Tuesday, December 19, 2006

No Bragging Allowed – Updates on My Health and Progress

(If you are in this web site for the first time, click here to get the gist of what it meant to me being on the “other side of the knife” as I went through surgery to correct a blocked cardiac artery.)

I title this article as I do based on the fact that I live and breathe and have vigor on the merit of Another, not on anything of my own. You see, people think that I was doing everything right, taking care of myself, eating properly, exercising regularly, managing the stresses of life with grace and equanimity. (I was “trying to,” as we are humanly fond of saying.) The truth is I love cookies, chocolate, meat and potatoes, bread and butter AND butter and bread, special coffees, etc. I am also willing to compromise on exercise if I don’t “feel” just particularly so. And the fact is I don’t manage stress all that well because I want MY way – and that gets in the way of grace and equanimity.

So, what about the fact that I did not take proper care of myself in the years that led up to the heart attack? It simply means that I can’t take any glory for me because I didn’t and I couldn’t do it myself. I am the recipient of a profound mercy.

My daughter Elise sent the following quote to me early on in my recovery, and it has been an inspiration. George Herbert writes in his poem,
"The Flower"

And now in age I bud again;
After so many deaths I live and write.
I once more smell the dew and rain
And relish versing: O my only Light
It cannot be
That I am he
On whom Thy tempests fell all night.

How very much like that I feel, as I review the events and ponder the mystery of my life in the context of what might-have-been. Surely I am like a newly awakened life, aware of the joys and perceptions of each day as though they are all new. I feel the sharpness of pain in my ribs, and it is a tonic for good; the pain makes me remember that I live! I see my loving wife caring for me, maintaining a warm and hospitable home, and I see her in beauty and in concern for me as though it is all new, yet she has faithfully done this for 34 years! My children are like young trees growing in a fertile meadow; they cast their shade over grass and flower, and reach up towards the sun and clouds as though to pull down those sources of life. They are fruitful (and multiplying – seventh grandchild is on the way!).

I am amazed. What more can I say? I take my walks, eat my food, read and write, rest and nap, play, and then the night takes over. A new day dawns, and we do it all over again, but it is for a joy, and there is no sense of boredom. Oh, to have understood this better before.

I am reminded of another snippet that daughter Abbie shared with me in my confinement. It is from translations that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow did from Sinngedichte of Friedrich Von Logau, 17th Century.

The Best Medicines
Joy and Temperance and Repose
Slam the door on the doctor’s nose.

Joy have I had, but little have I valued it, confusing it with the weaker and more fleeting happiness. Temperance has been compromised by my insipid self-serving approach to all things. Repose? That implies a view of life’s concerns as being yielded up to One who can truly care for me. May I learn in this season to better appropriate the blessings described in this simple aphorism.

I have hope to be able to do more, achieve what once I may have thought beyond any waking impulse or ability, because there is the promise implied in my recovery that a grace is here for this very end.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory . . .” Ephesians 3:20-21a
- Kevin


Anonymous said...

Hey, look, there's a "comments" tab.

Kevin, I'm so glad you're still with us. I'm sorry you've had to walk this journey but I'm very thankful that you're on the other side and hope that your words of encouragement, repose, insight will infiltrate my Spirit that I can walk in a more healthful way.

I eagerly await your comments as it gives me an insight into your inner being that is not readily observed in the day-to-day.

May the Lord's peace be a mainstay in your life ahead, may "smelling the roses" never get set aside for the day-to-day. Hug everyone, patiently listen to those in need, love, love, love.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hey, "wild-blue", who are you? Someone I know, for sure, but I need some help . . .

For others' information - please leave a name so we aren't confused (because we are easily confused these days!).


katie eagy said...

Kevin, I love your heart! Not just the one beating beautifully inside, but the heart you pour out generously for your family and others. Praise Jesus for your life! I'm grateful to know you and receive your wisdom and kindness.

Anonymous said...

If I have it correctly, you are Elise's Papa -correct? Well, she is praying for me and our special intention so I would like you to know that I am praying for you.

When I was 16 my father had a very severe heart attack where he "slid" down the stairs and spoke in the terse utterances you described. Your story brought back so many memories for me...painful and otherwise. A new mercy. Yes.

In him,

Anonymous said...

Fss b oid l hot sex movies, hot xxx movies. Ziq y, mth nhwmhx|dkz zvlffby w fb cv.