I'm about to embark on my final lap of chemotherapy tomorrow! With three rounds behind me, I’m eager to finish. Each round has been a bit harder than the last, as I’ve had to let go of various freedoms… the freedom to be in the sun, to take walks and hikes, to mentally concentrate, to … Continue reading Constructive Guilt – from Calcutta to the California Coast
I'm finishing my recuperation week and starting Round Three of chemotherapy tomorrow, so I’m halfway done with treatment! I'm not nauseous or foggy-brained currently, so this is a good time for reflection. I'm especially on the hunt for thoughts and feelings that no longer serve me well, and emotions which may have fostered or festered … Continue reading Hooray for Guilt!
[I refer to this episode and its meaning in a fresh post coming shortly. Excerpted from: Reflections from Afar: Unexpected Blessings for Those Who 'Have' from Those Who Don't, 2010] So there I was, pinned down by a schoolmate, his fist ready to pound my face. I was totally clueless as to why he wanted … Continue reading Money Memories & Fears
[NOTE: Today is my last full day of my "recovery week" between Round One and Two of chemotherapy. My mind is clear, I have no nausea... it seems like a pretty good time to write!] Sitting in church this past Sunday, Rev. Karen preached mainly from the gospel reading for the day, Luke 13:10-17... Now Jesus … Continue reading Justice with a Capital “J”
[Note: I wrote this piece yesterday (Thursday) evening but didn't get it sent out. A pre-dawn trip to the hospital ER today changed my schedule, but also added a gut-check to the theme. More below...] One of my delights each quarter is reading each entry in the Frederick Buechner Narrative Writing Contest in The Christian … Continue reading Keep Me Safe
I just read one of those stories that can make you rejoice or make you depressed. It's a story of hope, with a happy ending. But like the beautiful rose that grows up through a pile of stinking garbage, I make a choice as to what I give my attention to... to the loveliness or … Continue reading Smelling the Rose, Bypassing the Pain
I’ve been overwhelmed by the loving concern of many people in my life, and I reflect on this below. But first, I owe a few updates… It will come as little surprise that I put on my big boy pants and postponed our trip to Paris, in order to start chemo treatment in a timely … Continue reading In Praise of Foul-Weather Friends
I called my pastor today to complain. She came to our home yesterday to check on me, serve us communion, anoint me with oil and pray for me. I had also wanted to talk to her about something I'm trying to discern. As someone who shares our general age bracket, Karen had some sound counsel. But … Continue reading Complaining to my Pastor (and maybe to God)
I just joined a club no one wants membership in. My certificate came in the form of a pathology report the doctor didn't expect. I have colon cancer. A couple days after the diagnosis, I was in surgery to have half my colon robotically removed. The tissue and surrounding lymph nodes were extracted, biopsied and … Continue reading I Just Joined a Club that No One Wants Membership In
This morning, I read the following from the autobiography of an American slave, Harriet Jacobs, and it elicited an audible gasp. My wife Janet had the same response when I read it to her: We all know that the memory of a faithful slave [the author's deceased mother] does not avail much to save her … Continue reading Won’t you be my neighbor?