Thursday, September 3, 2009

Memorial Services for Tim Jensen

There have been two memorial services scheduled to celebrate Tim's life

PORTLAND, OREGON - September 19, 2009

Friends and family of Tim Jensen will gather Saturday, September 19, 2009 to celebrate his life. You are invited to attend.

Date: 19 September 2009

Time: 11:00 a.m.

Place: The Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder Street, Portland, Oregon

If you are unable to attend, you may write about what you learned from Tim and send it to . These rememberances will be collected into a book for Tim's family.

PORTLAND, MAINE - November 7, 2009

Date: 7 November 2009

Time: 1:00 p.m.

Place: First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church
425 Congress Street, Portland, Maine

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tim Talks with the new President of First Parish

To follow Tim as he starts his new journey
Log on to
or go to firstparishportland and click on
leadership blog

Monday, August 10, 2009

From Tim's Youngest Brother Erik

It is with sadness that I have to report that my brother Tim passed away on Sunday morning last (August 9th) after his eighteen month battle with cancer. He died at the UC Davis medical center surrounded by his former wife, Margaret, his father and myself. We were all pleased that he was able to make his end of life decisions on his own and he was alert until slipping into a coma on Saturday night. He passed away, peacefully, at 11:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

I know that he would have wanted me to thank all of you for your support in his battle with cancer and with your friendships, whether they were lifetime friendships or had lasted only for a short while. Your support gave him great strength and happiness, not only in his valiant struggle with cancer, but throughout his entire life.

Tim will be cremated and his ashes sent to Camano Island where they will be kept with those of his grandmother and mother and his beloved Boston Terrier, Parker. We will announce plans relating to a memorial service when we have made appropriate plans.

Erik Jensen

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Critical Sense of Urgency

For those of you who have been missing One Day Isle, and are desperate for a little cheap entertainment, you might try looking here or maybe even here.

Yesterday was pretty much consumed by Medical appointments, punctuated by the information that I needed to be careful when relieving myself, because I know had "hot urine" (What! As in Radioactive piss?") thanks to the contrast agent I was injected with for the PET scan. Still won't know any answers for awhile either, unless the information is really bad (in which case they will tell me right away), so this really is a situation of "no news" being "good news."

Even so, I can't help but feel anxious. Times like these are just a very invasive and persistent reminder that I really am sick, that I'm never going to really be "well," and that while I may very well be able to look forward to many, many years of a reasonably healthy, energetic, fun, loving, and even productive lifestyle, the long-range trend is down. And that thought can sometimes be very depressing indeed.

Of course, it helps to have something to look forward to. And yet ironically what I find myself feeling most right now is nostalgic for the ministry. I keep catching myself wanting to go "back to church" shopping, and thinking about where we were programatically in my last church, and what we needed to be doing next in order to grow into the kind of dynamic, challenging, ground-breaking, life-changing, world-shaking faith community I envisioned, and knew we were capable of becoming. The cancer changed all that too, not just for me, but for them as well. Bummer.

And at the same time I'm feeling frustrated because I still have so much to do on my plate right now, and can't seem to push through it all. Just a little at a time I tell myself. But the pile seems to be getting bigger faster than I can get it done. And I'm still feeling very much like I'm living out of a suitcase here, knowing how much more there is to unpack, how LONG that is going to take (months) before it is complete, and also watching and waiting while Debra and my Dad slowly pack up their stuff to go over to the new house a mere seven minutes (three miles) away.

But for now it's mostly just chaos and clutter. And a little progress, every day. Sometimes so little it almost appears invisible. But it's happening, and I'm grateful for it.

Even if it does glow in the dark when I pee....

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Congratulations are in Order!

And it turns out that today, July 30th 2009, is the 54th anniversary of my parents wedding! In as much as I will be celebrating my 53rd birthday at the end of October, clearly they weren't wasting any time...although the charming legend that I am actually a contraception malfunction during final exams of my mother's Senior year is clearly unfounded -- my mother had already graduated from college and had entered the workforce as a schoolteacher by then. My dad was still in school though, attending the University of Washington on the GI bill in what would have been his sophomore year. But finals at the U-Dub would have been well over by then; if anything (and assuming I'm counting backward correctly on my fingers) I was simply a mundane "back to school" diversion. Which makes a lot of sense in terms of how I turned out, when you stop to think about it.

[l to r: Beth (Gildow) Horton, Shirley (Jensen) Ennis, Laura (Paulson) Pressy, Mary Lou Krause, Gerald Frederick Jensen, Betty Jo (Krause) Jensen, Harry Jensen, Irene (Ward) Jensen, Nathan Krause, Susan (Steele) Krause. July 30th, 1955]

Meanwhile, my parents didn't order a very elaborate wedding album - only about 20 prints all told, and pretty traditional poses to boot. I suspect finances and the use of a professional photographer had something to do with it. How different from today, where the guests have cameras in their telephones, and EVERYTHING gets photographed!

The happy (but nervous?) Bride and Groom.

View of the ceremony from the balcony. My dad's best friend, Chuck Hazen (my "Uncle Charlie") is the best man; my Aunt Mary Lou was the maid of honor. I believe the wedding took place in the Methodist church where my mother grew up, and the officiant was the Rev. George Poor (a renowned Seattle Social Activist in his day).

"I now pronounce you man and wife." Nowadays we would say "husband and wife." Because let's face it. I can pronouce a man a husband and I can pronounce a woman his wife. But I can't make a man into a man, no matter how often I say it. And then there's the whole same-sex marriage issue.... "Partners in Life?"

A traditional cake-cutting shot. Call me silly, but I sometimes used to fantasize about cutting the cake with an honest-to-God sword, before recessing out of the church in full dress uniform beneath an arch of drawn sabers. But you know, I just don't see that happening for me any time soon....

Admiring the Rings. The older woman holding my mother's hand is Chuck's mother, my "grandma Hazen."

Escape to the Honeymoon!

With the car all decorated too, Chuck's last duty as the best man.

Transition Tension

And I can't remember where I first saw this image, but obviously it made an impression on me; so I copied it on to my own desktop, and now I'm sharing it with all of you. Just one of the things from "out there" in the in the larger culture that is bothering me, even though I would just as soon not have to be bothered about it at all. But that's scary too -- feeling the way that my life just seems to be compacting down more and more into a size that I can handle from day to day, and how often even that seems to be way too much. It's frightening. Even terrifying Makes me feel so [f-Word] helpless. Sometimes I feel like I just can't stand it any more. But then I realize that I have to, because the alternative is not to have a life at all.

Two of my past three mornings have been taken up with medical appointments; tomorrow I get a day off, but then Friday I've got a double-header. And then another long weekend waiting for results. The days pass so quickly, and yet so slowly. So much to do, but does any of it really matter? My mortality feels very close this evening. And I don't like it one little bit.

;Happy Birthday Daudre!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Old Habits Die Hard

And I caught myself at a discount book rack today, purchasing a title that caught my eye but which I have no intention of reading any time soon, simply because the price was right, I knew it would be hard to find later, and I knew that It would "preach" -- that is to say, that if I ever found myself caught late in the week without a good idea for Sunday morning, I could spend a few hours with this book and come up with SOMETHING to say for twenty minutes that would not be either a waste of my time or the time of those good people who had come to church that week in the hopes of feeling inspired by something I had to say.

A lot of preachers I know jump on books like this when we find them; but the point that I am trying to make is that I don't HAVE TO any more. Those days are over for least for now, and as far into the foreseeable future as anyone can look. And while it makes me feel a little sad, it also gives me a great deal of relief knowing that the stress of meeting those deadlines is now behind me as well, and that the only person whose time I need to worry about wasting really is my own. And it feels pretty good, actually. So good I'm a little ashamed to admit how good it feels. Amen, and Blessed Be.