The question does come from those who see me...given the fell laundry list of a failing body, what makes life worth living?
Don't you want to give it up, and just go home?
I mean, look at it...you can barely eat, barely breathe, and sleep comes in 15-minute swathes of nightmares from which you often wake up screaming from the pain that hits your subconscious.
There's that cough, granite hard and violent and bloody.
If you look down, you can see the bulging tumours on the chest wall and abdomen, as well as the one in your navel. (But the tumours in the neck make looking down painful, so I don't do it much...so there!)
Every dunny call is another reminer that yup, the pancreas is giving up the ghost.
You're surrounded by projects you won't finish, and the view from the porch is of hills you won't climb.
And so on.
Sometimes I ask the question of myself.
And the answer comes immediately, that I have a lot to live for, starting with a wife I adore, and a passel of dogs (and one cat) that I cherish.
They keep me in shape for the fight.
I do my best to support Barb by finding useful Scripture that addresses work and life, and also cool music to do the same. This keeps the soul man, so to speak, fit and alert.
The dogs keep my body strong, simply through the need to walk them several times a day (the yard's fenced, but to most that isn't an obstacle, and chasing them down the mesa is beyond me now). They have to be fed, and watered, and groomed. I would guess that's 7-8 hours a day on my feet.
And sometimes, I need to put my fatigue and pain and need for rest aside, because someone has a tummy-ache and needs to go out and...oops!
"Sorry, Dad. I tried to hold it."
You see, my woes are not the priority here.
Love is, and love is what makes it all worthwhile.
The love I get, yes, but far more...the love I give.
It's not 'enough'.
It's everything I ever needed.
These have not been easy days,
not by a country mile,
but I can tell you, anyway,
that life is still worthwhile.
Tumours make it hard to breathe,
and it really hurts to laugh,
and if, perchance, I have to sneeze,
I feel I’ll break in half.
But there are still my dogs to walk,
and time spent with my wife,
and though I can no longer talk,
I have the best of life,
for in a place where love resides,
that is where Our Lord abides.
Music from Josh Groban, with What I Did For Love (click here if the video doenf't appear).
It took me a long time to realize that this song isn't about romance; it's about life, and I've asked Barb that if there's a memorial service for me, it be played.
And in the interest of transparency, bravado only goes so far, and I wept on re-hearing the song and at last understaning what it's about. I have so much to live for, and I do not want to die.