Living with Hospice

"The Grace in Dying" — a book which explores the contemplative dimension of death and dying

Today is my stepdaughter Rhiannon's 29th birthday. It's always a sweet day, but today is a bit sweeter than most, because just a few months ago we thought she wouldn't live to see it.As I've explained in a previous post, Rhiannon lives with kidney and liver disease. Born with polycystic kidney disease that was so serious she almost didn't make it out of neonatal intensive care, she developed problems with her liver as a result of her kidney problems. To top it all off, she is also … [Read more...]

A Gift for Lorraine

Okay, my friends, get your kleenex ready. This video tells the story of a 96-year-old man who wrote a song for his recently deceased wife (of over 70 years), and how a local recording studio helped to bring the song to life. Part of what's so cool for me personally is that we share the same anniversary (June 26), although of course they celebrated their golden anniversary three years before Fran and I got married.And be sure to download the song from iTunes (I have). … [Read more...]

Impermanence

Early yesterday morning, about 5 AM or so, Fran and I were both awakened by what sounded like a small explosion in our neighborhood. It seemed close enough that Fran got up and peered outside the window. She thought a car hit something. I said it sounded more like an explosion than an accident. We speculated that maybe a transformer blew somewhere in the neighborhood. Then we went back to sleep.Three hours later, when she was leaving for work, we finally realized what it was. Someone had … [Read more...]

John D McColman: Obituary and Reminiscence

First, the obituary...Retired Major John D McColman, USAF, 89, passed from this life in High Shoals, Georgia, on January 15, 2013. A lifelong sportsman and devoted family man, John touched many lives through his quiet but warm personality, dry sense of humor, and compassionate character.John D McColman (his birth certificate simply reads the initial “D” for his middle name, which was intended to be the name of his uncle, Dee) was born on June 15, 1923 in Avoca, Michigan. He entered pilot … [Read more...]

A Few Pictures of Dad: John McColman (1923-2013)

My father passed away yesterday. He was 89 years old.This was the end of a long journey of illness which began with a diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease almost 20 years ago; congestive heart failure and finally dementia also took their toll. Of course, these are all diseases of attrition, so it truly was a long, slow goodbye. But he maintained a positive, optimistic spirit pretty much through it all, and was truly loved by the nurses and CNAs who cared for "Mr. John" at the nursing home where … [Read more...]

After the Goose, a Rough Week, and Simplicity

Dear friends, my apologies for taking such a long time between posts. As you may know, I was at the Wild Goose East Festival June 21-24. Indeed, Jana Riess (author of the delightful book Flunking Sainthood) wrote a very kind piece on her blog about the talk I gave on Sunday morning at the Wild Goose Festival. You can read it by following this link: Five Gifts of Contemplative Prayer.One of the reasons I didn't write anything after returning to Georgia (aside from being rather exhausted for a … [Read more...]

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father's Day! To celebrate, Fran and Rhiannon gave me this card which they made themselves. I thought it was so pretty I decided to share it with the world. … [Read more...]


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