Wild Gray Goose

Celtic tradition identifies the Holy Spirit as a Wild Goose. He is the wings of a Wild God best followed by the wildest of men. I'm gray. I'm wild. Like He, I am not always predictable, rational, or safe. I believe my full life and my still maturing years of Walking With God offer both heart and substance for younger lads to consider. Now with 4th stage prostate cancer, following the Wild Goose has a different pace and perspective worth reflecting on...and sharing.

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Location: Full Time RV, mostly near Temecula, California, United States

I'm a young fella not far from 73 who's made it to the far and frayed edges of the adventures I‘ve been hankering for since boyhood. The age thing and my pursuits are relevant since I now have advanced 4th stage cancer, moved from unsuccessful chemo treatment to oral med...and they seem to be working. Now, after selling the ranch, my beautiful life-mate of 48 years and I live and travel in an fifth wheel RV we call our "covered wagon". The new and rich development of 2012 is our purchase of ranch in the marvelous plateau above GRAND JUNCTION at the head of the Colorado National Monument where my young family with six children run a whole-family therapy ranch, DEEP RIVERS FAMILY RANCH.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Wild and Gray Face a New Stage; "Wild Goose" Still Reigns

It's time.  yeah, way overdue.  Worth the wait because I ain't so wild and I am less gray.  Both need explaining, both are edifying and worth the long read. 

Less Gray, Faceoffs with infants
"Less gray" BUT not bald because my chemo treatment targeted my long gray bundle. Came out all over the place. Carolyn's hair cut saved the pillow and the vacuum and left me with a pretty "normal" old guy's short-hair thining crown of former glory. 

Young, Wild, may not live to gray
Less "wild" sorta. "Muted Wild Gray Goose" should be the title.  Too odd.  You know I have advance stage 4 prostate cancer.  You DONT know 'til now a sudden disability in my legs; that is unless you see me falling, tripping, walking proudly upright but slow and think this "normal" for me.  Well, it ain't.  My explaination forms a message for you to take to your heart.

Wrote this first to a friend asking about my status with prostate cancer.   Several have asked and this comes at a time I have crossed the threshold to "New Stage," a state where life changes radically.  We all face them.  More than once.  Few catch on, fewer still accept and adapts.  Mostly happens in the aging stage when certain life functions fail.  I'm sending this out to my friends who may, as I did, not recognize and therefore fight a New Stage in life.  Hanging on to an "historic you" may mean the change--the new and different you--drags you across the rocky trail.   Change IS life.  Often it's introduced by God for His purposes in us.  How dare He interrupt. ("When God Interrupts," Barnes, top reading)  Nothing is nailed down--as I painfully discovered last weekend.  The Creator does His work without nails.  Except three, the ones that fixed our salvation to the cross.  Those and the One so-impaled never changes. Everything else is in God's flux.  This is feeling a bit like a sermon.  Read on for the story.  Give it thought an prayer.  Too busy for that (really?!)I feel a sermon coming on.  At least a new entry in Wild Gray Goose blog.

 Thanks, guys for asking.  I've been away most of the day, having found a gorgeous lookout spot on the edge of the high plateau just past the ranch we're praying to acquire for the kids' Deep Rivers Family Ranch.  Got to look over a vast vista, miles of the Colorado River and the verdant Fruita valley.  Had my journal, notebook, "When God Interrupts" (Craig Barnes), Bible, of course, and a banana.  It took well into this afternoon to feel settled on the new wrinkle, the "interruption" the Lord introduced to me in the Grand Junction ER last Saturday.   

Seems my legs giving out suddenly was not an attack of cancer on my lower back nerve bundle, but a couple of extruded disks.  So I am now hobbled by a cane, soon to become a "walking stick" fashioned by a gnarly branch from the abundance of Pinyon Pine around here.  Operation with enemy cancer troops using my lower back as a re-staging area, is not possible.  Ortho spine doc this week will announce his contribution to a serious life change.  At any rate, I am now among the enfeebled elderly, walking slowly and avoiding "normal" challenges.  BUT I refuse to get a handicap hanger.  So many violations for convenience by the healthy, I hold on to this bit of pride as long as I can.  I'll show 'em!  I'll lean heavily on my Deep Rivers walking stick as I hobble past the 25 year old bounding from his Cougar.

Therapist soninlaw, Matt, took me aside to tell me that one of the most consistent troubles that bring clients was a failure to recognize new stages. Worse, few who catch on manage to adjust.  Shortened life is not an issue for me, but limited mobility for Mr.  "Do-It-All-and-Speedily-at-That" is now humbled.  The kids rush to help me through the door, down the steps. I'm putting of standard tasks involving distance or lifting. There goes loading hay bales.

 As usual, seen with the clear eye of God's will and working, there is irony, if not humor.  I helped Matt load 150 hay bales for the Deep Rivers horses.  Sure, it was the day of my chemo, but I feel pretty normal until a day or two later.  Same day and three days after, I hauled a 50 pound pack on my back for a mile or more with the Colton, our 12--cum-13-cum-manhood lad getting ready for the five day rim-to-rim "rite of passage" hike down the Grand Canyon. "So, Doc, extruding disks?  How'd that happen?"  I described the week before.  He chuckled and said something medical like "DUUUuuuH."   So, I try to walk as if nothing is wrong or weak. Denial wears off slowly. 

 Back to my cliff edge hangout sorting things out about this New Stage stuff.  I speak often of the "Finishing Well" stage of the journey.  Nice to spiritualize it, but that ain't it.  That stage of my Walk goes on.  The new physical limitations is now a framework around that.  So, you can picture my chuckle at the end of this deep session of re-commiting myself to the Lord in the New Stage when I heard the words, "slower and lower."  It's my new theme, the new me layered on the old me, good and bad.  And a better chance for the good to dominate.  Slower and more humble will keep me in less trouble and eventually look good on me.

As to my advanced prostate cancer, it still moves slowly.  I have had very little side  effects of the chemo treatments I get every 21 days.  When we return to SoCal in early September, I'll get a set of scans and test so we know what my status is.
IMPORTANT PS:  I think you know the other focus for us, in fact, overwhelms most of our health issues, is helping the kids acquire a short sale property nearby for Deep Rivers Family Ranch, their whole-family intervention therapy ranch.  MAN, is this complicated!  We're learning new dimensions of prayer as all the impossible challenges and deadlines fall aside.  We're in our critical week.  If the foreign bank does not grant us an extension to the closing, the Lord's signal is  "Nice try. I enjoyed your trusting me. I've got something better."

CURIOUS ABOUT DEEP RIVERS FAMILY RANCH?  Go there on Facebook for little stories and photos We'd LOVE it if you "LIKE" us!.  Or hit the site, www.deepriversfamilyranch.com and wonder if some family you know or a pastoral or therapy pro would like this as a "rescue" resource when dysfunction begs for intervention and life-long relational health is a family goal.