even when the doctors confirmed it was terminaleven when chemotherapy ravaged his body far worse than the disease he didn't stop being him

he was in pain, certainly, and there were a million and one tiny details that now had to be attended to just to keep his condition from becoming unmanageable on a daily level but that's just what they were details

the core of his being did not change he still attended church

(as if church attendance in and of itself amounts to anything; most regular church goers would get the same benefit going to the movies every sunday morning)

he voiced a faith that sounded in line with his fellow parishoners but words are deceptive the same words from one masks a simplistic garbled misunderstanding while from another masks a profoundly nuanced wisdom of the spirit

so he talked the talk but he walked the walk not always not perfectly there were times one wanted to say now can you possibly say / do / support that and still call yourself a believer?

but it's not our call to make not our place to judge

he lived a conventional good life worked hard supported a family had much to feel satisfied with now that he reached the end

this is what makes him remarkable: he is not in denial he knows he is dying he knows his daily routine reflects this but nonetheless he continues living

no bucket list no grandiose gestures no regrets no fears

was it his faith that gave him this strength? then i realized strength had nothing to do with it strength couldn't possibly withstand the forces unleashed against him

no, it was something different something better:


he stands -- for as long as he is able -- a man who is alive a man who feels no need to prove anything because he knows himself and that is sufficient

this is not bravery bravery is admirable courage in the face of adversity intestinal fortitude, as it were nothing wrong with that but bravery starts with a negative there must be fear before valour what he shows is a far different thing

he stands there not because he is strong but because he is fully alive knowing who he is (past & present) and because of that not intimidated by what is to come he has loved he knows love he has been a part of the lives of others and has allowed others to be a part of him

his chipper attitude is no facade that's who he is who he has been and by the grace of God who he will continue to be

he lives and each breath he draws is as precious and as valid and as full of promise as the first one he drew coming from the womb

until he dies he lives he loves not afraid not brave


and that just may be the point of this story that the way he lived proved a blessing to himself by giving him an attitude that he couldn't help but share through the simple act of being alive and that attitude made it easier for those who loved him to minister to him and care for him in his last days thus making it easier to keep the very attitude that blessed them in the first place and in turn made their blessings possible

no grace is ever wasted no charity is ever in vain

(c) Buzz Dixon

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