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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Your Dying Spouse 14 - Gift of Days (Five Minute Friday)

Back again with Five Minute Friday, hosted by Kate Motaung. We're also linked with Messy Marriage's Wedded Wednesday.

Today's keyword, for five minutes of exposition, is Gift.

And we're off...

In his lovely book Illusions, Richard Bach wrote that there is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands.

While it may be a stretch to apply this to having a terminally ill spouse (a stretch to the point of lunacy, perhaps), hear me out.

We live in a time continuum with a fuzzy end...the days we have stretch out into the mists of distant tomorrows, and we can't see the finish line.

With terminal illness, we can. We may not be able to judge its exact distance, but every day brings it a little bit closer.

And so, our lives can, if we let them, become something like a pile of rocks, scattered through with jewels.

We're down to the jewels now.

Every day can be something special, something to savor, because it's one of a small number.

A limited edition, if you want another metaphor.

This is certainly not an invitation to engage in bathetic sentimentality, watching the clock tick down. Far from it!

It's just something of which to be aware, the awareness that can come with a lovely vacation to a place you're not likely to be able to visit again.

Because when your spouse is dying, you won't pass this way, or this day, again.

Endex.

18 comments:

  1. "Every day can be something special, something to savor, because it's one of a small number."

    Really good words here, because they apply to all of us. None of us know how long we have. None of us know if tomorrow might be our last. So let's look for the positive, look for the joy. Watch for the marks of God's goodness. Thank you for this reminder!

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    1. Very true...we can't know what tomorrow holds. There's a famous photograph from the Korean War, of a young Marine, exhausted by the retreat from the Chosin Reservoir. The photographer asked him, "What would you want right now, if you could have anything?"

      "Give me tomorrow."

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  2. Andrew, such great words here. As I read, I thought of a loved one in our family who is terminally ill. I need to remember that she's down to the jewels. And I hope when I see her again, I add jewels and not coal to her memories. We never pass the exact same day again, but it's even more true when you know the end of days is nearing.

    Thanks for making me think about this. I need to prepare my heart for seeing her again, because there's a lot of hurt between us. Thank you for sharing your perspective.

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    1. Jeanne, I will keep you in my prayers for that meeting...but I'm sure that it will be only jewels you add. Your courageous Heart For Christ comes through in everything you write, and if anyone can be well-prepared to offer grace...it's you.

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  3. Oh Andrew! Yes indeed each day is s gift. May you treasure them all my friend!

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    1. Thank you, Tara! I do treasure them. I am very, very lucky in the love I have around me.

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  4. Thanks again for your beautiful perspective... it comes from that shift of vision you are experiencing, discovering breathtaking, heart-rending beauty in the near-sightedness that terminal illness brings. Or better put, 'focus', not near-sightedness. I'm naturally short-sighted, so know well what 'fuzzy' looks like, and the habits (annoyance) of adjusting my glasses so I can see what I'm doing. Your post inspires a much sharper focus on today, right here and now, and all the beauty it contains.

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    1. Ruth, thank you so much...you phrased that metaphor of the glasses beautifully.

      And there is beauty, even in mind-numbing pain. One simply has to be open to its existence, the possibility of its existence, even, as a start.

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  5. Andrew, what a beautiful post! Thank you for reminding us to treasure every day, even more as we see the Day approaching.

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    1. Holly, thank you. I approach the streets of gold on a path lined with jewels, and in spite of the pain...I love my life.

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  6. Andrew, every day IS a gift although I believe you know that better than most of us. Grace, brother. I am visiting from FMF, I'm linked up at #47

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    1. Thanks, Susan. That means a lot to me.

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  7. Oh, that we would learn to live each day as if it were a jewel in a rock pile! May God continue to be with you and your wife and to help you in each hour and minute of need.

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    1. No worries, He's here.

      Today life is very painful, and it's a bit tough to breathe, but it's still a good life, and I wouldn't trade with anyone.

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  8. No matter what situation we find ourselves in, we need to focus on the here and now; to add many jewels to our lives and to the lives of others. I just added some special memories to my life and the lives of my grandsons, vacationing with them to some very special places (and doubt I'll go back to any of them, but who knows!)

    Thanks again for sharing your inspiration with us all Still following and continuing to pray with you and your wife! God bless you both.

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    1. Just visited your blog, and saw the pictures of your vacation...LOVED them!

      Your being here, your continued prayers...that's a jewel, Barbara. One of the brightest.

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  9. I do hope that every day and every moment has beautiful and sweet gifts to unwrap in this painful and loss-filled season, Andrew. Thanks for always pushing through it to give us the gift of your insight as well!

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    1. If I just keep my heart and mind attuned to God, He transcends the pain and the dread and the loss. This all can mean something, it can all be worked to the good. All I really have to do is accept where I am without complaint, without "I wish" or "If only" or "Why me", and the sun will shine out all the clearer.

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