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Contributed by Jim Nelson, consultant to CAIRE Inc. ~

We all have times when we get all over contemplative. Thoughts come over us unbidden, sweeping us along into melancholy places, thoughts of our lives and the progression toward the concerns of old age. If you are a writer, as I am, you must eventually talk of it. This piece was written on one beautiful afternoon at a beach in Mexico. Somehow, the act of writing helped me deal with the reality that I am growing older.

We talk so much about attitude, about maintaining a positive outlook toward our situation. Truly, it is amazing to observe the difference it makes in our quality of life. We all know those who simply refuse to see the possibilities of the positive. In my opinion, it is those people who fear death the most … who are terrified by the approaching shadow.

The Shadow on the Water

By Jim Nelson

When we are new in our lives, we run along the beach and splash in the water, laughing simply for the joy of it.

The sun warms us. The sky is deep blue and unblemished by clouds.

The tides come and go as they always have, obeying laws so powerful that we can do nothing but accept them.

Later, we walk the edge of the water. We pause and marvel at the gifts of the tides. We see clouds on the horizon, but they are far away and of no concern.

Still later, we sit in the sun and watch the young ones play, their parents walking hand in hand. We study the clouds, knowing.

Finally, we recognize the movement, the approach of the darkness on the water. We feel a bit of discomfort as the breeze changes.

As the sun fades, there is a moment of fear, of loss, of despair for the warm days, the blue skies, but there is also something else. There is a knowing that the clouds must eventually come, that we must all eventually feel the loss, the chill.

Deep down, there is also a knowing that the clouds will pass, that the renewed sun on the water will be brighter and more spectacular than ever before.

And the tides come and go as they always have.


Love you all …

~ Uncle Jim

Jim Nelson is a double lung transplant recipient and a patient advocate for COPD patients throughout the U.S. and around the world. He and his wife, Mary, are well known patient advocates and brand ambassadors for those organizations who tirelessly endeavor to help those individuals who suffer from a variety of respiratory diseases and the caregivers who support them.  

If you have been prescribed oxygen therapy, learn more about CAIRE by visiting or calling 1-877-704-0878 to talk to an oxygen advisor. When using any oxygen therapy device please consult the applicable product instructions for use for product indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and detailed safety information.