First Light/First Words 20 December 2018 Despite my share of pain and grief (which are a part of each of our lives and surprisingly ,for some, part of the gifts of Grace we are given by God)…I have had and continue to have a wonderful life. My long and happy years with Ernestine were a real partnership and despite the fact that we made a decision not to have children…we loved and supported each other and created a world of close friends who brought us warmth, security and purpose. During those years I rarely felt loneliness because I always knew E was there for me and that we would help each other through anything. And that we did through 37 years together and through the terrible sadness, and grief of losing her to cancer 12 years ago. Since that time I have questioned the decision not to have children which I largely went along with after E was not keen on it and I felt (through the absence of good parental roll models ) no knowledge of how to be a good and loving parent. And now, absent the unconditional love and support of the one person I always knew would be there for me…and physically separated from my small family, I often have feelings of intense loneliness and sadness. I am an extrovert who craves relationships and human interaction. I am also an intensely faithful person whose Christian faith and commitment to “love my neighbor as I love myself” forms and guides my life. So I gravitate to those whose pain, difficulties and loss touch me and cause me to reach out…to come along side of them and to try to do what I can to ease the burdens they carry and to pass along God’s love,inspiration and hope for reconciliation. I have done this as a hospital and hospice chaplain and now…without that work, I’ve found I can continue to do it as an integral and very inspirational part of every day. And now that I am older and on my own for much of the time…and I question weather the joy of having children and grandchildren in my life might have softened the blow of being alone in this world…I am reminded that with so many unloved, broken and lonely people surrounding me…that I have endless opportunities to create community among those who need it just as much as I do. And that to love is the reason why we were created and given life. And that brings me peace and great joy. So open your heart, let down your defenses and love each other with extravagance and with intention and Merry Christmas and much love from me and “Plaid” and “Stripe”

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2 thoughts on “First Light/First Words 20 December 2018 Despite my share of pain and grief (which are a part of each of our lives and surprisingly ,for some, part of the gifts of Grace we are given by God)…I have had and continue to have a wonderful life. My long and happy years with Ernestine were a real partnership and despite the fact that we made a decision not to have children…we loved and supported each other and created a world of close friends who brought us warmth, security and purpose. During those years I rarely felt loneliness because I always knew E was there for me and that we would help each other through anything. And that we did through 37 years together and through the terrible sadness, and grief of losing her to cancer 12 years ago. Since that time I have questioned the decision not to have children which I largely went along with after E was not keen on it and I felt (through the absence of good parental roll models ) no knowledge of how to be a good and loving parent. And now, absent the unconditional love and support of the one person I always knew would be there for me…and physically separated from my small family, I often have feelings of intense loneliness and sadness. I am an extrovert who craves relationships and human interaction. I am also an intensely faithful person whose Christian faith and commitment to “love my neighbor as I love myself” forms and guides my life. So I gravitate to those whose pain, difficulties and loss touch me and cause me to reach out…to come along side of them and to try to do what I can to ease the burdens they carry and to pass along God’s love,inspiration and hope for reconciliation. I have done this as a hospital and hospice chaplain and now…without that work, I’ve found I can continue to do it as an integral and very inspirational part of every day. And now that I am older and on my own for much of the time…and I question weather the joy of having children and grandchildren in my life might have softened the blow of being alone in this world…I am reminded that with so many unloved, broken and lonely people surrounding me…that I have endless opportunities to create community among those who need it just as much as I do. And that to love is the reason why we were created and given life. And that brings me peace and great joy. So open your heart, let down your defenses and love each other with extravagance and with intention and Merry Christmas and much love from me and “Plaid” and “Stripe”

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