There are numerous poems and other writings that seem so appropriate when you are facing a daunting task and one which surfaces thoughts of doubt. They come under the titles such as Don’t Quit and Don’t Give up.
I selected one from my favorite writer, Edgar Guest.
Don’t Give Up
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When funds are low and debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow,
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you can never tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
I’m not quitting.
My first thoughts of having doubts but not being willing to give up had to do with baseball.
My favorite sport was baseball. We played it from sun up to sun down on Saturdays on the field next to the high school, in my cousin David’s yard (wiffleball) or in my yard with a rubber ball (that cost 25 cents). The reason I remember the cost is that we had to replace at least one per Saturday after someone hit the first one into the (nameless) neighbor’s garden. The pain of trying to retrieve it was too great. If, when we played in my yard, we were short players, we recruited another neighbor, Alma Jean Davis, to be the designated pitcher. She had the best arm and was the only one willing to do it.
Now the pertinent part of the story. We also had organized little league that played our games on the field next to the high school. Just past right field was a stone gazebo with a tile roof. We often hung out there until the coaches came with the equipment. I was almost the first one there and if it was raining, the only one there.
I would gather my glove and bat at home, raining or not, and make the four block walk to the field. When it was raining, my mother would say, “You know there won’t be a game today.” I’d answer, in my most respectful manner, “You don’t know that for sure.” There was a four-way stop within yards of the gazebo. In fact my cousin David, who batted left-handed, nailed more than a few cars driving through the intersection. Well, while I was standing in the gazebo, rain coming down all around, cars would go by and when they reached their home, any number of them would call my mother and ask, “What’s Jeffery doing in the gazebo? Can’t he see the rain isn’t going to quit? And if it does, the field will be too wet to play.” She’d answer, “I tried to tell him that.” I was either not very bright (quite possible), stubborn or simply didn’t want to give up on a chance to play baseball. I’d like to think it was the latter. I think that was the beginning of my looking for a silver lining in every cloud, even rain clouds.
Update – Well, today, for the first time I had treatment number three in the cycle of three. It was a great birthday present. I’m off next week and meet with my Oncologist, Dr. Loehrer, on the 16th and start the next treatment cycle that morning. I’m often asked if I have any idea how the treatments are going. I have no idea but with great medicine and everyone’s prayers, I can only hope for the best. If I have any doubt about the power of prayer, I need only to remember that God is the only reason I’ve made it this far.
Stay Strong and keep on keepin’ on with your thoughts and prayers!