Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A new note from Dad

Wanted to share Dads new note since he is speaking in part to you all

From Dad,
Weebles Wobble

I spent this week trying to build up my strength and stamina – somewhat successfully, but it is a struggle. It’s a bit of a Catch 22 – I need strength and stamina to build up my strength and stamina – yet I get tired when trying to build them up so I don’t have the strength and stamina to build up my strength and stamina. Oh well, as I’ve said multiple times: “One Day at a Time!” I am looking for progress – not perfection!

Watching me walk is kind of funny at times. Occasionally, I’ll just be going along and I’ll wobble – like one of the Weebles that were around in the 70’s. Weebles were toys that were fat on the bottom and when pushed, they wouldn’t fall over. The slogan that was promoted was: “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down”. Weebles may still be around; I just haven’t seen them. They were cool little toys.

Last night we went to the feed store and on the way back to the truck I wobbled and the people next to us looked at me like I was a hopeless drunk. Obviously, I’ve seen the look before! But that’s what is happening to me lately. I don’t fall down or run into things – I just wobble like a drunk.

I didn’t get much done this week and I have a list of things to do – like call Dennie, write thank you notes, and acknowledge some wonderful people that I don’t know but they are reading my daughter’s blog and sending me the nicest notes.

A couple of really nice things happened this week. First, as some of you know, my brothers-in-law are Mormon. From my vantage point, Mormons are the most consistent of all groups to demonstrate and live family values.

My brother-in-law from Provo, UT wanted to come visit us and work on things on the property that I cannot get to. He also wanted to bring several of the young people from two of the local wards and have them help. To accomplish this he worked locally with Glenn McIntosh.

On Saturday the whole group arrived; probably around 50 people – parents, young people, and children. They painted our fence, cleared brush, washed windows, sprayed our roses and crepe myrtles, dug out our ditch, and completed a number of other things. They were all wonderful and really spruced things up. I am very grateful for their help. Our place looks wonderful!

Second, I received the nicest basket from Jennifer Webb and friends at Oracle (a technology company). There were some nice things in the basket, but there were two things I value most. The first is a Lance Armstrong’s yellow, rubber wrist band that says “LiveStrong” on it. I’ve wanted one of those since I was first diagnosed, but I didn’t take the time to order one. To me, it is a constant reminder to remain positive and do things that will help me maintain my attitude, strength, stamina, etc.

The second thing that I valued was a small laminated card. The card is titled “What Cancer Cannot Take From You” and has a short verse written on it:

“It cannot take away your faith,
Shatter your hope, or lessen your love.
It cannot destroy true friendship,
Invade the soul, or take
away eternal life.
It cannot conquer your spirit.”

I would give credit to the author, but the author was not listed.

The message is very powerful and expresses many of the feelings and thoughts I have about this disease and about myself. All of the things mentioned are inner essences and the deepest and truest nature of us: faith, hope, love, true friendship, soul, eternal life, and spirit. I think is so important to develop these essences because these are what I and we will have while here and afterwards.

I’ve found that it is very difficult to develop these. As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, one way to develop them is to seek to systematically destroy in myself everything which I know should not be there - things such as selfishness, pride, vanity, self-righteousness, jealousy, self-pity, resentment, condemnation, and so forth. One way to eliminate these is by not nourishing them by giving into them, but starving them to death by refusing them expression. Sounds easy; but it is much more difficult than it sounds.

AA also has an approach to deal with these negative characteristics; but even AA’s approach (the Twelve Steps) does not eliminate them – it can improve them, but I haven’t seen any of them eliminated.

Both approaches are extremely difficult to practice. In fact, I have been very happy with progress. I know I can never eliminate any of them. If I could, the next step may be to try to walk on water – and that’s not going to happen! I'd drown in an instant! As I said before, I fall far short of achieving the goal, but it is something I want to work toward each day.
Doug Woods

I personally would like to thank each one of you for sending him a note ......I know it has touched him deeply and for me, it is seeing the hand of God reach our through each one of you in a powerful loving way! I love you all!