In this strange time of pandemic, what brings you joy?
For my parents, it’s a walk and a visit with longtime friends. The walking started as rehab for Mom. In this time of social distancing, it’s grown into a (nearly) daily habit – good for body, mind, and spirit.
The gals stay on level ground. The guys take a longer loop. The dog would like to go with both but is forced to choose.
Posted in response to Nancy Merrill’s challenge “A Photo a Week Challenge: Joy.”
Monday was my first All Souls’ Day remembering my best beloved.
While I miss him dearly I am also grateful that for him all sickness and suffering is past.
John lived with metastatic prostate cancer for more than nine years and took time to consider a farewell. As I establish a new rhythm of living and return to blogging (at least that’s my intent!), I thought I’d share his final word.
‘Biography’ by Shel Silverstein (from Every Thing On It, 2011): ‘First he was born / And then he was warned / And then he learned how to swim / And then he was married / And then he was buried / And that’s all that happened to him.’
“I do not have any ancestors of note. My descendants are presently in the midst of busy lives and, should they distinguish themselves, it would be presumptuous to claim credit for their success. I stand in death just as I did in life. To paraphrase the words of Sir Winston Churchill, I was a modest little man who had much to be modest about.
“Let it be said that I have had the companionship of an exceptional person over the last twenty-five years. She brought joy to my existence and there is no way that I can express my gratitude for her presence.
“I am also grateful to the countless bright, humane people who have shared my life’s journey. Thank you. May your lives be as rich as mine has been.
“Gerolamo Cardano (1501-1576, physician, mathematician, astrologer, gambler, philosopher) summed my life accurately when he wrote, ‘Although happiness suggests a state quite contrary to my nature, I can truthfully say that I was privileged from time to time to attain and share a certain measure of felicity. If there is anything good at all in life with which we can adorn this comedy’s stage, I have not been cheated of such gifts.’ (from The Equation That Couldn’t Be Solved by Mario Livio, 2006)
“As Lt. Colombo might say, ‘Just one more thing’. Since life is not quite as simple as Shel Silverstein has put it, there is one last detail that must be added. Human relationships are complicated and messy. To those I have offended or treated badly, I apologize.”
Sometimes a short outing or a brief change of scenery is an appropriate response to what’s happening in life. Saturday afternoon I spent an hour or so at Reiman Gardens on the campus of Iowa State University. My primary goal was to see “Ribbit the Exhibit.”
Captivating and whimsical, this collection of human-scale frog sculptures is sure to make you smile. Artist J.A. Cobb crafted the pieces from copper and gave each one personality and interests that just might reflect your own.
Emily, an Hospice Massage Therapist, was here today. With gentle touch she provided some relief from the deep bone pain (related to metastasized cancer) experienced by my best beloved.
At one point John looked at me and asked if I was going to take a picture. He then proceeded to tell her about my interest in photography. So what could I do but get the camera?!!
Emily’s tools are her hands. As such they have their own special insurance policy. After all, if something happens to her hands she’s out of a job!
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Later I looked at several scripture passages that mentioned hands. This one, a prayer, stood out to me:
“And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant to your servants to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
Acts 4:29-30 NRSV
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p.s. When I started this post a week ago I thought about the simple act of holding a person’s hand – something we don’t do outside our homes in this era of COVID-19. Then I wondered about hands and healing in scripture. Before I knew it I needed to be taking care of other business. So, here it is a week later than intended with only a postscript added to complete it.