Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver here on American Family Radio.
This is Peter Rosberger. Glad that you're with us. Hopeforthecaregiver.com.
Hopeforthecaregiver.com. I wanted to run something by you all. See what you think. I saw this the other day on social media. I worked my back on it, kind of did, but I thought it was just a, all right, let me just back up.
Let me just tell you what happened, and then see what you think. This individual does some stuff for caregivers and put out a little blurb that says, hey, tell yourself that you're a good caregiver. Repeat after me, tell yourself you're a good caregiver. And I thought about that a lot.
I thought, is that really what we need to do is give ourselves that kind of participation trophy? you know, I'm a good caregiver. Do we have any evidence to back that up? And is that something that means something to us as caregivers? And so I wanted to ask you about it. What do you think about that? Because what it said to me was it's trying to affirm, but is that, and I appreciate the sentiment behind that, but as caregivers, is that really what we're looking for is affirmation from others? I mean, when somebody comes up to you and says, oh man, you're a really good caregiver. What, how do you respond to that? What do you say?
What are your thoughts on that? Are you saying, do you blow them off and just say, no, no, I mean, well, or do you say thank you or, or, you know, what, how do you handle that? And it got me thinking a lot about this because, you know, people come up to us all the time with, if you've been doing this any kind of length of time as a caregiver, particularly through tough things, they don't know what to say. So they'll say things like, oh, you're gonna, you're stored up treasures in heaven. Are you gonna get crowns in heaven? And I remember coming home one day for the dentist and Gracie had to get some crowns and she was over there just kind of, you know, feeling how these things felt in her mouth now that she got them. She's running her tongue over her teeth and she looked at me, she said, do you have any crowns? And I said, not in this life, but I'm assured I'll get them in the next. She didn't think it was nearly as funny as I did. But I wasn't implying that this is why I'm doing it.
In fact, it's almost a little bit on the insulting side to me when they come up and say, oh, you're gonna get crowns in heaven. For what? This is my wife. I'm taking care of her as I said I would. I don't always do it very well and I have lots of failures. I told you guys, I think that my new book comes out in May, but my next book, I think I'm gonna write, it's called Cringe, My Life as a Caregiver.
I just cringe over stuff. And I'm not doing this so that other people or myself will somehow validate my existence. Now it's taken me a long time to understand this because at the onset of this journey as a caregiver for me, I was under the mistaken impression that I had to prove myself worthy.
And I'll give you an example. I may have shared this on the program before, but it bears repeating. I went through Gracie. Gracie had a surgery in May of 1986.
This was the first one I was gonna go through. They were gonna fuse her ankle. They were trying to save her ankle at the time.
She ended up, of course, losing both legs, but they were trying to save it. And I was gonna go through the surgery with her and her young fiance, nobody really knows who I am. From her side of the family, a lot of her friends, I mean, I'm kind of new to the scene. So how's this skinny kid from South Carolina gonna do?
I'm not skinny by the way anymore, sadly. But I didn't spend a lot of time growing up around doctors. I didn't know a lot of things. And there were several of us gathered there and Gracie's family. And then I had some family members there in Nashville and then some in-laws of one of my family members came over. Now, I'm not related to them, but I've known them for a long time and they showed up.
Didn't ask them to, but they did. And so the doctor comes out afterwards and said surgery was very successful and she's gonna be in recovery for a while, so just take a break. Well, he said take a break. There wasn't anything I could do.
So I went and saw a movie. Well, you cannot imagine the outcry, the gnashing of teeth, the clutched pearls of these people, of this one lady. Again, I am not related to this woman. And this one lady decided she wanted to opine on how I just wasn't up to the task.
And I did not know this. And a friend who was there observing this pulled me aside and said, you might wanna be aware of what was going on. And so I had to work hard to prove to people that I wasn't related to and some people that I ended up would be related to and I had to prove hard to them that I would be able to take care of Gracie. I was 22, okay. Now, here I am 37 years later and I guess I showed them, didn't I?
But at what cost? Many of the terrible failures that I've had in my life were directly connected to the amount of pressure I put on myself to be perfect at this, to be the best caregiver that I could be. Not necessarily the best husband, not necessarily the best person but I checked all the boxes because I thought that was what was expected of me. So when people try to affirm me in that role, I bristle on that. I mean, I'm just being transparent with you guys.
I mean, I bristle with that. I'm not looking to be affirmed as a caregiver. In fact, I'm not looking for people's affirmation at all on this because I know that they are not seeing the whole picture. The only affirmation I need is from God, saying, hey, you know what? I know you're not up to this, but I'm gonna equip you and do it through you. And one day I will get all the affirmation that I could ever dream for, to hear him say, well done, good and faithful servant. But there's a lot of work between now and then.
There's a lot of sanctification needs to happen. And so I'm not looking to artificially inflate the self-worth component of myself or fellow caregivers, because I don't think that's helpful. It doesn't do anything for me. So if, and maybe it does something for you, and I'm not here to cast asparagus at anybody.
I know it's supposed to be casting aspersions, but I just say cast asparagus. I'm just asking, is that something that you really want? Do you want people to come up and say, wow, you're gonna get a lot of crowns in heaven. Wow, you're a good caregiver. Or do you want them to say, you know what? I see how heavy this is on you. I remember being asked one time years ago, my reporter said, well, what do you say to a caregiver? And I said, well, why don't you start off with, I see you and I see the magnitude of what you carry. And then maybe add, and I hurt with you. When you start off with that, it's a lot different than saying, hey, repeat after me, I'm a good caregiver.
And I'm not meaning to knock the guy. I just felt like that was a bit shallow, that that's not really where caregivers live. And if you are living there, chances are you hadn't been a caregiver long enough, because that is not sustaining at all.
Nobody, I mean, that's like, it is, it's like getting a participation trophy. I think when it comes to us as caregivers, having people see us and recognize the magnitude of these things, like I said, to see the magnitude of what this is, being very specific, being very intentional, and not just using broad brush platitudes, but to see somebody. And that's one of the things I started doing on this program would be very direct when I asked people, how are you doing? What's going on with you?
How are you holding up? I can't tell you that I'm a good caregiver. I'm good at a lot of things that I do, but I've been doing it for a long time. And I don't know that I would boast that I was a good caregiver. That doesn't really hold a lot of meaning to me.
I want to be responsible and be a good steward and take care of Gracie to the best of my abilities. And some people may say that about me, but that's not something I aspire to say about myself. And that's not something I aspire for other people to say. And I'm curious if you feel the same way. I appreciate people that see me and recognize the difficulty in what I carry.
But I don't want to wallow in it. Gracie and I live our life and we live it with the challenges we have. Maybe if I put it this way, it's like, you know, somebody comes up to Gracie and says, oh, I'm so sorry, you're an amputee. Well, she's been an amputee for over 30 years. She's made peace with this and she's learned to live a life.
What she would rather people say is something to the effect of, tell me about your prostheses. These are fascinating pieces of equipment. How do they work together? These are amazing pieces of equipment.
How do they work for you? What are some of the challenges you've had? You know, see the specificity, see the intentionality of this. Then you're engaging her and you're not saying, oh, I'm so sorry. She's made peace with this. Engaging people in their challenges is, that's where relationships happen.
That's where you have substantive conversations. Empty platitude or I'm so sorry for you, you know, that kind of stuff. When you meet Gracie, for example, it's sad what has happened to her. It breaks my heart sometimes to see the struggle she goes through. But let me tell you something, she's not pitiful.
My wife is a force of nature. So if I come at her with pity or I feel bad for you, that kind of stuff, you know, all that kind of stuff, that doesn't do much for her. But if I come to her and just affirm the extraordinary strength that sustains her throughout the day, to talk about that, to say, how does your faith connect with this? What is your understanding of God's provision in your journey? What do you know that I need to know that sustains you?
All of a sudden now we're having a different kind of conversation. And that's what I think caregivers want as well. We don't want platitudes. We don't want pity.
We want to be engaged. We want to be able to have meaningful discussions and see principles at work as we get stronger and healthier in this journey. We're not going to feel better about the challenges we have. That's not the goal though, is to feel better about it. The goal is to be better.
And we're going to talk more about that when we come back. This is Peter Rosenberg and this is Hope for the Caregiver. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberg at Hopeforthecaregiver.com.
Hopeforthecaregiver.com. We're talking about ways to talk to caregivers and things that people do because it sounds meaningful and it sounds affirming and touchy-feely, all those kinds of things. But do you really want stuff that sounds like a bad Hallmark card said to you as a caregiver? Does that help you? Does that strengthen you?
Does that equip you to face another day? Or do you want something more specific? Do you want the intentionality? And I would suggest to you that most of us as caregivers want that specific, that intentionality of somebody who is paying attention to what's going on.
I'll give you an example. And this is from my new book. And each chapter in the book is only 200 words and a quote. I specifically did this because it's called A Minute for Caregivers.
This will come out in May. And it's called A Minute for Caregivers. You can read it in one minute.
I'm going to tell you one of the chapters, but I'll probably go longer than one minute, OK? But just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about, this is something that happened many years ago. Gracie was in the hospital there in Nashville. And I'd been staying around the clock. I had to come home and do some laundry. The kids were with grandparents.
And this is when the boys were little. I came home to do some laundry. And I got a call from some friends of ours who lived around the corner. And they said, swing by on your way back to the hospital.
We have something for you. I said, OK. So I got everything done. And I went over there, knocked on the door. And they welcomed me in. And they ushered me to the kitchen table. And at the kitchen table, there was one place setting. It was a bowl of soup, vegetable beef, and some cornbread, a big old slab of cornbread, and some iced tea.
I think I've shared some of this with some of you all before. But you could have fixed a better meal for me. And I tried to make conversation. They said, just eat.
Just sit here and be still and eat. And they went on to say, look, Gracie's got people that are caring for her, and she's safe. Your children have people that are caring for them.
They're with their grandparents. They're safe. And now you sit down and you eat. We're going to watch over you.
You're safe. I didn't know how to respond other than just say thank you and eat. And I asked for seconds. It was a good bowl of soup. And I got up to leave.
And they both hugged me. And they said, you have a lot to do now, but do it on a full stomach knowing that you're loved. And I think this is what strikes me every time I hear people trying to speak to caregivers.
It's not that complicated. Sometimes it's just a bowl of soup and a kind word, but it's done with thought and intentionality, that you really see what the core need is. And I'm reminded of this passage in scripture in 1 Kings 19. The angel of God came back and shook him, Elijah, awake again. Now, Elijah was on his way out to the encounter with God, to that still small voice.
It was right after the whole thing went down with the prophets of Baal. And he had this huge victory. And then he found out Jezebel was looking for him. So he's running out in the wilderness.
And he's got a long ways to go. And he basically just fell asleep, just passed out. He was so tired. And the angel of God came back and shook him. He said, get up.
And the angel had food there prepared. He said, get up. Eat some more. You've got a long journey ahead of you.
And I thought, wow, that's what these people did for me. Get up. Eat some more.
You've got a long journey ahead of you. And I think when we recognize that in each other, and we see that with intentionality, not with the idea that I'm just going to say something that's going to try to make you feel better or give you a nice sentiment. And no, it just doesn't suffice. I'd rather people say nothing at all, and then just maybe just take my hand. And I go back to what I learned about the sitting shiva.
When you have in the Jewish faith, when somebody passes away, they have a sitting shiva, S-H-I-V-A. And it's OK to go and be with them, but it's not OK to talk to them. That person sitting in the room, as you go in there and sit, but you don't talk to them, they talk to you first. Then it's OK, however, to respond at that point to whatever they've asked or said. But now you can initiate a nonverbal communication.
Where it's not appropriate to initiate a verbal one, you can initiate a nonverbal one, which is to take their hand in yours and then put your hand over the top of it. And that assures them that you are there, you are present, that you are with them. It's very assuring.
And this is what we look for as caregivers. We look for assurance, not compliments. We look for presence. Not present, like a gift, but presence, being with us. And isn't this what God assures us throughout scripture? I am with you always, even into the end of the age.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me. You know, Christ in us, the hope of glory, that presence with us, that we are not abandoned, we are not alone. We don't need compliments.
We need assurance. If it was compliments that we needed, scripture would be filled with God giving us compliments. But if you notice, that's not the case. But scripture is filled with God giving us assurance and communicating to us that He sees us in our distress and provides for us. And it doesn't always come the way we'd like it. In fact, rarely does it.
But that doesn't mean it's not exactly what we need. And that couple demonstrated that to me. What I needed was not a big old fancy meal. What I needed was something simple that felt homey, that felt on a heart level. I didn't need them to tell me that I was a good caregiver. I needed for them to tell me that they saw me and they saw the need and they wanted to do something that brought comfort.
And they did. They spoke to the need. This is the way I feel that we can change in the way we communicate with each other in our distress, that we're not surfacing, that we're intentional about this, that we're pointed even. People have told me over the years, when I see people in various states, whether the caregiver or whether the patient, whether somebody with disabilities, whatever, they sometimes marvel that I just boldly walk in and start talking with them.
Well, why shouldn't I? That's not anything special about me. I've lived with somebody with severe challenges for a lifetime. But I also watched my father doing this growing up. He never shied away from just talking with people and getting to know them, spending time with them. And so when I see people with whatever afflictions going on, I want to communicate to them the same way I want people to communicate to me.
I want them to see me and I want to see them. And ultimately, this is what God does with us. He sees us.
He's the God who sees. Do you remember where that came from? Way back in Genesis, where Hagar was saved from this. She was put out of the camp, and she was in all of her distress about this.
And Sarah was mad at her, and it was just a big mess that they got into. But the angel of the Lord appeared, and she referred to God as the God who sees, Jehovah El Roy. I believe that's how you pronounce it in the Hebrew, the God who sees me. As we walk longer with the Lord, and as His sanctification and His works are accomplished in our lives greater than when we started this journey, would it not make more sense that we would mirror and reflect that character of God that sees people in their distress? Would that not be consistent with scripture? When we recognize that our Savior is one who sees, and you could go back and look at different places in scripture where Jesus saw, He perceived, and you look through all of scripture where even Moses, when he's out there at Mount Sinai in the burning bush, and God says, I have heard the afflictions of my people.
Their cry has come out. God is referred to as hearing. Now, God is a spirit, but He uses words, these anthropomorphic words that we understand, because it's the only language we can understand. We can't understand God in His language. He condescends to us.
As Calvin said, God lisp for us. He purposely lowers Himself so that we can understand. That's what it meant to condescend to us when Jesus came. And so God is stooping to us in our distress. He stoops to our level, because we cannot come to Him.
But as we are emissaries of God, of the Kingdom of God as believers, would it not make more sense that we go into other people's misery, seeing it, not removed, not standing on one side of the fence and lobbing supplies over there? That's what happens sometimes when we lob compliments at people from a distance, but it's not connecting. It's nice to hear, thank you. But as a pianist, for example, I'm at that point in my career as a pianist, I'm not playing for applause. I appreciate applause. I appreciate when people say that I do a good job playing the piano, but I'm playing for. What I really wanted to do is create understanding of the text. So if I'm playing a hymn for you, I really want you to understand what that text means and how sustaining it could be. That's a level of intentionality that is very important to me.
And I see that as consistent in scripture where God is very specific and very intentional. And as the people of God, are we as well with one another? Are we responding to one another in such a manner that we are speaking to the very core need? So this couple that provided soup and cornbread and tea for me recognized the core need, that I needed a quiet place. I needed to feel safe. I needed to feel noticed, seen, understood. And I had a core need. I just needed a quiet meal. And they said, now go. You've got a lot of work to do, but go do it on a full stomach and knowing that you're loved. And they equipped me to resume my journey and to resume the task at hand. As a caregiver, as a husband, this is the body of Christ at work.
And that is hope for the caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger. We'll be right back. ["No Matter What May Come My Way"] ["No Matter What May Come My Way"] Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver here on American Family Radio.
This is Peter Rosenberger. So glad that you're with us. That is my wife, Gracie. And I tell you, she's a force of nature. Listen to the conviction as she says, my life is in your hands. That's assurance. That is deep-seated faith that says, you know what? I see the stuff that's happening to me.
I see it for what it is, but I see something else. I see His hand of mercy. I hear His voice of cheer.
And just the time I need Him, He's always near. He lives. Gracie lives. Christ Jesus lives today. Isn't that a great hymn?
When Gracie sings, it's that kind of conviction. Speaking of that, I want to go back to what we were talking about in the last block of that assurance. And I want to drive home the point with one more story from my new book that'll be out in May. I'm just giving you guys a preview of it.
But this one addresses that assurance issue as well. You ever listen to talk radio, cable news, when they have a panel, you know, like the Brady Bunch heads, you know, they're all, but they're all talking at each other, over each other, and they are rushing to argue, but not to understand one another. I've got to get my point in, and it's almost like it's, you know, it's a cage match. And the voices become what I call, you know, just a wall of noise.
I didn't coin that phrase, that was Phil Spector, but it applies here. And I don't know about you, but when that starts happening, I just change the channel. I'm not going to listen to people just screaming at each other on television.
That's pointless. You know, if we're annoyed by talking heads shouting over politics, imagine the unsettledness of those with cognitive issues as they are engaging in or listening to arguments. When you deal with somebody with an impairment, all kinds of subjects fly into the conversation from, you know, seeing things not there to recalling things inaccurately, it's pointless though to argue when there's cognitive impairment or decline. Even in the presence of brilliant oratory, no matter how good you think you may be able to communicate, the impairment still wins the battle. You can't fight dementia. You can't fight a foggy brain due to painkillers or alcohol.
You can't fight autism. We talked about that other block about the weather, but you might as well fight the weather. Rather than pointlessly escalating blood pressure, tensions quickly diffuse when assuring instead of arguing. Being right is a poor substitute for being there. And just like all of us, people with cognitive issues, they find themselves unsettled in the midst of that kind of craziness, but they don't have the skills to process those circumstances or problems. The human condition eventually leads us into places of fear and confusion where we desperately need assurance and make no mistakes. We will all mirror or experience similar effects with our own wall of noise, our own issues that we cannot understand. So you would think that we would develop a little compassion for those who are struggling in their distress cognitively, whether it's self-inflicted or whether it's disease or whatever.
It doesn't matter. If somebody's having a hard time understanding, we don't argue them into understanding. You assure them into it. Otherwise, what we'll have is we'll have people out in front of the Supreme Court screaming at one another on whether or not abortion's wrong. Nobody's listening. They're just screaming at each other. Or sometimes people are sitting there praying while the other person's screaming or whatever. But we're not getting through.
What is the core need? Is it to argue our way into heaven? Has anybody ever been argued into salvation that you know of?
I'm not familiar with anybody who's been argued into salvation. It's not what we're called to do. We don't have to get into these pitched battles with people, but we can provide assurance. You know, we're going to discover along the way that when we offer assurance, we ourselves are being assured. We're reminding ourselves of these great truths that we depend upon. So when Gracie sings that song, for example, she's not singing to an audience. She's making a declarative statement.
This is her planting a flag on that hill. My life is in your hands. I know that I can stand.
No matter what may come my way, my life is in your hands. She's not here to argue that point with anyone. This is her Ebenezer, if you will. Here I plant my Ebenezer. This is where she plants her faith, knowing that God will bring this to pass. And every time she says it or sings it, it strengthens her heart.
Now what does that for you? What hymn? What scripture verse? What speaks to your heart that same way to give you that fortitude to endure? To not argue, but to affirm, to not contend, but to say with conviction, here's where I stand. Luther said this, I cannot choose but adhere to the word of God, which has possession of my conscience, nor can I possibly, nor will I even make any recantations, since it is neither safe nor honest to act contrary to conscience.
Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise, so help me God, amen. It was a powerful moment to make that declaration. And so when we are trying to argue with somebody, even if we're right, arguing is not going to win the day. And I don't have to prove someone wrong in order for me to be right. The way we learn is not being shouted at. The way we learn is asking better questions. Now this would become known as the Socratic method, because that's how Socrates taught. But that started long before Socrates.
Go back and look at Job. Job wanted to contend with God. He wanted to argue his case. And God showed up and the world went and said, where were you?
He just asked a bunch of questions, where were you? The questions then become the teachable moment. But you don't have to fight with this.
And so when you have somebody in your life who is cognitively impaired, whether through senility and dementia, Alzheimer's, whatever, they've had a stroke or whatever, it doesn't matter what the drugs or alcohol. There is no point for us to turn this into some type of screaming match that says, hey, if I yell louder, if I use more words, maybe you'll understand. Maybe they can't understand, or at least not right now. And maybe there are times when you and I can't understand. How do we want people to treat us?
What does that look like for us? And I would suggest to you that we would rather people ask us pointed questions that are born out of insight and knowledge and understanding, not out of an argumentative behavior. And this is just, again, something that I wanted to address in my book and then certainly on this show, because this is how we can live more peacefully in this craziness. We don't have to keep ourselves riled up.
And I would love to tell you that I've never done these things, but you know good and well that I have. And that I have been arguing since I was a child, my parents will confirm that, I have argued with teachers, I've argued with, I didn't need anybody to argue with. I just argue just to be argumentative. And I lost so many of these things because I was trying to force a subject. I was trying to force my will into something. And when you try to force an issue, you're going to end up becoming disoriented, becoming tankerous, just on edge. All of those things are going to reflect in your personality as you try to argue.
How do I know this? Because this has been my life and you just stay keyed up about it. And it's pointless to do so. We don't need to do so. Otherwise we're going to look like, just like those talking heads on cable news.
And nobody wants that. And you know, Reagan said this, this is a great quote from Ronald Reagan, peace is not absence of conflict because we're always going to have conflict. Peace is not absence of conflict. It is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means. Is that something worthy of us to aspire to?
I mean, as caregivers, can we handle the conflict with peaceful means? Can we be the person that deescalates, that diffuses, that assures rather than argues? Can we be the one that sees more value in being present than being right? I believe that scripture affirms that that's a higher calling for us, a higher view of what God has asked us to do.
He never asks us to argue with people to try to berate them into salvation as if we could. Try to make them see it our way as if we could, particularly when they are impaired. And I think for us as caregivers, for us as believers, that learning to see from their perspective so that we can better communicate the gospel to where they are, just like someone did for us and does for us. And that's the whole purpose of all of this, is to comfort one another with the same comfort that we ourselves have received. And that is hope for the caregiver.
This is Peter Roseburger. We'll see you next time. You've heard me talk about Standing with Hope over the years. This is the prosthetic limb ministry that Gracie envisioned after losing both of her legs. Part of that outreach is our prosthetic limb recycling program. Did you know that prosthetic limbs can be recycled?
No kidding. There is a correctional facility in Arizona that helps us recycle prosthetic limbs. And this facility is run by a group out of Nashville called CoreCivic. We met them over 11 years ago, and they stepped in to help us with this recycling program of taking prostheses and you disassemble them. You take the knee, the foot, the pylon, the tube clamps, the adapters, the screws, the liners, the prosthetic socks, all these things we can reuse, and inmates help us do it. Before CoreCivic came along, I was sitting on the floor at our house or out in the garage and we lived in Nashville, and I had tools everywhere, limbs everywhere, and feet, boxes of them and so forth. And I was doing all this myself, and I'd make the kids help me.
And it got to be too much for me. And so I was very grateful that CoreCivic stepped up and said, look, we are always looking for faith-based programs that are interesting and that give inmates a sense of satisfaction. And we'd love to be a part of this.
And that's what they're doing. And you can see more about that at standingwithhope.com slash recycle. So please help us get the word out that we do recycle prosthetic limbs. We do arms as well, but the majority of amputations are lower limb.
And that's where the focus of Standing With Hope is. That's where Gracie's life is with her lower limb prosthesis. And she's used some of her own limbs in this outreach that she's recycled. I mean, she's been an amputee for over 30 years.
So you go through a lot of legs and parts and other types of materials and you can reuse prosthetic socks and liners if they're in good shape. All of this helps give the gift that keeps on walking. And it goes to this prison in Arizona, where it's such an extraordinary ministry.
Think with that. Inmates volunteering for this. They want to do it.
And they've had amazing times with it. And I've had very moving conversation with the inmates that work in this program. And you can see, again, all of that at standingwithhope.com slash recycle. They're putting together a big shipment right now for us to ship over. We do this pretty regularly throughout the year as inventory rises and they need it badly in Ghana. So please, go out to standingwithhope.com slash recycle and get the word out and help us do more. If you want to offset some of the shipping, you can always go to the giving page and be a part of what we're doing there.
We're purchasing material in Ghana that they have to use that can't be recycled. We're shipping over stuff that can be. And we're doing all of this to lift others up and to point them to Christ. And that's the whole purpose of everything that we do. And that is why Gracie and I continue to be standing with hope.
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