Constance Ore is a retired Teacher, Choir Director, and Organist. And a formidable cook.

February 23, 2010

Filed under: — Constance at 12:34 pm on Wednesday, February 24, 2010

This morning there were seven red finches in a row on the topmost branch of the plum bush, all facing me and without a clue how lovely they looked in the sunlight. How bright and fine everything appeared for a change! This was the first day that remained sunny throughout in a very long time.

In a recently acquired book on care and maintenance of orchids, dear Charles read that spraying the plants with Listerine mouthwash will either kill or drive away aphids, white fly, and all other pests. He has taken to this wisdom with his usual vigor, and now, at least once a week, there arises from the greenhouse the scent of great amounts of mouthwash. Who knew how overwhelming that would be? In spite of the cold I fling open the windows and breathe deeply. If the check out people at the store take note of the frequent purchase of multiple bottles of mouthwash by the dignified looking gentleman, do they wonder why he needs so much? And if they asked, would they believe him if he said it was for his orchids?

Today we went to visit the oncologist. The conversation was a very satisfying one, because he answered all sorts of questions that we had likely asked before, but needed to ask again. One concerned the nature of “blasts”. He told us they are infant cells formed in the bone marrow, but not yet designated for the job they are to perform, whether that of the white cells, or red, or other. The cancer causes these useless cells to continue to proliferate, taking up more and more space and causing the body to be unable to create the needed mature cells for it to function correctly. It appears that well over 35% of my blood is given over to blasts now and the number continues to grow.

We visited about all sorts of things, though the question at the core was really “How much longer will I live?” I think this question has been hovering over humanity from the beginning, and we know well that only God knows, but we ask anyway. Jesus says to his disciples, “Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:25-26) It is always the words and wisdom of Scripture and the beauty of the hymns of the faith that carry me onward, so now I become the child again and pray:

“Now the light has gone away; Father, listen while I pray,
Asking Thee to watch and keep And to send me quiet sleep.

Jesus, Savior, wash away All that has been wrong today;
Help me ev’ry day to be Good and gentle, more like Thee.

Let my near and dear ones be Always near and dear to Thee;
Oh, bring me and all I love to Thy happy home above”.


Comment by Heidi Ore

February 24, 2010 @ 1:39 pm


It was a very informative Dr’s visit yesterday – I learn so much when I go.

I really like your blog entry – I have been watching the dawn lighten every day when I’m out walking the dog at 6 am – its coming! I can feel it.

The bible passage is so beautiful and poignant – tough to live by and remember too. I’m printing it out and posting it at my desk.

I just have one other quote I look at every day at my desk – here it is – I hope you like it

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

a return to love – Marianne Williamson

Comment by Dianne Humann

February 24, 2010 @ 11:08 pm

Dear Constance:
You do not know me, but I feel compelled tonight to write to you and tell you that I have been following your blog for a long time and keep you in my prayers constantly. You are an inspiration to those of us who suffer much more minor ailments but probably complain more. Your descriptions of your life and testaments of faith are eloquent and moving. Thank you!

Who am I? I am a graduate of Valparaiso University with majors in music and theology. I am an organist and violinist and have served as music director at Resurrection Lutheran Church in St. Catharines, Ontario for more years than I want to count. My husband, Roger is a retired (sort of) professor at the St. Catharines seminary. He went to school (at Winfield) with Charles.

Roger and I both grew up in Lincoln, but have been in Canada for 42 years. (Actually Roger has been here for 47 years) We are coming to Lincoln in March to visit my parents who are both 90.(during March break – Roger is teaching one course at the seminary this term)

I really want you to know that your wonderful blog is an inspiration to me and, I am sure, others that you do not know about. Keep it up!
In His love and compassion,


Comment by Peter Glawatz

February 25, 2010 @ 2:41 pm

I love the Listerine bit! I actually know that it works, too, due to my having employed its use on my roses for a while now – it’s not only an effective pesticide, but also a gentle, non-toxic fungicide! I do dilute it a tad, so it doesn’t leave the foliage sticky.

My thoughts and best wishes, as always.

Comment by Paula von Kampen

March 2, 2010 @ 7:26 pm

I continue to be amazed at your blogs. Thanks for the strength you give to those who are in the throes of cancer, where ever they may be in their journey. I also admire your humor and interesting sidelights to life with Charles, and your family members. I pray for God to continue to bless you and your family as you write about life.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.