Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Hits

February 27, 2007

I am always curious about everyone that reads the journal. I just noticed 6 more hits will put it over the 33,000 mark. Could any who read please check the hits and if you are #33,000 please let me know. Just a curiosity thing of mine. Hey I will even offer a big prize. OK, well it is just a hug from me and you have to come and get it. But I am a pretty big guy so that is what makes it a big prize haha

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Neighbors

February 26, 2007

The past few days have been really special with a visit from my Aunt and cousin. Cousin Carol left yesterday afternoon to spend one night with her mother-in-law who also lives here in the city. We were blessed when Aunt Isabel changed other plans to spend the evening and last night with us again. Carol will be returning about lunch time to pick up her mother, for the ladies to begin the long drive back to Swan River. It is about a 6 hour drive. Forecast is calling for periods of snow. I hope they can make the entire trip in daylight, so much easier to see and drive through the snow in day light.

Aunt Isabel, cousin Carol there really are no words I can find to thank you for your visit. You always have been, still are and always will be a blessing in my life and in the lives of everyone you meet. Thank you from both Vi and myself.

To all you cousins out there, I have some bragging rights. In our own little 2 person crib tournament I laid a whooping on her. Although, I am sure she may not admit to this, but I do think she was taking it a little easy on me, maybe feeding my crib a little etc.. But, hey I will take my victories where I can get them. Our final game, which we declared to be for the “championship of the whole world”, was different. She turned the tables and laid the whooping on me. She is a pretty sharp lady. Based on the results of our “very official” cribbage tournament Isabel Howdle is reigning world champion. I always appreciate all comments from everyone. Each day I eagerly check the computer several times just to see if any comment has been left. I am always so excited and appreciative of each and every comment. Now, to the Howdle clan that have left comments over the past few days, during your mothers visit. I thank each and everyone of you. Each comment I printed off to take and show Aunt Isabel, I think she enjoyed them almost as much as I did.

I had meant to comment yesterday, but memory guy here forgot. Our neighbor hood is usually a very quiet, peaceful, safe place. I can not imagine why but over the past about year or maybe year and a half young vandals have decided to pick on one particular house. This is the home of a very nice elderly couple. This has been an ongoing problem for them, but I think it is 3 times maybe even 4 times over the past several months they have had to replace their huge front window. Which vandals have broken, throwing rocks, ice or what ever. It happened again on Friday. This time was a little different.

Now this is where I am not really sure if I have the whole story straight in my head. Now I know I have written about our young neighbors Art (our benefactor with the snow blower) and Lisa, who currently have Lisa’s brother Garry staying with them. Big kudos to all. Lisa being observant enough and caring enough about the neighbors noticed a group of 4, one of whom picked up a piece of ice, which was quickly again thrown at the window. On being called, hubby Art and brother Garry were immediately our the door and the foot chase began. It is here I am not exactly sure of the details or sequence of events other than Art was able to catch 2 of them and turn them over to the police. Way to go Art, you are my hero. I know I can speak for the whole neighborhood, when I say thank you Art, Lisa and Garry. Thank you for being the wonderful neighbors you are and for caring enough to get involved and come to the aid of a neighbor. The world would be such a wonderful place if it had more people like you. Thank you.

We are so lucky to have such kind wonderful people all around us. The latch to the gate in our back yard fence was broken a while ago in a very strong wind. A day or two ago we suddenly notice somehow the latch had magically fixed itself. This we discovered was due to the generosity and kindness or another neighbor, Peter. Peter is a retired gentleman that spend his time helping neighbors. No matter what the project you may have on the go, Peter is always there offering his assistance ready and willing to help. Thank you Peter for the many many things you have done for us.

I admit we were very fortunate to move into a neighbor hood full of such nice and wonderful people. But I think if people really stop and look around they will see their own neighbor hoods are not all that much different, full of wonderful people. It is a real shame we have somehow become so busy and so private in our lives we are missing out on so much. Knowing and sharing with the wonderful people around us. Really how much effort does it take to just chat and get to know a neighbor.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Maintaining Contact

February 25, 2007

Woke up early this morning with the choking unable to breathe sensation. I am still not sure if this is from the heart failure or the sleep apnea. I am going to talk to the cardiologist when I see him in a couple of weeks.

The past few days with my Aunt and cousin here have been so very nice. I have been sort of hoping for a huge Manitoba blizzard to hit and “trap” them here for a few more days. Their visit has really made me realize or I suppose stop and think about something I have known all along. I am a very lucky man to have the family I do. I have written about Vi, my daughters, brothers and step children but it does go beyond that. My Aunt and so many wonderful cousins are all such a blessing in my life. Some might ask how can you consider someone to be a blessing in you life when you haven’t seen them or even talked to them in years. The answer to that is easy. Just the knowledge they are there, makes live so much better. You CAN be comforted with just the knowledge that someone is there.

This is something I have know all along, but I suppose is one of those things you just take for granted. I don’t know how many times I have thought over the years, it would be so nice to just go for a visit. Reality is most now live quite a distance and it varies anywhere between a 6 and a 14 hour drive to get there. That obviously makes a day or even weekend trip impossible. Then some how as we all do, I got caught up in the treadmill of life and always thought next year I am going to have to plan my vacation time to make that trip. As life changes and our busy lives continue the thoughts about and plans for that visit always were for next year and then the next year and so on.

I was obviously taking life for granted. Taking for granted the fact, my cousins, my family in general, and special friends always still will be there, so there is always next year. It seems when you get into that mind set, next week, next month or next year never comes. It remains some illusive time planned for the future.

Keep in mind the thought, that free advise is usually worth about as much as you pay for it. But for what it is worth I am offering mine anyway. Firstly, obviously don’t allow yourself to loose contact with those special to you. If you have reestablish that contact ASAP. It will be worth it, I am sure you will find you haven’t lost the bond or the friendship, the contact is all that has been lost . What I am sure you will find is you are instead, today without even realizing it, missing out on the quality of the bond or friendship that was always there, that you just never took the time to realize, appreciate or take advantage of.

I hear the ladies starting to move around upstairs so I am going to enjoy what ever time I have left with them.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Howdle Relatives

February 25, 2007

We have been having a great visit with my Aunt Isabel and cousin Carol. They have been reading this blog and the comments on it. The following is a direct message from the 2 special ladies, directed at all the relatives out there:

– Glad to see that at least some of you are awake and listening to your mother’s orders…”Keep up on the blog.”

– Cinderella – you get that house cleaned before the wicket aunt and grand mother get home. If that is not possible at least get your car and bedroom done. And get the homework done. Remember the schedule you are to keep. Remember no extra working or time out visiting. Keep your nose to the grindstone!!

-Sherry and John – Glad to hear from you. I think you were smart not to sing out loud. The two ladies are having a terrific visit. Vi and Bill are wonderful hosts and fun to be around. We suggest visits from other kin and relatives.

– Shirley – One of the obedient children. She responds when mummy says. Have a good trip to Calgary. Hello to all the relatives at that and even if they haven’t responded to mother’s orders. The punishment is not Vicks, it’s much worse….so listen up and get busy.

– Ken Howdle – What happened to you? You write Bill and scare the whatever out of him with all your tall stories then you fall off the planet. We are waiting to hear from you. You know that there will be consequences to no replies so get busy

– The Old Dog – I have a wonderful, comfy bed here in Wpg. it’s not crumbling and sloped like my one at home. I’m staying here till they kick me out. There’s plenty of room for you if you care to join us.

Love from “The Two Special ladies”

Attention All Howdles Out There

February 24, 2007

This is a warning to the entire Howdle clan. Aunt Isabel and cousin Carol are quite perturbed that there have been not comments from any family members, responding to my comments on how special they are. Aunt Isabel is sending Carol to the store to stock up on Vicks and I am not sure what. A semi quote from Aunt Isabel “if they aren’t going to repsond to comments about me, I have a home remedy that will fix that”

I would be worried if I were you.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Very Special Day

February 24, 2007

Dealing with the nausea big time today. But today is a day I can push all that aside call it a good day.

We are blessed to have two very wonderful ladies as house guests. My Aunt Isabel and cousin Carol arrived yesterday. Having them here makes even the worst day seem special. I am still planning on writing every day, but if I miss a day, it is because I am enjoying our company. I am so happy and greatful to them for taking the time to come.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Having your priorities in order

February 23, 2007

Yesterday started off with a lot of nausea. I have found the perfect way to get past that feeling, go to sleep. It was another day I virtually slept away. It was early evening before I was really up and about. Felt much better.

Both Vi and I are excited today. My Aunt Isabel and cousin Carol are coming to visit for a few days. Really looking forward to it. My cousin, Ken, left quite a funny comment a few days ago about this up coming visit by his mother and sister. He joked about (warning me, lol) of his mother’s various home remedies for anything and everything that may bother you. Dear Aunt Isabel, if you happen to read this before heading out on the highway today. I am feeling extra, extra super wonderful, there is no need to bring any of your home remedies. lol. Both my aunt and cousin Carol are such wonderful ladies just a visit with them will help a lot.

Here in Winnipeg it has snowed quite a bit in the past few days. With the way the wind blows it into snow drifts it is hard to tell how much actually came down. But, it was enough our sidewalks to the house again needed clearing. Another earth Angel appeared. This time it was more difficult, well impossible for him to remain anonymous. Pushing a motorized snow blower is quiet noisy. A big thank you to our very good neighbor Art. Art has often saved ( I was going to say us), but reality is it saved Vi from some heavy shovelling. Art has come to our rescue many times in the few winters we have lived here. A good hearted, nice, kind person. Thank you Art.

I often wonder if sometimes my thoughts here seem disjointed. I usually type a little, save it, come back later type a little more and so on. This is now my 4th sit down at the computer. OK, to keep current, I have to change the stat, this is now my 5th. sit down. One day I am going to have to go back and reread some of my postings. All comments I read and reread but never my own postings. Maybe, it is I am a little afraid to. I know I am not a “writer” and am maybe afraid or be embarrassed to read what I have actually posted. But, then I think this is my journal and try to treat it as such. I can write what I want and how I want.

I have a book “Taking Time To Just Be”, a Helen Exley Giftbook. I find every page to be so inspiring. Initially, I read it from cover to cover now I just open it randomly and read the message or quote for the day. Today’s message:

“Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn” by Elizabeth Lawrence.

I read those words and today they have so much more meaning to me than they would have a couple of years ago. Back then I would have read it and thought, nice saying, telling me to slow down and just enjoy life, but who has the time to do that.

Took another little break and am now back and seem to have lost my train of thought. Will maybe remember and write about it later. But a new thought has come and will just carry on with that. I look back now and realize somewhere along the line I lost control of my life. My life began to control me. I somehow got on the tread mill of life and got carried away with it. Work became way to much of a priority. Every day became rush, rush, rush with never enough time to do anything, but seemingly get through the day. Always get home so tired all I wanted to do was rest to get ready to do it all over again the next day. Some how my life just rushed past.

I love getting email, whether a message, jokes or one of those wise or sentimental messages. I am pretty sure this is where I got this thought. It is of a young mother that did have her priorities straight.

There is a young couple that have a daughter of about 4 years old. The husbands mother comes for a visit of a week or so. The young mother is a stay at home mom. As mother-in-laws do, this particular mother-in-law quickly noticed a large pile of laundry that was clean but needed ironing. Yet to her dismay, her daughter-in-law was out on the lawn having a tea party with her young daughter. Later the mother-in-law unable to hold it in felt she just had to address this or at least talk to her daughter-in-law in the nicest way possible.

The young mothers so RIGHT ON response was, When our little girl grows up, I am sure she will not remember whether or not her clothes were pressed. But, I am sure she will remember our little tea parties and time together. She had here priorities straight.

Big thank you to spell checker today

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – More Kindness

February 21, 2007

The nausea is back big time today. It was the urge or need to throw up that woke me. It was strange in that when I first woke up I already had that “special” taste in my mouth. The “special” taste that comes after you have thrown up. I even went back to check my CPAP mask to see if I had already thrown up into it, but I hadn’t, thankfully.

Vi and I stopped over at my brother Eric’s house yesterday afternoon for a short visit. Lynda is home after her surgery. We just wanted to pop in to see how she was doing and wish her well. We were both glad to see she is doing well.

Kindness, good thoughts and good people just fill this world. The night before, we had a snow fall. I am not sure but it was about 2 or 3 inches. We got home to find our sidewalk in the back yard had already been shovelled. An anonymous act of kindness, from both Vi and I, a big thank you to our anonymous benefactor.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Building Ourselves

February 20, 2007

Yesterday, I felt pretty good for the part of the day that I was awake. I always seem to feel tired and yesterday was another day that I slept most of it away. Vi is starting to get over her cold and says she is feeling better, but I can see she still isn’t back to her usual self.

I spend so much time reflecting back on my life. I seem to see things so differently now. Via email, I received one of those inspirational type messages. It was the story of a very skilled carpenter that took great pride and care in ensuring every job was done well. After many years of quality work, it reached the point he decided to retire and informed his employer of this. On hearing this his employer practically begged him to build on last house. Out of loyalty and respect for the employer he agreed. But as the construction began it was obvious his heart wasn’t in it. He began taking short cuts, using shoddy materials, putting forth less than his best effort, anything he could to just get through each day. Ultimately, the house was finished, on the outside it looked good and only the carpenter in his heart knew of the inferior work contained within. Upon completion the employer handed the carpenter the keys to the house, gifting it to him in recognition of the years of good work. Now only when it was to late did the carpenter regret the quality of the work he had put into building that house. Only then did he regret, every thing he had done. Things he had done just to make it a little easier to get through a particular day, were coming back to haunt him.

I see this as such a good comparison to life. Our inner selves our true selves are a continual work in progress, constantly, “under construction”. Our bodies are our personal houses. Housing the true us, our spirits contained within, during our time on this earth. Do we want to end up as the carpenter did? Reach our end, with our houses (bodies) looking good or at least OK. But, in our hearts knowing of all the flaws and defective workmanship contained within.

Is it possible to attain perfection, of course not. At least not in this physical world. We are human and as such will always have some internal imperfections. We can though at least try our best. Our every day, every act is one more step in the building of our internal selves. Our every act whether and act of love, kindness, cruelty, deceit or what ever put another brick in place in the construction of our inner selves. Every time we take the easy way over what we may know to be the right way, another brick.

If only we would stop and see the big picture, today is not just today. It is an important day in the building of the true me.

I am feeling very guilty at the moment. Last week, I was the recipient of another act of kindness. Every day, it has been my intent to comment on it and thank Joe and my Norway House friends. Any that know me, know I love fish, pickerel in particular. One day last week there was an unexpected knock at the door. There was Joe, a Norway House friend, with a bag in his hand. He handed me the bag, simply saying “I hear you like fish”. He turned to leave, simple as that. I tried to thank him and invite him into the house. He declined, saying he had come just to drop off the fish and he was gone. Pickerel is a fish abundant in the north for fisherman and is available in stores here but is very expensive. Joe, I thank you, what a kind and so considerate thing to do. I am so sorry for being late in acknowledging you and your kindness.

Norway House is an First Nations Reserve, home of the proud Norway House Cree Nation. I am going to have to journal about my time there.

It is strange, today I had actually had a topic in mind. It was on misguided loyalty, maybe tomorrow we will see.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – God Given Opportunities

February 19, 2007

Had a good weekend. Seemed extra tired but with the luxury of being able to take a nap when ever I want. I took advantage of that and ended up sleeping away more of the weekend than I would have liked to. I have my really thick head feeling going on today, this almost always leads to the nausea. I see the neurologist in a couple of weeks and I am going to have to ask him about this. I am not sure if it is my imagination or what, but it seems like this feeling is more in the left side of my head. I have never been able to feel any distinction between the sides of my head. My head is my head but with this it seems I can. I am sure it is my imagination but still I wonder about the brain tumor at times like this. My brain tumor isn’t something I have written much about. When taken in context with my heart, the tumor seems like pretty small potatoes. Hey, how many people can say that. I have a brain tumor and it isn’t my biggest health issue. It is located in the front on the right hand side. It is in the area that apparently affects personality, judgement and I’m not sure what else. It affects personality, now isn’t that a thought. Maybe the real me is a real jerk and the tumor is some how affecting me, causing me to be a half decent guy.

Poor Vi, didn’t have such a good weekend. A bad chest cold seems to have settled in. The type where it hurts to breathe and with a wicked cough. She is just not feeling well. I hope and pray she is feeling better in the next day or so.

My Aunt Isabel and cousin Carol are coming on Thursday for a visit. I am really looking forward to that. A realization came to me yesterday as I was talking to Carol about the visit. As we Canadians love to do, we talked a little about the weather. Of how their travel plans may change depending on the weather. Winter storms, blizzards are not uncommon at this time of the year. They have about a 6 hour drive to get here, so weather is a consideration. Our conversation reminded or took me back to our younger years. I suppose it is growing up in Canada, that makes these storms seem like a normal part of winter. Back in “the day” when I was younger, more foolish and still thought of myself as being bullet proof, winter driving and storms were never a real consideration. When travel plans were made, they were made, bad weather was just an inconvenience, at times how foolish we were. Our winter storms can be really wicked. It is amazing though how that thinking can change literally over night. As soon as you have kids this whole attitude changes. I suddenly became a whole lot smarter or at least a whole lot more conscious of weather and driving conditions. I still marvel at how much the arrival of a little baby, changed my thinking and my whole life.

Looking back I can now see where God provided me with many life changing opportunities. Sadly, to often I either didn’t see the opportunity at the time, or if I did I either lacked the courage, strength or will to take advantage of it. Only now can I see that with every breath we take, God provides us with the opportunity to change our lives. Every single breath we take, every single moment of our lives can signal a new beginning or the start of a change. Why did it always seem to take a major event, such as the birth of a child, to allow me to see this.

Even just writing this journal is a God given opportunity. Any one of my heart attacks could have taken me out. But here I am still typing away.

I was recently asked how I come up with my ideas for what I write. The fact of the matter is I don’t. I think there are only 2 exceptions to that, both times I was asked a specific question and then I tried in my own way to answer it as best I could. Every other time, when I come to the computer, all I know is I will type a few lines on how I am feeling. After that anything is just off the top of my head or from feelings in my heart.

But I do have a routine or process I follow absolutely every day before I type anything. Beside the desk on a bookcase is a figurine of Jesus. While looking at that figurine of Jesus I say a little prayer asking God to help me find the words that may help or benefit someone today. I am a firm believer in Angels as messengers from God. I ask all the Angels in the Heavens to come to me and guide me also to find something to say that will be meaningful, or helpful to some one.

Ideas just seem to come to my head. Some times those ideas relate to something I read in the newspaper of saw on TV, sometimes they just seem to come. I then say a little pray of thanks and off the message goes.

I am ashamed to admit it but I have thought of writing of my little prayer routine in the past, but have been kind of embarrassed. Now I ask myself why would I possibly be embarrassed about writing about my prayers. I pray often and have written that many times. I realize now, it was more out of fear, fear of what people would think. What if people think I am some nut case trying to pass myself off as some messenger from God? Which is not the case, I have no such lofty or high ideas or aspirations, I am just me. All praise and glory is due to our Heavenly Father.