Why we're here...

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

We're honored to be a member of the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association...click on their logo to visit them.


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Your Dying Spouse 441 - The Last Lesson {FMF}

Kind of doing bad, and having to recycle a comment I made on a recent Books and Such Literary Agency blog post, I Didn't Sign Up For This. I'm not sure how long I can even keep this up.

"I don’t know what I have to offer here, and am tempted not to try. But still, in what may only be a bow to ego, here goes.
* Yeah, I didn’t sign up for this. I didn’t sign up for an illness that would destroy everything I worked for, leaving me a bloody passenger in life, unable to give my wife more than prayers. I didn’t sign up for depending on the kindness of strangers to carry me back to the house when I pass out in the yard. I didn’t sign up for incontinence, or for nights of terror that seem to last forever but pass too quickly, bringing a dawn of exhaustion. I didn’t sign up for the blood or the bile or things far worse than these.
* But I’m here, and I have to believe that my faith in God means something, that when I say “I’m OK” that I am REALLY OK. I have to believe that if the only thing I have left to offer is love, that it’s a love worth giving, and receiving.
* So I will keep going, in faith and hope and love, for I have learned a thing. My dreams of success in writing and other things meant nothing; they are as dust on the winds of emotion. The only thing that ever mattered was saving lives, and love, and gentleness in the Scylla and Charybdis of madness and wrath. Love was the only thing I ever had in me that was worthwhile, through violent action and hugs and encouragement and, yes, through writing.
* So, yeah. I DID sign up for this. And I’d do it again, no hesitation. Here am I; send me."

I loved Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture, but he got it wrong. Life isn't about fulfilling your dreams. It isn't about living well.

It's about loving with all your heart.

I want to go home, it hurts too much to go on; but there is love yet to give, and no room for surrender. (Surrender is the FMF prompt this week.)

I am trying to work through replies to your comments last week; my body is fighting me now. Please know that we treasure your comments, and read them all (or they are read to me).

For no reason that I can discern, the music this week is from Steve Winwood, with Valerie. Maybe it's just for fun, as some things should be. I hope you enjoy it!

If you're interested, you can find Andrew's books on Amazon.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Your Dying Spouse 440 - Hope At Midnight {FMF}

I can only give you this, a comment I made on a Books And Such Literary Agency blog post...

"For what it may be worth, to be filed under ‘keeping hope alive’, I am finding that as my situation grows more hopeless, hope itself burns all the brighter to warm and illuminate my days.
* Yeah, that sounds really stupid. A mentally lethal overdose on The Power Of Positive Thinking.
* But there may be something deeper and true at work; it’s hard to breathe, and I’m grateful for every breath. It’s hard to move, and every step is a small miracle. It’s hard to write, and the rationed effort means every word has to have meaning.
* What if all these together, the gratitude and the wonder and the exacting need discovered accidentally and at painful cost, are the soil and the water and the sunlight of hope’s nurturing?
* What if it means that hope is not what we have, but what we become?"

- left as a comment on the Books and Such blog post, "There's Still Hope For New Writers!"

I guess it means that hope has to be intentional, which is the Five Minute Friday prompt this week.

Please know that I treasure your comments. I read (or have read to me) all of them, and this week I was able to answer most. I will keep trying, but please have patience.

And here is the best scene from Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King. I take great comfort in it; I hope you will, too.

The journey doesn't end here.

And music, from the same source...Into The West. Barbara will probably have this played at my funeral. Don't know if she'll be able to sing it (she has a lovely voice, and sang Amazing Grace at our wedding).

Still, I don't want to die. Please help me to be brave?

If you're interested, you can find Andrew's books on Amazon.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Your Dying Spouse 439 - Final Thoughts, Maybe {FMF}

I sure don't want this to be the end. But now every word has to count. I'm choking on every breath, and it's ugly.

Coming to the end of my strength, barring a remission, and have to cannibalize another blog comment I made. Please pardon my inability to respond to comments at the moment; I treasure them all, please know this!

You guys have brought meaning to the end of my life.

This is my version of Emily Dickinson's "The Chariot", perhaps her most famous poem. I hope that she'll forgive me (and that you poetic types will, too).

Because I could not stop for Death,

he kindly stopped for me;
and then drove on with intaken breath
on facing my Glock 23.
He wanted to offer the boon of rest
my labours now complete;
but my blood I shed, merely a test
to show that I won’t retreat
The mission ahead, now blinding-clear
to attend to tasks undone,
to face hell’s fire with no fear
and outrace the setting sun.
The heavenly multitudes wish I’d quit,
they ache at cheering the dying.
But work remains and I’m still fit
to kill myself in the trying.

This originally appeared on a Books and Such blog post, as a comment.

In fairness, here's the original poem from the Belle of Amherst:

Because I could not stop for Death
He kindly stopped for me
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality

We slowly drove, he knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too
For his civility
We passed the school where children playedTheir lessons scarcely doneWe passed the fields of gazing grainWe passed the setting sun

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground
The roof was scarcely visible
The cornice but a mound

Since then 'tis centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity

Music from Mike And The Mechanics, with All I Need Is A Miracle.

If you're interested, you can find Andrew's books on Amazon.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Your Dying Spouse 438 - No Hope But This {FMF}

There's no hope now, but there is this (and I'm too trashed to do more than lift a comment I left on another blog, sorry). It's the best I have, and all I have.

"I’m finding that for me, success equates to discipline, because that’s what keeps hope alive in one’s darker hours. Getting pneumonia over the Christmas holidays, on top of everything else, I’m in no little danger, and things are so unpleasant (putting it mildly) that it’s easy to feel abandoned by God, and to metaphorically fold my arms and just stop…stop writing, stop caring, stop nurturing the hope that there may yet be hope.
"That way leads down a path from which, eventually, there’s no return, because it leads to a magnetically false God, one whose promises are cherry-picked and whose fell warnings are cast aside, and in whose inevitable failure is the seed of faith’s destruction, hope’s abnegation, and the withering of love.
"So success is holding tight to where I am, writing when I don’t want to write (like right now), forcing myself to keep caring because I cared once, and choosing faith, not because it ‘works’ but because it’s only truly defined by the chiaroscuro of pain’s deep shadow." (This originally appeared as a comment on the Steve Laube Agency blog, For The New Year: Define Success)

I'm sorry that I have been unresponsive to comments, both on the blog and on Facebook. I'll try to do better, but just writing a few sentences is exhausting now.

The Impossible Dream and the final scene from Man Of La Mancha are the accompaniment. Hope you don't think it kind of self-serving; I just like the song.

If you're interested, you can find Andrew's books on Amazon.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Your Dying Spouse 437 - Almost Gone

Almost died today. Couldn't breathe, and as the world dimmed around me I could see The Light.

Didn't go. Still too much to do, and besides, service dogs Ladron and Sylvia were beating the crap out of me.

So I am still here. Pretty shook up, and in too much pain to write more, let alone select music.