It’s a great day. The sun isn’t shining, but who cares… Its Washington State after all!

Did I mention I obtained a free sailboat? It’s a Buccaneer 220. My son and I are going to give it a shake-down cruise to see what needs fix’n. It will be good to be back out on the water. I’ve got saltwater in my veins… harrrr! (Well, technically, we all have saltwater in our veins, but you get the drift.)

I’ll be sailing you later, luff to hear from you, I’m really mizen you, its a halyard of a day, I’m beam-ing with joy, please don’t be stern cuz I’m aft to get upset, I wouldn’t want ta have to keel ya…

Okay, I’ll stop. Bye.

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Several years ago, while walking on our beach, I stopped and looked at our old raft, the one we waterskied off of many years ago. It was sitting up high and dry. Many of it’s planks were missing, the fire hose bumper rotted away, and rusty nails were working their way free. For many years it sat there, unattended and battered by winter storms. Memories of my Dad came over me and I wrote this poem:

 

Early this morning I walked the beach
Past the old raft pulled high up the shore
Built by your hands so long ago
Twenty-nine thousand and two hundred tides

Weathered, wave-beaten and fallow she lies
But I keep her all the same
You were strong and full of life those days
Twenty-nine thousand and two hundred tides

You came into my life when I was a boy
On the jetty you taught me to fish
And you built the raft when I was a teen
Twenty-nine thousand and two hundred tides

I’ll see you again on another high shore
But for now I’ll remember those days
When we walked the beach and this raft was new
Twenty-nine thousand and two hundred tides

copyright 2012 Jim W. Smith

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Hi all,

Normally I only write posts during the week and take weekends off. But today I’ve discovered I have serveral friends reading my blog that I wasn’t aware of. Good friends who are concerned about my condition.

This entry is for them…

Hey guys, please don’t worry or get bummed out about my walk with Leuk. I’m doing fine. I feel great for now and I’m not scared.

I hope this blog hasn’t been a bummer for you. I try to keep it upbeat. My posts reflect what I’m thinking on a particular day; on some days I’m feeling down a bit just like you get sometimes.

But when you see a lighthearted post like “The Top 12 Advantages of Kickin” it with Leuk” and “Choose Laughter“, I’m not faking it. No matter what I write, I will always be honest.

Having leukemia isn’t the end of the world; it certainly isn’t the end of mine. Of course, it’s not exactly the common cold either. There may be a time when I need chemo treatment and that won’t be fun. I will probably win my battle with Leuk, but I might not. Either way I refuse to have a pity party.

Please stay with me. When we meet, treat me normally. You don’t have to feel uncomfortable or shy about talking to me about Leuk. Its fine with me if you do, and its fine with me if you don’t. You don’t need to feel obligated to ask me how I’m doing, although that’s fine with me too.

I guess I’m saying that I’m the normal me: which has always been a bit abnormal. I’m just a regular guy with a few more white blood cells than you. No big deal.

Some of us are close, some are just acquaintances. Either way, we are friends. Lets love, like and enjoy each other. If we do any differently, Leuk wins. The hell with him, let’s always be comfortable with each other. Let’s be friends.

Godspeed,

Jim

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Stress, guilt, and I have been buddies for a long time. But today I managed to handle a potentially stressful situation without getting so wrapped up in it. I’ve learned to delegate without guilt and encourage without absorbing the other person’s tension.

Though my doctor says there is no scientific basis for it, I think my stressful lifestyle contributed to my leukemia as well as other health issues. It may not have given me leukemia, but I believe it weakened my system enough to allow some latent ailments I had to come to life.

So, at least for today, I’m letting go. I don’t have to handle everyone’s problems. I don’t have to fix things.

As my little brother once told me: “Yes, Jim, there is a God… and you’re not it.”

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This is a subject I will probably be revisiting as my journey with Leuk progresses.

Learning you have leukemia quickly gets to the God questions. For some, this news pulls them closer to their faith, for others it pushes them away from it.

The question for me is not where is God?, its IS God?

I’ve been a christian all my life, but have struggled, always struggled, with religion vs science; creation vs evolution; the power of faith vs e=mc2. I found my own beliefs combining the two: that seeking God and seeking science are both the same search for Truth.

Now I’m not so sure, my philosophy is damaged. I wrestle with the basic question: does God exist? Is He real or only an invention to make sense out of a senseless world?

I haven’t completely lost my faith and I suppose as my health deteriorates I will pray a whole lot more than I do now. The old adage is probably true: there are no atheists in foxholes.

For now I would call myself an agnostic theist meaning I believe God might exist but if He does He is not as involved in our lives as we think He is.

I am not trying to dissuade my readers from their faith. I am only being honest about mine. If you have faith, cling to it,  I am trying to do that too because, after all, in the end all we have is faith and our family.

I believe in my family’s love, but as for God’s, well, Leuk has sent me back to the beginning. Back to where I was when first learning about God.  In this game of life, my seeking, if you could call it that, is back to square one.

I do still pray from time to time though it often feels like I’m praying to the air.  I guess that works as a metaphor: we breath in air and can’t live without it. Does that mean we breath in God and can’t live without Him? For now I’m not using the metaphor; sometimes it is, for me, just air.

I have family who read this post and I don’t want them to think I am “lost”. For me, right now, God is lost. I’m having trouble finding Him.  My hope is, however, that God has more faith in me than I do in Him.

A line from a song I wrote a few years back says:

So you say you don’t believe in God but one thing I know is true, He let his son hang on that tree ’cause God believes in you.

Maybe there’s more to Him than I think. Maybe He believes there’s more to me. I don’t go to church. I don’t read the bible. This is my time of reflection. My time of ponderation. A meditation on where I am in the universe, were God is, and how I fit in with both.

I guess when it comes down to it, I’m working on an exit plan… not how to exit, but what will happen WHEN I exit. Where will I go when I step through that door? This is, for now, my wondering. I know the ideology. I know the various dogmas. Those are now all washed away. I simply wonder if its possible to know Him.

We’ll see as I get closer to that fox hole.

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