Tag Archives: strength

Hints of gladness

When I am among the trees, especially the willows and the honey locust, equally the beech, the oaks and the pines, they give off such hints of gladness. I would almost say that they save me, and daily.    – Mary Oliver I had already begun putting this post together when I looked for a link …

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Regular phases

 “…bereavement is not the truncation of married love, but one of its regular phases– like the honeymoon. What we want is to live our marriage well and faithfully through that phase too. If it hurts (and it certainly will) we accept the pains as a necessary part of this phase…We were one flesh. Now that …

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A genuine man

“For years to come the stories will be told Of a genuine man with a heart made of gold… A good bond is strong, like Gorilla Glue You bonded with us and we bonded to you. We love you Colonel Denton!” — lines taken from a poem given to Jeff by his graduating residents, 2015 …

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More present

He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man. — Antoine de Saint-Exupery At times the pain of missing Jeff stabs me with a grief so severe and sudden that I wonder how I will survive without him. More often, though, I feel …

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Sufficient proof

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to …

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The patient seamstress

“Faith is the patient seamstress   who mends our torn belief,   who sews the hem of childhood trust   and clips the threads of grief.”                — Joan Walsh Anglund I think this poem captures the essence of how faith operates in most lives. Some claim to have had …

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Their life and their limits

“Experience has taught me this, that we undo ourselves by impatience. Misfortunes have their life and their limits, their sickness and their health.” —  Michel de Montaigne Experience seems to be teaching me the same things it taught Montaigne, though I may not be learning it as gracefully.  There’s an old saying: “If you don’t …

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In spite of all

“If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you to go on in spite of all.  And so today I still have a dream.”  — Martin Luther King, Jr.  The Trumpet of Conscience, 1968 Today we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and …

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Substantive heroism

“Resilience, inventiveness, and survivorship– qualities often ascribed to great physicians– are reflected qualities, emanating first from those who struggle with illness and only then mirrored by those who treat them. If the history of medicine is told through the stories of doctors, it is because their contributions stand in place of the more substantive heroism …

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Deep roots

“The old that is strong does not wither.  Deep roots are not reached by the frost.” — J. R. R. Tolkien I quoted from this poem in an earlier post, but recently its timeless words have been on my mind again.  I was reminded of these particular lines by the daffodils in my yard. Daffodils …

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The right mental attitude

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” — author unknown, often attributed to Thomas Jefferson Just the other day, Jeff sent me this quote because he knew I would like it; I knew, too, that he …

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Always in the midst

“It is always in the midst, in the epicenter, of your troubles that you find serenity.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Using Drew’s phone, I took this photo of Matt, Drew and Carla on Thanksgiving Day of last year.  We were awaiting a pizza that was being prepared as the last order of the evening at …

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Due gratitude and respect

“Thus the hurry of spirits, that ever attends the eager pursuit of fortune and a passion for splendid enjoyment, leads to forgetfulness; and thus the inhabitants of America cease to look back with due gratitude and respect on the fortitude and virtue of their ancestors, who, through difficulties almost insurmountable, planted them in a happy …

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Incredible power

“Words have incredible power. They can make people’s hearts soar, and they can make people’s hearts sore.” – Mardy Grothe Never underestimate the effect words can have, for better or worse.  The Bible’s book of James (chapter 3) is one of many sources of wisdom that remind us of the importance of guarding what we …

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A lion inside

“I was the shyest human ever invented, but I had a lion inside me that wouldn’t shut up!” — Ingrid Bergman I want to thank Bob Mielke, who visits here often, for the inspiration behind this post.  If you’ve visited Bob’s blog, you have seen his amazing images, including the animal photos that are always …

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The meaning of immortality

“The wise understand the meaning of immortality, and do not seek the never-changing in the transient.” — Upanishads No small part of my sorrow in life comes from my abiding difficulty in accepting that nothing on this earth will last forever.  This reluctance to let go encompasses the entire spectrum of my life, from a …

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The key to failure

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.” ― Bill Cosby “Everything I did in my life that was worthwhile, I caught hell for.” ― Earl Warren There’s a very real difference between showing courtesy and respect to people with opposing views, versus compromising or hiding …

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Grace will lead

“Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come; ‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far and Grace will lead me home.”— John Newton Two weeks ago today, I was able to worship with our church family for the first time in a month.  Because Matt still had fluid on his lungs and …

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At the threshold

“The pressure of adversity is the most powerful sustainer of accountability. It’s as though everything you do is multiplied by 50 in order to surpass those with a head-start. I was never capable of slacking when at the threshold of failure.” ― Criss Jami One year ago, for Mother’s Day, I posted about my mother’s …

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Try waking up

“Anyone can slay a dragon…but try waking up every morning and loving the world all over again. That’s what takes a real hero.” ― Brian Andreas In June 2012, just three months before Jeff got the first of what would be several diagnoses of cancer, we were seated in a Bar Harbor restaurant looking forward …

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As the magnet finds iron

“The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!”  — Henry Ward Beecher As I write this, two weeks before publication, much of the country is in the grip of yet another …

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On my farm

“I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world.” ― George Washington Washington didn’t just say those words, he lived them.  At the close of the American Revolution, and again at the end of his presidency, he willingly set aside his power and returned to Mount Vernon.  Strolling the grounds of …

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One spectacle grander

“There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.” ― Victor Hugo Jeff and I love to travel, and cruising has become our favorite kind of vacation.  Needless to say, we haven’t been able to take a …

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Out of suffering

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” — Kahlil Gibran This photo is rather odd, but it seems fitting as a symbol for where Jeff is now, in a place of past nightmares and trauma, somehow surviving (thus far) life-threatening complications and tremendous pain, holding on …

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Nevertheless

“The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts.  No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.” — H.U. Westermayer I was unable to find out anything about who H. U. Westermayer was, though I did find others asking the same question. While they were similarly unsuccessful …

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