My Life and My Death

A Priest Confronts His Cancer

Jeffrey T. Simmons

Sep/2004, 157 Pages, PAPERBACK, 5 x 7

ISBN-13: 9780898694451

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"My greatest teacher has been my cancer," says the author in his story of faith as he faces death. But the author never goes too far in the direction of becoming "touchy-feely" with his illness. In fact, he refers to his cancer as being of the devil, yet he never dwells too long in this application either. There is humor but never too much. There is some "preaching" about people with grudges against God but never too much. Instead he tells us, step by step, how he learned of his cancer, how he learned that his cancer was worse than originally thought, how he came to bond with his doctor, how he came to accept the stages of disintegration of his body. The author's main work here is to find ways to bring us unbearable tidings about sickness and dying in ways that, with God, are bearable.

The Rev. Jeffrey Simmons served several parishes in the Diocese of Long Island and one parish in Illinois after becoming an Episcopal priest in 1973. At the time of his death in 2002, he was chaplain to the St. Mary's Convent in Peekskill, New York. His wife Beverly, who figures so prominently in the story of Jeffrey's life and death, lives in Long Island, where she works as a church musician. Jeffrey's brother Stephen, who was instrumental in getting this story published, is a Presbyterian minister.

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