Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Angel Visions

January 31, 2007

I am up extra early this morning it is about 4:30am. I woke with the choking unable to breath sensation. All part of the sleep apnea I suppose. I don’t wake with the same panic I used to but it still wakes me up pretty good. I am so lucky to have the luxury of being able to nap through the day.

Yesterday was a good day, I had my thick head on and off for most of the day but not to bad. something seems to be affecting my balance. I have actually fallen but often find myself doing the little stumble step thing or grabbing on to something. I have to almost laugh as I say this but I hope if I do fall I am smart or lucky enough to find somewhere soft to land. Back before they put me on the medication for the epilepsy, I fell 4 different times. Now wouldn’t you think even just the law of averages would say that at least one of the 4 times I would land on something soft. Nope. Finding myself with my face on the floor of a public washroom had to be the worst. Yuk.

Yesterday, I wrote about visions and dreams. I received several comments on that, all of which I appreciate. One memtioned how it seems we are reluctant to talk of such things until the time is right. That seems to be so true, but so sad at the same time. Now I never have had the priviledge or the honor of having an Angel appear to me or speak directly to me or anything like that. I wonder though, if such a miraculous event were to happen, would I have the courage to shout it to the world. At such an event I should be shouting it to the world “I saw an Angel” or “an Angel gave me a message and this is what it is”. I really do think I would be telling the world or at least anyone that would listen. But then I think, if I heard anyone else saying exactly the same thing, my mind would be full of doubt. I might think that person was either dreaming, hallucinating or even just plain crazy. If I were the one delivering the message I am sure many would think the same of me.

If such a miraculous event were to happen to me, at the time I am sure I would be just bursting with love, joy, happiness…. But then at some point my human mind is going to kick into gear. Would I begin to question what I had seen? My human mind trying to rationalize it, I must have been dreaming. I do believe in Angels, but of all the people in the world, I can’t believe an Angel would chose me. I must have been dreaming. I must have been dreaming so I am not going to go out and make a fool of myself in front of all those other people. Why would I care what so many others may think? I suppose that is one of those special events that you really don’t know how you will react until you actually experience it, if indeed you are so fortunate

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Dreams/Visions

January 31, 2007

Yesterday was a good day. I certainly got my share of sleep. It seems no matter how much sleep I get I am always tired. Each time I sleep it seems to be getting longer and longer. It was after 10am when I woke this morning, totally unlike me at any time in my past. I really think I am going to start using the alarm clock, I am sleeping to much of my life away.

A couple of days ago I invited questions anyone may have about this whole process I am going through. I received a question from Mimi. The question was, as your life on this earth draws to a close do you see visions? Good question.

To this point I can’t say that I have had any visions. But I do firmly believe that I will, as will everyone. I am not sure if it will be in the final hours or maybe even just in the final moments before passing. But I believe that at that time we all will. As our physcial life is ebbing away and we are sort of teetering on the edge of the physcial and spiritual worlds, we will be able to some extent to see into both worlds. What I will see obviously I really don’t, I just know I will see something or someone. An Angel, the spirit of my mother maybe a light. There will be something to guide me on that journey to Heaven. I think as we near passing it will be like standing in a door way. From that position we can see a little of both rooms.

In my heart I believe it will be more than just a light. I do not believe I will make that final journey alone. There will be someone or something there to guide me. To put it in terms of the physical world. I see it would be comparable to setting out on a long drive in your car. You know what your destination is, but you have never been there before and are driving over unfamiliar roads. There will be road signs along the way that will ultimately lead there. But, wouldn’t the trip be so much easier and more enjoyable if you had a companion along, that knew the way.

So visions no, but I have had several dreams or at least I think they were dreams, very confusing and hard really to tell. First off it is very rare that I can remember my dreams. Maybe it is because Vi and I talked about them right after I woke up, that I can remember these. When I say confusing, I don’t mean confusing as in some wild outlandish dream that just doesn’t make sense. No, these were very simple very short. In each case it was as if I awoke in my own bed to see people standing either at the foot of my bed or beside my bed. Twice my mother was standing at the side of the bed just smiling down at me and I think it was twice there were 4 strangers standing at the foot of the bed just smiling at me. Each time I saw them my reaction was just sort of ahh, isn’t that nice. This is the confusing part wouldn’t you think even in a dream seeing strangers standing at the foot of your bed is going to alarm you. It didn’t.

It is almost ironic or something looking back now. It was after these dreams that I actually did have someone standing at the side of my bed. This was an intruder that broke into the house while I was asleep. He came in and actually stole my watch of the bed side table, so here he was literally at my bedside and I slept right through it all.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – My Journal

January 30, 2007

Yesterday was a pretty good day. In fact it was very nice as it turned into a mini family reunion for me with several of my cousins leaving comments. Hello to all.

The last few days I have been thinking more and more about my blog. Well not really so much about the journal itself as the response I have had to it. Words like surprised, shocked and amazed come to mind. It seems to have grown so far past evenmy wildest expectations or hopes. Oh, the wonderful response I have received and from literally all over the world. I really knew nothing of blogging and didn’t know what to expect maybe one or two hits a week. Other than maybe family how many people could there be that would be interested in my life or thoughts. But here I am just over 4 months later and almost 22,000 hits.

I really do treat this as my daily journal. I don’t proof read anything I have written and it is only recently at Vi’s suggestion have I started using the spell checker. Maybe, I was just to lazy to go back and proof read, I don’t know. But I rationalized it as this is my journal, who proof reads their own journal. Plus, I suppose I was a little afraid if I reread it and started changing sentence structure or what ever it might start to change the message or thoughts I was trying to convey. As it is everything is straight from my heart my thoughts of the moment. These thoughts could come from anywhere, from something I read in the newspaper, saw on TV or often from the wording people typed into their seach engines on the internet that led them to my site.

Someday maybe I will write about how I sort of accidentally came across blogging, maybe I have already, just don’t remember. Through my banking career and all the typing and keyboarding I have done. I have long since realized I can type faster than I can write and my typing usually can be read while my hand writing sometimes is more difficult to decipher.

When I first started to hear the big “D” word from the doctors it sent me into a bit of a tail spin. It took me quite a while to get used to that idea and to come to a level of acceptance. During this period I did a lot of reading on death, dying and the after life. Through this period 4 separate ideas came to me, it just took me a while to put them together.

Idea or thought #1. I have read and heard from so many different sources that journaling can be very helpful even therapeutic. (it really is). Therapy or just an outlet for some of my feeling was something I needed and still do. I can type faster than I can write so on the computer seemed the best way.

#2. With all my reading I discovered an all to common theme in so many of the articles. So many people expressed fears, concerns, worries what ever about talking to a dying person. Often to the point they were actually avoiding the person. My thought was how sad, how silly, do I ever wish I could talk to that person.

#3. Maybe this is a little egotistical of me I don’t know. I suppose reality hit me with the birth of my grand daughter Sage. Here is this wonderful little girl that I love so much and she is so young she will not even remember me. By writing a lot of my thoughts at least she will have an idea of who I was. It is not as if I think my words or thoughts are important or anything like that. It is just my grandparents died when I was fairly young and I actually have very few memories of them. For me anyway it would be interesting to be able to read of their inner thoughts and feelings to really learn who they were. So for what its worth I am passing this on to my children and grandchildren.

#4. I spend a lot of time now looking back and reflecting on my life. With the exception of my 2 wonderful daughters, I don’t see that I have made any contribution to this world. I thought maybe, just maybe by openly sharing my journal I could help someone out there. Show that yes, at first it may seem ackward talking to a dying loved one but it is not something to be afraid of or be avoided. My health may have changed but I am still me. You don’t have to be afraid of me or avoid me, I am still the same person I was last week or last year. Lets continue to enjoy the time we have together.

I started my daily journal, not knowing what I was really doing and still don’t. All I can say for sure is, it has never been intended as a poor me and never will be

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Early School

January 29, 2007

Yesterday was a day that just flew by. Sleeping most of the day will do that. Vi, bless her heart, lets me sleep until I wake up on my own. I am going to have to ask her to start waking me up after about 2 hours. I am literally sleeping my life away and I really don’t want to do that.

Yesterday, I received a very nice surprise when I received comments from Carol, Lori and Ken all cousins of mine. It brought back into mind the importance of keeping in contact or reestablishing contact with those dear to you. I can’t really remember with any certainty but I think I have written about maintaining contact or reestablishing contact with those dear to you. Here I find myself guilty of not doing that very thing.

Most of my early years, well up until the end of grade 4 I grew up on a farm just outside of Swan River. My 3 uncles also had farms very close by. So I think there was quite a strong connection between all of the kids (cousins). That was back in the days of the one room school house. Each district had its own little one room school house for grades 1 – 8 after that you were taken by bus into Swan River for high school.

Lancaster was the name of our little school. Based on numbers, the Howdle clan dominated the school. I am sure it must have been about 3/4 of the entire student body were my cousins. Mind you the entire student body was maybe about 30 kids, but I was always related to most of them. You never really had a problem at any time that there wasn’t an older and bigger cousin there ready to step in and help. The camaraderie seemed to extend beyond the family ties. Everyone irregardless of the grade level always seemed willing to help each other. Of course there were the little spats etc that will happen anywhere but things seemed to always work themselves out.

I have to marvel at the teachers in those little one room school houses. Now I am not trying to take anything away from the teachers today. They face a very challenging job under very challenging conditions and do an excellent job. I admire and applaud everyone of them.

I think of those teachers back then everyday teaching every subject to 8 different classes. For me that was an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. It did have what I considered to be disadvantages at the time. When the teacher got to my grade I was it. I was the entire grade one and then grade two, three and four class. There was no trying to hide behind another student hoping her questions would go to someone else. I was it.

Then there was always the walk to and from school. My walk was relatively short compared to many. I suppose mine walk must have been close to 2/3 of a mile. Ray and Bev, their walks must have been something in the area of 3 miles. Obviously there was no bus service, walking was just an accepted fact. I think back to some of those cold Canadian winters and just sort of shake my head. It is strange or I suppose good how things have changed, at least for some parts of the world. Today even just the walk to school would be considered so harsh and unfair. Back then it was just accepted as the way things were. Here is more information than anyone really wants to know. Back then everyone used an unheated outdoor biffy (outhouse) both at home and at school. Believe me when you had to do some business and the temperature is about -35, you do it quickly.

I just realized I have some of those “old timer” stories I can tell my kids and grandchildren. You know the type of stories every parent likes to tell their kids. Naturally, I will have to embellish it a little, it will be something like.

You kids today don’t know how lucky you have it. When I was a kid I had to walk to and from school. The walk was atleast 5 miles each way and uphile both ways. I waded through snow up to my waist bare foot and wearing nothing but my fathers pajamas.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Tired

January 28, 2007

Yesterday was a pretty good day but a different day. Different in that I felt strangely restless. My mind seemed to be racing at a million miles an hour in a hundred different directions all at the same time, little memories or thoughts from the past just coming from seemingly no where. Tried my meditations but couldn’t even really start to get into it. Spent my ususal nap times lying down but couldn’t sleep. Today, I am back to the thick headed feeling. It is harder to concentrate or even think straight. How strange is it that I now seem more comfortable or at peace when I am like this? Oh, well no big deal so I am a little more tired today, I will simply nap a little longer.

I wrote that at about 8:00 am this morning. I did manage to catch up on my sleep it seems. My morning nap was about 8 hours. Not sure, does it still qualify as a nap when it is that long? Having a really lazy evening just watching TV, can’t seem to get my self going, oh well there is always tomorrow.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – My Way

January 26, 2007

Yesterday was an OK day, not one of my best but not one of what I call my bad days. Evening was wonderful, my daughter Shauna and hubby Jake stopped by for a visit. They spent the night and left this morning. They had to be up early and left so quietly, not wanting to disturb our sleep, I didn’t even hear them.

Vi and I were talking the other day and it really got me thinking. My appetite has really dropped. I am now eating about 1/2 of what I would have say even a year ago. But, I am not loosing any weight. I am going to have to mention this to the doctor the next time I see him I think it must one of two things. I have had thyroid problems in the past, could it be under active again, reducing my metabolism. Or, with the heart failure am I just retaining more fluid, that just offsets any real weight loss. Don’t know, will have to find out.

I suppose it is natural that as I spend more time just thinking and reflecting back on my life and even on the world in general, different types of thoughts pop into my head. I suppose that shows my thinking process has changed or something. Even the mere fact, that I will just sit and think back, is different from what it has been at times in the past. At different periods of my life there were times when I purposely kept my self so busy that I wouldn’t have time to think about my life. I suppose that showed a lack of internal strength on my part. To me, my life was in chaos and I almost seemed to be frozen in time not knowing what to do or where to turn. I to often took the easy way by not even allowing myself to think of my life at the time. Don’t think, avoid the pain.

I look back today, with I suppose is my “new mindset” and see each of those situations differently. Today, is all the hurt and pain gone? No, and maybe never will be. I can look back now and learn more from those mistakes or events, than sadly I did at the time. I now see each was just one small dot on the overall picture of my life. Each individual dot has brought me to be the person I am today. I am content with that, I am content and happy with my life today. Who is to know, maybe if even one small thing had happened differently in my past, my life, my thinking today could be different.

I even feel kind of silly, thinking of how everyday I prayed asking for God will to be done in my life. Yet I fought so hard or felt so hurt when my will didn’t prevail.

I look around me and see so many people getting upset over what really are inconsequential little things. Sometimes it is almost like I would like to go and just give them a good shake, and say. Stop and think, think of the precious moments in life you are wasting being upset. We have to few of these moments and there will come a day when you regret those moments wasted. But, I look back and realize if someone would have said that to me a couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have listened. I would have been to busy dealing with the issues of the moment. To busy, to wrapped up in one small dot in the overall picture.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – My belief in God

January 26, 2007

I have commented many times on how I appreciate all comments and of how I read and reread them all. I have thought different times of inviting people to just ask me any questions they may have of me. This thought was brought to mind again yesterday with a comment I received from “justordinary”. I am receptive to any questions and would do my best to answer based on my own thoughts and experiences. I am not a doctor and would be reluctant to go into the medical area beyond my own symptoms. If anyone has questions please feel free to ask away.

This brings me back to the question asked by justordinary. Have I always believed in God? Simple answer is yes, always. I have never had a great awakening or anything like that, I can only imagine it was my mother’s thoughts and teachings that gave me this belief. I must have been very very young as I can’t actually remember any time in which she spoke of it. It is just a strong belief I have always carried with me. We were not what I would consider to be a religious family and never went to Church except for weddings and funerals. It wasn’t until the arrival of my children and wanting them to go to Sunday School that I began to attend church. I can not say that going to Church strengthened my beliefs, but I suppose more organized them.

I am embarassed to admit but even with the knowledge of our Father in Heaven and of having Jesus at my side for the majority of my life, I did things my way. I knew what best for me. As I think now and looking back I realize there was a point where maybe I had an awakening or a realization, I am not sure how to word it. This was back before my serious health problems had actually begun. I was in the midst of a major life crisis. I was going through what for me was a very painful divorce. I was depressed, felt lost, realizing my life wasn’t going at all the way I had envisioned or planned. I came to the realization that doing things “my way” wasn’t giving me the life I wanted so desperately. Slowly I turned to my faith and started putting my beliefs into practice instead of just having them tucked away some where in the back of my mind.

Reality came as a bit of a shock to me. I actually had thought I was “a good practicing Christian”. I mean I then was going to Church regularly, I prayed. I mean what more could I do. I suppose maybe I was taking it for granted. I knew God was there and he would take care of me. When I prayed I realized I was just mumbling a bunch of words out of habit or out of the feeling that is what I should do, with no real thought of meaning to them.

I found as I slowly truely turned to my faith instead of just paying lip service to it, my life began to change. I always believed God was with me and he was. Always there willing and waiting to help. I just had to turn to him and be willing to accept that help.The more I turned to my faith the more my life began to change. Now, I just think, man, would my life have been so much easier so much better if I had just done that 30 years earlier.

I suppose it could be said I moved the beliefs I have always had, from just in my head, to being in my heart. As my health has declined, I can’t describe the peace that has brought me.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Supported through life

January 24, 2007

It is amazing how fast a day can go by. Sleeping almost all of the day does help to make it pass quickly. Yesterday, was such a day for me. I was only awake for maybe 3 0r 4 hours and that time was spread through the day an hour here and an hour there.

By evening I was starting to feel better and we had company drop in. Hal and Lois came by. A very nice couple and we share a few nice hours and companionship. Hal was my room mate a few years ago during one of my hospitalizations. Our friendship was one of those that started immediately upon meeting. Hal is such a good sport he was on the receiving end of one of the practical jokes I love to play. I got my hands on an adult sized diaper, poured water and smeared peanut butter on the inside. I hid it under his bed where the nurses would be sure to find it. I spoke to one of the nurses in advance letting her in on my little “plan”. She played along perfectly. I will never forget the look of surprise on poor Hal’s face when she pulled the stained, wet diaper from under his bed. Hal you are such a great guy and such a good sport. I am very grateful I got to met both you and Lois and to now be able to consider you friends.

I find now that as I have all this time to look back on and really think about my life, I can see a pattern. At the time I did not realize or appreciate it as it is only now I can see it. This memory of mine can be a little questionable. But, of the times that I can remember someone has always stepped up and been there for me. Here I am talking only in this physical world. I know I have the Good Lord always watching over me and that I have Jesus in my heart and by my side always.

What words can I use here to really express what I am trying to say. I believe the Good Lord is a very loving, kind and supportive Father. He is busy weaving the tapestry or over all picture of my life. He can see the big picture while I am limited to seeing only one event or one thread of the tapestry at a time. Within that tapestry are threads of many different colors. I am really not sure if the different colours represent the different types of events that happen or if they represent the different ways in which I reacted to these events.

My point is God can see the whole picture of my life while I am limited to seeing only the individual thread of the tapestry that I am living at that moment. As He is skillfully weaving the tapestry of my life He is doing the same for everyone. At times through His wisdom, He may choose to inter weave or connect the tapestries and someone new comes into my life. While I so often didn’t see it at the time I now realize each of those interconnections was for my greater good, when looking at the overall picture. Help and support is always there for us if we just realize, recognize and take it.

Lets take my meeting Hal as an example. I was in the hospital and I knew I would be there for at least a week. I really didn’t want to be there and was not happy about it. I was in a semi private room and could have had a really crabby room mate and spent a miserable week. But instead the good Lord chose at that time to interconnect the tapestry of my life with that of Hal’s. The week turned out to be one of the most enjoyable of my life.

Am I trying to imply I think Hal is an Angel or something, NO. Sorry Hal, I do think you are a great guy but Angel material, nah.  Do I think he was Heaven sent, in a way I suppose yes. I believe the Heavenly Father chose at that time to interconnect the tapestries of our lives. Many will laugh and say just coincidence. Who is to know for sure, I suppose it could be. If it was a coincidence I can look back over my life and see I have a lot of the same type of coincidences happen

Dying Man’s Daily Journal

January 24, 2007

Yesterday was a pretty good day, it is so nice to have Vi home. I had a lot of my thick head feeling going on. Today is starting off the same way it seems. This thick head feeling as I call it makes it so difficult to concentrate or even think straight. I am so lucky I no longer have to go to work, maybe the bank is even luckier. If I was there, at work now and trying to decide on whether or not to give out a loan or mortgage it could be terrible.

Usually I try and do my writing in the mornings but here is 3:30pm. I have slept virtually the whole day.

I must be doing wild and crazy things in dreamland as I wake up feeling either just as, or even more tired than I was when I laid down. To bad I can’t remember my dreams. lol.

Had to take a break, it is now 5:00pm. I don’t think I am going to be able to write to much today.

Thank you to everyone that leaves a comment. I read and reread everyone, they are so appreciated. So thank you to everyone, I am sorry I haven’t been able to respond to each individually as I would like.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Weekend

January 22, 2007

This weekend was an especially good one. Physically I didn’t always feel so good but other things that happened more than made up for that.

My brother Robin arrived Friday night with his two sons Trent and Travis. They spent the weekend and it was a very nice visit. Robin and I really had a chance to talk. We talked about everything from dying to all the major issues in the world. Our talks were on a “deeper” level than normal. I think talking like that even brought us closer as it gave us a better understanding of each other. At least I know it did that for me.

It was nice have my 2 nephews around. Trent the older of the two is a true master of the video games. It seemed to only take him a few minutes to really catch on to new games and easily out do any levels I had achieved. Trent if you ever read this, picture me tipping my hat to you. Your are the man.

Now Travis is 6 and is just bubbling over with the excitement of life. He takes such great joy in just being himself, it is almost contagious, his excited chatter and good mood just lifts the mood of the whole room.

Robin, Debbie and the boys live in Dauphin which is about a 3 1/2 hour drive from here. So I don’t get to see them as often as I would like. When they leave each time, each farewell seems a little more touching or meaningful. I suppose it is we have come to realize each farewell may be our last.

Then came the second high light of my weekend. Vi got home. She has been in Thompson for the past couple of weeks. She has been spending time with family and helping to welcome new grandson Seth into the world. I can’t really tell you how nice it is to have her home.

A realization has really come to me as I am sitting here typing. In my mind anyway, I think it may give me a better understanding of why I react as I do to certain situations. I have never reread any of my own postings and with my memory I am never really sure from one day to the next what I have written. Now I am sure I wrote about her leaving back when she actually left, but haven’t really mentioned it since.

I don’t know is that a coping mechanism? If I don’t allow myself to think about her being gone, I don’t miss her as much and don’t feel so lonely. Now I know in the overall big picture of my life the fact that Vi was phyically absent for 2 weeks could be seen as a pretty small event. I mean we talked on the phone at least once every day. But now as I look back over my whole life, I realize, with the exception of the birth of my 2 daughters ever event has been pretty small when taken in context of the big picture.

I have to give this a lot of thought, am I talking the talk but not walking the walk. I believe in being open and honest about your feelings. I found I was purposely not allowing myself to even think of Vi being away. If I didn’t really think of it or I suppose to some extent even acknowledge it, I spared myself the lonely feelings.

I realize, Vi being gone for 2 weeks is pretty small compared to what so many others are facing on a day by day basis. But, in theory could this help to explain, or help me to understand why so many people will avoid contact with the dying.Maybe it is even on a subconscious level, I don’t know. But if I don’t allow myself to even think of the passing of a loved one, I don’t have to allow the feelings of hurt, grief and sadness to enter my mind. If I visit with or talk to a dying person, it suddenly becomes so much more difficult to keep those painful thoughts out of my mind. Easy answer is, if I ignor them I don’t have to face my feelings. How really sad for everyone. The sharing of so much quality time missed out on.

My brother Robin told me of a very sad he knew of. It related to the passing of the wife of a good friend of his. I did not have the pleasure of personlly knowing this lady, but he spoke of her very highly. She was very popular, well liked and loved by all. Tragically, she was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Suddenly, she went from the very popular person, who’s company everyone sought, to a person many avoided. Both her and her family to some extent felt abandoned. They faced a time of great sorrow and to some extent the strong net work of support they had always enjoyed in easier times, seemed to evaporate before their eyes. So sad.