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I don’t have much time to write and the title of this post says it all. I’ve always tried to keep this journal up-beat. It’s good for me and I think that it’s good for readers. However, I am in the unhappiest time of my life at the present time and this IS my journal – a record of my journey. It would be a sham if I did not record my true feelings and the events which give rise to me. My closest friends have advised me so.

Many readers will want to tune out. Others will resonate. The nice thing about the web is that you get to choose.

As ill as Eunie is, she told our son, Hans, that she wanted him to get out of the hospital for a few hours and distract himself. There was a huge festival of fireworks last night called QBE Riverfire here in Brisbane. I sent Hans out with Eunie’s camera and asked him to get some shots. He did a quite respectable job:

Hans went with Rich Jones, Carol Dover and Tracey Lee and her partner Peter. You’ve met all these friends before here in happier times.

I feel myself becoming unglued at the seams. It’s a ripping sensation. Every day brings new horrors, a fresh dose of sadness and warning lights flashing back in the control centre of my brain. I know that the one thing that I absolutely cannot do is succumb to exhaustion and crash. I know how a deer feels when it freezes in the headlights.

I’ll not burden you often with gloom and doom, but I’ll keep it honest. I long for the past, but I know that life is now in the process of changing to something else – something unknowable. We always fear the unknown.

Stay tuned, if you like. I may find happiness again someday.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Eunie has terminal cancer. We are trying to get her back to Gympie to give her comfort there in the home of our friend, Val Jerram, until she passes. It’s likely a matter days or weeks. If you are a praying person, this should be the focus of prayer now – Pray that God get’s Eunie into good enough condition that she can be transported 2.5 hours to Gympie so that Val and I can care for her in Val’s home until she passes. This is based on the information that we have received so far from doctors.

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49 Responses to “Title Unknown”

  1. Elizabeth parsells Says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your wife!I will pray for her to get back home timely, and safely to have peace before her passing and for you as well to find peace and strength during this difficult time! I myself am going through alot of turmoil now in my life and reading your journal has helped alot. I realize now as well that at least all my loved ones and myself have there health and everything else besides that is irelavant and will change eventually for the better. I don’t know if my words give you any happiness at such a time in your life knowing for sure that your life partner will not have much time must be jarring,I couldn’t imagine all the jumbled thoughts and questions that must go through your mind all day! However some people never find or know the true meaning of love and commitment as you explained it in your own words, is so true! It is work and, determination, through good times and bad times, new begining’s and the end, but it seems you two have made it through the ride we call life, together! You are both very blessed people who have stood by each others side and trusted each other’s choice’s and changes in your life, and you did it with a big leap of faith and love! Eunice must have loved you more then herself it seems to me that she would have follow you to the end of the earth! She beleived in all the choices and decisions you made for eachother as a family and stood by your side without question with love, support and “TRUST”! If you ask me that is one of the hardest things to win over in a person, we learn not to trust in anything or anyone fully in life and you my friend earned her trust, and now you are there for her in the end till death do you part and you both still will always have each other’s love and trust, and memories of a life filled with adventure with your soul mate! What more could one ask for? A long life, love, family, adventure, and to live life honerably, you both “succeeded” ! God Bless and keep making her proud 🙂

  2. Gina Says:

    Oh Jan, My heart breaks for your pain and know that I will be sending my prayers to you both. Also praying for you to find strength to get through the next few weeks. xoxo

  3. Gail Opolka Hoffman Says:

    My heart aches for both you and Eunie. My prayer for you all is God’s grace. For Eunie, freedom from pain as she passes from this world to God’s mansion. It will be ready for her soon. My prayer for you and Hans and all that love her is peace of heart, knowing that she will soon be at God’s right hand, along with Jesus. Psalm 116:15 says “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” She has served God well in this life. She has blessed all who have known here on earth. I pray for courage for you as you help Eunie through this and for grounding at those times when you feel like everything is spinning out of control. Don’t deny yourself the privilege of your grief. It is a quite necessary thing. Give yourself time and embrace your son and your friends and draw strength from each other now and later as you need it. God bless you all.

  4. Mary and Chris Cole Says:

    Sunday 5th September Christchurch NZ

    Dear Jan,
    You may have received a message on Euni’s cel phone that Joy gave us.
    Sorry we missed each other in Cairns, you left for Gimpie as we arrived in Cairns.
    Our prayers and thoughts are with you both.We know what you are going through, you will be challenged but be strong for Euni.
    Give her our love
    I do not know how else or what to say but it saddens me that we did not keep in touch as much as I woud like it after we left Madang
    Love you both
    Chris and Mary

  5. Weast Says:

    Hi MadDog,

    My prayers and thoughts have been with.


  6. Walt Says:

    MadDog, I’m so sorry to hear that things are going they way they are. I’m amazed that you are still posting at all … please continue to post (or not post) in whatever manner best suits you. May you find the strength you need during your difficult times.

  7. Bron Says:

    Jan and Eunie, my prayers, best wishes, and complete sympathy and empathy.


  8. Juliet Forte Sienzant Says:

    Dear MadDog:

    Some time ago I came across your site when I put a search in for, of all things..billy goats. I checked back often to marvel at your vision in photography. And now I am sharing in your sorrow through your posts. May God give you the strength to walk this journey. As a hospice nurse I have walked many to this place. Each time I accompany one of my patients to that door I get a glimpse of the beautiful light beyond, just for a second when that door opens. Be assured that she is and will be in a state of grace, it is the family, those of us being left behind that require the work. She is now very close to perfection and we still have far to go. God bless you and your family and friends.

  9. Steve Goodheart Says:

    My dear, dear friend, I am so sorry about this news. Everything I try to write feels so useless and inadequate. Just know that my most sincere love and all my prayers and metta are with dear Eunie, and with you, and will be with you every step of the way. Steve

  10. MadDog Says:

    Juliet, I remember that post, The Goats of Madang, I think it was titled. Thank you for complementing my photography. That always enlarges my hat size.

    It always blows me away when readers I’ve never met seem to know so much about me. I suppose it is because I expose so much of my life and my emotions in my journal. I am, in a sense, writing an autobiography of the autumn years of my life – one day at a time. I guess some people resonate with that.

    Eunie herself worked in a hospice in Indianapolis for two years. She did things there which she had previously though impossible for her. She gained much insight into what is ahead for her. Our intention is to keep her in Val’s home until the end. There is an excellent care centre only about 100 metres away. It is free and volunteers are available 24 hours a day.

    Eunie is a woman of strong faith. She has lived much closer for her entire life to eartly perfection than the vast majority of us do. That is what has made her such a powerful woman and loved by so many. She was born for Paradise, lived half of her life here in Madang, and now will see the true Paradise before we catch up to her.

    Thank you for your personal, comforting message and your blessing. It means more to me than you can know. – MadDog

  11. MadDog Says:

    Thanks, Bron – words from the heart.

  12. MadDog Says:

    Walt, some days it is very hard, because my own mind is so confused and toubled and I am so frightened that I feel hardly able to communicate. My friends and many readers have encouraged me to do it for myself and for them. I think that they are right. The journal is how I record the autumn of my life as a record for myself in the murky future – to remember that there was once joy in my life – and as a legacy for my granddaughters, who have seen me seldom, but may learn about me someday from my journal. Thanks for your wish of strenght for me. I’ve never needed it more.

  13. MadDog Says:

    Thanks, Weast. Every good vibe and prayer counts.

  14. MadDog Says:

    Thanks, Chris and Mary. Eunie and I think of you more often that you know.

    Do not feel sad for lacking words – there aren’t any. We know that your love and thoughs are with us and we feel them strengthing us.

  15. MadDog Says:

    Gail, you were one of the lucky ones to know Eunie. I can imagine that you are feeling very sad. My own sadness is profound. I appreciate your comment that I should not deny myself of grief. There will come a time when I will need to let it flood over me. For now I have to stem the tide. Eunie is surrounded by love. It is her right that this should be so, as she has shown so much to so many without judgement, unstintingly and unconditinally. Open arms are waiting for her in the true Paradise. God bless you for your comforting thoughts and your prayers.

  16. MadDog Says:

    Gina, you words pour straight from your heart. I know this from our previous communications and from viewing your work. Bless you for your prayers. Perhaps someday we might meet. If so, we will be like old friends. – MadDog

  17. MadDog Says:

    Elizabeth, Everybody’s kind words mean much to me. Yours are particularly resonant with me now. I find a certain joy that you have found comfort in my journal for your current troubles. This gives worth to my effort. Your comment is so comprehensive that it’s difficult for me to respond in kind. However, one point that you made. We have been soul mates. We have both followed and led with absolute trust according to the situation. It has been a synergism that has always amazed me – one plus one equals one, or three, according to the way you look at it. We have always understood that our love will not cease when one of us takes the last breath. Our song, since we first started dating has been, Our Love is Here to Stay.

  18. HELEN JONES Says:

    Oh my word Jan, I type this in floods of tears as I catch up on the latest, shocking, stage of this journey you have been placed on – how could all this happen so very quickly and to such a delightful, caring person as Euni – I hope your faith helps you at this incomprehensible time in your lives – you certainly need to pull strength from somewhere, words are inadequate and all we can say is that you are in our thoughts constantly and we send love Helen & Martinxx

  19. MadDog Says:

    Helen, how I wish I did not have to deliver this sad news daily. I never knew anyone who did not like Eunie. Even now, in her wretched state of health, she is cheerful, loving and considerate of others. Her faith is allowing her to remain composed. She has suffered very little pain – such a blessing. God will have to keep me on my feet, with a lot of help from my friends.

  20. Frank & Ros Beale Says:

    What a shock. Not sure what to say. We know God is with you both and we are praying for you. God has promised us strength for each day.
    Gympie is only an hour away. If you’d like us to visit let’s know the address.

  21. Jim Davis Says:

    I am at a loss right now…again, words are so inadequate. Cindy and I (to a certain degree) feel your pain and sadness. Please let Eunice know we love her and are praying. We love you both and wish we could be there or had the words that could change everything. We can’t and we don’t. In the last few weeks, not a day goes by that I don’t think of you all, and remember good and bad times with Eunice helping me try to be a director. She was a saint to put up with me, and I just can’t believe what is going on. Again, we love you and are praying for a miracle.

  22. B & J Harper Says:

    Dear Jan, We hope our initial comment didn’t sound trite. We know it probably seemed useless however it was sincere. We have been praying for you both. We are still in shock actually and can’t quite comprehend the words you write today. We had thought there was more hope when we first heard now we are extremely saddened with and for you. Please give our love to Eunice and we especially pray that she will not be a much pain if any. Do you have any kind of Hospice care there for pain control? They are so good at these times. We are remembering how helpless Bob felt as I went thru my 2 bouts of Cancer but not anywhere near your pain today. Our hearts are breaking for you. Jacque and Bob

  23. DogsDontPurr Says:

    I’ve only been reading your journal for a short time (just since Roz Savage landed on your island), but already I feel I know you….as the internet tends to do. My heart is heavy for you, and I am praying hard that God will give you strength, peace and comfort. My husband is battling some scary health issues right now as well, so I feel the true gravity of what you must be going through. Big hugs to you and your family. I wish I could work miracles for you, but I will continue to pray.


  24. David Snyder Says:

    Jan. I just got picked up at the airport by Nancy Ann who told me what you are going through. I was greatly saddened. Words don’t work at times like these. Ruth and I will be praying. May you have hope on the midst of all that is happening.

  25. Abbi Says:

    Dear Uncle Jan i am praying for the both of you send Aunt Euni my love

  26. Jan & Allan Fletcher Says:

    Jan, Not having a computer at home it wasn’t until we arrived at work this morning that we read the distressing news.Our thoughts and prayers are with you both.
    We are totally overwhelmed and numbed as to how things have developed.
    Keep strong knowing you have the love and support of your friends at this time.Please pass our love and support onto Eunice.
    Love to you Both,

    Jan & Allan

  27. Rick Loftus, M.D. Says:

    You are both in my prayers, Jan. I am glad your son and friends are with you.

  28. Fay Christensen Says:

    Praying for you constantly, Jan and Eunice. Love you both. You were a great blessing to me in my time in PNG.

  29. Ruth Snyder Says:

    HI Jan! I am so sorry to hear the news about Eunice. David and I are praying for her/you all. Please check facebook for a message from me.

    Love to you both,
    Ruth and for David

  30. Kathy Dittmeier Says:

    My prayers are with you and Eunice during this most difficult of times. You don’t know me from Adam, but I know you both well through my daughter, Sarah Back, and love you both dearly for the friends you have been to her. Please tell Eunice “thank you” for being such a good friend and surrogate mom to Sarah during her year there. I have always been so grateful that she had the two of you to watch out for her on. Love in Christ, Kathy

  31. MadDog Says:

    Thanks, Frank and Ros for your prayers and concern. We have to wait and see when we will be returning to Gympie. The medical situation and timing keep changing. – Jan

  32. Meri Says:

    Jan you and Eunie are both in our thoughts and our hearts. We are not there in person but in spirit each and every day.

    Love from us both Meri and Monty

  33. Mark Sexton Says:

    Jan,Eunice,and Hans
    Belinda,Allie,Taylor and myself are praying for a miracle. You all are an inspiration to us and we love you.
    Please tell aunt Eunice the whole family is praying and wish we could be there. There are few words to say except we stand together in the grip of grace and our hope is in Him.

    God bless you all,

  34. MadDog Says:

    Jim, I understand your loss of words. I’m having a difficult time finding them myslef. I will pass on your message to Eunie. It will mean much to her. Sorry that I can’t say more at the moment. We both love the both of you. – Jan

  35. MadDog Says:

    Jacque and Bob, Thanks for your message. Your prayers are important to us. A great many people are sad – you are in good company. I will certainly pass your love along to Eunie. Blessedly, she has suffered no significant pain to this point. Please pray that it remaiins so until she leaves us. If we can get her back to Gympie at Val Jerram’s home, she will be comfortable and surrounded by love. – Jan

  36. MadDog Says:

    DogsDontPurr, my heart is with you. I think that you understand my pain. Thank you for your prayers and long-distance hugs. We are not expecting a miracle. Nevertheless, we have to remember that miracles are exactly what we do not expect.

  37. MadDog Says:

    Thanks, David for your message. Words are not necessary. The fact that your thoughts appear hear is enough. Thank you for your prayers.

  38. MadDog Says:

    Dear Abbi. Thank you for telling me that you are praying for us. I will tell Aunt Eunie that you send your love to her.

  39. MadDog Says:

    Jan and Allan, thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers. This has been a shockingly rapid event. There is simply no way to prepare for it. I’m staying vertical by leaning on my friends. I will pass your message on to Eunie. – Love, Jan

  40. MadDog Says:

    Rick, thank you for your prayers. You are right. I could not get through this alone. I can’t even imagine it.

  41. Colin Huggins Says:

    This is very sad news. I am pleased that Hans is with you both.
    I did place a note yesterday but cyberspace took control.
    One really doesn’t know at times like this what to really say – so I won’t even try. I don’t like these situations, so I am only hoping that , if the end is to be, it is without pain and suffering.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you, Eunice and son, Hans.
    Finschhafen 63/69

  42. MadDog Says:

    Ruth and David, keep praying for Eunie’s comfort and lack of pain. She has had very little pain so far and I am asking God for grace to allow her to finish the race with no suffering.

  43. Amanda Watson Says:

    Jan, I am deeply saddened by what you’re going through right now, and I really appreciate you writing on your blog so honestly.

    There is no need for you to reply to this message. I just want you to know that I am thinking of you lots and lots.

    Best wishes and love from Amanda.

  44. MadDog Says:

    How could I not reply to you, dear Amanda?

  45. Colleen Brown Says:

    Dear Jan & Eunie, My heart goes out to you both. My prayers are with you.

  46. Mark Sexton Says:

    Jan, Eunice, and Hans,
    Belinda, Allie, Taylor and I are praying for a miracle. You all are an inspiration to us and we love you. Your seeds of mission work have grown in us and we thank you as we have traveled to Guatemala and Africa to share the love of Christ.
    There are no human words to say that can bring comfort but know that we stand with you in prayer and i wish i could be there to touch aunt eunice and we could all hug. You are in the thoughts and prayers of our whole family inlcuding our church families.
    Praying for comfort and assurance,

  47. MadDog Says:

    Thank you, Colleen.

  48. fran Says:

    ..Dear Jan……i am at a total loss for words..
    …I am still hoping for a major miracle…I am glad that you and Eunie have your son and friends there….this is heartbreaking news….I will continue with prayers for you both, I had no idea till I read your pages today…
    I am sorry I am not in a position to be nursing Eunice, I gladly would….much love to you both….praying for a miracle now….

  49. Steve & Jimmye West in Indianapolis IN Says:

    If we could reach out and touch you to comfort, we certainly would. Although Jimmye has never met Eunie, I certainly remember her as such a beautiful joyous person.

    So, now the wait begins. GOD DOES do miracles Jan and we are praying for one. But if it is not in HIS plan, know that she is passing into perfect light and joy.

    Steve & Jimmye West

    May the Father of Peace bring Peace and strength to you. And may we say Amen.