Actually, I’ve just been in contemplation mode, mainly. When I was a child, that would have meant sitting on top of a rock, down by a neighborhood creek (thoughtlessly trespassing on someone’s property, but it didn’t matter in those days), feet in the cold, rushing water. As an adult, I prefer to perch on a softer landing spot. I often have a book too.
First of all, I’d like to thank everyone in my last post for being so encouraging about my writing, my perspective, my voice on this topic. You have given me pause. I had pretty much given up on writing about weight-loss maintenance, at least in any compensated fashion. It is nice to think that others find my thoughts worthy.
While I haven’t entirely given up on writing on this topic, I am going to postpone and turn my attentions elsewhere. Mid-September, I enter training in the Clinical Pastoral Education program for St. Luke’s Hospital in my hometown of Kansas City.
Back in January, a close friend died, one who had been encouraging me to plumb spiritual depths, ponder imponderables and (as she had done) go to seminary. Her career path led her to edit a national religious publication for a time and serve as a congregational pastor for a time. I was shaped most, however, by being present for nearly all of the penultimate chapter of her life, in which she was technically mostly retired (but spent her days advancing peace in creative ways), and parts of her final chapter (as I could travel, and as time allowed). It occurred to me that being present, God’s emissary, during people’s most important and challenging chapters would make for meaningful work, especially once my nest goes empty in five years (a chapter I’d like to plan for).
Muriel and I met shortly after she had had a radical mastectomy following breast cancer. At the time, she decided not to follow up with chemotherapy. She preferred to fortify her body’s defenses against the internal enemy, through nutrition and other means, rather than try to poison it and herself. Her children were grown, her obligations on this earthly plain mostly met, so she claimed the luxury of declining an ugly fight, knowing her decision might result in a shorter, if more comfortable, life. Actually, however, her strategy kept her alive for nine lovely years. Years that would change me. Read the rest of this entry »