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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 395 - Caregiver To The Stars {FMF/#write31days}

Like the title? I thought that might pull you in.

I'm no star, but Barb sure is, because things are getting really bad, and she's picking up the slack, what I can no longer do, without complaint.

Added to the pain of a malignant pancreas is a severe chest pain and deep cough that devolves into fearsomely painful dry heaves...and that can't be good. They're exhausting, and by the time Barb gets home from work I'm pretty well spent.

I can only breathe in short gasps off the top of my lungs. Speaking is really a luxury; a sentence takes awhile to finish.

She's pretty well spent, too, but she pitches in to help feed and exercise the dogs, and then tends to me.

Which can include help in the loo, and does include increasing assistance with bathing and dressing.

She doesn't have to feed me. Yet.

But she does have to put up with my determination to fight to the last. The worse I get, the more inclined I am to just keep going, to invent reasons to stay alive.

This is not heroic, because while I am bearing the pain, she is bearing the sorrow of watching someone she loves suffer abominably, to no good end.

I can invent my own valorous narrative; she is picking up the pieces. It's harder for her.

She has a lot to overcome, a lot that she never shows. (Overcome is the Five Minute Friday prompt.)

I hope that you can see how much I admire this woman, my wife. Her cheerful disposition and lighthearted attitude - "I'm sure you'll feel better tomorrow!" - make the horrendous bearable, and the terrifying little more than a stroll through a Halloween haunted house.

BOO! Gotcha!

And through all this she has to balance heavy supervisorial responsibilities at work...and when I became too ill to stay in the workforce, she had had to re-enter. She's come a long way in a short time. I am so proud of her.

If you've followed our story, you'll know that we were married, divorced, and remarried.

Both times, Barbara said the vow..."for better or for worse...in sickness and in health..."

Clearly, marriage is not for the faint of heart.

But Barbara is not faint of heart. I called my first novel "Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart". Foreshadowing for life? Maybe.

Caregiver to the stars?

She is the star; my North Star, that will guide me home.

Music from Anchor and Braille, Goes Without Saying. Charming song and video; please give it a chance!





My #write31days posts so far are:

October 2 - Talk To A Caregiver
October 3 -  Create A Caregiver Haven
October 5 - A Caregiver's Trust
October 9 - A Caregiving Plan?

Write 31 Days prompts - 2017

I do ask that you be patient with my slow replies to your comments (which we treasure). I'm trying to stay caught up.

Still hoping to get the new and improved version of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart up and running in the near future. Just haven't had the energy to do it yet...but if you would like to read it, please say so in your comment and I'd be glad to send you a PDF (which should fit your Kindle).

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.

Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.

WE MADE A DIFFERENCE!

And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.


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.









56 comments:

  1. Andrew,
    You have shown us how beautiful Barbara is. We all love her dearly!! Praying as you continue to fight the good fight.
    God is calling home some very faithful people lately and the separation is difficult.
    Blessing on you both.
    P.S. How can you tell if you are in an Apple Store??

    There aren't any Windows.

    Ha ha ha!!!
    (5th grade joke of the day)

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    1. Tammy, we both loved the joke!

      Thank you so much for these lovely and loving words. We treasure them, and we treasure YOU.

      Love from all here.

      Delete
  2. a lovely ode to your dearest one.

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    1. Thank you so much, Annette...she is indeed My Dearest One!

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  3. Andrew, what an amazing gift your Barb is. Your words about her are beautiful. I am praying for you both, my friend.

    Oh, and since Tammy shared a joke, I'll share something my son said yesterday:
    Boy 1: When life throws you lemons . . .
    Boy 2: Throw them back!
    Made me laugh out loud.

    Gentle hugs, friend.

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    1. She is indeed a wonderful gift, Jeanne; an example of completely unmerited grace.

      Love the joke! Especially since I once had a Belgian mainois who absolutely adored lemons. They were his favourite food.

      Gentle hugs appreciated, and returned, with gratitude.

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  4. Sending love to you and Barb, Andrew.

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    1. Thank you so much, Paula. Love back, from both of us.

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  5. I think you and Barbara are both stars! You have both overcome so much and the way you share your story is inspiring. Praying for you both!

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    1. Lesley, thank you so much! Especially for the prayers. Had a fall today, concussion protocol. Yuck.

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  6. Sweet Barbara is one of my heroes! You are one blessed dude!

    We're telling jokes?

    What do you get when a chicken lays an egg on top of the barn?
    An eggroll

    But since you're probably not eating eggrolls, I'll give you another

    Why are fish so gullible?
    They always fall for the hook, line and sinker.

    I'll admit, I asked my sweet Tabby girl to help me with the jokes, they're her choice for you.

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    1. Christy, Barbara sure appreciates that. And we LOVE the jokes!

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  7. What a gift you've given Barbara with these words! Your beautiful tribute will surely lift her spirits on the hardest of days. Your desire to look beyond yourself even while walking in the Valley of Death says much about you, my friend. Praying for you both...

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    1. Susan, I sure hope so! I'm very blessed to have her in my life. Thank you so much for your lovely words, and especially for your prayers.

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  8. Barb is truly a hero. Thankful for your relationship & support - such an example!

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    1. She really is, Annie. Thanks so much for being here with us!

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  9. Andrew, so glad you are gifted with a wife that is with you through it all. "Clearly, marriage is not for the faint of heart." This is more true as we longsuffer with our spouses, as we forebear and grant mercy to those who need us most during their critical hours. You are blessed and God is good. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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    1. Erendira, thank you so much for these lovely, grace-filled words. And you're so right, when we have to grant that sometimes difficult mercy to those in the final extremis.

      God is indeed good!

      Thank you so much for being here.

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  10. You obviously both love each other a lot. So many people these days never have a marriage that lasts because they don't understand that love is more than just physical attraction, but you and Barbara both know what love really means.

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    1. Jan, thank you for this. We do have an enduring love, and we've been through a lot (including a divorce and remarriage, and Barb's car accident that didn't kill her only by God's grace).

      Love is not easy; but it's worth everything.

      Delete
  11. Andrew, I'm not sure my comment just went through, but I wanted to let you know I found you so I could encourage you here on your blog, and let you know of a typo on my comment on the Books and Such blog, that reads, "Oh,Andrew stinks." It is supposed to read, "Oh, Andrew, that stinks." It was in reference to your comment and what happened to you by the defunct publisher. So, sorry. I keep you and Barb in prayer.

    Elizabeth Bohan

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    1. LOL! Elizabeth, I'm sure everyone who read that knew it was a typo.

      Delete
    2. Elizabeth, I loved your comment but was too ill to reply...and knew it was a typo straight away, no worries.

      Although...when I've had to smoke a number of cigars to control pain and nausea, I do, according to Barb, smell like a pool hall at the end of a long Saturday night...

      We so appreciate your prayers!

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  12. what a sweet tribute to your wife Barb:) keep on enduring andrew! we pray for you often...as well as barb.

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    1. Martha, thank you so much! I am so blessed to have her in my life.

      I intend to endure for a LOT longer. And we so appreciate the prayers!

      Delete
  13. This is beautiful. A sweet tribute to Barbara. .

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  14. It seems you are surrounded by the best life can offer: love and grace. I'm impressed how you both know this and live it out. I love how you dance in the front of death. May you continue to be filled with love and sustaining grace. May you be filled with peace beyond understanding, now and forever.

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    1. Mari-Anna, you're absolutely right...I live in the bright and warm light of love and grace, and could not be happier. Terminal illness is a minor thing in the face of such blessings.

      Thank you so uch for sharing the journey!

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  15. Thank you Andrew for teaching us about the absolute test in marriage, in love, in life, in death. I pray there is an unexplainable peace in your soul as you battle the physical war. In Christ, Julie

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    1. Julie, thank you for this. There is peace; my life is so full of love and purpose that it's impossible to avoid God's peace!

      So glad you're here!

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  16. Such a beautiful tribute to Barb! Truly you both have, and continue, to overcome much! It takes such a special person to do all that Barb does on any given day. May you both continue to be filled with love and grace to meet each day. May each of your hearts be filled with peace, God's peace, and know you have fought well. Praying for you both!

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    1. Joanne, you have it exactly right; Barb is a very, very special person, and I am so blessed to have her in my life.

      We're very grateful for your prayers...and your card is on prominent display in our living room.

      Delete
  17. I loved the song. It was inspiring to me to make every day count with my own husband. Great images of enjoying every moment together. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Mindy, I'm so glad you liked the song. It's so nice, and just plain beautiful.

      And enjoying every moment that you have, together...so vital.

      Thank you so much for stopping by. We appreciate you.

      Delete
  18. What sweet words in honoring your wife. What a great partner to have beside you in this journey. God bless both of you! Happy weekend to you!

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    1. Rachel, she is the best of partners, for this or any journey. I am so blessed!

      We wish you a weekend of blessing, fun, and love!

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  19. Andrew, this is so beautiful! Barb is going to have such a treasure trove to come back to. What a gift you have with words! Prayers and hugs for you and Barb. May God wrap you in His arms of love and grace and peace.

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    1. Gayl, thank you so much for this. I hope that barb will indeed find comfort in the words I will leave her.

      Thank you so much for the prayers; I'm in pretty poor shape as I write this, and they are really needed.

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  20. Dude, Barbara is a rockstar. Seriously, she's awesome. But you know that. :)

    I get your determination to fight on. I feel the same every time I have to go in for another test. We're in this together, brother. I'm right there with you. (mlsgregg.com)

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    1. mMrie, you're absolutely right...she is a rockstar, and Isee more layers of awesome every day.

      Glad to be fighting alongside you, Sis. Couldn't ask for better company!

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  21. Such a great tribute to Barbara - she is one amazing woman. Very moving :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Emma; she is truly amazing, and I see more of that each day.

      We're so glad you're here.

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  22. It makes me so happy to hear you talk about your great love for Barbara and bragging on how strong and encouraging she has been to you, Andrew! A true love story for sure! Praying for you, my friend!

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    1. Beth, it's really a signal privilege to be able to talk about my wonderful and amazing wife. She's truly a rock, and this is a wonderful love story to be living. I am so blessed!

      Thank you so much for the prayers, Beth. They are appreciated, and as I write this, needed. I'm really hurting.

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  23. I have been married, divirced and remarried, but not to the same person. Marriage is not for the faint-hearted, so true. Mine now is brutal and I struggle with it. To have Barb stick it out and love you unconditionally is no light matter. You both have had and still have so much to overcome. Thank God that Jesus has overcome it all. I write a poem #84 this week. Praying for you. Keep be determined.

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    1. Mary, I had the feeling that this has been a troubling part of your life, and you've been in my daily prayers. That will continue. And I am so sorry.

      Thank you so much for being here with us.

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  24. Easy to see and know why Barb is your hero with skin on. Jesus can only sustain her. How wonderful that you were divorced and then got back together. I only know of one other couple who has done that. Blessings to you both! Thanks for keeping it real.

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    1. Leigh, thank you for this, and you're right - Jesus keeps her going.

      The divorce and remarriage thing was tough; I actually never knew anyone who did it!

      Thanks so much for being here.

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  25. What a sweet tribute. I can imagine that you both feel pretty wrung out much of the time. How good of God to show His grace through you to each other.

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    1. Barbara, yes...we do feel pretty drained, a lot of the time. God's grace is shown in the time we spend together...and the time we need to spend alone, to regroup. It's a vital part of caregiving, the alone time, and of being a patient.

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  26. Thank you for sharing Your and Barb's story. "Marriage is not for the faint of heart." It is a far different story than all the fairy tales that end in, and they all lived happily ever after. Thank you for the reminder that living out vows takes, love, commitment, and good ole fashioned work. I am praying for you and Barb. -Jolene

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    1. Jolene, it's definitely not a fairy tale. But with the love and work and commitment...it's better. Way better.

      We thank you so much for your prayers!

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  27. You words of appreciation for how well Barb cares for you are beautiful. The depth of love within a marriage is grown through difficulty—for those who cling to God who gives strength and grace to weather its storms.

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    1. Cheryl, thank you so much for this. Love does deepen through difficulty...I guess it's like a peach, that needs a good frost to ripen properly.

      Thank you so much for being here!

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