Today was a good day…

Early this afternoon, Becca, one of our babysitters, called to invite our family to her graduation party — this evening. MB and I chortled to one another about issues related to advanced planning, but we gathered up the kids and went on over. It was an interesting collection of people attending this party — of course Becca’s family was there, her Uncle Kenny, Charles, her Life Teen facilitator (or whatever his official title was), a friend of hers, and us. It was a wonderfully sweet gesture to include us in her celebration and we wish her all the best as she goes onto college. And besides, her mother made and decorated a WONDERFUL homemade cake — and any day is a good day when you get to eat cake!

As we were leaving the party, Charles took my hand, looked me in the eye and told me, “Every day is a miracle.” He wished me well, as did Becca’s parents and we came home. However, as I sat here thinking about what to write, I was able to reflect on today and realize that he was right — at least about today. As a good Unitarian, I went to and looked up definitions of miracle. (When I graduated high school, my mother bought me this HUGE dictionary; I am pretty sure it was called, “Websters Super Deluxe, Ultimate, Unabridged Dictionary of Every Word in the English Language.” Of course, it’s now called ‘doorstop’ or ‘paperweight’ because I tend to look up definitions online these days….but I digress).

Now those of you who know me, know that I do NOT have an overly developed sense of the divine. Indeed, in one sermon I gave at my UU church, I said that I was as non-spiritual as MaryBeth was spiritual (this was a sermon on the Humor and Spirituality and if I am not mistaken, I also said that, “I’m not suggesting that MaryBeth is super-religious, but she does have a cape with cross emblazoned upon it that she wears from time to time” — it got a chuckle during the service.) So, while there are several definitions of ‘miracle’ out there, the WordNet definition of, “Any amazing or wonderful occurrence” particularly fits for me today.

Today one of my very dear friends, Luis, came over to build a retaining wall around a tree in my front yard. I was his hired helped (and client, as he told me several times). The wonder in today is that for 6 hours, I forgot I had cancer. I forgot to worry about tomorrow. I forgot that I was anything but a father; a husband; a friend. (Pardon me while my eyes water — as my Wood Badge Scoutmaster would say, “Must be the onions!”) Luis does not and will not let me wallow in self-pity about being sick. He gave me work to do and pushed me until I could not work anymore, and I love him for it. I told him that because my chemo/radiation start was pushed back a week, I was not going to be able to go with my boys to scout camp. Luis told me he would drive me up and back so that I could go to the big campfire program on Thursday.

I feel truly privileged to call Luis my friend and I look forward to continuing that friendship for YEARS to come. I used to say that I had a lot of friends and acquaintances, but there were relatively few people who (I thought) I (could) call in the middle of the night if there were an emergency. I know that Luis is one of a very small group of people on whom I know I can rely. My wish for each of you reading this blog tonight is that you are able to identify at least one person who you could call in the middle of the night and know they will be there for you.

Merle (damn onions!)

  1. Hey, Merle! I hope I can give you another moment of “forgetfulness” by giving you a blast from the past. I got the website info from Gary Edsall. He told me what you were going through and I thought it would be great to drop you a line….hope you don’t mind. Man, it’s been 25 years….I know because i was supposed to go on my EHS 25 year reunion cruise back in March, but didn’t make it. I have to admit I was terribly sad when I heard about the cancer, but at the same time I’m not going to offer you pity, because I believe weakness thrives on pity, and strength is actually what you need right now. So if anything, you can definitely expect me to keep you in my prayers, and to keep you involved in a joke or two!! If you ask me, i think strength actually feeds on and grows out of humor, so you keep on thriving on the jokes and the humor, no matter how twisted other folks may think of it. I’ve read quite a bit of your site, and it was kool to find out that you’re really into photography. If memory serves me correctly, you were shooting back in school, right? Well, I’m also trying to make a little extra money doing photography, although I haven’t quite delved into the world of wedding photography yet. I’ve done a few, but only 2 for hire…the rest were for family. Everyone tell me I should, and I think about it a lot simply because it can be very profitable. but weddings are a lot of hard work, and sometimes difficult to shoot with all the changes you have to make in exposure. I guess I could just set the thing on program and let it do it’s thing, but i guess I’m somewhat of a control freak when it comes to photography, and I shoot mostly in maunal mode. I mostly do studio and portrait work, and have actually gotten to the point where I’m doing swimsuit portfolios for hire….they’re actually paying me money to shoot swimsuits and lingerie….imagine that!! Anywho….it’s getting late, so I have to bring this to a close and get to bed, since I’m not a good morning person….but I will be keeping in touch. Stay well, be blessed, and remember that I will be keeping you in my prayers!
    Big D!
    Class of 1983

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