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

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 232 - A Narrowing World

In my other blog, "Starting The Day With Grace", I just posted a quote from Harriet Beecher Stowe -

"To be really great in little things, to be truly noble and heroic in the insipid details of everyday life, is a virtue so rare as to be worthy of canonization."

This has a lot to say about the progress of a terminal illness, because there comes a time when one's no longer in the wide world, and maintaining care and regard for the common details of life, like grooming, courtesy, and punctuality in the duties one can yet undertake, are the only way the patient can still make his or her mark on the world.

The caregiver can help in this - a lot.

You can help by noticing.

It's human vanity to need an audience, but it's good to remember that the patient's world is so circumscribed by pain, fatigue, and the small and large humiliations of illness that he or she is receiving a constant steam of negative input. It's like having one's body as a hypercritical boss.

So, dear caregiver, drop compliments here and there. Notice the things that are done for you without your asking, and give praise for those.

It may sound stupid to be effusive over a cup of tea placed in your hands, or to say "Your hair looks nice" (when you'd really like to say it's about time you combed it).

But of these small graces is happiness made.

Much to my surprise, I decided to participate in a '31 Days' blogging exercise; rather than interrupt the flow of this post, I have another blog established, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Ariel Sharon) and a short commentary.

And now that October's over...I'm going to keep it going.  I hope you'll join me.

Marley update...he's probably going to be moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.


He's up over 200,000 signatures, but PLEASE keep the pressure on. If you haven't signed, please do! Please click o his name in the paragraph below.

If you have a moment, 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.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Michele, and thank you for being here.

  2. Sometimes my wheelchair bound son will make and bring me a cup of tea. It is always welcomed with thanks. :) I do try to remember to compliment him on things, but I don't always do so well. Thank you for your timely reminders, Andrew. May God bless you!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this, Gayl. He's blessed to have you as a mother.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Paula, and thank you so much for stopping by.

  4. Yes, I try to make sure and compliment my husband when he does do something for me...whether I have asked or not. It doesn't always work; but I do it! And there are times he compliments me; though I can never figure out when they will come or why the "other" person comes out.

    Thanks for always bringing to our minds things that we should be doing for those we "care for". As caregivers, it doesn't always hit us to remember...

    1. Barbara, my wife would feel for you. I've had some serious head trauma, and in the recovery periods my behaviour was inconsistent...and Barb never new if she'd get the 'old' me back.

      Thank you so much for being here today.

  5. Thank you for your openness about the things you are suffering with and dealing with. I read several posts here tonight in the "dying spouse" series.

    My parents tried to teach us to notice and thank our siblings when they did something helpful and not just to take it for granted. I can see how this is extra important for someone who struggles just to live each day.

    1. Mary, thank you. I truly appreciate your presence here.

      Your parents were very wise, I think; good habit instilled early are a blessing.

  6. Thank you for drawing our attention to the little things, yet, again, Andrew!

  7. Noticing the little things in any relationship goes along way. Thank you for continuing to write. Your words make a difference.

  8. So true are your words. It's part of maintaining dignity. GBU, Andrew.

  9. Thank you for the reminder of the power of words. Kind ones have the ability to encourage and give validation in amazing ways. Though our family isn't dealing with your kind of situation, I've discovered that my sons need those affirming words too. It's good to remember this need transcends about everything. We all need to be affirmed. So thankful for you.

    Continuing to pray for you, Barb and the dogs.

  10. Somehow I knew you weren't a vacillator. Neither am I. Your friend and HIS! xo

  11. This is true in every aspect of marriage and life, I believe, Andrew. We need to take careful consideration of the small ways we can "grace" our spouses by noticing the small things they do for us. I really believe the small things matter just as much as the large things. Thanks for this reminder, my friend! Oh, and I didn't know you had another blog! I'll have to make a habit to visit!