Hanging on to life and hope

I see that my last three posts have all been about books, so this one had better not be.

I did speculate about writing “People I’m Hoping Will Die Soonish,” but well, it might be in bad taste.

This thought was inspired by two people. One was a 95-year-old friend from church, who in fact died last Friday, certainly a merciful release. She had been living unhappily for some time in a nursing home, and frequently expressed frustration to visitors that God hadn’t let her die already.

The other person I was thinking of is a former President of the United State – not perhaps the one you may be thinking of.

Jimmy Carter (born 1926) was President from 1976-80; before that “a peanut farmer from Georgia” and Governor of that state. He was possibly the first self-avowed “born-again Christian” President. His Presidency was not notably successful, and he lost the 1980 election by a landslide to Ronald Reagan. He has the longest post-Presidency in history, which he seems to have spent doing good works on behalf of the poor and homeless, trying to promote peace, and teaching Sunday school.

He married Rosalynn in 1946, and they were a devoted couple until she died last year. Aged 99, he currently resides in a hospice.

I can’t believe that he isn’t ready to die, and it just occurred to me that when he does, the obituaries etc might just remind the world, and especially Americans, that a) Christians can vote Democrat; and b) it is possible for a politician to be an honest, even saintly, human being. (Having checked Wikipedia, he isn’t perfect, but none of us is.)

Maybe his 100th birthday on 1st October 2024, will have a similar effect? One can hope.

Jimmy Carter is a decent man, and I am grateful for him.

At the moment, for reasons you don’t need me to remind you of, it’s sometimes difficult to find things (other than books) to be grateful for.

Sunsets, baby animals, milk chocolate go without saying, but here are a few more, personal to me – you’ll have your own suggestions, of course –

Deciduous trees: beautiful through the year in successive ways

Wikipedia – well, I think so…

The BBC, but I’ve posted on this topic before

A card game called Star Realms and a table-top game called 7 Wonders

The physical sensation of being clean

The smile of someone who’s pleased to see you

Ticking things off to-do lists…

Cheese on toast

Sunlight (or moonlight) shining through clouds

Good health – according to the hero of GK Chesterton’s “The Man Who Was Thursday,” “the most poetical thing in the world is not being sick.”

Soft furry dressing-gowns

Local libraries. Oops, books have sneaked in – but one of my re-discoveries of 2023 was my local library in its two modes of “sort of free bookshop (you don’t get to keep the books, but on the other hand you don’t have to find storage space for them)” and “cheap and warm coffee shop and gathering place.”

Love from the PPI Blogger


1 Comment
  • Stephen Hall

    11th March 2024 at 5:56 pm Reply

    The daughter of a friend of mine met Jimmy Carter and said he was very nice. I think she was doing some work for his foundation.

    Try not to get too down Penny. Some bad things are happening in the World but also some good things, and I expect it was ever thus. I’m sure you’re right to try to focus on the good things.

Post a Comment