Tag Archives: cancer

Quiet thoughts on New Year’s Eve … pondering the loss of a friend

New Year's Eve 2By Lynn R. Mitchell

The Christmas tree lights are on and candles are lit. Outdoor lights glow in the darkness as I sit with laptop and ponder the past year.

This New Year’s Eve finds me returning to join the crew at Bearing Drift. Somehow it seems right. I’ll continue with LynnRMitchell.com — I kept my own blog in the past when writing with the guys — but it’s nice to be back. As I reacquire my sea legs, it feels good to be “back in the fold,” as blog son Matt Hall likes to say. The intensity of politics is not a sideline sport here as all are encouraged to debate, comment, write, opine, and research. Politics 101? Ha. This goes far beyond that. And I love it.

So while my photos and easy-going commentary will continue at my blog, don’t be surprised to occasionally see some of it cross over to Bearing Drift to soften the political manly atmosphere.

Debbie Nelson AllenBut tonight I am finding myself thinking back on the past year. There were many changes that I didn’t expect at this time last year so I force a smile and move on … but there was one loss that stings my heart. That was the death of my friend Debbie who lost her two-year battle with brain cancer in October at the age of 56.

I couldn’t even write about it at the time. The words wouldn’t come to me — so unusual to someone who pours out words on a daily basis — and so I celebrated her life out among the colorful October autumn leaves that she loved so much. It somehow seemed fitting that she slipped away during one of her favorite times of the year, and every photo I took was with her in mind. But tonight I’m reflecting on this extraordinary woman.

We met at work in Richmond while in our 20s. She was vivacious, zany, a prankster, a thinker, spunky, and always full of life and laughter and fun. We had that special bond that can be found between close friends who have worked and played together, shared confidences, and gone through life’s ups and downs while remaining in touch, no matter what.

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Jimmy Carter shares cancer details, begins ‘long goodbye’

Jimmy Carter

Photo compliments of CarterCenter.org

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Former Democratic President Jimmy Carter, 90, held a press conference Thursday morning with details of his cancer battle, revealing the cancer in his liver has spread to his brain. His remarks and candor with the press was reminiscent of President Ronald Reagan’s “long goodbye” speech when he left public life due to Alzheimer’s.

The one-term president who served from 1977-81 was adamant that treatment for the cancer would take precedent in the days ahead, and said he was at peace although, he joked, more so than his wife Roslyn. He noted that his brother and sisters had died of pancreatic cancer.

He said his message is hope and acceptance of the hand he has been dealt as he and his family now move forward. Expressing disappointment if not allowed to take part in a mission trip to Nepal in the near future, he joked with reporters that one of the best things in his life was marrying Roslyn, as they celebrate 69 years of marriage.  He spoke and took questions for 40 minutes in Atlanta.

We wish him well as he embarks on cancer treatment and healing.


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Back in the homeschool classroom … the pain of grief

school booksBy Lynn R. Mitchell

[Originally published two years ago today on August 13, 2012.]

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplications, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.” –Philippians 4:5

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound….

Twenty-seven is too young to experience the painful, dark world of death while others continue the business of life.  And when cancer creeps in to claim a young life, it leaves those behind feeling empty with a hole in their hearts left by the absence of the one who is gone.

During our homeschool days, as my children grew older, a particular joy was to be involved in the lives of many home-educated students during my years as teen coordinator with the local homeschool organization. I grew close to dozens of young people who remain friends to this day, years after they’ve grown to adulthood and moved on into the world, some even beginning families of their own.

One of those was 27-year-old Hannah whose heart is breaking tonight at the loss of her best friend after death crept in today and took him away.  As it often does, the insidious, evil, life-draining disease known as cancer claimed another victim and, when it did, deeply wounded my sweet friend.

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