About this blog – updated 2022
My husband’s 2012 diagnosis of Stage IV cancer turned our world upside down. We had then been married over 32 years, and together for almost 35 years. All those years he was the central focus of my life, my unfailing source of strength and support. We were facing our most significant challenge in a life together that had been filled with challenges. Read more about Jeff here and here, and in many subsequent posts that will be found simply by searching for “Jeff” at the blog’s search box.
In addition to this formidable battle, we continued to deal with the ongoing cardiac problems in our younger son, now an adult, who was born with a rare genetic disorder that included multiple disabilities. I often found myself struggling with feelings of hopelessness that threatened to defeat my natural optimism.
Life is hard. For most of us, it is likely to get harder, at least in some ways, as we grow older and our future unfolds in unexpected directions. Yet our lives also are filled with blessings and promise. I started this blog in November, 2012 as an effort to provide a reminder of beauty and an uplifting thought each day. My hope was that I might somehow reach others who faced daunting struggles and needed a note of cheer.
In the beginning, I intended to keep the daily postings simple, with just a photo and a brief quote. Very quickly it expanded into written commentary on the quotes, along with an active comments section through which I’ve made many wonderful friendships I never dreamed would result from my feeble efforts to stay positive. I’m amazed at how God can continue to bless us so richly even in the darkest of circumstances.
Jeff lived for a little over four years after his cancer was first discovered, and the details of his final months, weeks and days are mentioned in several posts. But at his insistence, and according to my own intention, I kept the focus of the blog on many other topics. Despite the harrowing grief and frequent trauma of the years this blog has been in existence, it has helped me again and again to step back and look at the bigger picture. In so doing, I was kept from getting hopelessly mired in my own often dismal circumstances.
After two years of daily postings, I was no longer able to keep up that publishing pace, as life became more and more demanding, and we were spending fewer hours sitting around hospitals and chemotherapy clinics. I switched to publishing only two posts a week, and three years after Jeff’s death, I was unable to keep up even that much, as I was juggling so many responsibilities with no sustained help from anyone for much of it.
In mulling over what to do about the blog– does it stay or go?– I decided to re-post the more than 1100 posts I had written over seven years, many of which I had totally forgotten myself. I re-post according to the methodical schedule on which they were originally published. Re-posting has allowed me to stay in touch with those steadfast friends who have been with me here from the beginning, and has allowed me a means of remembering all that I have survived, and those special people who have helped along the way. I hope the old posts also will be useful to new readers.
If you are a longtime reader, I am especially honored that you are still here with me, occasionally or regularly. If you are new here, welcome! For all readers, I hope there is still something here that will be of value. Feel free to chime in with your own observations or links that inspire joy, gratitude, and serenity. Because this blog exists to provide positive and uplifting content, all comments will be moderated to ensure suitability to this purpose. This blog always has been, and will remain, a safe online refuge from distress; a hate-free, argument-free, insult-free zone. If you believe life can be beautiful, you belong here!
Despair – how it can come, how you can fall into it and also how to avoid it
Thanks for sharing this link. I found it very helpful. Pilgrim’s Progress has long been on my “books I need to read someday” and I have a lovely copy of it someone gave me, but meanwhile, this excerpt is eye-opening. I think the metaphor of the iron cage is an apt one.
I pray God will continue to hold you up and give you the strength you need to persevere. I pray for your peace and comfort and that your life will be filled with joy once again. I so much appreciate your blog over the years. Your writings have encouraged me. Life is difficult and painful even when filled with many blessings. This weekend I am blessed caring for my grandchildren while their parents took a trip. Ella and Owen are lots of fun. Take care.
Susan, thank you so much for taking the time to leave an encouraging comment here. Matthew and I have both come through a difficult few weeks — and my own bone grafting has yet to heal– so I am really blessed today by your kind words and especially your prayers. I hope you had a blast with Ella and Owen! My younger grandson whom I hardly know, is also named Owen. I am so glad you got to be with them. Thanks again for your encouragement and prayers! I am so happy you are here with us.