Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Visit to Dad's Grave

My dad died ten years ago yesterday. He was 91 years old.

I rode my bike to the cemetery for a visit today.

Here is a link to the tribute I gave at his funeral:

A Tribute To My Dad

It is a blessing to be his son.


Monday, March 31, 2014

Goodbye Aunt Lena

I will be going to the funeral of my Aunt Lena today. She was my Dad's sister.  Ninety-years is a good long time on this earth.

Here is a tribute I wrote to her last year for her 90th birthday.

Dear Aunt Lena,

One of my fondest memories is the stuffing you would make for the Thanksgiving turkey. It is something I could crave. I think I would be willing to trade every other yummy thing that is served on Thanksgiving if I could just have that stuffing. I remember being at your house on Hooker Street as the dinner was prepared and served. There was a lot of fun as all of the kids played together and sometimes we would watch old home movies that I loved seeing. 

I must mention Torta. I could eat slab after slab of that stuff. What a treat it was when you would send a stacked up plate of it home with me. Can I confess that not all of it arrived? The ride home usually involved peeling back the foil and having some on the way. You did your best to pass the recipe on to Wendy but we have never been able to get it right. Is there a secret you are holding back?

I remember the summer that you shared Marlene with our family. Uncle John would drop her off and she would do her best to keep order in our house; no small task with a kid like me. My mom was sick and gone for a time and Marlene was a gift to my Dad and to David, Lucille and I. 

I cannot express in words how much the cards that you sent on my birthday with kind words and encouragement have meant to me. Many times, they have been like water on parched land.
No amount of praise I could send your way would be adequate to say how much I appreciate the blessing you have been in my life. 

Happy Birthday and thank you so much. 

Philip Faustin

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Why am I Fat?

If we eat the "normal" American diet there is a good chance we will have extra fat. Too many calories, not enough burn, and the pounds creep on. For some people the solution is simple. They recognize the problem and cut back or eat healthier and all is well.

But for most of the rest of us the problem is deeper. Maybe it has been diet after diet without long term success. Pounds are lost but once the diet is over they return with a few more.
Maybe denial has kept us from even considering the nature of our problem. What if the problem is addiction? As a Christian I see why this thought is rejected so quick. Addicts are other people but not us or at least me.

Maybe we reject the addiction idea completely. We see it as an excuse or a way to justify sin. How about lung cancer caused by smoking or diabetes brought on by being overweight. Both are medical problems that won't go away by discipline or repentance. Yet they may have come about by bad or sinful behavior.

We feel guilty that we are overweight and that we can't stop eating. Maybe we lie to ourselves and others about how much we eat: those extra pounds came out of nowhere.

I know the guilt and shame of feeling like it's all up to me. If only I had discipline or willpower I could beat this thing; at least that's what I thought.

Maybe it's time to admit we are addicted to food and it's not something we can beat on our own. Maybe there is nothing we can do and the solution is to give up. Maybe the medicine we need is Step 1 of Overeaters Anonymous. Here is what it says: We admitted we were powerless over food - that our lives had become unmanageable. Why not admit defeat and recognize that we have messed things up?

Next comes Step 2: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. We rebel here. We want to defend how we have lived. It hasn't been that bad has it?

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. Christians have a hard time here. We want to believe we have already done this, like it is a one time event.

As I think about this it makes me think of the steps to becoming a Christian. Yet here we are, maybe many years later, needing salvation from food and the deeper things driving us to it.

We rebel hard. We can't imaging going to one of those meetings with those kind of people. We resist and return to the insanity of our own way. We try harder. We try another diet or we return to denial and again we fail.

If you don't think you are an addict then just stop overeating; see how long that lasts. If you are ready to get off the crazy merry-go-round why not give OA a chance. It may be just what you need. I would be glad to talk with you about it.

Here is a list of meetings in the Denver area.

Here is my fat loss story.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dear Mom - Thanks!

A letter I wish I could send to my birth mom.

January 28, 2014

Dear Mom,

I saw a movie yesterday that made me think of you and me. I went to it for one reason and was blindsided by what happened inside of me. Yesterday was the second time I saw it in three days. I then understood why I was so affected. It is called Gimme Shelter. It is about teenage moms and all they had to go through to have their babies. I know you were not a teen when I was born but I imagine it still must have been very hard for you having not been married.

From what I heard, you left your home and came to Denver where I was born. Did you live in a home for unwed mothers or were you working and living on your own? If I were you I would have felt very disconnected from all that was familiar and would have been scared.

I wonder too who knew about what was going on? Did you have support from your family and friends? Did you feel ashamed and ostracized?

Was the pregnancy difficult? Did you make friends here in Denver?

What was it like on the day I was born? Did you have a long labor?

Did you hold me and kiss me and cry? Was it hard for you to give me away? Were you glad it was over?

Did you think of me through the years? Did you remember my birthday? Did you ever talk of me?

I know you can't answer these questions given your present condition. That's okay.

I do want to thank you. You went through a lot to bring me into this world. I really appreciate it. I was raised in a good home. Things turned out okay.