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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Your Dying Spouse 498 - The Three-Foot World.{FMF}

So people sometimes say...heck, even Barbara sometimes says..."I don't know how you do it."

With cancer taking over body and life...how do you do it?

It's pretty easy, really. I just take the next step, and the furthest ahead I look is the next cigar. (Cigars help a lot in fighting pain and nausea. Plus, they make me feel Churchillian.)

If I looked at the map that lies before me, of more pain and more debility and more fatigue and what I am coming to see will be a really painfully nasty death, I'd fold.

 "...if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee." - Friedrich Nietzsche

In rock climbing, it's called the Three-Foot World. Your life depends on what's within three feet of you. Anything else, the climb above and the long fall below...they're irrelevant.

So today isn't even the key. It's that next cigar, on the other side of taking care of the dogs, and taking care of the laundry, and taking care of Barbara (a joy!), and participating in the blogosphere.

You can get through a lot of pain in anticipation of tobacco, and a chance to rest.

Or whatever. If I could still drink coffee, it would be coffee.

Or...far better...Glenlivet. But that is a part of another story.

The harder question is why. I hope for a miracle, but the prospect laid out before me is both bleak and grim, and that should be where despair lives.

I haven't left the property since the 2016 election, when I voted. It doesn't look like I'll be leaving again. Well, once more, geddit?

And it's getting so much worse; walking is hard (and a just-broken foot...I mean, REALLY?...doesn't help), eating is an ordeal, I haven't slept in a few nights...yeah, whine, whine, whine.

But despair doesn't live here. Maybe I'm delusional.

Nah. To be delusional, you have to be pretty smart, have an imagination. People who know and love me say, kindly, that I'm dumber than a box of rocks.

Someone very dear has said that when she watches Guardians Of The Galaxy, this scene reminds her, irresistibly, of me...


I've said that service is a large part of the reason, being able to help Barbara and the dogs, and to give encouragement to my friends. And that's true, but it doesn't go far enough.

Why, when I'm feeling up to it, do I still work on a novel I'll never finish, or build parts for an aeroplane I'll never fly?

It's that Three Foot World, again.

It's the process that's important; it took me a long time to learn this. I will never see the destination after which I chased, but no matter. The destination was a metaphor.

I now now that the destination I sought was God, in everything I did. In fighting, in flying, in life.

And I'm already there.

Over to John Fogerty, with Lodi.


Please pardon my slow response to comments. I do my best, and your comments are really precious to me. Barb is answering many of them now. I'm running on fumes, if you don't mind a macho metaphor.

I'm grateful for the energy to have written this. I'm so glad Barbara's stepped in for many of my posts. I'm really not doing well at all.

Thanks to Carol Ashby, Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart is back on Kindle, and will be available in paperback soon.

Friends are everything. I couldn't have done it.

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.










45 comments:

  1. Every day brings you closer and closer to Him, and to your Heavenly Home...and every day turns into yet another day and then another! It's like that in life, isn't it? It's like that in facing death. Because, we just don't know when He will bring you Home. Your words continue to inspire and cause me to think about the life I live. The time I have ahead of me, wondering how long I will continue to be this caregiver?! How long will this "old" person continue to NEED a caregiver? It's not for me to wonder, or to need to know. And you pull me into these words that tell me it isn't important to know. Just live what you can, while you can, however you can...

    And don't ask where those words came from, and why?! Because, I really don't know!! My fingers are the ones doing all the work!!!

    Hugs and Prayers for you, Andrew, and Barb!

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    1. Barbara, thank you for this - live what you can, while you can, however you can.

      That's wonderful.

      And please pardon my late reply.

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  2. I appreciate your perspective Andrew. I struggle with anxiety but the three foot rule makes so much sense. Especially when I know that all of it is in God's vision anyway.

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    1. Stephanie, yes...it is God's vision.

      Please excuse my late reply!

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  3. I really love the idea of the Three Foot World. I need to remember that when I get so caught up in the wheres and the whens of the future, to just grasp onto the things I can control in the present.

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    1. Bethany...it can be really hard!

      Praying for you, and please forgive my tardy reply.

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  4. Aww, Andrew, I just love this post. The simple reality, the intentional way you press on forward and press in to God . . . amazing. God has truly done amazing work in you. And something tells me that there's not a lot that goes over your head. ;)

    I so love the perspective of a three-foot world. Not terribly different from Jesus telling us not to worry about tomorrow. Today has enough worries of its own.

    Taking the next step, getting to that next cigar? That makes sense and gives courage and hope to your readers, your friends.

    I continue to pray for you and Barb, my friend.

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    1. Jeanne, thank you so much for this! And yes, having that next cigar in the future sometimes makes a huge amount of difference.

      And please pardon my late reply.

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  5. Down to the very depths, your LIFE is teaching us, Andrew. You continue to show the way, as one who goes before us. And I remain humbled by your example and thankful for your lessons. "Your life depends on what's within three feet of you"... "It's the process that's important"... "I now now that the destination I sought was God, in everything I did. In fighting, in flying, in life." When so many in your place would be dying, thank you for living.

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    1. Jane, thank you for this wonderful, strengthening comment. I'm truy grateful (and I apologise for the late reply).

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  6. I have to say that you are leaving quite the legacy of faith and love to all of us. Your friend at FMF #8

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    1. Maryann, thank you so much! And please pardon my tardiness.

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  7. I LOVE THAT.... THE DESTINATION WAS GOD. YES, I AGREE WITH THAT AND WANT THAT TO BE TRUE OF ME. THAT'S A GREAT LEGACY. You give each of us things, great things, to ponder and to choose in our living. Because really, who knows when any of us will move to eternity. I am excited, too, to once again see those I miss who have gone before. Jesus is teaching me to feel and more fully know He loves me so... and you all too. "Oh how he loves you and me..."
    Thanks for sharing your journey. We each are better for it. - Emily
    Psalm 103

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    1. Emily, I'm so grateful for your words here. They are a real bost in dark days. And please excuse my late response!

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  8. 'The destination was a metaphor' - I so need to remember this right now when life beyond Three Foot is potentially so terrifying and guilt inducing. 'The destination I sought was God' and He is already here - we all need to hold onto that/Him. God bless you Andrew

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    1. Liz, that is so true...everything outside the Three-Foot World can be so daunting! But yes, hold to God. He ill see you through.

      And please pardon my late reply.

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  9. Andrew, this >> "I now now that the destination I sought was God, in everything I did." May this be each of our destinations for He will surely get us each there! Praying today for you and Barb.

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    1. Joanne, thank you so much for this comment, and most especially for your prayers...and please excuse the late reply.

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  10. While I don't face the same challenges as you, your words inspire me to remember to keep my focus on God. I don't need to know everything; He is enough. He is my destination and every step brings me closer to a joyful eternity with Him.

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    1. Debbie, yes! He IS enough! And always was.

      And please pardon my late reply. Bad days.

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  11. The 3-foot rule. I call it "doing the next thing." You do it well. November 2018. (We've bumped up our trip to NM).xo

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    1. Susan, thank you so much, and I intend to be here!

      Praying for you. XOXOXOXOXO

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  12. There's so much wisdom in focusing on the next step- not trying to understand the big picture but just looking a few feet ahead. I love how that approach is giving you strength and hope!

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    1. Lesley, it's the only way to really live no, and it does work!

      Thank you so much for being here, and please excuse my late reply.

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  13. How fundamentally true. For some of us, it takes a long time to realize that the destination is the journey in some odd way. And some of us will never reach the place of our desire, but we keep on learning and growing and seeing God's face somewhere in all of it ... even the pain points which become stepping stones of great valor and grace. I wrote a blog about perseverance this week, and you came to mind. You persevere on, and you demonstrate that it can be done. Andrew, I believe every day you live is a miracle. Carry on. Appreciate you and Barb. I wish I could meet both of you. God's best.

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    1. My dear Norma, thank you so much for this; I'm truly blessed by your words, and honoured.

      And please excuse my tardy response!

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  14. You are flying, just not in a plane. Your writing rises higher all the time.

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    1. Jan, thank you much! :)

      And please pardon my delay in replying.

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  15. I like the perspective of the three-foot world, especially because I've attempted rock climbing. I have read several of your FMF posts, and I truly appreciate your presence here. Keep writing that book, for I believe it will be published.

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    1. Angela, thank you so much for the encouragement...and please forgive my tardy reply.

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  16. You know, you always manager to encourage my heart. "Despair doesn't live here". It would be so easy to give in, yet you continue down this path and continue to spread joy and point us to life. Hugs!

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    1. This above comment is me. I was accidentally signed in as my son :)

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    2. Well God knows my prayers be blessed. I guess it was for him and I. Your a blessing Andrew praying for your healing peace and strength Isaiah 57:1-2 for that ticket to paradise going to have a smoke you answered my why's God crushed my never agains, praying I get there, for you have so much life and hope. Lord let me go in his place.

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    3. Barbie, hugs appreciated...and returned! {{{}}}

      And please pardon my delay in replying.

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    4. Nancy, thanks so much for this, and especially for the call to Isaiah 57!

      And please excuse the lateness of my reply.

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  17. Interesting metaphor about the three feet, but definitely helpful! We sometimes pay attention to the wrong things, so it's good to readjust our focus. Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. Katha, thanks...and yes, that readjustment in focus can really be vital.

      So sorry for my late reply!

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  18. "In rock climbing, it's called the Three-Foot World. Your life depends on what's within three feet of you. Anything else, the climb above and the long fall below...they're irrelevant.

    So today isn't even the key. It's that next cigar, on the other side of taking care of the dogs, and taking care of the laundry, and taking care of Barbara (a joy!), and participating in the blogosphere."

    I think here in your 3 foot world perspective you have just explained to me plainly what it means to live present. =) Thank you for your wisdom. And thank you for validating cigars!

    My husband enjoys a good cigar every once in awhile. With a tremor he has a hard time getting the cigar lit at times, and so I have taken to lighting them for him. In the process I've learned a bit about the enjoyment of puffing a bit on a cigar alongside him. It makes us laugh and laughter is a really good thing!

    Thank you, Andrew, for enriching my thoughts about life. I'm asking Father for a miracle for you and for my husband. #1 request is for healed bodies. And if He says not the way I have in mind then I am asking for wisdom in making every day count.

    Bless you with eyes on Jesus... you SHINE, Andrew!
    ~Lisa

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    1. Lisa, thank you so much for this lovely, warm comment! I'm so glad you guys can enjoy cigars together; they do have a comradely quality when share.

      And please do pardon my delay in replying.

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  19. "...if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee." - Friedrich Nietzsche

    I like to think, 'the fear whispers to the warrior, you cannot withstand the storm. The warrior says, I am the storm.' You, Andrew are the victor. That warrior, no matter how small the steps seem, you are victorious over the fear that has tried to overtake you.

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    1. Claire, I truly appreciate your words...especially today, as my steps have literally become very small indeed (long-bone metastases and a broken foot, and some other stuff).

      I'm so grateful that you are here! (And please pardon my slow response.)

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  20. Dude, you are totally Drax! (That's a compliment).

    I had no idea that cigars help with pain and nausea. Almost makes me want to light up. Almost. Maybe I'll just find some candy cigars to munch on in your honor.

    I like this "Three Foot Rule." I've had some really unpleasant things happen in the last month, with a revelation on Friday that had me seeing red. Nothing life-threatening. Just very, very annoying. And hurtful. I have been wondering how to deal with it all. Now, you've got me looking just at what the next thing is. Thank you for that.

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    1. Marie, thank you so much! :)

      I knew from wartime that nicotine would ease the pain of wounds, and at least some of the symptoms of dysentery. Definitely not PC, but the effect is real, and welcome.

      I'm so sorry for the difficulties you've had, my friend, and I will be holding you up in prayer.

      And please excuse the delay in my reply.

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  21. You amaze me friend! I'm in the 60 spot this week!

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    1. Tara, thank you so much! And I will be heading over shortly.

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