Friday, March 25, 2005

In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these.

- Paul Harvey

We've all experienced them, times like these; those moments and journeys that are just too painful or too frustrating or too helpless to even think about... but every once in awhile, those moments slip into the back of our mind. We see others experiencing them and we say to ourselves, "They have my sympathy; but I'm glad it's not me..." We busy our days with minor frustrations and inconveniences until one of those moments cross our path... and we feel helpless... and all alone...

Emily, a spry little nine-year-old girl and daughter of my wife Di's former boss, was diagnosed a few years ago with leukemia. Since that time, she has gone through stem cell/bone marrow replacement twice and a full array of chemotherapy... and finally her leukemia was found to be in remission. It is only this week that we were notified that her leukemia is back in full force and there remains no options for treatment or cure... How does one spend the final remaining days and months with their darling nine-year-old child, squeezing out every second so as to never forget her?...

My apologies to my mother Leone as I know she reads these Morning Walks from time to time, but it is now time to speak of it. I believe that shortly after our son Leo was born in 1997, my mother Leone was diagnosed with what is termed pulmonary fibrosis; it is a disease with allows for some experimental treatments but - short of a miracle - very little chance for recovery. It is a progressive disease. My mother Leone has had this disease as a companion for almost seven years and she is losing the struggle against it... How does one spend the final remaining months and years with their beloved mother, squeezing out every second so as to fill these final moments with only happy thoughts and memories?...

My friend, times like these are upon us and remain upon us. If they are not happening to us directly, they are happening in and around us on a daily basis. At this very moment, someone somewhere is having to painfully let go of a loved one. At this very moment, someone somewhere has just been told that their time in this Life is now definitively finite. At this very moment, someone somewhere is experiencing times like these and feeling helpless... and all alone... And just knowing that, can make us feel helpless... and all alone...

But we don't have to be bound by these feelings of helplessness and solitude. A long time ago, shortly after my father journeyed on from this Life, I was told by a trusted mentor that we have the choice to be hostage or witness to the circumstances and events occurring around and to us. We either are paralyzed by these circumstances and are held hostage by them or we are witness to these events and are called to testify to the greater glory and purpose of this Life and beyond.

Today I would ask for the simple favor of prayer from you and yours. Prayers of faith and strength and peace for persons like Emily and Leone. Prayers that they may be filled with grace to face the journey that lies ahead of them and prayers that they will be given the strength and love to see beyond times like these. And I would simply and especially ask for your prayer of witness for these two women, Emily and Leone - through your prayer, testify to our God and this world that there is a greater glory and purpose during and beyond this Life.

In advance, thank you sincerely for your witness, my friend.

In closing this thought and request, I would like to humbly amend Mr. Harvey's quote:

In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been and will always be times like these... and to remember that God remains much greater than these.

hoedl's haven
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