Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sailing along...

(Up north near Iron River -- yes, that's snow!)

If you are wondering what happened to my regular weekly posts, let me just say that in this wonderful grace period I find myself not needing to write about Sabine's illness. Her surgery went well and we are about to start "buttonholing" in a couple of weeks at the dialysis clinic in Madison. After her dialysis access point (the buttonhole) is developed we will resume home dialysis and the tunnel catheter in her neck will be removed (you may remember this is an ever-present site for possible infection).

In the interim, I have taken to writing another blog on the religious/spiritual experience and how one's beliefs should inform our action.

This blog can be found here on blogspot at:

Hope the summer has been as good for you as it has been for us.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Successful Surgery

We had a great and successful day at UW Hospital yesterday. The surgery went well, and the medical staff were great!

Sabine's vein has "matured" over the last six months and she will be ready to start the "buttonholing" procedure in about three weeks.

She slept well last night (just a little pain) and woke up raring and ready to go to see the Broadway musical, "Spring Awakening" in Milwaukee tonight!!

p.s. by the way, I am doing another blog on life, living, God and the Holy Spirit at

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Reflecting After 22 Months

I thought this would be a good time to reflect -- 22 months into the breach.

While the unexamined life isn't worth living, so also is a life in which there is no reflection. We are all so into action that reflection seems not worth our time; a trivial pursuit. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

It has now been nearly two years since Sabine took ill. It was the worst time in my life and it also became the very best time in my life. How can I say that? Stay with me... while Sabine's illness and fatal cancer diagnosis scared me almost to death and broke me emotionally, it also brought into focus what is important in my life. As a friend of mine reminded me, responsibility is not meaning. Men like me take being responsible, in charge, in control as being meaning. I found out it isn't. I was no longer in control.

For the first time in my life I HAD to depend upon God. I had two choices -- put myself into God's hands or to kiss God goodbye (I did consider the latter!). The choice I made was reasonable and rational -- it is the mettle of the psalms -- "trust in God -- no matter what happens."

God sustained me. God answered my prayer and lifted me up when I was down; encouraged me and listened to my tears. Because of the terrible days, I more deeply appreciate the many wonderful ones we share in between. It is in our primary loving relationships that we get glimpses of God and, at the same time, we are given our greatest test as human persons.

I also realized that the intense happiness I have enjoyed loving Sabine for 28 years and being her partner is temporary in this life. One day it will come to an end as sad and frightening that may seem to me. There is a beginning, middle and end to all things on this earth; no sense whistling past those graveyards.

I know this now. I have come to grips with it and it is OKAY! This realization strengthened my faith in a loving, caring, compassionate God who is worth seeking and knowing.

So, today I am reflecting. I am thankful. What Sabine and I have sustained together strengthens my life and deepens even more my love for her.

Peace and love to each one of you who have walked this journey with us.

Life is good and worthwhile and so is the One who creates and sustains it.