Well, the weekend is almost over and wow; where did it go. My weekend was weird and I'd love to tell you all about it. My weekend began as I continued whatever this illness is all about. I limped toward it as I slept off this little disease both Wednesday and Thursday night. But Friday is a huge day, I got to be 100% right? Well, I'm not right, I feel bad but determined to power through. I went to work Friday as a FNBC Bank employee, I came home a Whitney Bank employee. Now for the uninitiated, in these parts Whitney Bank is a long-time, well-respected name in the greater New Orleans area. Now part of Hancock Holding Companies, operators of both Whitney Bank and Hancock Bank, it is a huge entity and represents for me a huge change after these almost 5 years at FNBC Bank. I loved my time at FNBC, it provided me the change I needed in banking. But in a blink of an eye, the wheels came off the bus and FNBC was forced to fight for it's future to exist. Therefore they sold off tons of assets, apparently I'm part of that as I and my staff in Pearl River, became Whitney Bankers. Conversion started Friday night, we were visited by our team helping us from the Hancock/Whitney side and we went to work making the change a reality. We worked until 8:30 that night. Remember, I am sick as a dog and coughing up a lung but am determined to power through. So we got right back at it 7:30 Saturday morning. Now here comes the confused customer entering the mix but surprisingly, most excited about the change. Mission accomplished as we left Saturday around 1 pm. Day's 1 and 2 for conversion in the books. Let me state here I happy, pleased and excited I am to be joining the Whitney Bank team. The good people of Pearl River are in for a great time as we become the bank of choice in our fair little town.
Keep in mind, the nose is still running and the coughing is still happening and now I need time to finish my homily for Sunday and oh yes, the family is coming over for dinner. Yep, I'm sick as a dog and here comes the visiting gaggle of family. Once again, despite falling asleep in my chair, I did manage to power through, eat dinner with the family and even stay awake long enough to have a discussion or two. As the family departs and desperate for meds, I get working on that homily. Completed, I must admit, I borrowed heavily from a previous homily I delivered several years earlier. Oh then Wendy mentions to me it's time to change the clocks, spring forward she declares. And then my annual March rant begins. I hate this idea, I see no need to experience daylight until all hours of the night at the expense of losing sleep and profound darkness in the morning. Silly, stupid idea! So I get to bed hopeful that sleep will help me get through Mass without hacking but there would be little to no sleep. Clocks moved forward I woke often throughout the night, restless, coughing and then I must have fallen asleep in the darkness that is 6 a.m. only to wake in quasi-darkness at 7:10. Yep, I got 20 minutes max to get ready and leave for 8 a.m. Mass.
My first Mass of the day was a struggle because of the crud. I needed water, Kleenex, and cough drops with me to get through, and I did. I delivered my homily and I think, for the most part, it worked! I continue to cough and sneeze and blow my nose through Mass. With Mass done, I decided the only common-sense approach to this was to drive straight to one of those urgent-care facilities. So I did; diagnosis confirmed, a nasty sinus infection. Course of action: a steroid shot, a Z-pack, cough medicine and more. Home to rest, but other realities happened. On a whim I rented the movie Hacksaw Ridge, Mel Gibson's Oscar nominated movie based on the real-life story of a WWII hero that refused to carry a gun. So that took over 2 hours off the table for sleep but well worth viewing. Then of course we had a Skype session with the grands; tons of fun as usual. And before I know it I am back at church for Benediction, 6 p.m. mass and another preaching assignment. By the way, much better second time around!
One more thing before I go. Today in New Orleans was the 1st inquiry session for a potential new class of deacon "recruits" for a possible class of 2022. I have never missed these sessions since I was ordained in 2008. For obvious reasons, I did not make it and that makes me a little sad. And I hate that it is my little flare up of illnesses and work demands that have left me missing a few major ministry events lately. I pray for these men and their wives as they prepare to take it all in.
And yes, I pray I get better, I pray our continued Whitney conversion goes well and I pray for all of you and thank you for reading my blog.
Oh don't forget, it will be darker in the morning!