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Love and marriage are the greatest adventures in life, and they point they way to our relationship with the Almighty.

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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 213 - Lethal Lessons {FMF}

Time for Five Minute Friday, the timed and keyword themed writing challenge hosted every week by the wonderful Kate Motaung.

One again, I'm writing in advance of knowing the keyword. I may not be well enough to address it in timely fashion when it's revealed, but beyond that, there is a story to tell.

(The word is COLLECT. I think I can use it.)

If I can work the word into this narrative, I will. But I do ask your pardon for not playing the game.

September sucked. No other word. It started out with Barbara getting the flu, and me getting pneumonia which almost killed me.

Which, in retrospect, might not have been an unwelcome thing.

Barb's beloved 18-year-old canine companion, Mocha Java, died. Barbara discovered the body; I was running behind in letting the dogs out for walks, and had not gotten to Mocha.

Barbara should not have been subjected to that.

Two weeks after that awful day, I was unforgivably negligent. The enclosure in which one of our young pits lived was deficient, and I had not gotten around to repairing it, and had too much pride to ask Barbara to fix it. She offered, as the dog had gotten out when she was around, and had to be coaxed back in.

I didn't do anything. She got out, and now she is dead. It's on me. She was only three years old.

Sloth is the devil's debt, and the devil came to collect.

Some might say, well, it's only a dog...but I have found that dogs feel love and pain and hope and fear and joy and sorrow to the degree that many humans do, and more so than most people I've met. I have service dogs; I rely on them when I can no longer communicate even with my wife.

That argument doesn't wash, not for me.

The raw fact is that God entrusted me with the care of these guys, and for Pitunia, I failed, and she was the one to pay the price.

It's hard, or maybe impossible to forgive myself, but I realize that I don't have to. I've already bee forgiven. I believe in God, and I believe that He's seen the remorse in my heart, and His forgiveness is there. It will take me time, more, perhaps, than I have, to take that offering, but God is patient.

It's hard not to hate myself, but again, I don't have to worry, because I believe that God does love me.

It's OK to be in the abyss for awhile. It's not something I have to fix, healing takes time, and in this case it may take more time than I have in this life.

That's also OK.

I may smile again one day; or not. Time will tell. But I will be here in this corner of cyberspace.

But I doubt I will ever be what I was.

I'll be what God makes of me from here on.

No musical accompaniment this week. Doesn't seem appropriate.

Marley update...he's received a lot of support, but STILL NEEDS HELP TO BE SAVED.

WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

He's up to nearly 200,000 signatures, but the local authorities are dragging their feet. They think that we'll give up and go away. We won't.

If you have a mment, I'd like to ask you to visit Change.org to consider a petition to free a 'death row dog' who has been separated from his family for ten months over a misunderstanding. Marley was saved from Afghanistan by a US serviceman; please help make sure this story doesn't end in needless tragedy! Marley's gotten a lot of support...but he still needs our help.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.












Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 212- I Promise This

We're linked with Messy Marriages From Messes To Messages. Please visit for some great marriage resources.

After the culmination is sorrow and loss of the last horrible week (details to follow, perhaps Friday...some details), I was bereft.

Hated myself; still do. (I know that God loves me.)

Couldn't forgive myself; still can't. (I know that God forgives me.)

Wanted to quit; still do. (And God won't let me quit.)

However, my feet have been held to the fire and I have been forced to promise several things -

  • I won't kill myself. While I really don't want to live, suicide is the coward's way out.
  • I won't turn away from God.After all, He didn't screw up. I did.
  • I won't quit writing.
The last one's the hardest, really, because what happened has destroyed the 'meaning' behind my words. It's wrecked the personal mythology I built up about what made up my own value.

Yes, I know I'm valuable to God; I get that, and don't seriously doubt it. But right now it doesn't translate into temporal self-respect.

This site won't go dark, but it's a changed person behind the keyboard. I learned an important lesson, and it's torn me loose from what I was.

Hopefully something better will grow. But that is not, in the end, important.

What is important is that I find a way to make some good from something truly and irrevocably bad. Not good for me; good for you.

As a musical theme, the old 60s song "One Tin Soldier" has been running through my mind. Interestingly, a psychologist with whom I worked once said that this song reminded her of me, that I was the tin soldier, who, on that bloody morning after, rode away.

She meant it as a compliment. I have to be harder thn ever, now, to make sense of this.




Marley update...he's received a lot of support, but STILL NEEDS HELP TO BE SAVED.

WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

He's up to nearly 200,000 signatures, but the local authorities are dragging their feet. They think that we'll give up and go away. We won't.

If you have a mment, I'd like to ask you to visit Change.org to consider a petition to free a 'death row dog' who has been separated from his family for ten months over a misunderstanding. Marley was saved from Afghanistan by a US serviceman; please help make sure this story doesn't end in needless tragedy! Marley's gotten a lot of support...but he still needs our help.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.













Sunday, September 25, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 211 - Abyss

Well, the 'Five Horrible Days' described in my last post culminated in something far worse, and irredeemable. I will try to describe it later, but I'm a bit too heartbroken right now...and it was preventable. It was my fault.

So, a note to caregivers. Sometimes nothing you can say can make it better.

Saying "God loves you!" does not make me stop hating myself.

Saying "God forgives you" does not make me forgive myself.

Sometimes all that's needed is your quiet presence and a hug, or a handhold.

And God, I need that now.

Marley update...he's received a lot of support, but STILL NEEDS HELP TO BE SAVED.

WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

He's up to nearly 200,000 signatures, but the local authorities are dragging their feet. They think that we'll give up and go away. We won't.

If you have a mment, I'd like to ask you to visit Change.org to consider a petition to free a 'death row dog' who has been separated from his family for ten months over a misunderstanding. Marley was saved from Afghanistan by a US serviceman; please help make sure this story doesn't end in needless tragedy! Marley's gotten a lot of support...but he still needs our help.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.














Thursday, September 22, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 210 - Five Horrible Days {FMF}

Time for Five Minute Friday, the keyword-guided timed writing challenge hosted each week by Kate Motaung.

Kate was gracious enough to give me the keyword this week, FIVE, early. It's been an awful week.

First, apologies to those who have commented, and to whom I did not reply. No excuse save illness, and that is not a good excuse.

What happened...well, it's pretty boring stuff. The usual - pain that would not abate, flickering lucidity (apparently I though Barb was someone else for long periods of time), and the messy physical issues that go with ths.

But there was one 'special' thing, something that delivered a judgement on my character and life that was staggering. It stripped aside my self-defenses of good and worth, and left me thinking that the parents who said, all those years ago, that I'd never amount to anything...maybe they were right.

I'm tired and discouraged beyond anywhere I have been before. May be time to pack in the effort. You work to build morale and remain faithful, and the answer seems to be a massively indifferent and offhanded slap in the face and punch in the gut.

There are points beyond which it hurts too much to walk, and God's promises seem very far away.

But maybe the rainbow that arches over the eastern sky, at this very moment...maybe it has five colours for a reason.


Marley update...he's received a lot of support, but STILL NEEDS HELP TO BE SAVED.

WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

He's up to nearly 200,000 signatures, but the local authorities are dragging their feet. They think that we'll give up and go away. We won't.

If you have a mment, I'd like to ask you to visit Change.org to consider a petition to free a 'death row dog' who has been separated from his family for ten months over a misunderstanding. Marley was saved from Afghanistan by a US serviceman; please help make sure this story doesn't end in needless tragedy! Marley's gotten a lot of support...but he still needs our help.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.













Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 209 - Flickering

Again, I will have to ask your patience. I am very, very ill, and lucidity is flickering because of extreme and intractable pain.

I'm OK for a few minutes, but Barbara says I have been awfully confused and sometimes hallucinatory.

But even when I'm 'checked out', it seems I am still functioning. Nothing horrible has been done, nothing important undone, and for that I am grateful.

There is one thing to say - that even when one's very personhood feels like a light bulb that's nearing the end of its time, that time is still very important, perhaps more so than ever.

And it's important to be treated like the person I was and still am, and not like the symptom I sometimes become. I'm in very severe pain (well, got nausea too). That's all. There's nothing functionally wrong with my cognition

If I am to get through this - and I yet hope to - belief in who I was and may be again is the slim rope up which I must climb.

And I pray that no one will ever cut or untie it. to better categorize and pigeonhole me.

And today's musical inspiration comes from Toby Kieth...



Marley update...he's received a lot of support, but STILL NEEDS HELP TO BE SAVED.

WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

He's up to nearly 200,000 signatures, but the local authorities are dragging their feet. They think that we'll give up and go away. We won't.

If you have a mment, I'd like to ask you to visit Change.org to consider a petition to free a 'death row dog' who has been separated from his family for ten months over a misunderstanding. Marley was saved from Afghanistan by a US serviceman; please help make sure this story doesn't end in needless tragedy! Marley's gotten a lot of support...but he still needs our help.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.












Sunday, September 18, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 208 - Drinking From A Firehose

Too ill to write anything meaningful, but this -

When you are a caregiver for someone's who's very sick, slow down the flow of information when talking. Let individual thoughts get absorbed.

When you have a '"his and that an this too or maybe this..." delivery it may be fine at work or with friends - but you may be making your sick spouse feel pretty low and inadequate for not being able to follow.

He or she is already drinking from a firehose in keeping up (or down) with a failing body. Please don't add to it.

That's all I have the energy for.

How about some fun music from the 80s...



Marley update...he's received a lot of support, but STILL NEEDS HELP TO BE SAVED.

WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

He's up to nearly 200,000 signatures, but the local authorities are dragging their feet. They think that we'll give up and go away. We won't.

If you have a mment, I'd like to ask you to visit Change.org to consider a petition to free a 'death row dog' who has been separated from his family for ten months over a misunderstanding. Marley was saved from Afghanistan by a US serviceman; please help make sure this story doesn't end in needless tragedy! Marley's gotten a lot of support...but he still needs our help.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.













Thursday, September 15, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 207 - Why I'm Still Here {FMF}

Back again for Five Minute Friday, the weekly get-together and key-word-themed timed writing challenge hosted by the lovely and gracious Kate Motaung.

Yeah, I know. Calling a lady 'lovely' isn't PC, but neither am I, and lovely she is. Deal with it.

As has happened too often in the past few weeks, I'm writing ahead of time. At the moment I have pneumonia, and it is immediately-life-threatening. If I can work the keyword into the theme I will. I just want to be sure there's something to post. (The word's listen, and I worked it in.)

So...I'm over 200 posts in this series. My doctor's kind of shocked, and my wife is flabbergasted. I shouldn't be alive any more. What gives?

I have no idea...and while this is getting harder for me I have been able to keep going. I've stopped working on fiction...just don't have the energy...and I have had to cut back, with regret, on commenting on other blog. Keeping the BPH blog running, with admittedly shorter posts, is taking a lot.

So, what resources are there?

  1. GOD - I believe in the Christian God, and I believe that I am being kept viable to fulfill a purpose. I may not know what it is, and it may be far from what I would guess - I may be a cautionary tale rather than an example - but there is a reason for this. The pain and humiliation (read incontinence and fainting, several times today) are not His concern. My performance is.
  2. DOG - yes, it's an anagram for God, and no wonder, at least here. We have many, nearly all having arrived at this place of last resort. For some reason - known only to them and their Great Anagram - I have a connexion with these guys that no one else can match. The fiercest maulers let me hold them belly-up, like puppies, and drift off to happy dreams in my arms. This is hard to fathom, for I am, above most everything else, a trained dealer in death. But they see some transcendence, and I won't abandon them.
  3. YOU GUYS - The FMF, Books and Such,  Steve Laube Agency, Messy Marriage,  and Inspire Me Mondays communities have carried my heart and soul over some really horrible patches. I never had pen pals; I never really believed in friendships that were not face-to-face. Boy, was I ever wrong. You guys are literal lifesavers.
  4. DREAMS - Yes, I still have dreams, and while their attainment is predicated on a restoration of health, working toward them in hope is not. Our dreams are not our own, not really. They're beholden to the Almighty, as concrete symbols of faith, and they're obligations to the community, a shared vision of a general hope that allows us to encourage one another when things seem to hard to bear. Dreams are not ego; they are the debt we owe.
And Barbara? Well, we've been married for either fourteen or twelve years (yes, there was a divorce and remarriage in there, 2003-2004).

And I still live to say good morning to her, every day. And to listen for her reply.

For a musical theme, how about some Christian Metal?



Marley update...he's received a lot of support, but STILL NEEDS HELP TO BE SAVED.

WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

He's up to nearly 200,000 signatures, but the local authorities are dragging their feet. They think that we'll give up and go away. We won't.

If you have a mment, I'd like to ask you to visit Change.org to consider a petition to free a 'death row dog' who has been separated from his family for ten months over a misunderstanding. Marley was saved from Afghanistan by a US serviceman; please help make sure this story doesn't end in needless tragedy! Marley's gotten a lot of support...but he still needs our help.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.