Clarice James

Smart, Fun, Relatable Fiction

Finding Kissing Spots

37 Comments

Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.  Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. ~ Psalm 85-10-11 (NIV)

Often, while walking behind my husband when he was seated on our couch, I’d stop and kiss his bald spot and say, “There’s a tiny kissing spot right there just for me.”

We both knew it hadn’t been tiny for quite a while. For some unknown reason it began expanding soon after we got married. I don’t have a scientific explanation, but I’m convinced it has something to do with climate change.

Anyway, when my husband was first diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in January, about the third thing I said was, “Hey! Do you think you’ll lose your hair?” I’m sensitive like that.

David responded matter-of-factly, “Probably.”

My face lit up. “You know what that means? I’ll have more kissing spots.”

David responded matter-of-factly, “Probably.”

I waited patiently. His hair didn’t fall out as fast as we assumed it would. Expecting it to happen after his second round of chemo, he had the nurse give him a buzz cut, but it remained fuzzy, then grew back. Then, two weeks after his third round of chemo —voila!—his head was as soft as pudding. (Well, not his whole head, just his scalp. Actually, I’ve never felt pudding, but you know what I mean.) Now I had a multitude of spots to choose from and I have kissed them all!

two heads sized

Can you say “good sport”? This is David in January then May.

I started to think about that term “kissing spot.” It was my positive way of looking at a negative situation. It reminded me of the joke, “While the optimist argued with the pessimist, the opportunist drank the water.” I wondered what other “kissing spots” I could find in the midst of this experience. I found a great example in my husband.

Every time . . .

  • a doctor or nurse practitioner reported test results—whether good or bad—he thanked them.
  • a person spent time with him, they left smiling.
  • a member of the housekeeping staff swept under his bad and emptied his trash, he told them how much he appreciated it.
  • a staff member changed her hair or wore something colorful, he complimented them.
  • a cafeteria worker brought him a meal, no matter how tasteless it looked to me, he acted excited and said, “Oh, yum!”
  • a group of med students rounded with the doctors, they left chuckling at one of his witty comments.
  • a nurse hooked him up to his rolling IV dance partner for a bag of platelets, packed red cells, or antibiotics, he thanked them.

    IV Stand

    David’s on and off dancing partner for the past 4 months.

He’d found their kissing spots. Now I needed to do the same.

In addition to his hospital room, I spent much of my time at the hotel, in shuttle buses, and trying to navigate my way from Dana-Farber to Brigham & Women’s. I saw a variety of people in various situations.

I thanked . . .

  • the young man walking by the hotel who lifted my heavy suitcases out of my car and put them onto the luggage cart.
  • the desk clerk who programmed my new cell phone’s GPS so I could find my way back to the hospital.
  • the two women who gave me a ride when I missed the last morning hospital shuttle.
  • the van and bus drivers who got me where I needed to go so I didn’t have to fight traffic.
  • every hospital volunteer or staff member who recognized the dumb look on my face and pointed me in the right direction–more than once.
  • the gifted hotel housekeeping staff whose kindness and consideration I will never  forget.
  • my son Chris, his wife Diana, my daughter Erin, and her husband Chris for helping me prepare my house for David’s homecoming.

It was my privilege to . . .

darn collecting 2

David’s sister, Darleen, beautiful inside and out.

  • spend quality time with David’s sister, Darleen, who donated her matching stem cells to her big brother.
  • pray with a woman who’d been told her husband was only a few days from Heaven.
  • get a smile from a little, bald girl when I told her her light–up pink sneakers were so cool.
  • listen as an immigrant father of two, a hotel guest, bragged about his children’s achievements since their move to the States.
  • tell a woman how well David was doing the day before she herself was due to have the same type of stem cell transplant.
  • spend hours with a patient who never whined or complained but exhibited a settled faith, patience, kindness, and peace through it all–my husband.

I learned something else. You won’t find kissing spots unless you’re looking for them. Don’t worry, they’re not hard to find. God puts them all around us.

kindness act.gif

 

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37 thoughts on “Finding Kissing Spots

  1. Beautiful and touching, Clarice. Thank you.

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  2. That was beautiful and brought a tear to my eye… I love your writing! I also love the photo of all the kissing spots on Uncle David’s head! What a great reminder….. Love you!

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  3. One of the best posts I’ve ever read, Clarice, from anyone. Very moving and very well done. (I’m gonna pucker up and go find a couple. 🙂 )

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  4. Brilliant, Clarice. I’m so proud of you and David.

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  5. –Love this story. I’ll never look at my hubby’s balding head in the same way again.

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    • Hard to get that picture out of your mind, right, Elsie?

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    • Clarice,
      What a wonderful example of looking at life in a way that is pleasing to God. We are praying for you! Hmmm
      bigger kissing spot that’s a great way of looking at bald. And we know bald, it’s not a bad thing! You are a remarkable couple, and we enjoy your prayer requests “with your name on them” It helps to know what you
      would like us to pray! Thank you!

      Alicia and Bob Luszey

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  6. Such a lovely way to think of the emotional circumstances of yours and David’s life. Really shows how beautiful your love is for each other. Thank you for letting us into your lives this way. Keeping you both in my prayers.

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  7. Ahhh…. you put me in the zone to “be still and know that He IS God”. Thank you.

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  8. What a night God we serve😘💟

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  9. You both are an inspiration.

    Had a surprise guest at my class today. All the way from Maine. Sandra Allen Lovelace Do you know her well? She wants me to go to Maine to give her some coaching.

    love you, girl. Keep pressing on with the Joy of the Lord. catrina > Catrina Welch > Author, Speaker, Image- and Life-coach

    > > > > Which of the six styles of feminine beauty are you? > To learn your Img.ID or find my books and blog, please visit my website at http://www.CatrinaWelch.com > > Also, I’d love to connect with you! > You can find me on: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Catrina-Welch-Author-Speaker/248738035171495 https://twitter.com/catrinawelch https://www.linkedin.com/in/catrinawelch https://www.pinterest.com/catwelch/ https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7259490.Catrina_Welch

    >

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  10. Thanks so much.  It’s something I needed to hear.  Love, Phyllis

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  11. Dear Clarice,

    Enjoy those Kissing Spots. I have just read a lot of what is on your emails. You are a fabulous writer. I realy enjoyed it. I hope that you and David have a wonderful Sunday for I love you both hugely. Darleen and Peter and Sarah and family are planing a short visit with me today—–my 95th!!

    Lots of LUV

    Dad

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  12. Hey Clarice,

    I attended the workshop put on by Catrina Welch on Saturday. Folks kept asking me how I heard about it and YOU are the answer. 🙂

    I honor your decision to concentrate on your writing and now on your Honey, but when Catrina and I were together at the event, it was easy to miss the New England Authors Meet & Greet where we met. 😀

    May the LORD continue to reveal kissing spots galore. Amen

    In The Lamb, Sandra

    Sandra Allen Lovelace Speaker. Writer. Pursuer. Latest title, Children in Church: Nurturing Hearts of Worship Director, Lifework Forum Blogger, Sandra Allen Lovelace

    Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

    This message is private and confidential. If you have received this message in error, please notify us and remove it from your system.

    >

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    • Catrina wrote to me and told me she met you. We went to church together for years. Love that girl! I plan to go to the NECWR at Gordon College in June. Maybe I’ll see you then? Putting my husband first has been easy because he sure is worth it! Doesn’t mean I don’t miss all my writing friends and activities.

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  13. Clarice,

    I should have opened this at home – I got teary.

    Absolutely beautiful.

    Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. – Col. 3:12

    Sheryl

    Sheryl J. Kall
    Credentialing Coordinator

    Foundation Medical Partners
    Provider Services
    268 Main St. | Nashua, NH 03060
    p 603.577.2780 | f 603.577.5674
    e sheryl.kall@snhhs.org

    [SNHH_NETWORK]

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  14. Wow. Your words always touch me, Clarice. Thank you. And blessings on David and you.

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    • While my words “touch you” another friend wrote, “Awesome post, Clarice. I’m just trying to figure out which photo would make the best cover for your next book, the comic novel about a weird serial kisser.”

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  15. Awesome post, Clarice. I’m just trying to figure out which photo would make the best cover for your next books, the comic novel about a weird serial kisser.

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  16. Thank you for sharing your journey with us, Clarice. Courage everywhere, and so much to be thankful for.

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  17. Wow!!🙀🙀🙀
    Profound, inspiring, brimming with the imagery of Jesus. Very moving!! We really do have more choices in life than I choose to believe. The choice to see Him walking along side at all times.
    Thank you both for your transparency in your walk of Faith.
    😘 Susan

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  18. Clarice and David,  As always your account of your lives brings joy, insight, and laughs!!!!  Thank you so much for showing the beauty and surprise of Kissing Spots.  We are so glad that things are working out so well for you.   It would be good to see you this summer when we go through NH on our way to and from Maine, but I know that visiting wouldn’t be such a good idea.  Besides, one never knows what awful things South Carolina cooties may carry.  Today we put Dee Stiles on the plane back to NH.  She and Bob were down for a visit, but he had to leave earlier.  A blast as you can imagine.  Actually, we’ve had LOTS of company this spring with more to come later–including our daughter who will visit in AUG.  YEAH!!!  I’m going to Charleston, SC tomorrow to meet up with a friend I worked with in the Red Cross.  We were also roommates in Houston.  I am truly looking forward to this.  Bob is well; I think he’ll probably enjoy the peace and quiet.  That’s it from Greer.  With LOVE,  Ellen

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  19. Thank you for sharing your journey. I’ve been reading, not responding, only based on busyness. This one I wanted to save and read in my downtime. The “kissing spots” reminds me to be thankful at all times, to love at all times, that God can do anything at any time to show us his unconditional love, and we in turn must do the same.

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