s a great guy and he’s done some cool things for you, starting up an online prayer community called Prayway.com and becoming one of the many with at blog that he never updates (www.uglyblog.com) – besides being the original creator of this little website.

    Internet, you might not realize it, but I know that even you are groaning as you await your redemption. One day every little bit of you will be redeemed and what is not good – that is what is not truly at all – will perish. But for now it’s good to see any part of you which exhibits goodness in some sense, and Eric is a person who is working to make sure that the parts of you that he affects have goodness.

    On a personal note, I have a small favor to ask of you: I keep getting these “spam” comments on this website – people or programs that write little things like, “Great information on this site. Tnx,” or “Love this site. Keep up the good work.”

    If you wouldn’t mind stopping those pesky guys from getting into my comments queue I would really appreciate it. Oh, and if you could “direct” some traffic my way – you know, people who might enjoy my site. Well alright, thanks for taking the time to read this little note.

    Godspeed,
    Daryl

    PS. I really did use the word “really” too many times in this message, didn’t I?

    5 comments

    1st July 2006

    I want to get out of here!

    As in, I want to get out of this country and off this continent – but it probably isn’t going to happen for a while. My little brother just got back from a mission trip to Guatamala; my sister lived in Ecuador for a year and has been to China twice; Eric and Melissa went to Germany last fall; Melissa’s sister Kaitlyn went to South Africa this summer, and her other sister Hannah just got back from Mexico and is now going to Botswana; my sister’s friend Summer is going to South Korea in a few weeks; of my three best friends from high school, Amelia was living and going to school in Costa Rica this last year, Matt studied in Barcelona last fall (besides having spent time in Costa Rica, Hawaii, India, Ecuador and Peru – I think those were the countries at least), and Brett has been in Argentina this semester.

    I’ve never been out of North America. I have been to Ensenada, Mexico once for a week where we built a house; I lived in Vancouver, British Columbia with the family when I was kindergarten through second grade; and I’ve been through Ontario driving from Michigan to Boston… Other than that I have spent the entirety of my 21 years in the United States of America.

    Lame. I’m not complaining about my life – its been pretty good – but I think I should probably just get out of the country sometime soon.

    Postscript to this post:
    I finished another week of work. It was exciting. I became the ridicule of my table for a few days because I started scoring really, really, really slowly (those who have been reading my previous posts might think this is in protest to the fact that we get penalized for doing our jobs well, but in reality it is because I was very, very, very tired and my concentration was quite poor). Other than work, the week was too busy in general and I hardly did any reading or just sitting around watching soccer highlights (I do hope to watch some soccer tomorrow).

    Oh, and by the way, I want to congratulate my sister and her fiance again on their engagement (I might do this from time to time for a few weeks…) – they’re getting married in January – so here it is: Congratulations Carrie and Loren! It fills me with joy to see how happy you make eachother!

    4 comments

    Copyright 2005 by Daryl Holmlund - All rights reserved.