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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 161 - Readings

Last week, the Books and Such Literary Agency ran a blog post about what reading can do for an individual, in terms of stepping back from stress and, more generally, finding something of a paradigm for living.

I was well enough to leave a comment (that doesn't always happen, now). Briefly, I said that I read mainly nonfiction to keep myself going, because fictional stories generally have an arc and a resolution...and my life's become something of a disaster, with a lot of things going to be left undone.

The moderator suggested that I an finding bases for comparison in reading about people who handle adversity. It's a valid point, but in thinking about it I realized that I'm somewhere past that.

And this is what a caregiver needs to know. There is a point at which inspiration doesn't work.

In facing terminality, you do come to a place in which stories about overcoming adversity are nice, but they're kind of like hearing testimonies of healing miracles on Trinity Broadcasting...I'm glad for the folks, but it isn't me.

There are no happy endings here. I wish there were. I sometimes talk a brave game, but the fact is that this is really discouraging, and really scary.

So I read for atmosphere, for milieu, for a paradigm against which my life can make some sort of sense. Light romantic comedies (in print and on film) that I used to love grate on me now.

There's no identification with 'heroes'; I'm not one of those. There is little nobility in dealing with a situation you can't change. We're expected to make the best of it.

I read to find a place in my soul in which life makes sense.

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.


  1. Can you believe it, I come here to read stuff that helps me make sense of life..! Thanks for sharing here as you do: graciously, truthfully, candidly.

    Even Jesus said to his disciples 'I've been with you all this time; do you still not know me?' After all he'd said and done, they were still searching, and it still didn't make sense to them. We see things so very dimly this side of the veil.

    But Holy Spirit can be trusted to lead us - gently, eventually - into all truth, and that can be found in all sorts of places (your music videos, for example! :-) ) I think things started making much more sense to the disciples in the light of Jesus' resurrection and after they had been filled with the Holy Spirit. Maybe we miss it by trying to get our stories to resolve this side of death, when there's still more to them on the other side, swallowed up in a much more glorious and conclusive epic.

    So press on, bro. May God give you & yours much grace and light today and always.

    1. Ruth, thank you...so beautifully said, and you've added worlds of value here!

      I'll keep going. I've realized that I have a unique role, and until God makes it clear that I am to come home, NOW, I'll stay at it.

  2. Nothing to say that hasn't been said. Sorry it has to be this way.

    Andrew, you are like a shining light. That is one of your purposes. You care, and that gives life to others. It doesn't need to make sense, a lot of life doesn't. I, like you, read, listen, and ponder to try to understand with some sort of clarity. Glad you're my friend.

    Still praying. BTW, I've been wrestling with my calling lately. Struggle comes to us all. Keep the faith. Joy comes in the morning.

    1. Norma, thank you for this. Your words, and friendship, mean more to me than you will ever know this side of Heaven.

      You are always, ALWAYS in my prayers, my dear, faith-filled friend!

  3. Andrew, we all want to make sense of our life at some time or other; nothing different about that...except in your situation, it's so much more and finding that "sense" so much more important to you...I totally understand this! And also that you don't want to watch those sappy love stories where everyone wins in the end. Actually, I do like to watch those types of movies; yet, I know...in my heart...that is just in the movies. We don't all get that "happily ever after" kind of life style, do we?!

    But, for me...well, your words are making sense to all of the caregivers and receivers and those friends and family of yours that read this blog. Your words inspire and encourage and give us hope; even if in the end, the "happily ever after" doesn't come. We can have that "happily now" kind of life and thank God for what He has given us.

    I'm sure not making much sense with this comment! Rambling, as I sometimes do! Yet, pray you know that we ARE here for you and learning as we go along how to act/react to our situations, though many are far from yours! Prayers, hugs, and continued following, Andrew...happy to hear you felt like reading and found something that you could find...

    1. Barbara, you made perfect sense, and added a TON of wisdom here.

      I always loved the 'Hugh Grant Romances'; always wished I could have the style and accent, but that's pretty hard when you're Chinese. Maybe Jackie Chan is a better role model?

      They are far from me now...but perhaps, one day, I will come all the way 'round to love them again. I hope so.

      We so appreciate the prayers. Truly.

  4. Yes, there will be a happy ending. It's called Heaven.
    And, when you get there, I hope you discover how many people you've blessed with your writing here, and on other blogs like Books & Such.

    1. Oh, my dear Jan...do you know how much your words mean to me, right now?

      All I can say is thank you.

  5. The nonfiction appeals because there is hope that's not a fairy tale. Real people overcoming great difficulty-we admire struggle and disdain quitters.
    This is part of the appeal of your writing, Andrew. Perseverance without the valid whining and moaning that one could put forth. Taking up your cross daily? I don't think you're getting to put it down.

    Bravo for continuing on the weary narrow path without a curse at the Creator. A smaller mind would miss the bigger picture you have become a part of. You are popular because of your strength that you are drawing from Him. Were you completely well and healthy, you might not have been as useful. Oh bless you, I wish you could have a different way but you are Joseph.
    Many thanks that you posted-I have been looking anxiously since the last comments.

    1. Tammy, thank you for this...and believe it or not, I would not trade back my knowledge for health.

      Life is a fleeting thing, and so is the strength of a healthy youth. But I have come to know God here, and while I'm tempted to say, "yeah, but I don't understand His ways..." that would be a lie.

      I get it. I'm that hard man He could send to Hell, in the confidence that I'd bounce right back, and not fail Him.

      And I won't. Dying's easy. Living takes faith and love. No problem.

      Me and God...we've got this.

  6. For sure, the trite and the silly are absolutely unfathomable entertainment when someone's looking at death's door. You raise some very important points today, friend ...

    1. Linda, thank you so much for these words...and for your presence here.