Saturday, December 18, 2004

On Grace & Joy

On Grace.

I thought by now that I had learned how to graciously accept the generosity of the many remarkable people in my life.

This shouldn't really be hard. When people do nice things for you, you should thank them, thank God for putting good people in your life, and honor the gift by enjoying it.

It's easy to complicate it, though. Sometimes you feel like the gift is too much, the gesture too generous. You engage in silly assessments like whether you deserve the gift, whether the giver has overestimated your need, whether other people, more deserving or needy, are the beneficiaries of similar generosity.

At least that's what I do. Still.

So anyway, thanks. I'm grateful. Your gift is just what I needed, even though I don't deserve it. I don't deserve a friend like you.

Thank be to God what we deserve rarely enters the equation.

Thanks be to God for you.


On Joy.

I'm feeling great. Chemo ended a week ago, and doesn't resume until January 5. Radiation hasn't caused any irritation so far. My doctors are optimistic. If all continues to go well, I'll finish raditation and my last pre-surgical chemo course on January 11. Then by the middle of February, I should be ready for surgery. Then recovery, and two more courses of chemo.

Some reassuring perspectives:
  1. I've completed 2 of my 5 weeks of chemo.
  2. I've completed 15 of my 34 doses of radiation.
  3. One week after the completion of chemo and two weeks into radiation, my greatest ailments are some slight fatigue, slight addle-brain (at least I think it's slight) and a cold scalp.
Today, Seamus, Mairead and I made Christmas cookies while Judy and Callaghan were at the ballet with friends. One friend and his young son came by for a couple hours in the afternoon and we played music with the kids. Another friend came by later and we had tea and a good chat.

I'm very hopeful that I'll be singing and playing with the family at Christmas Eve Mass, and my brother Dan has agreed to play and sing as well, just in case I'm not able enough. My parents, brothers, sister and their families will ALL be here on St. Stephen's Day.

I'm a very happy guy.


Blogger Suzy Secretary said...

On Grace.
“What you give is what you receive.”

Jim Guy, you have generously given US steady doses of kindness, compassion, friendship, life counseling, and, let’s not leave out entertainment; it’s only natural that you would get back what you have given. You deserve every ounce of what you are receiving - and more!
Your faithful assistant and friend,

7:35 AM  
Blogger Tom Wolf said...

A sunny winter Saturday in a cozy living room scented with freshly baked cookies, the Christmas tree gleaming; a good friend; beautiful, sweet, musical children; two guitars, a fiddle and a piano--talking, playing, singing, together and separately, swapping songs and stories, without hurry, performing for each other and oneself. Is that from Dante's "Paradise"? It's hard to imagine anything more delicious.

Love, Tom

3:46 PM  
Blogger vkenny said...

Hi Jimmy, What you give out in this life you get back
ten fold, I guess you have been giving to many people for many years and God has chosen to show you the impact you have had on others by allowing them the gift
of giving to you unselfishly. You are deserving of the
friends and family you have created, and of the kindness & generosity of those friends, that is what makes life worth living. My wish for you in this season of miracles is Health, Happiness, Love & Contentment which I belive are the things we need the most in our lives but some seem to value the least.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Jyothi said...

Jim, wonderful to read your latest journal entries on love and joy. From your previous journal entries I have gathered you've lived an abundant life. Loved your grandmother's wisdom on not wishing your life away. Your grandmother would be proud as it seems like you've stepped into the joy of NOW. Now is all there is actually and change is inevitable. A few quotes on change.
"We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance." Harrison Ford
Socrates wrote: "Remember,no human condition is ever permanent. Then you will not be overjoyed in good fortune nor too scornful in misfortune."
"It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new." Alan Cohen
"What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself." Abraham Maslow
"The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance." Nathaniel Branden
"The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance." Alan Watts
God bless you and yours this Christmas time.

7:11 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...


You ALWAYS deserve good gifts and good friends. I just hope we can always deliver.

Merry Christmas!

Jenn, John, and FiFi

7:22 PM  

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