I am not a manic-depressive.
But it seems that, yet again, my mood has gone way south. Other than my short posts to my Bride, living in glory to be sure, but not here with me as hoped, I have had a massive writer’s block.
In the past 15 months I have buried my brother (did the funeral myself). Way before his time at 55. Rocked us all – he was the “Baby” of the fam.
Not on a par, but still missed by me and Da Pug – Milo the Cocker. Came over to be petted one last time by Lou and me, went by Da Pug and did a nose greeting on the way, laid down by the feet of us both, and breathed his last. He was a good piece of dog-meat for over 13 years. Had to bury him. Sigh.
Then, three days after Christmass, at 63 – the Lord took my Sweet Mama Lou (Mine), home for eternity. As a weird collar wearer, I know I shall see her and Bro-Man again. But all the same, death takes its inevitable toll on a soul still dwelling here in the vale of tears. Still – I had to do her funeral. Sigh big time!
Then my tumble backwards down the stairs fractured a vertebrae and the lowest two ribs, left and back. While at the VA, asked them to check on my chronic cough. Necrifying pneumonia. I have apparently had it since my surgery in 2010. It is now under control and the junk is coming outta my lung, and the ribs are no longer hurting nor is the back.
Aha! A break!
No – my brother’s wife, supposedly cured of cancer 15 months ago with her final surgery, ended up with a broken shoulder with virtually no contact. When they operated, they found more of the bastard cancer, but now headquartered in her bones. Last week, walking at the hospital where she was getting her radiation, her femur broke up high. Her surgery in the AM notwithstanding, her ortho/oncologist gave her and my brother the fated sentence – 6 months to a year. Bone cancer? I give her 6 to 12 weeks. And filled with pain little short of full body anesthesia can dull.
I am numb. Not sure how else to put it. But – it’s not me. I dumped all of this on a close friend today, and he responded simply:
“Jeffrey – you have pneumonia – serious pneumonia. That can take you out if you get depressed or start worrying about everything or everyone else.”
“I know that, Seb, but I have been a Pastor forever. My Ordination did not come with an off switch in caring for others just because I have problems.”
Got this far, and my son called. We talked for almost two hours. a wonderful discussion. He is becoming what I always hoped and prayed he would become. He has the one thing most important to success in this life, and to live the life to come – ATTITUDE. It can be spoken of, but never taught. It has to be, as it were – caught. At last – he has caught it. I can die in peace knowing that, or live in peace, too. He is secure in the Faith. I might have the lung problem, but there is no one foot in the grave thing with me. Just brought back to the grey matter an old story I told in a sermon in my first or second year in the Holy Ministry.
+ + +
Little Susie was then, what today would be called autistic and plied with stupefying drugs. A special child. Inattentive in class, often disruptive because she wasn’t always on the same page as teacher, and a source of frustration for her teacher
One day, teacher was gone. Little Susie was somewhat lost, not having her teacher’s part in her life. She was confused, but as she always did, Susie moved along with each new day. Then, after over a week, teacher was back.
Little Susie was overjoyed, and as was usual with her, she went way over the lines in her behavior that day. Her teacher had to reprimand her several times that day, and finally, teacher told her she had to stay after school, and catch up on all she had missed with her colorful antics.
Susie had her assignments, and for once, she completed them and turned them in. Her teacher went back and sat with her special pupil. Susie looked at her, and asked her teacher but a simple question:
“Teacher – why are yo so fussed in the head today? You seem like life is too hard to live.”
Her teacher sighed. The child was perceptive, way beyond her years. So she began . . .
“Susie – What do you mean by ‘fussed in the head?'”
“Teacher – you don’t seem to be yourself. It is like you aren’t really here!”
The teacher thought long and hard – a reply to the innocent question of the special child – caught her way off guard.
“Susie, I was gone because my Mom died, and we went to her funeral and to bury her.”
Susie thought about that for a good minute, way past her usual time limit. Then her face brightened, and she floored her teacher with her next question.
“Teacher – did your Mom live – really LIVE until she died?”
Are we living until we die?
+ + +
No, my dear son Daniel, I am not giving up the ghost without a fight. You know I have never given up once in your lifetime or mine; and I am way too old to start that bad habit now! I have often been “fussed in the head!” Life when it is coming at you from all angles – will do that to a body. But I remember the prayer I have made each morning from Psalm 118:24 – and in praying it, I know there ain’t no way I won’t live until I die! My Pop used to call it “piss and vinegar in one’s veins.” He was right:
“This is the day which the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!”
Someone got a better plan? REJOICE!!! It’s a fresh start each new morning. The Psalms, ever the Gospel of one’s daily walk, remind me yet again in Psalm 103:8 –
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in loving-kindness.”
It’s a new start each new day, my Son. The only truly stupid man is the one who ignores the Lord’s blessing of forgiveness and keeps up the Sisyphean task of rolling the same old boulder up the same old hill, only to have it roll back down over him just before he gets to the top, and then he must repeat it over and over again.
And its my struggle in trying to take care of myself while unable to shed for a moment my persona as a Pastor, a called servant of Christ. I was called for life to be what He was in His Life, Death, and Resurrection. As I told Seb today –
“I don’t know anything different.”
Surgery today – Bro-Man is on his way back with the news – then back up there again. That’s going to wear him put – sooner than later. But it will bond them both, too, in ways they have never imagined. Many prayers are rising up these days that the Lord might deliver her from this curse of the devil and sin.
No – no surgery today. I get bits and pieces. It is what it is. One oncologist told them the call was their’s, but if Elaine rejected further chemo or radiation (which will NOT kill bone cancer!), he will see to it she is comfortable until the end. Barring a miracle – 3-6 weeks. Been there up close with bone cancer among my members too many times.
I am rambling. I know, but that is kinda what I set out to do to begin with – I needed to break the writer’s block.
I am not getting into anything political this time – one, because the commies on the left have gotten so absurd as to be totally and completely ignored, and they are only matched or exceeded by the MSM.
One of the truly great hymns of all times, and it was written in the last century, no less, by one of out really great profs at our Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. Full pipes here – and lyrics here. Simply put, a magnificent hymn. Sing it with all you got, Sports Fans! Use your diaphragm, peeps, not your tummy! Amazing how much stronger you can sing doing that!
And with that, being unable to top it, I’ll let this puppy go. Hope it made sense in some way. Pray for Elaine. + + +