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              Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God. Believe in me. John 14:1


“You’re doing very well, Liz, managing your symptoms—and your vital signs are normal,” says Alice my hospice nurse as she folds up the pressure cuff and puts it away. “You know to call anytime you’ve got questions. We’re here to help.” I sit back in my armchair, noting her cheerfulness, her compassionate eyes, her capable hands. My heart brims with gratitude. Her Wednesday visits the past four months have companioned my efforts to remain conscious of my terminal illness.

And even more heartening is learning that we went to the same high school, Villa Duchesne, and that I was a friend with her aunt and deceased uncle, through Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in University City, Missouri.

Moreover, knowing that Alice will coach me through the loops of ILD with Rheumatoid Arthritis, my terminal disease, allays my terror. In no way can I prepare for this ordeal.

What I can do, though, is live each day to the fullest: blogging the experiences, exercising, eating well, resting, ADLs, praying, and mediating. Daily CPA meetings and phone calls with my sponsor keep me close to the 12 Steps.

And keeping fresh tulips on my dining room table buoys my spirit. All of this is the work of Precious God. There are no words—I’m grateful.


It was 465 B.C.E., Cyrus the Great’s liberation of the Jews after two hundred years of captivity in Babylonia. No longer would they suffer beneath the heel of their captors. No longer would they doubt God’s saving presence in their midst. Once home in Jerusalem, they would rebuild their Temple with the help of funds and goods given by that Persian king.

This event drew the prophecy of Second Isaiah: Listen to me, House of Jacob,… you who have been carried since birth, whom I have carried since the time you were born. In your old age I shall be the same, when your hair is gray, I shall still support you…I will deliver you. (Isaiah 46:3-4)

Such words must have inspired the newly freed to recommit to their covenanted life with God. Their sloth in observing the Law had made them easy prey to the Babylonians, two hundred years before. I imagine the Jews rubbing their eyes in wonder as they began their trek home, their sacred scrolls strapped to the backs of donkeys. Indeed, the Jews still enjoyed God’s unconditional love and protection and they knew it.

My present circumstances mirror those of the Jews in captivity: diminishments in energy, in focus, in movement; temptation to despair; wimpy faith; stark loneliness; uprootedness from my identity; inability to grieve; flatness of affect; interminable dark nights; terror of the unknown.

But like the Jews, there are interludes of grace: CPA phone meetings, daily contacts with my CPA sponsor, Dr. Singh’s Grace in Dying, February’s mildness, the southern magnolia flourishing in my back yard, daily blogging, the still small voice within my psyche, my sister’s nightly phone calls, meditation, and nutritious food.

Mercifully, I live one day at time while awaiting my deliverance—I, too, will return home.



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