Sunday, October 19, 2008

It's Getting Better Every Day and An Impromptu Tribute to The Walker School

Is it possible that each day of this life of mine is getting better?

In the back of my mind looms a cautious prediction from the oncologist (made about five weeks ago) that I may have a few months left. It was a prediction that was probably, in some small way, given reluctantly in response to a passing curiosity on my part) that I may only have a few months left to live - given the medical evidence available and the experience of the oncologist.

There were days, particularly three weeks ago, that we all thought that I was in my last days. We did not know, three Sunday nights ago, if I would wake up in the morning. [Please bear with me if you have heard or read this before from me, but I rehash it now to renew my perspective on this day at hand.] I woke up that Monday morning to the most beautiful smile I have ever seen glowing on my wife's face. I was alive.

But that same day, I could not kick the feeling that I was still very near to the end of life on earth. Feelings. I took every opportunity to say goodbye to friends and family members and tell them how much I loved and appreciated them. It was a tear-filled, emotional day. Yet a day filled with joy, knowing that leaving here meant being with Jesus. Seeing Him face to face.

In the past three weeks, there have been a few nights where I have felt that I was getting worse. Feelings. For the most part, I do not feel like I am dying. Feelings again. Although I am not really sure what I am supposed to feel like. At the same time, I do not feel like I am getting any better. If anything, the pain is increasing - it is being managed, but it changes locations and nature. My appetite has improved and I do not seem to be losing weight, but my tastes change almost daily. Hence, my frequent references to eating like a pregnant woman - certainly not meant to be offensive to pregnant women in any way. My body is certainly getting slower and weaker. I have less control than I am comfortable with. And I will stop there before getting too personal or graphic.

Having said all that, I am not sure where I am in this process of living and dying. But all that matters really is that God knows. And I have this day from Him. And today is more than enough.

Each day is better. Each day brings new blessings. Each day, God brings more people from the past into my life to encourage me and, for some reason, to graciously remind me how He has used me to be an encouragement to others.

I have been particularly blessed, this week, to hear from former colleagues and middle school students (now young adults) from The Walker School in Georgia. Actually, I am curious to know how the word of my condition has spread among that community. And I would like to encourage any that are still reading the blog to please leave an e-mail address for me to drop a quick note. The contact information does not get to me unless it is written in the body of the comment.
If any are uncomfortable in leaving an e-mail address, I can be e-mailed directly at

And now, here is my impromptu tribute to The Walker School in Marietta, Georgia . . .

I would like my Walker Family (I still consider you that) to know how much I appreciate you and how I have followed your progress in the twelve years that I have been gone. For so many years, I longed to be back there, but it was not to be. Walker was a great place when I was there, and I am confident that, although it is a much different place twelve years later, that The Walker Way still prevails [to the credit of many, but certainly the likes of Don Robertson, Dixie Bowden, Nancy Calhoun (who will always be my educational hero(ine)), and Patty Mosely] and that Love is [still] spoken [there].

Bruce, Mike, Jama, Carolyn, Pam, Blair, Philippa, Newton and (The Walker Middle School - I apologize for leaving anyone out) - thank you for many great years at Walker. I love you all and appreciate how you took me into the family in 1991 and helped me to enjoy six of the greatest years that anyone could ask for.

The parents that I worked with at Walker were some of the finest people I have ever known. The sacrifices that you made for your children and for the school really impressed me. After leaving Walker and being involved in several other schools in various capacities, from teaching to advising, to conducting educational workshops, I have always held up Walker Parents as the standard. From great special lunches to providing every classroom tool avaialble to help enhance the learning experiences of the students/your children, you all were amazing.

And students - you gave more to me than I could ever give to you. Not a day goes by that I do not think about at least one of you. I read the alumni notes regularly, and follow your accomplishments. [By the way - and here is an unsolicited plug for the Alumni Department - take time keep Walker updated with what is going on in your lives - it may seem trivial to you, but for some of us, it is a tremendous blessing to hear about the persons you have become and the accomplishments you have had.] To know that God allowed me to be a part of your lives continues to be a great blessing to me. And thank you all who have taken the time to get in touch with me, to encourage me and remind me of incidents that occurred when we were together.

I would like all of you who were part of our morning prayer/devotional group to know what an encouragement you were to me, particulary after I first entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in 1993. Remember the Storm of the Century? I think about you all often.

Thanks be to God for this aspect of my life.

Each day, as part of the whole package of blessings we receive, cards come in the mail. Some are humorous. Some are serious. All are encouraging. Many feature Bible verses.

I picked up a card this morning and spent a few moments reflecting on the handwritten verses that the sender put in the card.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am Your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my very right hand. Isaiah 41:10.

In context, God, through the prophet Isaiah, is reminding Israel that she has no reason to fear the judgment that He will exact on other nations; He has promised to uphold and strengthen her as a nation. He is a God who is faithful to keep His promises. Likewise, we have nothing to fear. God has given us many promises and He is faithful to keep His promises . . .

to give us peace (Leviticus 26:6)
to strengthen us (Isaiah 41:10)
to carry us through (Isaiah 46:4)
to comfort us (Isaiah 66:13)
to listen to us (Jeremiah 29:12)
to protect us (Acts 26:17)
to give us rest (Matthew 11:28)

to be with us (Genesis 31:3).

God has loved us with a everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). His love endures forever.

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Psalm 68:19.

Thanks be to God for a better day. For His Word of truth and comfort. For His provision of life and fellowship with other believers. For encouragement.


Mica Helens Covenant Marriage Seminars said...

Sorry for getting a bit off-topic here but I need to let you hear this out. I do not like how people treat marriage vows these days as if it’s just another walk in the park. That is why I urge everyone to join Covenant Marriage Seminars to let you see that divorce does not solve your marriage problems. Thanks for the time!

alaric said...

You are very good model couple. Your bond is way beyond imagining. Maybe that's the reason you receive so much Family Blessings