All posts by Clayton Imoo

Husband to Gail, Father to Sean, Jacob and Kayla. I am passionate about my family and my faith, and I love to speak, write, play music, play sports, and nap.

Being Humbled and Enduring Pain: Appropriate for Holy Week

We weren’t able to make it to a Good Friday Service this year (more on that below) so we prayed a rosary together as a family just after dinner but just before the Canucks game. It was a beautiful time, both spiritual and (respectfully) humourous in spots. Jake fell asleep by the 2nd decade, while Sean kept losing count, and he would try and signal me to find out where we were without having Gail notice. Priceless. Kayla meanwhile was babbling constantly throughout…you can guess who she takes after there. It reminded me just how powerful praying with the family can be, and it encouraged us and challenged us to make more time for deliberate prayer as a family.

The reason I wasn’t able to leave the house today was because I am nursing an inch-wide and half-inch deep cut on the back of my leg. I had an abscess removed on Tuesday (remnants of a staph infection I got in late February). My family doctor packed it after cutting it out on Tuesday…it was so painful that I bit a hole through the paper on his examination table! He removed the packing on Thursday and repacked it in a slightly-less painful procedure. We went for dinner an hour later to the Vetters, and I started bleeding out from the wound, soaking the dressings and my pants. Thankfully, Zinha is a Registered Nurse, so she was able to redress it for me (I had to ask permission from her husband Richard that she see me with my pants down…haha) and she recommended that I go to Emergency at Richmond General Hospital. They generously offered to watch Sean and Jake while Gail and Kayla took me to the hospital.

I am so grateful that the Lord had us at that place at that time. I almost didn’t go to the Vetters’ that night, opting instead to just rest at home. I probably wouldn’t have known what to do had I started bleeding profusely with no one to help me! So not only did I get a yummy meal…I got professional care and some peace-of-mind.

It was a madhouse in the waiting room but I was luckily treated within an hour. Needless to say, it was very humbling lying on the hospital bed with my pants off with both the female nurse and female doctor tending to me. Thankfully I was wearing decent underwear. As unpleasant as it was for me, it must have been worse for them as they had to clean, re-pack, and re-dress the wound. The most painful part was actually when they removed the tape (think Steve Carell in the 40 Year-Old Virgin).

While waiting to be worked on, I had a lot of time to think, text, reflect, and pray. I thought it was appropriate that this was happening to me during the Easter Triduum, as I thought of the humility shown by Christ washing His disciples’ feet at the Last Supper, and the pain and anguish He felt on Good Friday. This isn’t to say that my humbling experiences and pain were comparable at all to what Jesus went through…but they certainly were analogous to me.

Here’s one last funny story: in making small talk with the Filipina nursing student, I mentioned that my wife was born in the Philippines. She then asked me if I was Filipino, and I responded “no” but that I could say one Filipino phrase…but that it was very inappropriate for the situation (remember…I was lying there on my stomach in my underwear). She told me to save it for when we were done.

After I finished dressing myself, she asked what the phrase was. I said in perfectly fluent Tagalog: “Gusto mo akong umutot?” She burst out into laughter and indeed thanked me for saving it…as it means “Do you want me to fart?” Quite the ending to my hospital visit!

The injury has affected me more than I thought: I can’t really sit so I’m regulated to lying down or standing. Thus, I can’t drive and I was in an out of the office all week for short spurts. Being a person somewhat of routine and habit, I find that I haven’t been really effective at anything, either at home or at work. So I’m praying that I can recover quickly and get back to business as usual.

Thus, I’m looking forward to the joy and new life that comes from Christ’s glorious resurrection at Easter! And to keep with my analogy…it will likely mean taking the boys bowling or playing hockey outside.

Happy Easter!

My Wedding Proposal to Gail

My wedding proposal to Gail on Sunday, February 28, 1999 at St. Paul’s LIFE TEEN Youth Ministry’s annual “KNACK” Talent Show.

This proposal caught Gail completely off-guard because of the location and the timing. It fell exactly half-way between Valentine’s Day and Gail’s birthday of March 13. Thus, she didn’t suspect a thing (given that the other 2 dates would have been more opportune times).

Check out the look on Gail’s face when I first call her up…priceless!

Thanks to Gary, Mark and Brian for helping me out. It turned out as well as could be expected despite the bad acting (them) and bad singing (me)…haha!

Being a Canucks Fan in Calgary

I arrived in Calgary today for meetings with other diocesan Directors and Coordinators of Catholic Youth Ministry before heading to Banff for a national youth ministry conference. So, as I like to do when I travel to other cities, I bought a ticket to see the local professional sports team, in this case the Calgary Flames. And I had the awesome company of youth ministry colleagues Peter, Laurie, Denise, Lecia, and Sarah. Peter in particular was very excited to see a team other than the Maple Leafs in person. I can’t say I blame him.

I proudly donned my brand new Vancouver Canucks jersey, the one that says LUONGO in big letters on the back. Upon entering the Pengrowth Saddledome, I knew that I was walking into enemy territory, as the Canucks and Flames are battling for first-place in the Northwest Division (in fact, the Flames entered the night one point ahead of the Canucks in the standings).

I had no reservations about wearing the blue and green among the sea of red. After all, I am an Ultimate Canucks Fan . And most of the Calgarians probably thought I was clueless. After all, the game was between the Flames and the Phoenix Coyotes.

The first comment directed at me was actually a positive one. “Nice jersey” someone said as I made my way to my seat. Couldn’t tell if he was being sarcastic or not. But it didn’t matter. I was too busy focussing on not tripping and falling down the seemingly 257 stairs I had to climb to get to my seat in the highest row in the arena! Peter had me in stitches all night with his one-liners about our mile-high seats, the best being “So this is what it looks like for God when He watches a hockey game.” Classic.

Every time that Phoenix scored, I cheered. And every time that Calgary did something good (not a lot) I stayed silent. Phoenix played a strong game and won 3-1, much to the dismay of 18,000 and to the delight of one (me).

I knew the true litmus test would be leaving the arena. After all, the home team had just been drubbed in their own arena. And the arena sold beer.

Sure enough, I saw 2 guys pointing and snickering as I made my down the 257 stairs. Then, in the concourse, I rather tall cowboy-type brushed shoulders with me and said “Vancouver? What the f**k is that?” I knew better than to respond. Actually, I didn’t even know what a proper response would be. I guess it would be: “A city on the west coast.” Or “host to the 2010 Winter Olympics.” Or “the most beautiful city in the world.”

Then, a chant of “Vancouver sucks” from behind me. Another guy muttered “Luongo sucks” under his breath while walking by me. Then for fun I went into the Flames Store and looking at the wall of Calgary jerseys, I asked the employee (with my tongue firmly in my cheek) if he had any Luongo jerseys in large. His response: “Never in here.” Or maybe it was “Get out of here.”

I made my way back to hotel to greet more of the youth ministers. And my night came to a perfect end when Krissy texted me with: “6 rounds of shootout and Edler wins it!”

The Canucks had just defeated the Islanders 3 – 2 in Vancouver, taking over first place in the division. I then had my answer to the tall, foul-mouthed cowboy dude.

“What is Vancouver?”

THE TEAM THAT JUST PASSED YOURS IN THE STANDINGS!

Kayla Marie: The Ultimate Canucks Newborn

One year after being named the Ultimate Canucks Family with last year’s Ultimate Canucks Haiku, we’re back at it again…this time with a new addition to the family!

See Sean and Jake tackle their most daunting challenge yet: making their one-week-old sister Kayla the Ultimate Canucks Newborn!

This video helped us win the Ultimate Canucks Family for the 2nd consecutive year.

http://www.claytonimoo.com

http://www.twitter.com/claytonimoo

http://www.twitter.com/canuckclay