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, November 29, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 239 - The Wet T-Shirt Contest

We're linked with Messy Marriage's From Messes To Messages. Please visit beth's site for some really great marriage resources!

Warning...this post contains...well, you'll see.

One of the things that I've had to adjust to is that I need help with bathing. The pain's too much, and a slip in the tub could be a real problem.

There is also an issue with dry heaves, which, if I've had a lot to drink (Gatorade!) can be messy.

And so, the other night...Barb had changed into her sleep shirt, and was helping me into the tub...and the dry heaves became the wet heaves, and I puked all over the front of her night-dress. Gatorade. The purple kind.

Her sole and grace-filled comment..."Well, I guess I won the wet t-shirt contest tonight."

If you can't laugh at this stuff, you have no business being terminally ill, or being a caregiver.

I have another blog, "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. 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. You are so right on about humor. Sometimes it is exactly what we need. I remember once when I was helping make Richard more comfortable in his hospital bed. My grandson was helping too. I lost my footing and fell on top of him in the bed. He laughed and laughed and said, "closest we've come to sex in a long while". It was funny but my 17 year-old-grandson was beyond embarrassed!! Keep laughing Andrew. Sending a hug

    1. Oh, Paula, I was drinking some Gatorade when I read your comment...and yes, I had to clean the scree. What a wonderful story, and a great memory...and your grandson will find that one day the remembrance is a treasure.

      Thank you so much for being here.

  2. Andrew, I found your book PTSD and the Holidays several weeks ago and I cannot tell you how helpful its been for me. My husband is a Marine infantry veteran of Iraq and we've struggled so much since he was honorably discharged after his contract. I've felt so disconnected from him and I just had no way to relate to how he was feeling. Your words in your book and on this blog have helped me to understand him so much better and I cannot thank you enough. Another issue we've struggled with is faith. I am a christian and he, too. But since getting out of the marine corps he has had little to no interest in any organized religion or even really any study with me. We have two small children and it is so important to me to pass on faith to them. In your book you stated not to take a veterans lack of interest in organized religion as a statement about their faith, but how then should I understand what he is going through? Thinking? How do we raise our kids to love God if he won't be engaged in faith with us? I love my husband so much, I'm in this for the long-haul, but I need some perspective on this because it is so painful. I understand that you are ill, my father is very ill from cancer so if a response to this is not feasible I understand - please know I am so thankful for the insight you've given me already. But I felt I should reach out to you on this matter, so if at all possible, any insight on to how to treat the area of faith with my combat vet would be amazing. Thank you so so so much,
    - Marine Wife

    1. MarineWife...your comment honours me beyond measure. Thank you for this.

      The best answer I can give you is that combat changes the paradigm of faith for most of those who experience it. In the West we're conditioned by most churches to an action-reward system, that if we're good people we'll earn God's favour.

      In the killing fields this is exposed for the false teaching it really is, because some of the best people die horribly and seemingly to little purpose, and the innocents experience a casual cruelty that's beyond comprehension, let alone description.

      This can destroy faith, but more often I think if makes faith a deeply personal thing, a sort of compact between the Marine and God. It's manifest in combat as an acceptance of death's likelihood, and the knowledge that there is 'something' beyond all this. It doesn't really connect with the Heaven of Revelation, or the Rapture hinted at by Paul. It's the quiet knowledge that the Marine's life will go on. Somewhere.

      And there is a hardness. You have to look at horrors that would make a strong man week, and get on with the job.

      It does make it hard to return to a formal church setting, or to study the Bible, because the reality of transcendence has been imprinted on the Marine's soul. There's no need to seek God's word in Scripture, because He has spoken in the supersonic crack of close-passing bullets, and the chest-punching concussion of an IED. The message came directly from Heaven through the fires of Hell, and its reality is burnished bright.

      Likewise, church. My feeling, when I could still go, was "I've BEEN there; I've gone toe-toe toe with the devil, and fought back-to-back with God." It's a sublime arrogance born of experience.

      I'm not saying this is right, or good, but it simply 'is'. I suspect that the work you face will be difficult, because of the experiential gap. If your husband would be willing to talk with a chaplain who has seen combat, that might be a way forward. I wouldn't really suggest talking to a civilian pastor, because his (or your husband's) response might be dismissive, and build the walls a bit stronger. Talking to a fellow combat veteran is really vital. It has been for me.

      I hope this helps; it is not the comfort I wish I could give, but it's the reality I live with, and I owe you that.

      If there is anything more I can do to help,please let me know? meanwhile I will be praying for you.

  3. You crazy kids--that is a terrible way to win a wet t-shirt contest but hey if Barbara insists... LOLOL. I'm guessing it'd have been one of those if you're not laughing you're crying moments...definitely better to laugh. Hugs and love to both of you

    1. Christy, it sure is better to laugh. Besides, it's efficient...takes 41 muscles to frown, but only 17 to smile!

      Hugs and loves back!

  4. Oh, Andrew. Your wife is amazing. :) I guess God knew what He was doing when He put you two together.

    I'm praying for you both, my friend.

    1. Jeanne, there are times I think he realized that she was the only person who could put up with me for more than, say, five minutes. And for that I am so grateful!

      Prayers appreciated, my friend.

  5. Ahhh... I love it! She is a keeper and a gift of grace. That made my day : ) Think about you guys when I get your emails.

    1. Kristina, thank you so much! She is indeed a keeper, and when I see her, I do see God's grace (and so do the people she supervises at work).

      Thanks so much for being here. I appreciate you.

  6. Haha! Thanks for the chuckle! I'm glad you're keeping your sense of humor through all of this. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    1. And thank YOU for being here, Rachel.

      What's the point in dying if you don't get a few laughs along the way?

  7. I'm trying to get used to my iphone; and have been using it for email and Facebook and messages...that being said, I try to keep the data and downloads down because I am on my daughter and son-in-law's plan...SO! I am sitting down at the computer today and what do I find...a wonderful piece of humor and though I can't really "picture" this incident, I can certainly laugh with the two of you!! Barb sounds like a very wonderful person; and I commend her for her immediate response to your "wet heaves"...I need more laughter in my life; and find it in other places than at home. I should look for it more in every day life!

    Thank you, as always, for your words for caregivers, coming from one cared "for"! God bless the two of you through these next few weeks; and my prayers continue. {{HUGS}} to both of you!!!

    1. Barbara, please forgive my delayed reply.

      Thank you so much for these kind and loving words! I truly appreciate your being here, and that I could share some of the humour of the situation with you!

      Prayers are most appreciated, and hugs back!

  8. Aww, I'm so sorry to hear about Barbara's nightgown, Andrew. I hope the purple comes out in the wash! ;-) Or maybe I don't. Maybe this would be a sweet reminder of the good laugh you two had in a very trying moment. Sometimes what "comes up" in the mess of it all can be very uplifting. Hugs being sent your way and prayers being sent heavenward!

    1. Beth, the purple didn't come all the way out, and perhps it's just as well...life's imperfections are perhaps like the shadows that help us appreciate the Light?

      Many thanks for the hugs and prayers. This weekend...they have been needed.