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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 199 - Phoenix Rising {FMF}

Once again it is time for Five Minute Friday, the keyword-driven weekly timed writing challenge hosted by Kate Motaung.

The work this week is...well, I don't know what it is. It has been the worst of weeks, and I am writing ahead of time because I can. Yesterday I lost a quart or more of blood, and I did not know who Barbara was when she came home. I was giving the dogs pizza and beer for dinner. (So those to whose comments I did not reply, please forgive. At least you didn't get a rugby dinner. Well, almost. Barb grabbed the beer.)

(OK, the prompt is LOYAL.)

So, it's bad. prospects are bad. Outlook is grimmer than before. Today I went down outside, and the girls, Syl and Ladron, pulled me in. Blood trails and drag marks. I could not even crawl.

But I still have a dream, and I am going to share it with you.

It's called Tokyo. 2020. The decathalon.

When you stop laughing, yeah, I'm way too old, and way too sick, and I can't hardly even walk. This is stupid, right? Like, delusional.

I mean, I'm incontinent. Want to know how many loads of laundry I've done today? No, you don't.

But I have faith.

And I am willing to hurt more and bleed more and sleep less than anyone else. God's got to count that for something.

Blame it on the dude who won in Rio. Before the 1500m, he said that he'd push hard enough to put himself in the hospital.

I'll see that, and raise it. I'll push hard enough to put myself in the grave.

Why? Well, why not?

Do I need a miracle? Sure. I need to be able to walk, and to stop the disease, and to make all those malignant cells act normal.

But in the meantime I still have strong arms. I can exercise those until I pass out.

And when I wake up I will keep going until I pass out again and I will wait for my miracle.

If you're going to dream, dream big. If you're going to die, die hard.

Better to die on the road to Tokyo than in some hospital.

Call it hopeless, yeah. But I have hope, and that's all I need to make it to tomorrow.

The phoenix is going to rise from my ashes. I'm going to roll the stone away.

And this...when I get there, I will be sporting my one and only tattoo, on my right bicep.

FMF

So, all you LOYAL FMF'ers, you're on my TEAM. I pick you

ALL OF YOU.




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.







43 comments:

  1. Andrew, I love this!I've said it before but I'll say it again. You are so inspiring! "And when I wake up I will keep going until I pass out again and I will wait for my miracle.If you're going to dream, dream big. If you're going to die, die hard." AMEN!

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    1. Gayl, thank you so very, very much!

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  2. Andrew, I will hope with you and for you. I will stand on the sideline cheering you on. I love these words of yours!

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    1. Mollie, I so appreciate this. I will be looking for you!

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  3. Rock on, Andrew! We'll cheer you on and pray hard.

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    1. Rocking on is what I find I do best, ANita, much to the puzzlement of those around me. Thanks so much!

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  4. Andrew,
    I bet we can get you into the Paralympics for sure! How about wheelchair rugby? #Champ
    And yes, it's real. Here's the link.
    https://www.rio2016.com/en/paralympics/wheelchair-rugby
    If you give them beer and pizza, I am sure you'd be welcome on the team. You will have to lower yourself to accepting a chariot made for the seated, instead of running and getting into formation and raising your hooker above the ground. I've seen all the bumper stickers. Actually stood in the team photo in college, but didn't have the stomach for the binge drinking that the team unofficially sponsored.

    Back to loyal, I'm so glad that Barbara and you have had the chance to be that couple. The one that really sticks it out in the "sickness and in health". That couple we all admire from a distance, but have no bearing of depth of commitment. We don't see the sights, smell the smells, hear the groans, (not to be over-dramatic or anything) and so you two deserve medals in that alone.
    Your commitment is a testimony to marriage and what it can be. Thank you. So much!
    So thankful the pups brought you in out of the heat! Praying heavily your way!
    Go team!
    :)
    Love,
    Tammy

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    1. Dag gone it...Tammy said what I wanted to say....AGAIN. xo

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    2. Susan, have you watched the wheelchair rugby?! It's fascinating!

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    3. Love this, Tammy, and thanks so much for the link! And binge drinking...well, that did make some things possible, like riding a motorcycle into a swimming pool.

      I really cherish what you said about me and Barbara. Thank you so much for this

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  5. Love being on the same team with you, Andrew! You are a loyal friend to us all. I couldn't help but think of your pups this week with the prompt. They are the loyal ones, for sure! Great words today. Keep 'em coming! Continuing to pray for you, Barbara, and the pups.

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    1. Julie, thank you so much. I'm so lucky to be a part of FMF - it's been a literal lifesaver.

      And yes, the dogs are so truly loyal. Ladron the Heeler stays up all night...when I look to her she is always next to me, her head up and alert. During the day she does sometimes crash, and Sylvia takes over.

      We so appreciate the prayer, Julie. many thanks!

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  6. andrew, i love your goal:) i have a little bit of a clue re what it takes to become a decathlon champion. the brother-in-law of my daughter is bryan clay. he won silver in 2004 and gold in 2008 in the decathlon. the medals are cool looking:) there is no harm is trying for it. it is a killer of a competition!

    sad to hear of another step in your body's failing you. ugh! no fun. praying for you as the symptoms get worse:( bad disease isn't it? blessings brother!

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    1. Yeah, Martha, it is a killer. I knew Bill Toomey when he was training for Mexico City '68. I do have kind of an advantage, because my old job required me to pass a PT test that essentially required Olympic-level fitness, and I maintained that until I got sick. So my body remembers how.

      But I figure that if I say to God, OK, I'll do my bit, and I'm depending on you for my miracle, He'll come through. I'll train till I bleed too much and pass out...and then get up again when I come around.

      Going to die anyway. May as well make the effort count.

      Thank you so much for being here!

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  7. Wow! What determination, hope and grit - very inspiring particularly in light of another tough week. I love that you are finding hope in improbable places - the tenacity of the human spirit is incredible!

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    1. Emma, thank you so much! I am finding that holding out a goal that is over many horizons, but is tall and bright enough to be seen from the present fell valley, makes each day easier, and makes me, I think, a better person to be around.

      I'm going to die, but I'm going to go out bright and loud, and I will make it count.

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  8. OH MY GOSH, MY WORD, MY LORD JESUS.....I love you Andrew Budek-Schmeisser.... I love your spirit. Your HOPE. Your craziness. I love THIS post best of all. I HATE your disease worst of all. But your hopefulness is beautiful (I only use that word to describe nature and my granddaughter)...and you know I heard it said, #hopechangeseverything. Now muster up and reply to my comment!!! ;)

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    1. YES, Susan...hope does indeed change everything. How and why the ALmighty placed this goal in front of me I can't say; except perhaps to use me as His signboard to say Never, Ever Quit.

      And to maybe get some cool endorsement deals with Ensure, Geritol, AARP, Depends...

      And thank you for the honour of the word 'beautiful'; I treasure this, Susan!

      And yes, I am working toward this. For the moment all I can work are my arms; God's going to have to provide the miracle for the rest, but He made the world in seven days.

      Just think of what He can do with me in four years!

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  9. Wow, Andrew! Everyone has said it before, but I'll say it again... you are incredibly inspiring! I say, "Go for it! You are never too old to start something new and crazy!

    I often find inspiration in this story: When the legendary cellist, Pablo Casals, was asked why he continued to practice at age 90, he replied, "Because I think I'm making progress!"

    Trusting with you for strength and healing,
    Shauna (#14 this week)

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    1. Love the story about Casal, Shauna!

      There's another quote that I like, though a bit guiltily..."Old age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill."

      Thank you so much for being here, and for your love and support. You're appreciated.

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  10. I so appreciate your writing in the midst of your trial. I love all your capital letters.

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    1. BusyB, thank you so much...and thank you for appreciating the CAPS!

      And, BTW, I like Debussy and John Field as well.

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  11. I love your dream and I love your hope, and I love your loyalty to FMF and that we can be your team and cheer you on. Praying for you.

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    1. Lesley, thank you so much...and honestly, the hope would never have been born without FMF. This group changed me, at a time I needed to be changed.

      Thank you so very much for the prayers and support! I am truly, truly grateful.

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  12. Andrew, I love that you are still dreaming and hoping. It shows how amazing of a man you are. Oh and the tattoo..love that! We all choose you too! I'm over in the 35 spot this week.

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    1. Tara, thank you! For hope to grow, it has to have fertile and deep soil...and this is what FMF has brought me in the past 18 months or so. I am a different man for being here - and one far more capable of hope.

      And dreams!

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  13. If anyone can make it there, it's you, Andrew, and we're all cheering for you to cross that finish line with a few more books published for your fans.

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    1. Carol, yes...there will be more boos, and this trip will make a good one.

      It's funny that when the whole thing came together as a plan, even though I can barely walk and can only stand for a few minutes...God said, "I have four years. I made the world in seven days. Dig?"

      Yeah. I dig.

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  14. You are one CrAzY dude! Andrew for Tokyo! Seriously though, my 15 y/o's a runner, he's tall, lean and fast. His goal is to beat Bolt's time someday. If he ever makes the big time, I'll ask him to carry your picture so you can run like the wind with him at least in spirit.

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    1. Christy, you're right. I'm mad as a hatter. Everyone says so! But, as a wise man once said, anything worth doing is worth overdoing, and moderation is for cowards, so there we are. Tokyo 2020 - God made the world in seven days, and He has four YEARS to concentrate on me.

      And please do ask your 15 to carry my picture. You have touched my heart with this, dear friend.

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  15. You have me cheering you on, Andrew! Truly! Very inspiring! You will never let this get you down until God says so.

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    1. Thank you, Kristina! It won't get me down...but the biggest part of determination and the ability for dreams, even now, has come from FMF.

      That's why when (not if) I walk into the track-and-field arena in Tokyo, four years from now, I will wear a permanent brand on my arm - FMF. I will not have gotten there without you.

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  16. Here I am, Andrew! I am with you...I am on your team! I am cheering you on to the bitter end; no, not bitter, because in the end you will be rejoicing! We will be tearfully rejoicing with you and sending cyber hugs to Barb and the dogs and all those physically around you...We will shed tears of joy for you as you rise like the Phoenix, arms outstretched as you slide through those pearly gates. We will shed tears of sadness because we will miss your beautiful, honest, open, inspiring, wonderful words...we will miss the YOU we have come to know through these words.

    Yes, I am still with you as are many many many others! Some FMFers; others, infrequent FMFers - like me - that follow your words religiously! And prayers are rising up to the One who can ease your pain, and bring you home; or ease your pain, and allow your "work" (or words) to continue! Hugs are sent; prayers rise; and I as well as many others are here...

    And I love that you have that FMF tattoo on your bicep!! And, that the dogs enjoyed pizza - and almost - beer! HUGS!

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    1. Barbara, your words and love do me such great homour...thank you so very much!

      FMF has been a turning point for me; I am by far the better man for the friendships I have gained, and the kindness that has been extended. It' really amazing.

      Hugs back!

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  17. In a sermon at church recently our pastor encouraged us to start expecting BIG things from God because our God is capable of much BIGGER things than we could ever dream of. About half of the congregation stood up to be prayed over for healing (our church is 450+members) of big and small things and the other half walked forward to pray over them. God did some spectacular things that day. He is our incredible HOPE: keep expecting big things, Andrew- let God lead you where you're called to go, keep listening to His voice above all else.

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    1. Oh, Anna, I LOVE the story you shared. Thank you so much.

      He is indeed our Hope...and our only hope. How wonderful that what He offers is real, and our biggest Hopes are treasures in His Mighty Hands!

      Thank you so much for being here...and no worries. He leads, I follow, listening.

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  18. Andrew, your determination and hope is positively contagious! I have been battling discouragement in my research, and the events of the past weeks have totally destroyed my focus (i'm #56 this week if you want a little more detail). Your words are encouragement to press on, to go for that seemingly unattainable goal (becoming a professor) with everything I've got, and expecting miraculous provision for everything I don't have. Thank you so much for being that bright spot that encourages me to go back and fight tomorrow instead of giving up because today was hard.

    I'm so, so sorry to hear how tough life is for you lately, but please know that I'm praying for you and Barbara.

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    1. Katy, my dear brave friend...you are always in my prayers. I do know your road, and can only say that your stalwart courage in the face of academic adversity is a shining beacon to those who cheer you on.

      We so appreciate your prayers! (And please forgive the tardiness of my reply.)

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  19. I don't think I have ever been on your blog so it came as a highlight for my week. To read the comments from so many whose lives you are encouraging in your battle. I read about someone, like a Paul, imprisoned but only His body, His heart, soul was set free to think upon those things that are lovely and seemingly impossible to do in the circumstances. We so see our suffering with human eyes and often lose hope but God sees gold, yeah, Olympic gold and hope pours into our soul so we can show others how to live well in our trials and even, yes, die well. Bless you,

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    1. Oh, Betty, thank you so much! Your gracious words are wonderful, and such a gift.

      And yes, God does see the gold. And He has been whispering to me, "I made the world in seven days...think of what I can do if I have FOUR YEARS!"

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  21. If dreaming big dreams gets you through another day, then I say, go for it, Andrew! Praying that you regain strength and have a respite from this downward spiral. With God all things are possible! Prayers are going up to His throne on your behalf, my friend!

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    1. Beth, I do appreciate the prayers...and yes, dreaming big, and making some movement in the right direction, however small, makes a huge difference.

      And there is more. For years I could not straighten my right arm due to an injury. A few days ago I casually mentioned to God that if He was serious about this Everest of Ambition He's set before me, He'd have to do something about the arm, as I can't afford surgery.

      I promptly forgot about the conversation - I was watching a 'Star Wars' DVD - and when the movie ended I found that there was no restriction to movement, and no pain; just some residual stiffness of muscles that were unused to full extension.

      And now the muscles are fine, and my arm is straight. A small miracle, perhaps, but it looms large in its specificity, as I could not hope to throw the discus, javelin, or shot without it.

      And I so appreciate the prayers!

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