Tag Archive: God’s Love


Stedman Graham advised to let no man’s opinion of you become your reality. If you ‘Google’ the quote, the statement appears to originate from Les Brown. However, I first read it in one of Graham’s books around the mid-nineties. Graham’s advice haunts reverberated while watching the film Cyrano (2021). While audiences did not show up in theatres, the beautiful idea of height—in the film’s interpretation—effectively shows how Cyrano needlessly allowed his self-worth to be defined by the cruelty of others. And there, at that moment, I, like many others, saw myself. 

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Reflection of Christmas 2022. Just writing those words, ‘reflection,’ is an achievement. I wasn’t supposed to be here. So, reflecting seems incredible. I should be giddy. I should be awesome. I should be overcome with joy. Me? No. I don’t support the notion that there’s this vast ongoing battle between Good and Evil. There’s just life. And even though being alive at this moment kind of strikes me as funny, there’s not a day when I don’t understand that Christmas 2022 could be my last.

I spent the last two days sitting. “Just too dizzy and wrought with intestinal discomfort,” I murmur. And as Winter Storm Elliott nears the Midwest, forecasters predict a bomb cyclone to layer over the Midwest later this week; my body feels all of the 62 years of abuse given. I should have listened to medical professionals more, but I failed to heed their advice.

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After several weeks of no response, my personal physician responded to my email. After several comments about not noticing my question, she apologized for her tardiness. “Maybe we should try another neurologist,” she wrote. After reading her response, I turned the computer off. There was no counter response. Not that I couldn’t respond. Simply, I am too tired to pursue anything further. 

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Understanding a world where you believe to be an outsider takes patience, but the payoff is massive. That ‘payoff’ is one of many lessons Craig Foster attempts to teach in My Octopus Teacher, an unusual story of the bond between Foster and a wild octopus encountered while freediving. After watching the film, I admitted to a greater understanding of life in the next world, life here in this world, and the interconnection in all worlds. 

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Finding gratefulness can be damn tricky. The thought comes not from despair or from some illusionary dream busted from a lack of effort. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that one should cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes and give thanks continuously for all things that contributed to your advancement. Phooey to that. Several weeks past cold-turkey of pain medications, listening to persistent tinnitus, and walking like an extra on the set of some zombie episode leaves me sick of it all.

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Ménière’s Disease

“Well,” said the audiologist. “Ménière’s Disease will not kill you, but it will suck. Elderly MD patients tend to have a higher prevalence of Tumarkin attacks (when a person falls to the ground with no warning). Phrased as ‘drop attacks,’ they seem to come out of the blue and do not affect everyone. Ménière’s Disease victims usually exhibit faster development of hearing loss and vertigo spells in your age bracket. However, you’ll remain awake during the attack and will not lose consciousness. You will experience neither a heart attack nor stroke, but everything will be a bitch.”

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Setbacks

Setbacks are hard. Post-COVID has been annoying, with one day being good and the next being bad. For instance, Sunday was great. I experienced a bountiful amount energy I hadn’t had for weeks. Mentally, I was clear. And lastly, I experienced little to no residual pain. In fact, I was damn well ready to call COVID a day, “I am so done with this. Good riddance.” Then Tuesday arrived.

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The Tampa Bay Rays, like many companies, are promoting LGBTQ+ pride during the month of June. Not everyone on the roster wants to, though. According to several news reports, several Tampa Bay pitchers were among players who removed the LGBTQ+ pride patch from their uniforms. Post-game, one player made a summary statement.

… we all said what we want is them to know that all are welcome and loved here. But when we put it on our bodies, I think a lot of guys decided that it’s just a lifestyle that maybe — not that they look down on anybody or think differently — it’s just that maybe we don’t want to encourage it if we believe in Jesus, who’s encouraged us to live a lifestyle that would abstain from that behavior, just like (Jesus) encourages me as a heterosexual male to abstain from sex outside of the confines of marriage.

What? Faith? To that, I respond, “Bullhockey.”

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So, I had my first cancer screen test. One was PSA, and the other was CEA. PSA (a Prostate-specific antigen) is made by the prostate and is usually found in semen, with a small amount also detected in the blood. CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen) is a protein usually found in high levels of colorectal cancer patients. Most men without prostate cancer have PSA levels under four ng/mL. CEA is generally one or lower.

My PSA was .65 (should be less than <4 ng/mL) and the CEA was 1.0 (should be less than <2.5 ng/mL) “We don’t believe the problem you are experiencing (the improper manufacturing of red blood cells) is likely to be either colorectal cancer or prostate cancer,” the doctor informed. “So, something else is causing your problem. That problem might be multiple myeloma, but we’ll need to perform some further testing.”

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Fun to Find Out

My mother said, “Skip visited last night. (Skip died on August 30th last year.) I had gotten into bed and was ready to fall asleep when I felt his familiar tug. I knew it was Skip. I was so happy he visited. Strange though, there was a couple with him. I asked the couple what they were doing with Skip (implying Skip is her pet). They replied, ‘Skip was available. So, we adopted him.'”

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