Too much rain

An unknown artist left this painting for us to appreciate.
Public doman, from Düsseldorfer Auktionshaus via Wikimedia Commons

If anyone asks you how I am
Just say I’m doin’ fine.
If you will do that for me,
I’ll do the same for you sometime.

And if anyone asks you where I’ve gone
Just say I’m down the line.
I don’t want my friends to see me like this.
Maybe some other time.

Too much rain fallin’.
Too much rain fallin’.
There’s just been too much rain, down on me.

One day I’m gonna understand
The way that my heart works,
And then I’m gonna work it out,
So that I won’t get hurt.

But if anyone asks you where I’ve gone,
Oh, don’t say where I am,
Just say you saw me and I’m doin’ fine,
‘Cause I’m doin’ the best I can.

Too much rain fallin’.
Too much rain fallin’.
There’s just been too much rain fallin’, down on me.   — Carole King

Hello friends,

For some time now, I’ve wondered what to do about this blog. Since Jeff died, it has been very difficult to keep it going. I have never really been able to rest enough to recover from the grief, and the exhaustion of endless tedious paperwork, hard decisions, and bad news that seems never to stop coming. From where I sit now, watching how things have unfolded the past seven months, I can see no reason to think that anything is going to get easier anytime soon. Caring for a disabled adult son with Jeff’s steady and reliable help was difficult enough. All by myself, at age 60, and after 32 years of the continual, relentless pressure of being on call 24/7, it’s often more than I can manage.

Yet I live my everyday life in nearly total isolation, mainly seeing or talking only to people with whom I must stay in touch for managing Matt’s medical care and ongoing life issues. The comments on this blog are often the closest thing to conversation I have during the day. Sad, isn’t it? But I would be less than honest if I didn’t admit that. I say it only to let you all know how much your presence here has meant to me.

Some of you who stay in touch with me outside this blog know about the sorrow and grief that seems to just keep piling up, though it’s likely that no one person knows about all of it. That is as it should be, for only Jeff was in a position to understand all of it, and talking about it only makes it worse.

So now, for the first time in four and a half years, I must step aside from posting until I can replenish the wells of optimism and faith and hope and courage that are rapidly running dry. I will post here whenever I can, but I cannot say when or how often that will be. Please continue to pray for me, and know that I will read and respond to any comments you send.

One neglected pleasure I hope to make time for during this sabbatical is visiting the blogs many of you publish online. I am well aware of how much time, effort and sharing goes into blogging. There is so much inspiring, uplifting, candid, funny or thought-provoking richness out in the blogosphere. Of course, as I write this, I hear that nagging voice in my head saying “Ah, but that was what you intended to do when you dropped from blogging daily to blogging only twice per week– and didn’t that end up the way most of your good intentions do?” Guilty as charged. However, I won’t let past failures deter me from trying again.

It has been an amazing journey so far. Together we have compiled an archive of over 980 posts and countless online conversations, and if I’m unable to post very often, please remember there is a handy search feature which you can use to seek out posts on any topic you may want to read about. Comments remain open on every single post, so feel free to share your thoughts with me on any post you read, or re-read, no matter how old it may be.

Given the enormous life challenges so many of us have faced during the past five years, the abundance of thoughts, ideas, smiles, laughter, prayers and tears we have shared here (with each other and with all the world) represent no small accomplishment. Thanks for being part of it. I hope someday to get to that 1000-post milestone! Until then, know that you have been, and still are, an essential part of my personal and ongoing efforts to defeat despair.



  1. Mike

    Well it looks like we may be moving. Just waiting for the background check and references to go through. That would be fun to meet up. Is Drew still at Emory? One of our retired ministers went to seminary there. Started going through some garage stuff- tools. Exhausting.
    Yes leaving the plants behind may be quite traumatic. My little brother may take some. He is about an hour south of us. Wellstar medical group has been expaning through n. Georgia and just bought N. Fulton hospital. My friend Mark was with Crossroads hospice and now has a churcn in Bettesville. Drew and Megan are in Atlanta city proper? Norah is starting pre-k this week. Three days a week? Noral likes the TRoll Movie?
    When we went to Hawaii we got a house sitter which was nice.

    • Mike, that is great news! Drew finished up his PhD at Emory a couple of years ago, but before that he went to seminary there (2006-2009) for his MDiv. Yes, the moving is exhausting but it’s good to have to go through stuff. I’m digging out from 13+ years of stuff that accumulated since we got our York home and I’m realizing what a benefit it is for military families to have to move every few years. It forces us to go through stuff and pitch things more often. Drew and his family live in Tucker now. They used to live in Decatur. Drew works in Atlanta and Megan works in Sandy Springs. Grady started pre-K and his is 5 day per week– public school, too! Wow. I never even went to kindergarten, let alone pre-K or preschool. Kids grow up fast nowadays. Keep me posted on your move to Atlanta. It’s a wonderful place.

  2. Mike

    Have to get out my Southernspeak dictionary. It’s funny but I am a little self conscious about my Seattle accent. I am heading down the second week of October for orientation in Marietta area. This is a home hospice position part time. I will stay with Mike and Jen while I look for a place. I have freind Mark who is not serving a church- United Methodist in Cummings, Ga. He may know of a place to rent. I saw on some list that Atlanta is on the top ten list for best places to retire.
    That is a good idea in the military aspect of having to move every so often. When I was in the pastorate it was kind of like that. But when you have been in a place for 25 years it is hard to know where to begin.
    Drew has two little ones? Norah is taking ballet at the Woodstock Babtist church.

    • Don’t worry about the lingo, Mike, y’all will get straightened out once you settle in. 🙂 Hey, I didn’t realize there was such a thing as a Seattle accent! The good thing is, there are people from “all over creation” (is that a Southern phrase?) living in Atlanta now, so you’ll fit right in. Good luck finding a place. Moving after 25 years will be traumatic in some ways, but it will be worth it when you get to that first ballet recital. 🙂

  3. Mike

    Thats right Atlanta is the NYC of the south. Very cosmopolitan. It was different in Australia where I learned I had a Seattle (USA) accent. Wellstar hospice covers seven counties from North Fulton to Carrol. So I am fixin to do a little drivin.

    • Hey, you’re catching on already. Just remember: “y’all” is NEVER singular. One person is never “y’all.” But if it’s lots of people, it’s “all y’all.” You’re fixing to learn more idioms than you can shake a stick at.

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