Jul 282016

The die is cast. I go in at 3pm today, the operation is early in the morning to teatime. The surgeon phones my wife around teatime and she puts a blog up here.

The odds are good, the indications so far are good, but we do not yet know for certain. We find out tomorrow.

Beryl will keep posting news, but I will be offline until I get out of the hospital. The likely date for this is around 27 Aug, but there is a large error margin to that forecast.

To everyone who’s followed these blogs, supported us, prayed for us – thanks.

I’ve tried to be honest and to be myself, complete with dreadful jokes and black humour (The hospital must have some optimism, they’ve sent me a followup appointment for September).

Yes, I am frightened, partially rationally, partially irrationally.

I’m frightened of uncertainty, of pain and an even more messed-up body.  I’ve spent 55 years dealing with pain since they found my twisted spine and later since the accident. So far I’ve won every time, but sometimes it is hard, very hard.

I’m frightened for my family. This has already hurt people I love. If tomorrow goes wrong they will be hurt even more.

I know from last time (the accident 40 years ago), that I won’t be afraid of death, if it comes, because last time I was not supposed to survive. In fact I was quite surprised to wake up. But I am afraid of the process of dying, it can be long and slow and humiliating.

But that’s fear of dying, not fear of death.  I chose to be a Christian at the age of twenty, and the Christian concept of after death has nothing to do with wandering around on a cloud, wearing a nightie with a harp.  It’s about us all having to answer for what we do, and that Christ’s life and death and resurrection was about putting ourselves right with God beforehand.

So I’ve no reason to be afraid of death. I wasn’t afraid last time, but I was angry that it happened when I was so young (I was 29).  Now I am afraid of uncertainty and of pain, and of dying, but at least, based on last time, I won’t be afraid of death.  I reserve the right to once again be thoroughly annoyed about it.

Last February someone had asked me if I wanted to retire, and I replied “Why stop when you are enjoying yourself.”  Annoyed does not even start to cover what I feel.  I love my wife, my sons, my daughters-īn-law and grandkids. I love my work, and I love writing stories and plays for the Levenshulme Players drama group.

And if everything goes well, I’ll still be able to all that again.  SR and DA will be ringing me up late at night to sort out a software problem. Beryl and I can can discuss new, interesting and above all profitable ways of killing people for the Murder Mystery evenings (to the occasional alarm of passers-by).   I’ve still got two books of short stories waiting to publish and quite a few more disreputable stories to add to this website.

Which seems a more positive note to end on for now.

Wes ðū hāl  –  Be healthy

 Posted by at 1:05 pm

  5 Responses to “Alea iacta est”

  1. I am catching up on the blogs. I was amused by Beryl’s query: Why should a nightie have a harp? It reminds me of my younger days when I was a Bonanza fan, which featured a character called ‘Hoss’ Cartwright. He wore (only at bed-time) an old fashioned night shirt. I came across one, on offer of course, and bought it. I don’t recommend such attire – during the night the thing hutched up to my neck! Still praying for you, Malc, to the only Saviour, Jesus Christ and his dad.

  2. Thinking of you and all the family. Thinking of the surgeons and other medical staff. Thinking that whatever happens your future is certain. Thinking particularly of Beryl over the next 24 hours. Praying x

  3. We have read your blog these last months with something close to awe.

    Cast your mind back about 40 (!!) years. I remember you gave a sermon where you described the translation of Abba father from Hebrew as closer to the word Daddy than the word Father. I never forgot that.
    Tonight I will be awake some of the time giving medication. I will pray for you and ask our loving “Daddy” to hold you safely in his arms.
    With much love,
    Gail.,Mike and Jonathan.

  4. We really don’t know what to say to you Malcolm (Beryl perhaps you could pass this on), we know you
    don’t like platitudes – we have a postcard which says “This too shall pass”, and all your uncertainty, fear,
    anger, pain will pass as well and we hope the light at the end of the tunnel will come very soon and you will be up and about and doing all the interesting things that you do.
    With our love and thoughts for you and Beryl. P and K

  5. Routing for you
    loving you
    no regrets
    praying for you
    looking forward always
    why should a nightie have a harp?

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