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.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Your Dying Spouse 18 - Today

Today we're linked with Messy Marriage's Wedded Wednesday - check it out for some great links to posts on marriage, and life!

No secret that I've lost a lot of ground over the past week or so; pain has taken on a new and particularly virulent quality, and no amount of posturing can get one through the fact that some things are very hard to bear. And some things cannot be borne. It's sobering.

Nonetheless, I have today, I have this moment in order to choose to do something constructive.

So, as a caregiver, do you.

The road ahead may be very dark, and unpleasant, and even frightening. But try not to look that far ahead.

God made the world round for a reason, that we might have a horizon, something we couldn't see past.

Look at what's around you now, and try to live in this moment. Don;'t think about blood chemistry or MRIs or the meeting with the oncologist next week.

Concentrate on the pleasant things around you - the kids playing down the street, the hummingbird at the feeder, the way the sunrays slant through the clouds. Make these small vacations, and fold them into your heart, for visiting later.

Take a few minutes to enjoy a coffee and a doughnut and a good book. Step out of your reality. It'll be waiting when you get back, believe me.

If your spouse isn't on board with that, if he or she is worried and depressed and needy...

Do it anyway.

The primary rule in lifesaving is not to get pulled under, yourself, by a drowning swimmer. You can only help if you're free to do so, and not enmeshed in someone else's struggles.

Even if that someone is your husband, or wife.

And sometimes, you can't help at all, and being pulled under becomes a futile act of solidarity, a sacrifice that may look noble in the moment, but destroys the potential good you could have accomplished.

Sometimes, you've got to swim away, out of reach of those flailing arms, because your life, your happiness is worth something.

It's not cruel, although you may be called cruel, for smiling when your dying mate is in the depths of despair.

It's not heartless, though you may be called heartless for enjoying a cup of coffee while your beloved is on an IV.

It's simply the realization that this is your today, and that you don't have to throw it away.

You can stand by someone's side, ready to help, and you can still smile.

That smile will make you stronger.


  1. So true Andrew! I wrote about seeking peace today. Sometimes we just need to take five minutes to know he is there. I'm so sorry to hear the pain is getting worse. Praying you find some relief.

    1. Thank you so much for the prayers, Tara. And yes...He's always so close, we just need a few short minutes, to refresh in His grace, and go on.

  2. You describe so perfectly the hard tension that a caregiver must strike--especially a spouse who is the caregiver of a dying mate. It is all so very excruciating and heartbreaking for your wife to watch and care for you in this hour, Andrew. I'm so glad that you see that and are offering insight to those who face these same challenges. I'll be sharing in the Twittersphere, my friend! And prayers are being lifted all day long, every day.

    1. It's a terrible dichotomy in which to live, especially for someone who - like Barbara - is working in a fast-paced and upbeat environment. Thank you for the share, and above all...for the prayers.

  3. Excellent advice! Your perspective makes your words extremely powerful! Thank you for your transparency.

    1. Johanna, thank you so much! It's painful, but the perspective is a place of honour, and being able to offer something that's of value...I would not trade places with anyone.

  4. 'God made the world round for a reason, that we might have a horizon, something we couldn't see past.' This is really making me think... Did you ever see that Youtube video of the dog racing round the chair trying to catch the end of it's own lead, just ahead of it? I feel like that too often. Stupid, I know. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tl2KmnWT2WQ) There's such a lot in this post - I'm sorry, so sorry about the pain... so moved as well by your wise words that encourage a caregiver's smile even in the shadow of it. Praying blessings for you both right now.

    1. Saw the video,loved it! And that describes me, sometimes, even now.

      Or perhaps a better match the famous Northern Concentric Bird, which flies in tighter and tighter circles until it disappears up...uh, never mind. Merc humour!

      The pain's bad, but we can't all have a prize, and if I can make these situations easier for someone else to deal with...well, that's my job, and it deserves my whole heart.

  5. I love the sense of peace I feel with these words. Taking time to just step back and enjoy the coffee and donut is important to your happiness and will ultimately help your wife too. Blessings!

    1. Mary, thank you so much! The coffee and donut were indeed a blessing - as is your presence here.

    2. Barbie and I are so glad you are part of The Weekend Brew community.

    3. I'm honored to be here. Truly.