Tuesday’s Trips Around Town

What a beautiful Tuesday morning from the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. Wow, it’s not supposed to break 90 degrees today. What a shocker! This is a summer cold front in Nebraska; 88 degrees predicted for a high. Blessings.

I have to say, some days the daily meditations of my book “Days of Healing, Days of Joy, Meditations of Adult Children,” really hits is out of the park. (The NCAA College World Series in is Omaha yet again, as it has been since the 1950s, plus I love baseball!) Today it had a quote by Montaigne. Who is that?

Montaigne was a philosopher of the French Reniassance. He popularized the essay as a literary genre (who knew?) He was admired more as a statesman than an author. His quote was:

“Marriage may be compared to a cage: the birds outside despair to get in and those within despair to get out.

Some people believe, “If only I were married, I would be happy.” This is not true. I can tell you, if you’re married to the wrong person, you will not be happy. Some people believe if only they were married, they would not be lonely. Wrong again. If a relationship isn’t right for you, you will be lonely.

If a marriage is healthy, it can be a mighty hedge against loneliness. If not, it can be the container for many, many problems, issues, and misery. The quest for happiness has not one thing to do with your marital status: it has to do with your own self-esteem. If you are working on your faults and deficiencies, and have learned to think well about yourself, there is no limit to the happiness you can achieve: married or not.

It’s been a hard day. I love visiting with old friends, even those who are quite ill now. I will not abandon them. They mean too much to me. Yes, it’s not fun to see their deterioration, but I will not desert them. Tomorrow will be easier. Lunch with a longtime friend from elementary school and her husband. It’ll be a great day.

Have a beautiful evening, and we’ll visit again tomorrow. Blessings on you and your families. Keep them close. You just never know.

Life Is Hard Sometimes.

And it’s not fair a lot of the time. And it’s hard to not fall into negative thinking. Especially when you see someone fall ill with a horrible disease called ALS. My friends Janet and Don are traveling this road since Janet was diagnosed a few years ago. In the past month and a half, her condition has worsened dramatically, which is hard to see.

She and Don have been married over 50 years, and have three children. I’ve been friends with them since my first marriage, and that was so long ago. We’ve kept in touch and remained friends all these years. It’s so hard to see this horrible thing happen to such good people. They both worked hard, fulfilled their obligations, went to Church, and would give you the shirts off their backs. Good, salt of the earth blue collar people.

Janet still remembers people, and has a winning smile that warms your heart. Her talking is limited, and you can tell she’s thinking. Don still teases the heck out of her, but is serious when it’s warranted. It’s a great example of commitment. He’s pretty modest about it, and brushes it off as what everybody is supposed to do. Lots of people would turn tail and run. Or be angry. No time for that. Don’s goal is to keep Janet comfortable for as long as possible. It’s just what she would do for him if the situation was reversed.

Sobering as this is, it is still hard to see such good people hurt by this. The disease can happen to anyone; it can be genetic or environmental or neither; it can begin early or later; it robs the patient of dignity for sure. How it selects it’s victims I don’t know. How it hurts the family shows in their tired eyes, their slumped shoulders. They carry on, they go throughout the days, one the same of the next. Their exhaustion grows.

All I can do is continue to visit and break up their days; they have so many friends to visit. Janet deserves that. She has always been a good friend to others and it’s beautiful to see the folks coming to visit her today. She deserves this. Don deserves this, too. Visiting will continue, no matter how long she has left. With the decline in the last three weeks, it’s anybody’s guess.

The other thing, I can pray for comfort for Janet, and strength for Don’s soul. And continue to visit. When all else fails, give the gift of your time. It’s the least we can do. Take care of each other. Keep each other safe. We are all on borrowed time. Love one another while we can.

And let’s care about what really matters. It’s not the Kardashians, Depp v Heard, or TikTok. It’s people and love and promises kept. It’s families and grandchildren. Learn what’s important, and hold it near to you. Have a beautiful evening. See you tomorrow.