Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Something To Keep In Mind

I've decided that it's time for a little break from discussion of national and international issues. This posting is about something much more important — a joy we should not miss out on.

GM Roper posted the essay below almost three months ago. Since that time, his most recent scans have come back cancer-free, but he didn't know of that good outcome when he wrote the following:
The JOY Of Living ~ Even With Cancer!

Sun-up came like a shy child, sneaking the eyes around the corner to see who was there. As the sky lit up, the world came alive and reminded me how great it is to be alive, even if you are recovering from cancer.

Before sun-up I arose with my bride and made coffee (with a little bit of chickory for a kick) while she got dressed to go to work. I walked her out and kissed her good bye, poured my coffee and sat on the patio to await brother sun. On time and in glory brother sun arose after making sure I was settled on the patio with a book and my morning cup of java. I stared up at the sky, listened to the wind in the trees, sniffed at the fragrance of flowers in the early summer air and listened at last to the gentle cooing of white-wing doves.

I wish I could share that feeling with the world, but I can't and more's the pity.

It occurred to me during that second cuppa that I really do enjoy living. I enjoy sitting with my arms around my bride, or kissing my daughter goodbye after she comes for a visit. I enjoy the interchange of ideas as found in blogs and in reading what others think. But most of all, I enjoy that quiet bit of solitude that I share with God in the morning.

Back in January when I announced on this site that I had cancer, I had absolutely no idea what my future held, other than I intended to fight this evil bastard down to the wire and I intended to win. I still do if you are curious. I received over a hundred comments on that post and well over 300 emails from folk wishing me well. One can share that, but one cannot truly understand the buoyancy to the spirit unless it has happened to you. And one thing I know, deep within my heart-of-hearts, it is not the only thing that has kept me going, but it sure has helped.

The other week, I went to church and got to announce a "Joy," that my CT Scan had come back clean. The congregation applauded and several people walked up after services and announced that they "knew" that things were going to be OK. How did they know? We have lost other church members to disease, accidents and the like, how did they know I would do OK? I don't have an answer, I don't know why some are, like me spared, and others, good people all are not.

I do know that a large part of this is truly the Joy of Living - even with cancer! Nothing that I can imagine would cause me to despair and give up. Nothing that I can think of would make me say that the illness and weakness brought about by chemo-therapy and having part of a lung removed would tilt me towards giving up and giving in.

So, as the sun has risen high in the sky, it is time to bring this little bit of posting to an end, to let you, my faithful readers, know how very much I love all of you (even the lefties out there) and how much you have touched this old guy.

Thanks for being my friends, and Thank YOU God for taking care of me during this phase of my joy filled life.

And friends, be assured that no matter what, I will fight on and beat this thing.
Fight On!
Our lives are filled with battles, large and small. But no matter what our present situation, we would do well to remember the good things in life. Just as our lives are filled with battles, so are our lives filled with wonderful moments. As this summer comes to a close, don't miss out on those moments of blessings, large and small.

56 Comments:

At 8/23/2006 8:21 AM, Blogger Farmer John said...

Anything to this side of the grass is good! Good luck, GM!

 
At 8/23/2006 8:27 AM, Blogger Farmer John said...

*note for nanc...except a golf ball

 
At 8/23/2006 8:29 AM, Anonymous GM Roper said...

AOW, I'm honored that you thought enough of my essay to repost and comment on it here on your blog. Thank you dear lady, thank you so much for your prayers, your friendship and your unrepenitent patriotism. God bless!

 
At 8/23/2006 8:37 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

GM,
I recognize a great piece of writing when I see it.

I prayed long and hard for your recovery. And when I learned about your most recent scans, I cheered--and decided to post this excellent essay from May.

I will continue to pray that all those scans come back CLEAN!

 
At 8/23/2006 8:41 AM, Blogger nanc said...

one of my favorite verses in the bible states that we should all give thanks in all things (not some - ALL). if we live our lives according to that one small verse we can overcome anything despite the odds.

God is still good.

 
At 8/23/2006 9:40 AM, Blogger American Crusader said...

Nothing reaffirms life then facing death.

 
At 8/23/2006 9:46 AM, Blogger The Merry Widow said...

Amen! Having walked that vale of the shadow of death with my late, G*D is good, if we let HIM be! When we remember this life is temporary, we can either weep, wail and gnash our teeth or we can rejoice and make a lasting mark of good on those around us! The joy of the Lord is my strenghth becomes a reality that others can follow! PTL that you are doing well, keep enjoying HIS Goodness!

tmw

 
At 8/23/2006 10:12 AM, Blogger Gayle said...

AOW, this is a beautiful post. GM Roper has true grit! I pray that he beats this.

It's pretty hard right now in Texas to enjoy the pleasures of nature. It's hot as hades outside. We are stuck in the house and about to go nuts. Everything is burned up and dry, with cracks in the ground large enough for small animals to fall into. The wild animals suffer for they cannot find water. Still, I realize that one day the rain will come, and that we will be very thankful for it. Until then, I'm thankful for air-conditioning! :)

 
At 8/23/2006 11:00 AM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Weren't we told to make a joyful noise?

Not a lot of that going on. People are too busy making money and screaming at their neighbors.

 
At 8/23/2006 11:51 AM, Blogger Brooke said...

But screaming at the neighbors is soooo much fun... LOL! ;)

Great piece! It's always nice to have a reminder to be grateful.

 
At 8/23/2006 12:43 PM, Blogger The Merry Widow said...

Not I, I have fun talking to them and money doesn't buy happiness or relationships!
Gayle- Florida is quite warm(low 90's) but the humidity is killer! It is the rainny season, so you can wring the air out like a dishrag! The a/c is good for reducing the amount in your house too!

tmw

 
At 8/23/2006 1:37 PM, Blogger Farmer John said...

ot for mr. ducky...

What do you think of Hieronymus Bosch? How does he compare w/Dali & the Surrealists?

 
At 8/23/2006 1:48 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Well Farmer, Bosch was a very inventive painter although I link him more readily with Kafka.

He can't be paired with the Surrealists since he wasn't particularly concerned with sex.

I think Dali may have been influenced a bit but Dali's forms are much more organic and Dali actually has a respect for the church in some work which is never present in Bosch. See Bosch's "Temptation of St. Anthony" for an anti-Catholic screed that would make Bunuel proud.

 
At 8/23/2006 5:02 PM, Blogger Farmer John said...

I don't know ducky. It was pretty risque stuff for the period in which Bosch painted. "El Bosco". He beat Freud & the Surrealists by 300 years.

 
At 8/23/2006 6:26 PM, Blogger David Schantz said...

AOW, Thanks for posting this. GM, I'm happy to hear that the test came back clean. I'm sure that you had many friends praying for you. So once again it is proven that the power of prayer works. Give thanks constantly.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

 
At 8/23/2006 7:11 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Farmer and Duck,
Back to a discussion of art, I see. That's fine with me. I don't know enough about art to participate in your discussion, however.

Now, if the topic were the Muslim influence on the architecture of Spain, I could try to drag out a term paper I did in college, all those years ago.

 
At 8/23/2006 7:26 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Nanc,
And Romans 8:28!

 
At 8/23/2006 7:28 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Crusader,
Nothing reaffirms life then facing death.

My husband found that out when he was facing brain surgery in 1993. It was a relatively low-risk surgery, but anything can happen on the neuro operating-table.

I know that you, too, have faced death and, therefore, know of the importance of life.

 
At 8/23/2006 7:31 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

When my husband was facing brain surgery, he was calm on the outside. Yet when he tried to pray the night before surgery, he couldn't remember The Lord's Prayer! He did manage to remember The Hotrodder's Prayer, however:"

"Now I lay me down to sleep.
I parked my hotrod in the street.
If it should roll before I wake,
I pray the Lord will pull the brake."

I'm sure that the Lord understood. Of course, my husband was well-medicated at the time. LOL.

 
At 8/23/2006 7:32 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Duck,
People are too busy making money and screaming at their neighbors.

Not in this house.

 
At 8/23/2006 7:36 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

David,
When my husband was preparing for his brain surgery (mentioned above), one of my friends cross-stitched a little magnet for me: "Prayer changes things." That magnet, a bit old and tattered, is still on our fridge.

Gayle, Brooke, and TMW,
We have so much to be grateful for, but we often don't take the time to give thanks. That failure is human nature, of course, but it shouldn't be.

 
At 8/23/2006 7:38 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

TMW,
money doesn't buy happiness or relationships!

But some people act as if money can buy anything. I know it's trite, but "The best things in life are free." Free--at least in terms of bucks.

 
At 8/23/2006 7:40 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Gayle,
Everything is burned up and dry, with cracks in the ground large enough for small animals to fall into.

So my best friend, who lives in the Austin area, has been telling me.

When I visited Texas in 2000, I saw those cracks for myself. Unreal!

 
At 8/23/2006 7:43 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Farmer,
Anything to this side of the grass is good!

For the most part, but I could give you a few examples to the contrary.

 
At 8/23/2006 8:29 PM, Blogger The Merry Widow said...

AoW- When we lived in San Jose, the ground was clay and in the summer it would dry out and cracks so wide you had to watch where you stepped! Grubs used to crawl out looking for water! Sand doesn't crack, but can look awful plain with a brown grass topping.

tmw
P.S. I am certainly glad you are clear now GM!

 
At 8/23/2006 8:34 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

TMW,
Grubs used to crawl out looking for water!

Ick!

What came along to eat up those grubs?

 
At 8/23/2006 11:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AOW asked:

"What came along to eat up those grubs? "

Little Che Sucky trying out for survivor.

 
At 8/24/2006 6:34 AM, Blogger The Merry Widow said...

Actually, my late would lure them up with water then hit them with grub killer! The birds loved it, they would hang out waitting and waitting...
Anonymous- I don't recall any little duckies padding around amongst the others! Though we had a female hummingbird who loved our flowers!
Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!

tmw

 
At 8/24/2006 6:55 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Anonymous,
AOW asked:

"What came along to eat up those grubs? "

Little Che Sucky trying out for survivor.


Bwahahahaha!

Around here, raccoons dig up the ground if they detect grubs. And, of course, voles (shrews?) eat grubs too. One of our cats is a huntress, and she's cleaned out the rodents. Now the birds get to feast.

TMW,
Your husband had an excellent solution.

We've never used grub killer, though lawn services around here often do.

 
At 8/24/2006 7:43 AM, Blogger The Merry Widow said...

AoW- He was very judicious about the use of bug killers, applied only to where the little buggers live! Our cats are never allowed outside, unless they are on a harness. He lost too many when he was growing up. Of course our indoor kitty does enjoy maintaining bug and lizard patrol inside! Earth friendly you might say!
GM Roper certainly exhibits the right attitude! Now if we can only teach others!
Good morning!

tmw

 
At 8/24/2006 8:35 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

TMW,
My cats hate harnesses. We tried to train each of them to the harness when they were very young. No success! When they go outside, we're there as supervisors most of the time. And now that they are older, they don't like to roam. They learned the hard way about the dangers of ChemLawn.

GM has the best of attitudes! Have you seen his August 22 posting? It is HERE. Worth your time!

 
At 8/24/2006 9:32 AM, Blogger The Merry Widow said...

Our old Maine Coon got out a few times, you could always find him by walking around the house! He hugged the foundations like he was on a harness, it was handy for catching him! My daughter's cat is terrified of the great outdoors! She climbs your leg for safety! She doesn't even like our front screenroom! Our old one loved it though!
GM's post on those teens was wonderful, and they are talented. I hate to see the use and abuse of children, it causes very strong visceral reactions in me! I saw too much of it at the shelter I worked at!

tmw

 
At 8/24/2006 9:57 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

TMW,
Our oldest cat is 18 years old, so she doesn't go much further than the front steps. Last Sunday, the usual morning out for them, she despaired when she couldn't find a single green blade. We're in the drought days right now.

Our next oldest is a coward--since a fox gave chase. She won't even go off the front porch!

But the two youngest ones roam a little bit. Not far. Their roaming is all about the hunt for rodents.

I'm glad that you saw GM's essay about those kids. I left a long comment at his site.

 
At 8/24/2006 11:05 AM, Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

GM is a stand up kinda guy..lovely post AOW!!

 
At 8/24/2006 11:21 AM, Blogger Farmer John said...

I love Maine Coon's, but I have trouble picturing one in a harness... they're so Houdini-flexible.

 
At 8/24/2006 11:41 AM, Blogger Farmer John said...

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At 8/24/2006 11:44 AM, Blogger Farmer John said...

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At 8/24/2006 12:14 PM, Blogger Farmer John said...

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At 8/24/2006 1:06 PM, Blogger The Merry Widow said...

FJ- You need 2 people, a box of bandages, and snug it! I'm joking about the bandages! Dov complained while being put in it, but he enjoyed going out with someone! It is a riot trying to "walk" a cat, fits and starts and the neighbors end up in convulsions! "Walking" a cat is like herding several, you end up in some strange places! And I love Maine Coons too! Great dispositions.

tmw

 
At 8/24/2006 1:14 PM, Blogger Farmer John said...

Ours LOVES water. Lays in the dishwasher door and empty bathtub ALL the time when not stretched out on the living room floor laying on his belly w/hind legs straight behind him. I've never see a cat do that before.

 
At 8/24/2006 1:23 PM, Blogger Farmer John said...

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At 8/24/2006 1:31 PM, Blogger Farmer John said...

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At 8/24/2006 2:32 PM, Blogger Farmer John said...

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At 8/24/2006 2:48 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Farmer,
I'm no art critic. ;)

Also, it's been ages since I thought about A Clockwork Orange.

Besides, I make allowances for young people who are making the effort to turn their lives around.

PS: I've never had a Maine coon, though one of my former neighbors had two. They were gorgeous creatures.

 
At 8/24/2006 2:52 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Farmer,
laying on his belly w/hind legs straight behind him. I've never see a cat do that before.

My Siamese mix likes to lie on her back with all fours up in the air. She reminds me of those figures in cartoons--you know, when they rolled over and died. But Cameo is very much alive!

Every Siamese mix I've had LOVED the water. I had a time keeping them out of the fish pond (now filled in).

 
At 8/24/2006 2:53 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

WHT,
Yes, GM is truly "simpatico." He's also very dedicated to his work.

 
At 8/24/2006 3:26 PM, Blogger Farmer John said...

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At 8/24/2006 3:31 PM, Blogger Farmer John said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 8/24/2006 3:36 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Farmer,
You do know that I'm not sniping at you, right?

Your criticisms are accurate, but the dynamics of the group is something that every teacher has to take into consideration.

Now, I'm one tough grader, but I don't make the demands without considering the dynamics. "A time and a place for everything." Of course, I don't always read the dynamics properly, and I'm just guessing about GM's group of young people.

BTW, one reason I'm not "into" art is because of my eyesight. Don't get me wrong--I'm not blind, and my vision is better today than it was some 20 years ago. But my depth perception is compromised to a significant extent. I really had to look to see that the stars were not properly aligned. **sigh**

And I DO appreciate your pointing out certain details in that mural.

 
At 8/24/2006 3:44 PM, Blogger The Merry Widow said...

Dov never really minded his baths and FJ, he laid out with his hind legs straight out back! The problem was he was bonded to my late and never recovered from his death! He got more and more depressed, so we had to put him to sleep. Their fur is amazing, but demands time and attention!
Gotta run, T storm almost overhead!

tmw

 
At 8/24/2006 3:57 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

TMW,
The problem was he was bonded to my late and never recovered from his death! He got more and more depressed, so we had to put him to sleep.

That's so sad! Is the Maine coon a one-person cat?

After years of Persians and Himalayans, my husband and I have opted for short-haired cats. Much less grooming needed, though our oldest, which is very short-haired, has been neglected her grooming of late. I've had to do some trimming from the waist down. She looks pitiful, but is still enjoying life--if the amount of food consumption is any indication of joy.

 
At 8/24/2006 4:11 PM, Blogger Farmer John said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 8/24/2006 4:43 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Farmer,
No need to apologize to me. I count you as a friend! And I'm so glad to see you back in the blogosphere.

I understand, but I'm glad that you explained: I'm so sick of seeing the flag desecrated intentionally of late, that I simply have to speak out, even if the symbolism gets executed unintentionally. I've become over-sensitive.

One of our cats would go belly-up if I were to die. My husband and I have often discussed that issue. I'm planning to hang on for quite a while! ;)

 
At 8/24/2006 5:04 PM, Blogger The Merry Widow said...

AoW & FJ- Probably the hardest part for dov was the fact that hospice came in, so my hubby died at home and Dov knew, he wouldn't get up on the hospital bed while it was occupied and afterwards started using the furniture and my son's room as his litter box, it just got worse until he never used his kitty box! Didn't groom himself very well, we had to constantly cut fur! And eventually almost stopped eating, I figured it was just to cruel and heartless to try to keep him around, even though he was only 10 1/2. I'm just not that meanspirited or selfish to force him to suffer!
But now we have my daughter's kitty, who just turned 1 on Teusday! She's a hoot and bosses our 80 lb. puppy-wuppy something fierce! They play and we end up on the floor laughing!

tmw

 
At 8/24/2006 7:48 PM, Blogger FLORIAN said...

Og Mandino began his writing career when he was first diagnosed with cancer. He said that he never felt more alive when he was diagnosed with terminal than before. Reading something like that really gives me such a good insight on what truly matters in life (God, love, family, friends, etc.) Amazing how most of us live our lives so fast that we forget these things (i'm guilty too).

 
At 8/24/2006 9:14 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Florian,
Sometimes we're so busy that we forget to LIVE.

Are you familiar with Art Buchwald? He was in hospice for a while, now he's out. And living it up!

 

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