Cinco de Mayo Update!

11048722_830416930369881_7720948642069963144_oHappy Cinco de Mayo from sunny Pensacola, Florida!

Let’s catch up.

Margaret and I are at the beach for a few days recovering from the Mobile, Alabama, wedding of Matthew Griffith and Lauren Bayly at the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion. It was truly an elegant, wonderful affair – from start to finish. Megan, Joe, and Katie came down to welcome their new sister Lauren into the family, and I was honored to officiate. There was not a dry eye in the yard under a canopy of century-old oak trees, when, after dancing the first half of the groom-mother dance with Jan Griffith, Matt asked Margaret to dance the second half of the dance to … ? You guessed it, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” – right out of the Wizard of Oz.10659349_10153294382662002_6095420485141685038_n

Unfortunately, Margaret wasn’t wearing red shoes.


At the beach, we have had the absolute JOY of catching up with some friends that we had lost touch with over the years. Tim and Kim Ward were our absolute “besties” for a decade early in our marriage but they moved to Washington DC and we moved several times and we lost touch. They recently moved back to Alabama, so we invited them down. We were like giddy junior high school girls, closing down the eatery and laughing to the point of exhaustion. We pledged to keep it up!

001Of some difficulty, two weeks ago our beloved 11-year old Rottweiler, Deacon, was diagnosed with bone cancer.

Adoption Day!

Adoption Day!

He went downhill fairly rapidly, and we put him “to sleep” about 10 days ago. We had a vet come to the house. Katie, Margaret and I surrounded him with love. It was tender and very tough. ‘Nuff said.

Margaret’s health, of course, remains a challenge. It seems we have a handle on the thyroid issue at the moment. It does appear that she has thyroid cancer (as opposed to breast cancer in her thyroid) but the very good news is that it does not appear to have metastasized. Therefore, she is scheduled to have thyroid surgery next Tuesday. Hopefully, the surgeon will not feel as if the whole thyroid has to come out, since the concern is clearly only on the left side. This pushes the start of radiation back a couple of weeks, but her team of doctors agree this is the right thing to do.

Margaret’s spirits remain high and positive, but her patience is definitely being tried at times. The last 2-3 weeks have been particularly challenging as several tests were done and redone 2-3 times. One of our daughter’s reminded us of a section of a book that we used to read to them when they were impatient, and I’ll close with those words.

As always, thank you for your love and support of our family. You all inspire us.

From Dr. Seuss’ “Oh the Places You’ll Go”:

You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place… for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for the wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jack or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.

No! That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky.

So, remember (me too!) …

So, will you succeed?

Yes! You will, indeed!

Kid, you’ll move mountains!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So… get on your way!

9 thoughts on “Cinco de Mayo Update!

  1. Sounds like a super few days. As discussed personally – the Pope has insured us that Deacon went to one of the rooms (great dog by the way). I’m really glad that you guys could get a well deserved respite from the grind of the task at hand. This will all work out and Margaret’s “Village” is still very much out there for her (and your family).

    I have not had the opportunity to personally debrief Brother Spark’s Participation in Sunday’s service. That said, and “most” jokes aside, Chuck is more of a friend than an employee of WPC.

    Bob E.

  2. Glad you’re getting some well-deserved beach time. Our prayers continue to be with each of you. So happy you officiated at Matthew’s wedding and enjoyed those beautiful moments. Eight years ago today you officiated at our wedding! Sue and Ken

  3. Thank you so very much for your continuing notes and for the depth of your sharing. Find it to be both moving and enriching. Again, thank you.

  4. John and Margaret,
    We are glad you are soaking up some sun and enjoying time at the beach. As well as connecting with old friends. It is pouring rain in Denver today. Your timing is good. You, Margaret, Katie, and Megan are an inspiration to us. A testimony to walking in faith through adversity with our Lord. We’re saddened to hear about Deacon, the other member of your family. They say, and we believe, there is a special place in heaven for dogs. Kathy, Mark and Harry

  5. Many in Columbus, GA, continue to pray for Margaret’s complete healing, and all are grateful for news of continued progress. We are glad to be part of the powerful prayerful community that supports your family in this part (and all parts) of your life journey.

    While God is unchanging, change is the constant in this world He created for us. I marvel at His grace and the strength He gives us to face each new day as agents of His love.


  6. We are very happy for you both and so glad to hear you had a wonderful wedding and are now relaxing on the beach. We continue to pray for Margaret’s recovery. Have a great rest and we wish you both all the best!

  7. Please accept our most heartfelt condolences on the loss of “Deacon” … may all the happy memories in your life with him forever continue to enrich your life … also please know our prayers for Margaret continue. Al, Cathy & Girls.

  8. Your blogs and the strength of your family continue to inspire us all. About 4 years ago you preached a sermon on “patience”. I think about it frequently. it is such a hard thing to practice. Maybe you ought to pull that one out and preach it again one day. Your trip sounds wonderful. So glad you could all be together for something fun. Our hearts ache for you as you miss your wonderful Deacon. What a year this has been. Blessings.

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