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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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Where We Are Now

After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012
I walked into the garage after taking Tebow on his morning excursion and heard the sound. The garage door had been left open, something I don't recommend in the desert. You never know what will crawl in there and make itself at home.

I headed for the laundry door and saw it by the refrigerator. The still, lifeless body of a bird. Tebow wanted to attack. I guided him into the house and took a closer look.

I'm not a bird enthusiast—I can't tell you what species it was, but I can tell you to my untrained eye it was stone cold dead. Expired. This was a late bird.

Not a sparrow falls and all that stuff. God cares for you more than birds. All that went through my head and out again. It takes faith to believe that and I had work to do, I didn't have time for faith.

I've heard you shouldn't touch dead animals, so I went inside to get a plastic bag to move its form from the concrete.

When I returned something had changed. Legs twitched, eyes fluttered. The head moved back and forth. But the poor thing was on its back and a wing dangled. There was really no hope.

I picked it up with the bag, as gently but firmly as I could, and passed by the trash cans and other garage accoutrement. Outside I put it on the ground in the yard which is nothing but gravel. The poor thing at least deserved some grass, but grass have I none.

I left him there, on his back, his legs wiggling, eyes darting, head moving. He was easy prey. But there was no hope. He was flat on his back and couldn't get up on his feet. And if he did get on his feet, that damaged wing would keep him from flight.

Behind me, on the garage roof, the same type of bird chirped and called. Maybe it was a Zig Ziglar type, calling encouragement and positive statements. Perhaps it was one of Job's friends. Or maybe the bird was chirping, "Curse God and die! More worms for me!"

The bird flew away and I moved into the open door to watch. It was almost as if I were looking at my own life, my own journey. Somehow the bird had gotten into the garage and had smacked the wall or a car and was now on its back, ready for the plastic bag. No hope. Just waiting for the predator to carry it away.

Then something happened. Not with the twitching bird, it was still on its back, still helpless and flailing. No, something wonderful. It was another bird—the same type, perhaps the one from the garage, perhaps another, and it flew near the injured bird. I wanted my camera. But I was frozen. You'll have to trust me on this.

This second bird came near the injured one, but not too close. And then it turned and walked away, toward the road. Almost as if it were ignoring the injured bird. Almost as if it were saying, "If you're going to stay there, I'm out of here." How cruel. Insensitive.

And then it turned. I swear to you, it turned. Or maybe this is a fiction writer's view of the story. Maybe I'm making this up to fit the template of what I wanted to happen. But all I can do is describe it.

The injured bird tried to get up. It skittered and flailed with its legs and attempted to right itself, but it couldn't. I thought about helping it, putting it on its belly instead of its back, then I thought better of it. Perhaps this is the mother bird in me. My inner sparrow.

The bird on the road was further away now. The bird on the ground flailed, jostled, and with a wing movement flapped itself onto its belly. Then the legs moved and it stood and walked across the rocks, the damaged wing dangling. And it caught up with the bigger bird on the other side of the road, and then the form changed—the wing was brought back to the body so that the two, other than the size of them, looked the same.

The two birds moved into the cactus and mesquite and scrub, up a little hill, around a cholla, and disappeared.

I didn't witness the flyover. I don't have independent knowledge of the bird's return to the air.

Somehow, I don't need it.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
I looked at her and said, "You have not because you ask not."

She said, "Okay, here are some things I would like for Mother's Day." 

The plan: Queen for the Day. 

THE TOP 15 THINGS ON ANDREA'S MOTHER'S DAY LIST 

1. Mom will not think about Tebow and his food, stool, or kidneys. (Tebow is our dog.)

2. Unlimited time in for self-pampering. (And not thinking about Tebow.)

3. Someone to clean the kitchen counters and wipe cabinets. (Looks easier than it is.)

4. Have the compost watered and turned. (They'll be doing this to me in a few years.)

5. Some type of non-killer clothing…like shorts, T shirt, dress. (This will be a future blog.)

6. Foot bath using the detox bucket. (Some people have a bucket list, she has a detox bucket list.)

7. Foot massage at home. (As opposed to one at those expensive foot massage mega-stores.)

8. Laundry all taken care of…folded and put away on Sunday night so I wake up to very little laundry. (No comment.)

9. Someone to make a batch of soap. (This is beginning to sound like Little House on the Prairie.)

10. Sweep out garage… this is asking a lot if it’s hot. (We'll get Half-pint to do it.)

11. Help me organize the soap room. (Seriously? This is on your Mother's Day list?)

12. Help me organize my desk/office area. (I guess if the soap room is there, this is bound to show up.)

13. For food: I would love a blackened salmon with a vegetable on the side…also a green juice. (You're making me hungry.)

14. I would love to have a day where there is no fighting and everyone is happy with their life.  This, too, is asking a lot…especially if it’s hot. (This may sound subtly manipulative and coercive, but hey, it's only one day a year.)

15. Time alone to work on my week ahead….a whole day of rest for my weary brain. (You deserve it!)
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Every now and then God gives a glimpse of hope where you least expect it. I asked my daughter, Kristen, to take a picture of Tebow on the back of the couch because I wanted to tie it to the song, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.” Tebow singing, “Sittin’ on the Back of the Couch” seemed like a great tweet to me.

But what happened was serendipitous to say the least. Check out the picture of our pup.


Here’s the rest of the story. In our home in Colorado we had a U-shaped leather couch and Pippen would crawl on the back of one side and Frodo would be on the other. It was sort of a balancing act they did with our lives. We didn’t teach them to sleep on the back of the couch, they just loved it up there.

So when Tebow began, a couple of weeks ago, to do the same thing, it brought the memories back. Love and loss and everything in between.

Hence, the picture. It says it all. In the midst of sorrow and pain, there is joy. In your desert are flowers. When things seem darkest, there’s hope.

I don’t always see it, but sometimes the truth breaks through with fur on.
Friday, May 4, 2012




Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Usually I listen to the accusations and don’t respond. Eventually he goes away. But there was something different about this day.

 “You’re a failure,” he said.

 “You always say that.”

 “Because it’s true. You are a flat-out failure at life and everything you do. Especially the writing.”

A pause. Maybe he’s right. “I’m trying,” I said.

“You’re a child playing with words you don’t understand.” 

“I’m a child who’s been forgiven.”

“Ach, Cliché! Who cares if you’re forgiven, you’re still a failure. You’re a loser. You’ve worked how long to get to this point? Decades? You still have nothing to show for it.”

Thinking. Waiting for a comeback. I utter something but my heart is not in it. “It’s taken me this long to realize I have everything I need.”

The Devil laughed. “Right. And that’s why you look so intently at the best-seller lists. And when you walk in a bookstore and can’t find a single thing you’ve written, you get depressed.” 

Silence.

 “If I were you, I’d curse God.” He plopped a stack of bills in front of me. “You call this blessing?”

It was an unusually large stack. And there were more in the kitchen.

“Face it. God doesn’t care about you. You pray, you plead. He’s not listening.”

A clock ticked somewhere in the room. It was the only sound, other than my heart.

“You’re trying to praise this God of yours with an inconsequential life. With your inconsequential talent.”

He tapped the screen. “This is garbage. Hackneyed, putrid fluff.”

He drew close enough that I smelled his sulphurous breath. “You sit at your desk filled with unpaid bills and pretend you’re reaching people’s hearts. And your ego brings you back to the page because you think that one day someone will notice your greatness.”

Perhaps he’s right. I do have expectations of being noticed. That someone will actually read my words. “I would be lying if I didn’t admit I feel inadequate at times.”

“Inadequate? You’re not even in the ballpark. You must have talent to be inadequate.”

I wanted to find some scripture, some sentence like, “Man does not live by bread alone,” but I couldn’t. I was confused again, the way he always confuses.

“Admit it, you’re a failure. Let me pull up the bestseller list. What a surprise. I don’t see your name.”

Stammering now, shaking, I said, “My success is not measured in numbers. My success is measured by how faithful I—”

“Faithful?” he said, bellowing. “You fail him every day with your attitude and your thoughts and your words and the way you treat your family and feed your ego by sitting here pretending all of this is important.”

I pondered his words. Some truth skittered through my mind. Measured and even I said, “First of all, you don’t know my thoughts unless I express them. Second, you’re right, I make many mistakes. But every time you bring up failure, he brings forgiveness.”

“Oh, please. Give up. You are never going to amount to anything.”

Something flashed inside, like a warning light, a signal from somewhere deep. Real truth I need not simply understand but claim.

“If I’m never going to amount to anything, why are you here?”

He paused. His eyes darted.

“Why wouldn’t you be content to let me flail away if I’ll never amount to anything?”

“Because I hate failures.”

“Perhaps you’re projecting,” I said, wind picking up the sails. “You know, when you put on me the things—”

“I know what projecting is, you don’t have to explain.”

“You lost. You failed. In fact, you thought you had won, but at the cross—”

“Enough,” he screamed, and it was a long, reverberating shout of pain and anguish, as if I had tapped some primeval spring.

“I don’t value your opinion,” I said. Instead of lashing out, his voice flattened.

What if I offered you success?”

“Tempting, but that fruit is stale.”

“But I have power. You have no idea. A million dollar advance. A big house overlooking the ocean.”

“I don’t need the view. And I’m not selling my soul.”

“Really? Every man has his price. Name it. Anything you want. Anything at all.”

I looked at him squarely. You can always see fear in the eyes.

“You can’t buy what’s already been sold.”

“What?”

I shrugged. “I’m not my own. I’ve been bought for a high price. By God himself. You want me, you’ll have to dicker with the owner.”

He turned to walk away, muttering. “You’ll always be a failure.”

I almost felt sorry for him.