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Sex Tourism – Take me to where the young girls are.

Human Trafficking – Refuge at the WellHouse.

Women At Risk (W.A.R.) for Wax Ecstatic Magazine.

Truckers against Trafficking interview with Kendis Paris.

Angels in Our Midst – Wax Ecstatic Magazine LLC.

Hunger battles When Children Cry – for WEM.

Ben Carson – Thinking Big with Carson Scholars Fund.

What Happens Now?

What happens when everything changes, when all that is familiar is gone? What happens now? As I said, family and friends have been my safety net. Activities my wife and I valued still have the power to sustain and refresh. Kim and I participated in  weekly respite program for adults with special needs. I returned to this activity soon after Kim died. The truth be known; My relationship with my special needs friends is an uneven balance. They help me much more than I could ever help them. I also continue to meet with our small group for prayer and Bible study. That is not new, for my wife and I never allowed those relationships to lapse. Soon after finding myself alone, I began meeting with another small group –  young men – all high school seniors. That has been a real blessing. They are  dedicated disciples of Jesus and are doing their level best to walk faithfully with the Lord. As a result my estimation of the next generation has soared off the chart.

There is one activity I want to share with you in greater detail. My son Kendell started an on-line magazine – Wax Ecstatic Magazine. http://www.waxecstaticmagazine.com/ It is a fashion and  lifestyle magazine. He is a photographer. He loves to see his work in print. “Why not,” he reasoned, “start my own magazine. I can publish my work without having to pass it through magazine editors for review.” It made perfect sense. He published the first issue October 3, 2013.

Kendell asked me to write for Wax Ecstatic. I was undecided. I like to write fiction and journalism is an entirely different venue. Here’s how Kendell convinced me to be a journalist for Wax Ecstatic. He had the photos ready for the first edition. They followed the format found in most fashion magazines – lots of skin. Then he looked at his work through an entirely different lens and rejected it all. By so doing he established a submission policy for the magazine. He put on his editor’s hat and he said: if the readers can’t share the magazine content with their children then we don’t want it in our magazine. He also said he want’s to embrace core Godly values and the first set of photos didn’t reflect those standards. He reshot the photos and accepted his second submission. I believe if the magazine is faithful to these founding values it will be a competitive advantage that will set Wax Ecstatic Magazine apart from the competition.

That tipped the scales for me and I began to write for Wax Ecstatic Magazine. My first article was on Dr. Ben Carson, the world renowned pediatric neurosurgeon. It appeared in the December issue and is titled – Thinking Big with Dr. Ben Carson . Take a look. I think you’ll like the article and the magazine. The second article will appear in the February issue to be released this coming Monday. It is titled “When Children Cry” and addresses the issue of childhood hunger in the United States. Hope you’ll take a look at it.

Out of the Darkness

It has been a year since I last posted a blog. I read my last post from January 22. It took me back to a difficult time in my life. Kim was fighting a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. I recall all to vividly the events that followed that blog in January. There was a hospital stay during which KIm’s life was held in a precarious balance and we didn’t know which way the scale would tip. She pulled through leaving us  with some difficult decisions. In Kim’s case chemo was not a cure, there was no cure. The oncologist said the best the chemo could do was improve quality of life and buy a little more time. Everyone tolerates chemo differently. In Kim’s case it so totally eroded quality of life that it left her near death. Kim decided to end chemo knowing the full weight of her choice. Once out of the hospital we signed up for hospice and waited, hoping for a miracle. That is what we received – a miracle. Kim’s condition improved dramatically, to the point we dismissed hospice. Life returned for three wonderful months, from mid February to mid May. We were able to do all the things we loved so much. Kim worked in her gardens and around the yard. We went for daily walks along the lake, had friends over for dinner, worshiped our God, enjoyed fellowship with friends and family. Life was good. Those three months were the greatest gift I have ever received. Unfortunately it didn’t last. We both knew it wouldn’t. The cancer returned, On August 21, 2013 my beloved wife of forty-two years died. Family and friends came to offer comfort and condolences. It was appreciated but the most profound sense of loss surrounded me.

Ever so slowly the darkness has been lifting. My family has been helpful in ways that I can’t even begin to describe. I can’t point to a single event. It’s been an accumulation of small acts of compassion and kindness. For example, sitting in an empty house eating alone can be difficult after a lifetime of sharing meals with my wife. I was spared that heartache. My son Kendell lives next door. He, his wife Evelyn and I have been sharing dinners, our evening meal, ever since Kim died. I still walk through life feeling very much alone. I have my God, family and friends; but I doubt the sense of loss will ever leave. I am moving forward trying to find a path to walk without my partner of a lifetime and still have a sense of being and worth.  That is where I am right now: searching – trying to find my way. I am beginning to find a sense of direction and purpose. Bear with me, I’ll elaborate in my next post. I promise it won’t be a year in coming.

Yes, Jesus Loves Me

Does Jesus love us? Do we love Jesus? These questions were the subject of a discussion Kim and I recently had. Kim’s initial response was annoyance when I asked her if she thought Jesus loved her. “What kind of question is that? Of course he loves me.” She made no attempt to hide her irritation. I vigorously agreed happy that the trial we are going through hadn’t diminished her assurance that Jesus loves her. I know the trials of life can cause some to lose faith and interpret the trouble they are going through as evidence that God has abandoned them or has stopped loving them. That has not been the case with us. I would say the opposite is true. This trial of pancreatic cancer has moved us closer to our Lord. We can say Jesus loves us even though we don’t know how things will end. We have a very definite sense that God is with us, helping us through each day as it comes.

Last Monday began another week of chemo: six hours at the oncology center on Monday then Tuesday and Wednesday attached to a portable pump that continued the infusion of toxins. The pump malfunctioned and didn’t complete its task so Kim had to continue with a replacement pump for an additional day. This delayed the sledge hammer of fatigue from falling with its full weight until Thursday. So Kim had to endure an additional day of the most profound fatigue imaginable. On the worst days she sleeps for twenty hours. Getting enough food is a problem because she can’t eat when she’s sleeping. The week following the infusion (this week) is better. Kim actually worked outside for a while and if the weather is nice we take short walks.

I’m still trying to learn to cook. My efforts are a continuous comedy. Last week friends from our small group brought a take-out meal from our favorite Vietnamese restaurant and other friends provided homemade desserts. Unfortunately getting it here involved a long drive through rush hour traffic in the rain. Of course that made their acts of kindness all the more perfect. Friends and family are great. Please continue to pray for healing for Kim. Every prayer counts.

In the Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Kim & Bob Healy