This week, I have been posting several articles about former president Jimmy Carter’s announcement of his cancer, that the cancer has already spread to his brain, and reaction of the public to those announcements. Clearly, prognosis is not good – but even in this situation, President Carter seems able to teach us a great deal about grace and living with gratitude.
This week, I am posting several articles about former president Jimmy Carter, his cancer announcement, and the reaction of the public to that situation. Today’s article is about a beautiful step taken by several people down in Georgia – printing and posting yard signs similar to the political yard signs used by everyone running for office, from running for city council to running for president. The signs simply read “Jimmy Carter for Cancer Survivor.”
I’ll say the obvious right up front: I have been very impressed with Jimmy Carter as a former president. In fact, I would go so far as to say that he is probably the most effective former president that the US has ever had. Through his work with the Carter Center to fight disease and to promote democracy, he has accomplished much for the world rather than simply sitting on boards of directors and becoming wealthy.
I had a great time up in Virginia – stops in Richmond, Madison (about 30 miles north of Charlottesville), Lexington, Charlottesville, and Richmond again – all in two days!
It was wonderful to see my Mom, her brother, her other brother’s widow, and her sister’s widower. They are a fantastic group, and unfortunately won’t be around for too much longer. I’m very fortunate to have gotten to spend time with them all – and with my own sister and brother, too.
It got me thinking about how that group of siblings and sibling-spouses are each fantastic people, and yet how different they are from one another. I have been so fortunate to have known then all, and learned from them all, in my life. And I do so miss the two siblings who are now gone.
Then I realized that the same can be said for my own siblings – I love them all, but we are very different from one another. I love that my daughters have the opportunity to learn from, love, and be loved by such a diverse group as my siblings and my wife’s siblings.
Aren’t families wonderful?
We all have our own way of tracking time as it passes. For example, I have never really thought of January 1 as the beginning of a new year. The beginning of a new year should be a time of rebirth – when all things are possible. So, I consider the beginning of each year as Opening Day of baseball season – which was much easier to do back before MLB starting having “regular season” games played in Asia or in Europe during the final week of Spring Training.
When my daughters were four and two years old, I started reading The Hobbit with them each night. At first, I would read them just a paragraph each evening before they went to bed. Later, their attention spans (and appetites for the story) grew and I’d read a chapter or more. By the time we reached the end of the book, my older daughter and I were trading reading each page and the younger daughter was taking turns reading bits, too. I treasured those nights then, and I treasure the memory now.