Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dads note within a note :)

Doug Woods: The Sandpiper
This week has been a good week for Dad as you will read in "his" note. I have made plans to go home on the 10th of Aug so that I can get my kids ready for school. Now that the plans are made it seems time is moving so quickly and I am even more aware of how special time here with my dad is. The Lord has shown me so many things during this time and I know this is one Life lesson that I will use for HIS glory! I thank each of you for your continued prayers for my dad. We covet each one.
Dad wrote a short note himself and then shared a story his secretary gave him. She is a sweet lady and has done so much for dad during this time and I am ever so grateful to her!

Here is Dad
Once again, this week‘s medical treatments were very similar to last week’s. I finished 5 more radiation treatments (bringing the total to 13 of the planned 28) and another chemotherapy treatment (for a total of 3 of the planned 4). One of my doctors – I have three now – told me that she thought that I would continue the chemotherapy treatments as long as the radiation treatments so I may have as many as 6 or 7 chemotherapy treatments. I’ll find out next Thursday when I meet with my oncologist.

So far, I feel good and haven’t suffered any significant side-effects from the chemotherapy. The only side-effect I am beginning to feel is coming from the radiation treatments. My throat is starting to get sore. It’s a side-effect they told me would come during week three or four. They said it will last a couple of weeks and that I will be hard to swallow. For me the swallowing is a little tough, but the worst thing is they said I need to avoid spicy foods, which means no Mexican food. In my world, that is the penultimate sacrifice. Besides that, I am still very grateful that everything has gone as well as it has.

I may have seen a breakthrough too. After yesterday’s chemotherapy treatment and radiation treatment, I noticed that my cough was not nearly as bad as it had been. For most of last night, I hardly coughed. I am cautiously optimistic. It was not bad again today, which was another positive sign. This may be the first positive sign to come from all of the treatments.

The following is not my writing. It is a story my assistant, GG, sent me. Actually, GG runs the division and I work for her. This story says it better than I would. I hope you enjoy the Sandpiper by Robert Peterson…

The Sandpiper
by Robert Peterson

She was six years old when I first met her on the beach near where I live.
I drive to this beach, a distance of three or four miles, whenever the world
begins to close in on me.

She was building a sand castle or something
and looked up, her eyes as blue as the sea.
"Hello," she said. ;
I answered with a nod, not really in the mood to bother with a small child.
"I'm building," she said.
"I see that. What is it?" I asked, not really caring.
"Oh, I don't know, I just like the feel of sand."
That sounds good, I thought, and slipped off my shoes.
A sandpiper glided by.
"That's a joy," the child said.
"It's a what?"
"It's a joy. My mama says sandpipers come to bring us joy."
The bird went gliding down the beach. Good-bye joy, I muttered to myself,
Hello pain, and turned to walk on. I was depressed, my life seemed
completely out of balance.
"What's your name?" She wouldn't give up.
"Robert," I answered. "I'm Robert Peterson."
"Mine's Wendy.... I'm six."
“Hi, Wendy."
She giggled. "You're funny," she said.
In spite of my gloom, I laughed too and walked on.
Her musical giggle followed me.
Come again, Mr. P," she called. "We'll have another happy day."
The next few days consisted of a group of unruly Boy Scouts, PTA meetings,
and an ailing mother. The sun was shining one morning as I took my hands out
of the dishwater. I need a sandpiper, I said to myself, gathering up my coat.
The ever-changing balm of the seashore awaited me. The breeze was
chilly but I strode along, trying to recapture the serenity I needed.
"Hello, Mr. P," she said. "Do you want to play?"
"What did you have in mind?" I asked, with a twinge of annoyance.
"I don't know. You say."
"How about charades?" I asked sarcastically.
The tinkling laughter burst forth again. "I don't know what that is."
"Then let's just walk."
Looking at her, I noticed the delicate fairness of her face.
"Where do you live?" I asked.
"Over there." She pointed toward a row of summer cottages.
Strange, I thought, in winter.
"Where do you go to school?"
"I don't go to school.. Mommy says we're on vacation"
She chattered little girl talk as we strolled up the beach, but my mind was
on other things. When I left for home, Wendy said it had been a happy day.
Feeling surprisingly better, I smiled at her and agreed.
Three weeks later, I rushed to my beach in a state of near panic. I was in no
mood to even greet Wendy. I thought I saw her mother on the porch and felt
like demanding she keep her child at home.
"Look, if you don't mind," I said crossly when Wendy caught up with me, "I'd
rather be alone today." She seemed unusually pale and out of breath.
"Why?" she asked.
I turned to her and shouted, "Because my mother died!" and thought,
My God, why was I saying this to a little child?
"Oh," she said quietly, "then this is a bad day."
"Yes," I said, "and yesterday and the day before and -- oh, go away!"
"Did it hurt?" she inquired.
"Did what hurt?" I was exasperated with her, with myself.
"When she died?"
"Of course it hurt!" I snapped, misunderstanding,
wrapped up in myself. I strode off.
A month or so after that, when I next went to the beach, she wasn't there.
Feeling guilty, ashamed, and admitting to myself I missed her, I went up
to the cottage after my walk and knocked at the door. A drawn looking
young woman with honey-colored hair opened the door.
"Hello," I said, "I'm Robert Peterson. I missed your little girl today
and wondered where she was."
"Oh yes, Mr. Peterson, please come in. Wendy spoke of you so much.
I'm afraid I allowed her to bother you. If she was a nuisance,
please, accept my apologies."
"Not at all! She's a delightful child." I said, suddenly realizing
that I meant what I had just said.
"Wendy died last week, Mr. Peterson. She had leukemia
Maybe she didn't tell you."
Struck dumb, I groped for a chair. I had to catch my breath.
"She loved this beach, so when she asked to come, we couldn't say no.
She seemed so much better here and had a lot of what she called happy days.
But the last few weeks, she declined rapidly..." Her voice faltered, "She left
something for you, if only I can find it. Could you wait a moment while I look?"
I nodded stupidly, my mind racing for something to say to this lovely young
woman. She handed me a smeared envelope with "MR. P" printed in bold
childish letters. Inside was a drawing in bright crayon hues -- a yellow beach,
a blue sea, and a brown bird. Underneath was carefully printed:

Tears welled up in my eyes and a heart that had almost forgotten to love
opened wide. I took Wendy's mother in my arms. "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry,
I'm so sorry," I uttered over and over, and we wept together.

The precious little
picture is framed now and hangs in my study. Six words -- one for each year
of her life -- that speak to me of harmony, courage, and undemanding love.
A gift from a child with sea blue eyes and hair the color of sand
-- who taught me the gift of love.

NOTE: This is a true story sent out by Robert Peterson. It happened over 20
years ago and the incident changed his life forever. It serves as a reminder
to all of us that we need to take time to enjoy living and life and each other.
The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less.
Life is so complicated, the hustle and bustle of everyday traumas
can make us lose focus about what is truly important
or what is only a momentary setback or crisis.
This week, be sure to give your loved ones an extra hug, and by all means,
take a moment... even if it is only ten seconds, to stop and smell the roses.
This comes from someone's heart, and is read by many
and now I share it with you...

May God Bless everyone who receives this! Never brush aside anyone as insignificant. Who knows what they can teach us?

I wish for you, a Sandpiper."
Doug Woods

love and blessings to you,


Gotta Have Faith

I am crying so hard I could barely get through reading the post! It is amazing how some things just grab you once you experience them and never let go.

Doug, many Sandpiper wishes to you and your family! May your recovery come sooner than you expect and I will be praying for you along with my family.

Take care and Keep The Faith!



Thanks for the much needed tears this morning. First of all for the note from your dad Doug that he is doing better aside from the fact he can't eat spicy foods. At least for now! :) Hang in there Doug, we are praying for you and hope not only for a full remission and recovery that you can have spicy foods again real soon!

Second thanks for the sandpiper reminder! Each time I go to the beach and see one of these beautiful birds that appear to be playing chase the wave, I will be reminded of joy!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat


Beautiful post. I look forward to my privileged glimpse into your Dad's heart. The sandpiper reminds me of my Heavenly Father..the ultimate joy from the ultimate source through all we see and breath.
Blessings and prayers, andrea

Girly Muse

What a beautiful story. It made me cry...and really stop and think how much I need to enjoy every moment...the bad will come with the good...but we can have "happy days" right in the middle of it.

I'm so glad your dad is seeing the little bit of improvement with his cough and praying this is just the beginning of the turnaround for him.

Enjoy every moment these next few weeks~ I know you are. And when you get back home, all that you've been through is going to really make you appreciate your family all the more. It sounds like you are a ray of sunshine wherever you go.

Love ya.


This beautiful story made me cry. I'm glad Doug is doing well physically and spiritually, too!


Great story to remind us all why the Lord had commanded us to love Him first, then love others as the 2 greatest commandments. There are so many hurting people all around us and a simple act of love is sometimes, what it takes to give their aching heart a break from whatever pain they are going through.

So glad to hear that your dad is doing well with his treatments. May the Lord heal his sore throat despite of it, being expected as a side effect. Lord, help bro. Doug not have trouble swalowing...

I know, I can't believe that school is about to start a little over a week from now. Sister Loren, you are a woman who always seeks the Lord, so I know that everything will fall into its places...God bless you and your family and praying for the Lord to touch your shoulder and for your dad's healing as well. Love you in Christ.


Your dad is sounding good... that is so nice to hear!! I think you had us all in tears reading this... what a touching story. We must be grateful & cherish all the 'happy days'!


i can't say anything because the tears are coming too hard. thank you, though, for sharing this!

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