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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Your Dying Spouse 439 - Final Thoughts, Maybe {FMF}

I sure don't want this to be the end. But now every word has to count. I'm choking on every breath, and it's ugly.

Coming to the end of my strength, barring a remission, and have to cannibalize another blog comment I made. Please pardon my inability to respond to comments at the moment; I treasure them all, please know this!

You guys have brought meaning to the end of my life.

This is my version of Emily Dickinson's "The Chariot", perhaps her most famous poem. I hope that she'll forgive me (and that you poetic types will, too).


Because I could not stop for Death,

he kindly stopped for me;
and then drove on with intaken breath
on facing my Glock 23.
He wanted to offer the boon of rest
my labours now complete;
but my blood I shed, merely a test
to show that I won’t retreat
The mission ahead, now blinding-clear
to attend to tasks undone,
to face hell’s fire with no fear
and outrace the setting sun.
The heavenly multitudes wish I’d quit,
they ache at cheering the dying.
But work remains and I’m still fit
to kill myself in the trying.

This originally appeared on a Books and Such blog post, as a comment.

In fairness, here's the original poem from the Belle of Amherst:

Because I could not stop for Death
He kindly stopped for me
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality

We slowly drove, he knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too
For his civility
We passed the school where children playedTheir lessons scarcely doneWe passed the fields of gazing grainWe passed the setting sun

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground
The roof was scarcely visible
The cornice but a mound

Since then 'tis centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity

Music from Mike And The Mechanics, with All I Need Is A Miracle.


If you're interested, you can find Andrew's books on Amazon.




86 comments:

  1. Much love to you and Barb. You have made a difference for me, Andrew.

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  2. love the poem. love you more.

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  3. (this is Jordan, btw-- comment thing was being wonky)

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    1. No worries, Jordan. the comment thing bites me sometimes too.

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  4. Andrew, your version of the poem is vintage you. A fighter till the very end. You, my friend, are an inspiration. Your words of encouragement. Your clinging to the truth. Your choice to put your eyes on others and encourage them rather than sink in self-pity. God has done an amazing work in you.

    The first day I learn you are in heaven will be a day I cry. And, believe It or not, I have not cried or many who have gone before me. At least not right away. You have been a friend of the highest caliber.

    I continue to pray for you and Barb. You are a huge blessing in my life.

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    1. Jeanne, thank you for this. We so appreciate your prayers and your friendship...you've made a huge difference in my life.

      I became a better person, for knowing you, and closer to Jesus.

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  5. Andrew - sometimes we writers don't have words. This is one if those times for me. I'm glad I know you. I love you.

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    1. Marie, I am now at a loss. I love you, too. It's been far more than a privilege to be your friend.

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  6. You already know you've made an impact in my life just by your faithfulness to writing, Andrew. I can only imagine what other nuggets of gold I may have gleaned if we were neighbors on Earth. (hugs) This is only the beginning.

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    1. Oh, Meg, yes! This is indeed only the beginning.

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  7. I want you to know that your words have encouraged me very much. I am thankful for the opportunity to have "met" you through Five Minute Friday. I am praying for you and Barb. -Jolene

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    1. Jolene, thank you so much for this, and I am grateful that we met, as well. And we so appreciate your prayers.

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  8. Andrew, I have no words. You have impacted my life and the lives of many. So grateful our paths crossed. Praying for you & Barb. Grateful to call you friend & brother.

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    1. Joanne, I am so honoured. Thank you.

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  9. Andrew - that poem? I'm not crazy about it. I'm crazy about you but not the poem. Love to you and Barb - I love you both.

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    1. It's a poem of desperation, Susan. Too much I have left to do for B to be ready. We love you!

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  10. What a powerful poem! Especially in a situation like this! I am thinking of you!

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    1. Katha, thank you so much. Truly appreciated (and please pardon the short reply, best I can do now).

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  11. Andrew, I have so much respect for you and Barb. Sending you both love and hugs. May God comfort and be close. Praying for you!

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    1. Gayl, we return that respect, with love. You mean a lot to us. Love and hugs back, and we thank you for prayers. Need them.

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    1. Beth, thank you so much. Prayers are really needed.

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  13. I'm glad you're here today my friend. It pains me to hear how bad things have gotten for you. You will fight until God, the author of life and breath says no more. Then your purpose will be complete and the heavenly place will welcome you. Love, hugs and prayers for you and Barb.

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    1. Christy, I'm glad to be here too...but writing these words, it's hard, pain has me in tears. We sure appreciate the love, hugs, and prayers. More than we can say.

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  14. Your words always inspire, Andrew. I admire your strength and spirit.

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    1. Jeannie, I so appreciate this. Thank you so very, very much.

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  15. Every time I have read your brave words here I have been better for it. That has always been one of my most favorite Emily Dickenson poems. I like your version better. Cheering you on

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    1. Summer (can't help calling you that, you're such a summery person!), you just made my day. Thank you!

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  16. Thank you Andrew... Prayers for you & Barb. xo

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    1. Thank you, Annie. And the prayers are really appreciated by both of us, and nee ed. XO

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  17. Always your thoughts put into words impact me. ((Hugs)) and prayers for you and Barb.

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    1. Thank you so much, Debbie. Hugs and prayers are very, very appreciated.

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  18. praying for you and barb andrew. rest. i hope these last days are peaceful.

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    1. Martha, we really appreciate the prayers. There is measure of peace in the pain.

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  19. You're not done yet, and because of the things you've shared you'll always be alive in our hearts.

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    1. Jan, yes...miles to go before I sleep. And thank you for these loving, kind words. We treasure them.

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    1. Hugs are good, Sandy, and needed more than you might guess.

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  21. Andrew, I'm sending love out to you, Barb, and the animals. I'm grateful I had an opportunity to know a small part of you through your words. If my calculations are correct, I imagine the rest of you must be pretty darn close to greatness. My mother passed from pancreatic cancer Feb.20,2008. If you see Esther, please say hello. Abrazos fuertes amigo.

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    1. Leon, thank you so much; it's very hard, and the love's appreciated by all of us. I'm so grateful you're here, and will look for Esther. Hugs sure appreciated!

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  22. Sending you love and prayers! Godspeed!

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    1. Paula, we truly appreciate the love and the prayers. And we do need them, more than ever.

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  23. Andrew, know that every word has counted! God has used them to encourage and challenge so many. Your race may be nearing its end - but oh- what a glorious end to see our Savior face to face! Praying for you & Barb!

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    1. Carol, I am so grateful for your affirming and gracious words...and it will be cool to see Him, yes! We thank you so much for the prayers.

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  24. For you,

    Hope is the thing with feathers
    That perches in the soul,
    And sings the tune without the words,
    And never stops at all,

    And sweetest in the gale is heard;
    And sore must be the storm
    That could abash the little bird
    That kept so many warm.

    I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
    And on the strangest sea;
    Yet, never, in extremity,
    It asked a crumb of me.

    Emily Dickinson

    Hope is the road you've traveled, and you've allowed us to travel it with you. You've contributed competence, courage, intelligence, and bigger than life personality to the blogger conversation. May grace be yours in great abundance. I'm proud to call you friend. Still praying.

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    1. I love this poem, my dear Norma, and hold even more closely to my heart your words and friendship. I am so blessed, so honoured.

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  25. Andrew, you’ve certainly fought the good fight, and I’m grateful I “met” you amidst the battle. Your words, stamina, humor, and grit have touched my soul, and I will be forever grateful. Someday perhaps I will be able to say my thanks in person. Until then, you and Barbara remain in my prayers. Your last day on Earth will be only the beginning... Much love, Brother. Godspeed.

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    1. Susan, thank you so much. I'm grateful to have met you, too. We truly appreciate your prayers...and yes, the last day here is indeed a new dawn.

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  26. I'm so glad I know you. Praying for you today.

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    1. Same here, Rachel. Your faith is an inspiration. Thank you so much for prayers!

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  27. Andrew, thank you for sharing your poem. cannibalize away. Love your heart. Praying for you and for your beautiful bride, Barb.

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    1. Kelly, we thank you so much for this loving, uplifting comment! And prayers are greatly appreciated.

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  28. You remain in our prayers here in the frozen winter land.

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    1. Paul, thank you, the prayers are really vital; and the time we spent with you and Lori is a treasure in our hearts.

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  29. Hugs and peace to you. I am sorry we could not meet face to face. Thank you for sharing your life and journey with all os us.

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    1. Leigh, thank you so much; the hugs are more welcome than you may realize, and peace is truly welcome! We'll meet one day, when we are like golden clouds upon the wind. I look forward to that.

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  30. Rest well my encouraging and deserving friend.
    You are an inspiration to us all.
    Peace be with you.

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    1. Karen, thank you for this, from the bottom of my heart.

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  31. I echo everyone else in saying that I wish all of us could have met you in real life. You and your story have been great inspiration to us... your testimony of Christ's Love and Grace will continue into eternity. When Jesus holds out His hand to you, you can take it knowing there will be a well-deserved rest and healing awaiting you. I know we will all meet you someday. I look forward to that. Til then, my friend... love and prayers from me and Jerry.

    Dear Barbara and doggies... keeping you in prayer, holding you up to God. ♥

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    1. Diana, same here. I wish we might have met in this life, but I am sure we'll meet in the next. I'm so honoured by your words, and we are all strengthened and comforted by your prayers.

      Love to you and Jerry, from everyone here.

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  32. My kids and I read your posts together and pray for you. Last night as we were praying for you & Barb & the doggies, my daughter said that I should comment here ALL THE TIME, so every time you look there would be a new post from someone to lift your heart. :)

    Well, I don't know about that--I'm more likely to be annoying than uplifting, haha! That said, I promised them I would tell you we are praying. And I will give you this song, which is thundering in our house today, because ohhh the intense joy that awaits you! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UV8bv4QuDtM

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    1. Rebekah, thank you so much for this, and for your prayers.

      And really, commenting all the time would be cool, because the hardest part of ying is loneliness. I'm out of life's low; your comments are life's blood to me.

      And thank you for the song!

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    2. In that case, my little boy has a joke that he made up just for you. "Q: What do you call owl lotion? A: Whoooooooo knows?"

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    3. Rebekah, please thank your son for the riddle - I love it!

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  33. Thanks for this, Andrew! I don't know what to say, except as always you challenge me and inspire me. I appreciate your words so much and I am so glad to have connected with you. Praying for you!

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    1. Lesley, thank you. I'm glad we met as well. You've taught me so much about faith! Prayers are deeply appreciated.

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  34. Andrew, your words every week and praying for you have made me love you, Barbara and the dogs, as I am sure it is so for others. (I posted this once, I thought, but maybe it didn't go through)

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    1. Oh, Mary! Thank you so much for this...and know that the feeling's mutual. I grew to love you, too, through your raw honesty and humour and faith. We so look forward to your comments; and are so glad to have met you!

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  35. I'm back as promised :) --I can hear my kids in their separate rooms, each singing various praise songs. My son only gets half the words right, but the world's greatest singer would be hard-pressed to match his joy! Beautiful songs of praise just in the other room, only a step away, and this brings you to mind. --Lifting you up and begging the Throne for mercy, for comfort, for courage.

    This is what my son has been singing all day (though not quite these words, of course!): "There's a place where mercy reigns, and never dies. There's a place where streams of grace flow deep and wide, where all the love I've ever found Comes like a flood, comes flowing down...." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUvpBphq5og

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    1. Rebekah, thank you...I can hear their singing from here, at however many miles and two days' remove. And thank you doubly for the link!

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  36. We are praying for you this morning. This morning my Munchkin son is singing excerpts from Wizard of Oz, and my daughter just brought me a song to give you: "Heaven Is the Hope," by Matthew West. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVCU-ckQhUU&feature=youtu.be

    We are praying & will check in again soon. May your heart find peace this morning.

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    1. Oh, Rebekah, please thank your daughter for me. It's a lovely song. And I love Wizard of Oz...I always rather wanted to be a flying monkey.

      Been a hard couple of days. Passed out in the yard yesterday, and the kindness of strangers brought me back to the house.

      We so appreciate your prayers.

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  37. My quiet time today was focused on Isaiah 43:10 and this reminds me of your and Emily's words here, Andrew. I am praying that you know that God is with you through the raging waters of suffering and is keeping your spirit from being consumed by the fires of death. You will rise above this one way or another and have already inspired us all to persevere in the trials we face in life. Love and prayers being sent your way!

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    1. Beth, thank you for this, and for the Scripture...I do feel God's presence, all the time. No danger of my being consumed tho' the flames and waters rise high. I believe, my friend, and again...I owe my personal relationship with Christ to you, by word and example.

      Love back from all here (can you hear the barking?), and the prayers are needed and appreciated.

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  38. Andrew and Barb,

    I pray for you all the time. It has been amazing to get to know you through your comments here and on Books and Such. In Christ we are promised eternal life, so know that as this chapter ends, another much better one will begin.

    As Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:1, "Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands."

    This goes right along with what Jesus told His disciples,

    "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." John 14:1-3

    God loves you both so much and He is ready and waiting for you. In the meantime, I am still praying for a miracle, as well as for his peace for you both.

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    1. Julie, thank you...we really love 2 Cor. 5:1, and take a lot of comfort there...and, of course, from John 14. Thank you for reminding us, on a day that has been really hard.

      We truly appreciate your prayers...a healing miracle would be nice, but Andrew has already received a miracle of love, from so many people, and he is so happy with that!

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  39. Your words have encouraged me and so many others. Your faithfulness to push through and bring truth and hope despite how you have felt is inspiring. Love to both you and Barb. And many prayers.

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    1. Barbie, we thank you so much; it's been an honour for Andrew to have met so many wonderful people, and to have been a source for inspiration...he's just overwhelmed.

      Thank you for this, and we thank you especially for the prayers.

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  40. Just stopping by to let you know I'm thinking of you. Andrew and Barb, you are in my prayers. Much love to you both.

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  41. It's another afternoon, and we just found out my son has been awarded the role of the head flying monkey in a local production of Oz. He is so excited that this is a role you've dreamed of too--that will make this production that much more meaningful for us. I love how many ways God is reminding us of you, and constantly bringing you into our conversations, so we can stop and pray for you. Like right now.

    Praying for you and Barb and doggies with all our hearts. Today's prayers are tinged with sparkling emerald green. xoxo (Rebekah P here; I never know how blogger is going to sign me in!)

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