Lois Cochran

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LIFE AND LIFE

Eighteen years ago my first grandson was born. He was a nine and a half pound package of joy, a gift to fill my heart. He was delivered caesarian section and because he was so big and my daughter is not, he was a bit distressed – quite purple. I followed him to the pediatric ICU while they stiched up my daughter and the nurses gave me a gown and mask and I was allowed to massage his little limbs while praying over him and dedicating his life to God. His color soon changed from deep purple to a lovely pink and I suspect my color also became more normal.

Devlin graduated from high school a few days ago. Sadly, I couldn’t be there in person, but was definitely with him in spirit. We have always enjoyed one another’s company and even though today I am seventy-one and he is eighteen, we still have fun together. When he was twelve, we took a road trip, spending almost two weeks together. At that time in his life, Devlin was into fifties music which was “my” music as a teen, so we listened to “our” favorite music for the two weeks on the road.

Also at that time in Devlin’s life, he was very much into birds, which was A-ok with me because I love birds – photographing them, listening to them, studying them, etc. So, one important stop on our trip was the Zoo in North Carolina which had a fantastic aviary and Dev especially wanted to see the falcons.

As Devlin begins the next chapter in his life, I may be approaching the final chapter in my life and find that the hardest part of accepting that my life may be ending, is that I may not be here to see Devlin’s life blossom into something even more beautiful. But I am forever grateful for the time we have had.

Lord, I thank you for the gift of grandchildren and the joy that has filled my heart. I pray for each of them; that they might live lives pleasing to you. I pray that they will bring joy to others and leave the world a better place. I pray that each of them will be blessed as I have with wonderful children and grandchildren.

Oh, and one more thing, Lord . . . I’d love to stick around a while longer to see my grandchildren become adults. :-)

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CELEBRATE LIFE

The Lord of the Dance – a simple song that has such a profound message.

“I danced in the morning when the world was begun
I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun
I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth
At bethelehem I had my birth:

Dance then, wherever you may be
I am the lord of the dance, said he!
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be
And I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he!
(…Lead you all in the dance, said he!)”

The Lord danced when he created the world and at every opportunity He celebrated life and wants us to celebrate as well. He celebrated even with “the devil on his back” and victory was His. The victory is ours to share . . . so we have much to celebrate.

Life doesn’t look so good to me today, it is hard to celebrate; but I know that in a little while, I’ll be dancing with Him. What a fantastic thing to look forward to.

“I danced for the scribe and the pharisee
But they would not dance and they wouldn’t follow me
I danced for the fishermen, for peter james and john
They came with me and the dance went on:

I danced on the sabbath and I healed the lame
The holy people said it was a shame!
They whipped me and stripped me and hung me high
And left me there on a cross to die!

I danced on a friday when the sky turned black
It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back
They buried my body and they thought I’d gone
But I am the dance and I still go on!”

“They cut me down but I leap up high
I am the life that will never never die!
I’ll live in you if you’ll live in me
I am the lord of the dance, said he!”

Life goes on — in a different place and in a “forever” way. We say goodbye to loved ones and there’s a little hole in our heart, but they’re not “forever gone,” are they? They live on in our memory and then one day we are reunited and can celebrate together again! God is so good. So celebrate life today and know that even better days are ahead.

“Dance then, wherever you may be
I am the lord of the dance, said he!
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be
And I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he!”

Posted in FRIENDS, GRATITUDE, JOY, LOSS, LOVE, MUSIC, PRAYER, SIMPLE SONGS, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

HANGIN’ IN THERE

That’s what I’m doing today – just hangin’ in there. A visit with the doctor yesterday brought the unwelcome news that the Leukemia has broken out of remission and is very aggressive. So I’m back in the hospital today and receiving more chemo and various other things designed to fight this ugly disease. My odds are not good, but they never were.

After the transplant, I seemed to be doing very well with a few minor bumps in the road and I thought I was on my way. Now it seems we are back to page one. It’s not that the transplant failed, it’s that the immune system isn’t strong enough yet to fight the Leukemia which decided to pop back into the picture. The next few days will likely give us an idea of what to expect. Currently, it appears that this disease is going to win the battle and my time is limited. So, I’m hangin’ in there praying for a miracle.

I do believe in miracles and would welcome one right now. Just a little more time would be nice. It’s not that I’m afraid of dying and I look forward to the wonders that await me – seeing my Lord, Jesus; being reunited with my sweet husband who has been gone for almost nine years; as well as freedom from the restraints and problems of this world – no more tears, no more pain . . . just peace and joy. But when death is staring you in the face, it’s a little scary and seems much too soon. Isn’t it kinda funny that even though we know that everyone (including ourselves) will die – it’s part of life- we are so not ready when it comes.

Anyway, for now, please pray with me for a miracle . . . Lord, I know that you have a plan and it’s always the right plan, the right time, and not always in agreement with our plan and our timing. But we have to trust that you know what is best for us and for our family. I’m praying for a miracle, Lord, because I would like to live longer, to spend more time with family, to serve you in the church and in the world, to exemplify what faith can accomplish. Thank you for this day, for yesterday, and for tomorrow.

Posted in FAMILY, FRIENDS, GRATITUDE, JOY, LEUKEMIA, PEACE, PRAYER, STEM CELL TRANSPLANT, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

TAKE A DEEP BREATH . . .

Well, I was feeling pretty confident that I was on the way to complete recovery until today. Now I’ll spend a few sleepless nights waiting for the results of today’s bone marrow biopsy.

I knew I wasn’t gaining strength – just the opposite recently. But I thought it was the result of some of the heavy-duty meds I have been receiving. Today the doctor expressed his concern about the dropping blood counts, and my loss of strength. He said he wanted the biopsy to make sure the Leukemia hasn’t re-surfaced. He thinks it is possible that the symptoms are caused by the meds, but we have to be sure.

I’m not sure where we go from here if the Leukemia has come out of remission. The doctor mentions “Plan B” – and that may mean another series of chemo and another transplant. I hope not. But I’ll do whatever is necessary, if it’s possible to beat this thing.
I haven’t prepared my “bucket list” and I would love to have time to do that and scratch off a few of the items on that list.

So, I unashamedly ask for all of your prayers – I know they are heard and I have confidence in God’s plan for me.

Lord, please hear our prayers. I am asking for the “right” results to the bone marrow biopsy; you know what I want, but I trust your plan and leave my life totally in your hands. Thank you for the gift of life, for the good friends who will be praying for me, and for my wonderful family.

Posted in FEAR, LEUKEMIA, PRAYER, STEM CELL TRANSPLANT, Uncategorized, WORRY | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

MOTHER’S DAY

“M” is for the million things she gave me,
“O” means only that she’s growing old,
“T” is for the tears she shed to save me,
“H” is for her heart of purest gold;
“E” is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
“R” means right, and right she’ll always be,
Put them all together, they spell “MOTHER,”
A word that means the world to me.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and for many of us we will remember our Moms who have gone before us. Some of us will be celebrated by our children and some of our daughters will be celebrated by their children. It’s a special day.

The song is simple and a bit “maudlin” but typical of the times – we were a little less “sophisticated,” and easily entertained. Of course, all mothers are not created equal and not everyone has wonderful memories of their childhood and motherly love. But I like to think that most mothers love their children beyond measure and make all kinds of sacrifices for the good of their offsring.

What are the million things she gave me? When I was too young to feed myself, she fed me; she bathed me and changed my diapers; she sat with me when I was ill; she played silly games with me when I was bored; she read to me before I could read; she sang to me when I was unhappy or unable to go to sleep; she held me close and made me feel safe and secure in her arms.

When I was older, she taught me to carry my load. I had certain responsibilities in the family – helping with the house cleaning, cooking, washing, ironing, etc. I was expected to do my schoolwork without excuses and to do it by myself with little or no supervision or help. I was expected to help my younger siblings if necessary. There were times when I felt “put upon” but every thing that she taught me and made me do, prepared me to cope in a world where things are not necessarily easy.

Thank you, Mom. I still miss you!

Posted in CHANGING TIMES, FAMILY, GRATITUDE, MOM, SIMPLE SONGS | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

CHANGE

I talked about change in a recent blog and yesterday I came across the following poem that I wrote some years when I was an aspiring poet :-) Just thought I’d share it.

CHANGE

The stars above, the earth below,
The mighty, effervescent sea,
Are moving always to and fro
In everlasting harmony
And underlying unity
Exemplifying certainty . . . of change

A river with no place to go
Grows rancid with the stench of death.
It has a need to freely flow,
Unfettered through eternity
To manifest its destiny.
It welcomes opportunity to grow.

But man held fast by fear does show
No fondess for the winds of change
He turns from what he doesn’t know
Preferring undeniably
What pain he knows — what he can see,
to unfamiliarity; and so,

His life becomes his death. Although
He tells himself it’s meant to be,
He shuns the face the mirror shows:
Too weary to be such as he,
Too lacking in profundity,
too etched with the enormity of NO.

What folly! Fate will but bestow
A little serendipity
And then will he be forced to go
To face at last the “enemy”
Discovering ability to conquer fear
Emerging free to grow

Ah, yes. This is not new, I know
Another choice, another chance
To change and challenge status quo
it need not cause such misery –
Be still my wretched heart and see
another opportunity to grow.

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