Stage 4 Cancer brought many challenges--and also a host of loving and praying friends. Almost-daily postings to this site are to help my friends walk with me through this journey, and to express my gratitude to them and especially to God...On 7/8/08 Carol passed through that final curtain of death and is now healed. We thank God for her life and "arrival"! Chuck
My trip is continuing to go well. Unfortunately I was unable to spend time with Justin and family due to a flu bug that had attacked Laura and Ella. I did not think it advisable to run the risk of taking the bug with me on the remainder of the trip so had to bypass them.
Presently I am enjoying a relaxing time at the lake. It has been great to spend time with Karin but I missed Keith who is on a business trip in Italy so I will see him on the next trip. Gavin and Calli came to the lake from college today to spend some time with me. It was great to see them and hear about their classes and college life.
Tomorrow I will continue on to Chicago and have lunch with Justin, Julianna and Judah then spend the afternoon with them prior to continuing on to the motel for the night. Monday I have some meetings at Moody and then will return to the lake that evening. I need to hurry back to Florida for Sue's arrival on Thursday.
Thanks so much for your prayers and encouragement as I travel.
Love to all,
It has been an interesting experience watching all of the activity just outside my porch window. Today I saw an alligator watching the shoreline as a bird came walking by. For some strange reason, the bird stopped to closer examine the “bump” in the water. (Just to the left of the bird’s leg) I though the bird was a goner for certain, but he moved on and the alligator seemed to be focused on something else. I was working on some files on the porch while keeping an eye on the water from time to time. After possibly a half hour there was a big splash and the alligator had something. I thought it was a fish at first, but then realized that it had fur. Our lawn man came by on the mower at that time and he suspects that it may have been an otter. I trust that the pictures copy well so you can see my “neighbor”.
I have been greatly blessed as I settle in here at the SIM Village. The workers did a excellent job of renovation and construction and the residents did a great job of cleaning and preparing for my arrival. I have had workers each day making improvements and changes to meet my needs but I believe that everything is about complete now. The major item that remains to be done is to get the internet set up at the house. I purchased some new equipment yesterday so that I can interface efficiently with both our Sebring and Charlotte offices. The final task is getting it all hooked up which appears likely to be accomplished next week. Until then, I am relying on some rather slow wi-fi connections which can be a bit frustrating at times.
This evening my neighbors are having a block party to welcome me as a new resident. With all of the invitations for meals, I am having to watch my intake or I will not be able to fit into my clothes. Tomorrow I plan to head for Sumter, SC to see my new great granddaughter...Ella's sister. I had hoped to get up there sooner, but the tasks here seemed to take priority. Now that things are pretty much in place, I should be able to get away for a few days. I suspect that when I return it will be much like moving in again, attempting to find where I put things. Wow...this old guy finds this all to be a rather steep learning curve! When I can get a better internet connection, I will attach some pictures that you may enjoy.
Yesterday I took a picture of two sand cranes that were intently looking in my door off the lake. I stepped outside and they were extremely tame. They are large birds, about three feet tall with bright red caps on their heads. I'll save their picture to send later.
Thanks so much for your prayers, calls and emails. You are a great encouragement!
Love to all,
All is going well and I know many of you are looking for an update. Due to a potential storm coming in on Wednesday, we decided to make a quick change of plans and pack Tuesday evening. I wasn't able to organize my last minute items too well but it all worked out. I drove down here on Thursday and we unloaded the truck Friday. Since then I have been buried in boxes. Finally I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Things seem to be fitting in quite well and I am certainly thankful that I got rid of so many things before moving. Everyone has been most helpful so that is a tremendous blessing. I anticipate that tomorrow I will complete emptying boxes. I admit that there are some in my storage roomthat are not urgent and I can deal with later.
I have not had time to get hooked up to the Internet so I am dictating this on my cell phone. Please excuse any strange words or misspellings. Dictation is fast but not always that accurate.
Thanks for your prayers and your frequent emails. I was also thrilled to find several notes and cards in the mail when I arrived. It is a mighty good feeling to be getting close to the end of this unpacking project. It will be great to get started with my responsibilities at the office soon.
Love to you all,
We were saddened to receive the following update on Stuart's medical condition. Please pray for peace and encouragement for him and the family and wisdom and guidance for him and the medical people.
Recently I was intently listening to a radio program when a Conelrad test broke in obliterating several seconds of the message and irritating me about the interruption. Was that test really necessary…right then? This week I have experienced tests and witnessed several tests in others lives.
I awoke Sunday morning with violent nausea and all that accompanies it. Need I be graphic? I was up and down like clock-work every half hour. Sometime around daybreak I realized that I was not thinking clearly but also was having a bit of chest discomfort accompanied by the shortness of breath that I have been fighting these many weeks. I realized that I was invited to a small gathering at friends after church and reminded myself that I must call later to let them know I would not be there. At some point I drifted off into a stupor and never really “came to” until around 1:00 PM…missing the gathering and not calling them. With mind a blur and considerable discomfort I recognized my confused mind was unable to sort out my health options. Praying for wisdom I was lead to call dear friend Stuart who immediately came and we discussed options and took a bit of action, resulting in prayer answered. I fell asleep on the sofa in the study with Stuart sitting in the recliner and I did not awaken until around 4:00 PM. Stuart was still there as I rallied. I felt considerably improved so sent him home, took more fluids, called the friends to apologize, and went back to sleep, able to get up and spend most of Monday at the office. I am not sure what it was but I suspect either the flu or food poisoning? Possibly a “test”?
Yesterday I witnessed challenges in others lives which likely could also be tests. A dear couple from Michigan is having to return earlier than planned. Their kids from back home “happened” to come to visit them yesterday. Earlier in the week the husband suffered what appears to possibly be a mild TIA’s but declined to see a doctor here and insisted he would drive back and see his doctor at home. We all have strongly encouraged him not to drive and I trust that is the case as they are all four on the road home today.
Later in the morning I sat with a good friend who had to have his mother moved from her retirement facility into assisted living and is feeling much stress over it. She is extremely unhappy and this has also caused some major conflicts with a sibling.
In the afternoon I had a call from a coworker in an ambulance on the way to the Emergency Room asking prayer for his wife who collapsed while attending a meeting with some ladies. Fortunately it appears to be something that can be handled with medication and she is now back home.
In the evening I spent quite some time with the son of my neighbor who was helping with some yard work there. His dad appears to be in his last days/hours with cancer there in the home. The son works in the hospital, dealing with death every day, but is having a very difficult time watching his dad, and this is generating criticism from some family members as well as great stress for himself who tends to internalize such situations.
Tests? I suspect so, and how well we are prepared for those tests will also determine how we finish the final days (test) of our own “race” on earth.
This has caused me to look more closely at my own life and realize how God has richly blessed during these nearly 80 years, but at the same time recognize how easy and frequently I can fall “out of step” with him. I really want to avoid the word but what better describes it?...SIN! It is so easy to be critical, harbor a bad attitude, and respond inappropriately to people and opportunities. As I reflect upon this I am challenged by Romans 2:4; “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” It sure is easy to have the answers for others and even be critical, but of prime importance is how/if I am preparing, and ready, for those upcoming tests and for my final exam!
Hoping to finish well to the glory of God!