Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Purpose in Life

March 30, 2007

Over the past few days I haven’t been all that regular in my postings. Have been enjoying company. I have written about my Aunt and cousins visiting and will I am sure write more in the near future.

Just as everyone was leaving my brother Robin arrived with his 2 boys Trent and Travis. I really can’t tell you how much I am enjoying the family visits and that more family has been visiting of late.

Everyone seemed quite excited about the blog and the success it has been having. Several of my cousins even came on line and did their own postings. They all read the blog so hello to all family, well hello to everyone that may read this.

Over the weekend and particularly in discussions with my brother Robin this morning, I have come to really realize and appreciate how important this blog is to me. To a large extent it has become the main focus of my daily life. It helps me keep going. I suppose giving my life some sort of meaning or purpose.

I think it is true in all stages of life, we need a purpose for being. I have heard so many times of someone working hard all their lives, finally reach retirement and sadly pass away shortly there after. I am not sure but maybe it is because they have lost their purpose for being. I was a banker for over 33 years and suddenly I am not. Being a banker had become part of my identity, part of who I saw myself as being. Suddenly, that is gone and you are left with nothing, no purpose for being. Your whole life as you have known it is suddenly gone.

That is the position I found myself in. My “life” was gone as was a large part of both my physical and mental capacities. All so very frustrating. There is so often an urge or tendency to want to just curl up in a ball and lay in  bed and wait for the “big event”.

I believe, through Divine Intervention I discovered blogging. I started off very hesitantly, but the more I wrote, the more feed back I got, the more it increased in importance in my life. It has progressed to the point where this blog is one of the main reasons I drag my butt out of bed in the mornings.

Over all, I consider my life to be a good life. I am sitting here thinking as I write this. I am sure there are a lot of doctors or who ever will correct me when I say this. To feel full filled or content everyone needs a purpose or a sense of being able to contribute in some way. The blog has become my purpose for being. I now see your purpose for being doesn’t have to be some huge task, in fact it can be anything we chose to make it.

I read some where, happiness doesn’t depend on the cards life deals you. Happiness depends on how you deal with the cards you are dealt.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Bill regains control of Blog

March 27, 2007

To say I had a wonderful weekend is such an understatement. It was so heart warming for me to have family fly in from other provinces or drive hundreds of miles just to come for a visit. Such a wonderful time it was. Aunt Isabel and cousin Shirley are still here but will be leaving this afternoon. As more time is passing the farewells are becoming a little more touching, more emotional as in the back of the mind there is always the lingering thought, this could be our last visit. But then, I think Nah, only the good die young, I am likely to be here forever.

Cousins Gloria and Sherry flew out last evening, returning to Calgary. Spoke to Gloria this morning on the phone, and I am pleased to hear they were met at the airport with flowers. Here on the blog they have been elevated to the status of Queens, so it is only filling their arrival home was duely noted with flowers.

It really is so nice to have more and more family visiting. I appreciate and enjoy every minute. We joke, we reminisce and have just a great time. I am such a lucky man. I am luck and I know it.

I will write more about the weekend in the next few days and more about my cousins. I have always know they to be wonderful, but this weekend I learned so much more. I have so much more to brag about. Example, cousin Gloria being recognized by the City of Calgary for being an Angel. This is something I have always known but it is nice to hear others have finally realized it also.

I will write more later, right now Aunt Isabel is waiting to take me on in cribbage. Now this is a serious, heavy duty game as we ARE playing for the championship of the world.

Robin Wilson, in reply to your comment posted under “about”. Please do feel free to quote anything you may wish from the blog. If you feel it will in any way help or benefit you nursing class, I would be honored to have you quote me.

It is now 3:00pm and I am adding an update to my earlier message. Cousin Aunt Isabel, cousin Carol and hubby Garry, have just left beginning the long drive back to Swan River. We will miss them all. Aunt Isabel is taking with her the title of undisputed Champion of the World, having won our 2 player cribbage tournament. It started as a single game for the title. I soon found myself whining to make it 2 out of 3 as it was for the championship of the World. I quickly realized it should be 3 out of 5 all to no avail as she won that also. So the title has moved to Swan River, woe is me. Well actually I suppose it is back to Swan River as she seems to have won it the last time also. Aunt Isabel I had a great time, but I will get you next time

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Sisters say goodbye

March 27, 2007

Well, it is time to say goodbye!!

WEATHER ALERT IN NORTHERN WINNIPEG – you are about to be hit by a flood of tears!!!  (Sorry- the Howdle sisters are criers)

We came on Friday night, were welcomed with open arms and we have enjoyed every minute — but  now the time has come to say goodbye.  It really seems like we are leaving our closest family members.  Bill and Vi and all the other cousins are truly wonderful people.  It has been an absolute pleasure spending time with them.  Laughter has filled the house.  We have worried about Bill because we didn’t want to wear him out.  He’s been a real trooper having four more women telling him what to do.  Vi has done a great job training him though. LOL.

We would like to overtake the blog just one more time in an attempt to let the world know how much we love and appreciate the time spent here in Winnipeg.  To all of our cousins who came to visit – thank you for taking the time out of your day -and holidays- to meet us.  We had a great time.  The bad news is,  we all leave a little heavier than when we arrived due to Vi and other family members good cooking!!
Thank you Ken for the lovely e-mail.  You’ll be happy to know that Bill was really impressed, and your Mommy read it and was proud as a peacock that her “little boy” wrote such nice words.  Your sisters are impressed as well and we love you lots and  – your welcome.  No thanks needed, but really appreciated.  However, switch off the cap lock and stop yelling at us!! (HA HA)  We had to put up with that enough when we were growing up!!

To the Kings, Dan you will be happy to know that your lovely queen will be arriving back tonight.  I’m sure both your wife and her lovely sister will be greeted with the red carpet and a beautiful bouquet of flowers you have gathered from around your kingdom as a small token of your affection.  Reg will have a few more days to prepare for the arrival of his lovely wife – and of course, Bret can do no wrong, so whatever he does will be perfect.

So, the blog is back to you Bill.  Know that even though we are leaving, we will be faithfully following your blog – not only because we love you, but because we’re worried about what you will be “editing” in/out in our comments.

Lots of Love, Sherry, Gloria, Shirley, and Aunt Isabel

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Howdle Sisters

March 26, 2007

Yes the “Queens” have arrived!! The two special ladies from Swan have also landed with Lori and Garry in tow. We seem to have taken over the place including the blog. This is a daunting task as we do not feel we have the wisdom and insightfulness that Bill possesses so our words will deal with our time here with our wonderful hosts.

We have felt most welcome here since the moment we arrived on Friday night. Bill and Vi are truly warm and caring people and both have an awesome sense of humour. We have covered a lot of ground with memories and stories (some are true, some are questionable), pictures and lots of laughs. Almost all relatives have been discussed. So, for those of you not lucky enough to be here, you can only imagine some of the “secrets” that have been shared.

Yesterday was very enjoyable catching up with Bill’s daughter Shauna and her hubby Jake. Also cousin Eric, his wife Lynda and daughter, Sara blessed us with their company. Today, we are expecting many of the same group plus one more cousin, Marg and her husband, Dale.

While we are all totally enjoying each minute with Bill and Vi and relatives, our youngest sister, Sherry, (the baby girl) is very glad she came. Being that Sherry is a few years younger than us, she was very young the last time she saw Bill and Eric and their children. Her memories were mainly from pictures and stories. It’s hard not to feel like you haven’t known everyone here forever. She has wonderful memories and can now put a face to everyone that she hasn’t seen for years. However, as we walked this morning, she commented that she feels old seeing the “little second cousins” that are all grown up. As we age, we often keep a picture in our mind of how someone looks the last time we saw them, especially children.

Even with all the company and commotion here, Bill comes down and checks up on his “blogging friends” several times a day. He checks the comments and is already looking ahead to see when the 43,000 hit will come! Bill does not give himself enough credit for his insightful postings but we can tell you that he is humbled by the number of people who read his blog, the thoughts and prayers that are shared, and that so many people are moved and affected by his postings.

We are now off to go up and do some more visiting. We will turn this back to Bill when he has a chance to come and record his thoughts. We are sure you miss him as his postings have become an integral part of our days.

As we sign off, we are sorry to tell you that you will not here any wild stories about the Queens or their goings on here because……..what happens in Winnipeg, stays in Winnipeg!

Shirley, Gloria and Sherry

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Happy Birthday Mum

March 23, 2007

Today is a pretty exciting day, a day I have been looking forward to for a while. We have 3 of my special cousins Shirley, Gloria and Sherry, flying in from Alberta for a visit. Plus, cousin Carol and Aunt Isabel are again driving in from Swan River. It is so appreciated the cost, the time and the effort they are all putting in just to come to visit. Thank you all. With this wonderful visit in mind, I may not be on the computer every day, we shall see.

A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my mother. She would today have been 87. So sadly for us, she passed away 15 years ago. Strange, 15 years in someways can seem like forever but in other ways it can seem like it was only yesterday. She spread much joy and light into our lives while here on hearth and some how I can’t help but feel even Heaven is a little better because she is there.

Yesterday, thoughts of death and dying touched me in a special way. Partly, I suppose it may have been, thinking of my mother, her upcoming birthday and her passing. My feelings were enhanced so much when I visited the site of my blog friend Ceeqee (Charles).  I ask all to click on the blog roll, visit his site and leave a few words of support.

Charles writes of the passing of his son through suicide. Reading his words you can feel his pain. I can not imagine any thing worse than the loss of a child. Charles, my heart goes out to you. You are in my heart, thoughts and prayers.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Hospice

March 22, 2007

Hospice is such a wonderful organization. How can you find words to describe how wonderful is an organization and its mostly volunteer group that works specifically to comfort and aide the dying and their families. Such a noble self sacrificing cause. My own dear Vi, is a volunteer for their end of life program. As such that is the part of their organization I am most familiar with.

Last evening we spent a couple of hours at their volunteer appreciation night. Talk about a humbling experience. To find yourself in a large room filled with people that, I can only describe as Angels of Love. I sat so proudly with Vi, knowing she is one of these Angels.

Really, is there any better term you could possibly use to describe these amazing people, Angels of Love. I have written in the past about random acts of kindness and every single act we do is so important in making the world a better place. The regular acts done by these Angels of Love, give a whole new meaning to the very words kindness and love.

So many people, if not maybe even the majority of people are very uncomfortable with thoughts of dying and being around the dying. But then you come across this special group. People that voluntarily put themselves in the position going to regularly visit and spend time with the dying. They each contain such a huge heart, so full of love, they will go specifically to spend time with a terminal patient. They go to just try and be a help or comfort to the patient and family. Dying can be a very lonely business and it is often companionship they provide. Do they do this because they “want” to be around a dying person, for sure not. They do it out of love and compassion, from the goodness of their hearts. They see a person in need, very possibly in the hardest time of their lives. Their hearts lead them to try to comfort and support that person.

How can you really describe such people. The words heroic, loving, generous, selfless, noble………, all come to mind. I was honored to even be allowed into the same room as all of these Angels of love.

Vi, I have always been proud of you but never more so than now. You are my Angel of Love.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Enjoy today

March 21, 2007

Last couple of days have been rather trying. A lot more nausea and throwing up with confused head. Add to that the car being vandalized, problems with my email and there are times when I can border on the edge of poor me territory.

I love receiving comments on the blog or direct email, be they letters, jokes, inspirational messages. I love receiving them but feel bad I am so far behind in replying.

It really is uncanny how, when I need a boost suddenly bang, there is just the message I needed to read. I thank all that have taken the time to leave me a comment or send me an email. You can never really know how much they have helped me and how much I appreciate them.

It helps me face my reality and keep things in a more proper perspective. The actual fact is I am a lucky man. There are so many that have things much worse than I. Wow, I just reread this last couple of lines, have I ever grown or evolved or something over the past few years. If I jump back in time and look at my mind set a few years ago. Then I would have found it really strange or even laughed at the idea. How could anyone that has been told they are dying still feel they are lucky or recognize that others have it worse off. Take that to my thoughts today, have I ever changed.

I am a lucky man in so many ways and I know it. I realize this is where attitude or perspective come in. You can be the luckiest person in the world but if you don’t realize it and appreciate it, it counts for nothing.

I stop and look back now and can see so many times when my life was wonderful. To often, I see now, I didn’t realize or appreciate it at the time. Instead of enjoying the wonders of the present moment, I was to often locked in memories of the past or worries of the future. Focus on life should not be our next goal or vision. Life is what we make of it in the present, while working to the goal.

I read some where, yesterday is nothing but a memory, tomorrow nothing but a dream, today is what we have. Lets live our todays.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Perspective

March 19, 2007

On a day by day basis I can’t really see any change in myself, physically, emotionally or spiritually. Usually, such change takes place so gradually I don’t even realize it is happening. It seems to take the happening of some event for me to gauge the change.

One of those type of events happened a couple of days ago. Our car was broken into. I understand now if you hit the lock mechanism on the door of a car really hard, it will drive it straight into the door and unlock it in the process. We are fortunate that other than the broken door lock, a few scratches around the ignition and the contents of the glove compartment being scattered nothing was damaged.

It is in my reaction to this I can see the change. At times in the past I would have been furious and been upset about it for who knows how long. This time my reaction was different, it was sort of, “huh, isn’t that to bad, I guess this is going to mean a visit to the car insurance”. I then even said a little prayer for who ever did it.

Who ever did it is in need of prayers and help. I think of how sad or even pathetic their lives must be for them to have to resort to this sort of thing. It is like, I can get the lock fixed and everything for me will be back to normal. But this poor person is still “stuck” in their life. When I think about it that way I feel kind of sorry for them. I suppose this ties in with what I wrote about yesterday, separate the deed from the doer. I dislike what they did to our car, but I can’t help but feel sorry for the person. What a sad life they must have to resort to this sort of thing and with this sort of thing going on in their lives today, what can the future hold?

Some thing else I have learn, that is very big for me. By the time I learned of the car, the deed was already done. There was nothing I could do to change that, it was beyond my control. All I could control was how I allowed it to affect me. I could allow myself to get all upset and bothered. By doing that what am I doing? Really, I am just further adding to my own “misery”. I am giving the vandals or would be car thieves further power to hurt me, beyond what they have already done to the car. I would in essence be giving them more power over me. There fore, for my own peace of mind and well being I will not allow myself to get upset.

Plus, I want to thank Kelly, my friend, who’s blog is on my blog roll, West Coast Grrlie Blather. Kelly wrote of a friend who’s car was not only vandalized, it was torched and completely destroyed. Kelly, your post helped me look at our little issue with a little more “proper” perspective and helped me realize over all I am a lucky man.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Deeds vs Doer

March 19, 2007

I have my really groggy head going on this morning. This usually at least in part clears up after a nap. Vi is just bursting with spring time energy. She just loves her flower gardens and is busy planting seeds indoors. We still have about 2 feet of snow so it has to be indoors. Growing from seeds indoors it give the plants a head start on the season. The big window in our living room faces south and has “the best” sun. Soon the floor in there will undoubtedly be covered with flats and various pots. As the little plants grow and the weather improves will begin the task of hauling them all out on to the front step to harden them and them hauling them all back every evening.

Vi is just so full of energy, she has decided to repaint the second spare bedroom. We will be having some very special company this weekend and she want to make it nice. Her brother Henri is coming over to help with a lot of the painting and the 2 of them will do an admirable job. Every good job needs a supervisor and I am going to have to be in top form to fill that role.

Yesterday was March 17th. St Patrick’s Day. I am part Irish and I get to reflect on my proud heritage. Didn’t do any celebrating or at least none that included alcohol. Yesterday, no matter how I tried to avoid it and I did try, became a day of remembering March 17, 1985.

My father passed over on that day. It is hard to believe it is 22 years. This year the thoughts of 22 years ago have bothered me more than most years. In some ways it was my actions, or in-actions and feelings on that day and prior to that day that prompted me to start this journal. Possibly atonement for myself and to help others avoid the mistakes I made and sadly didn’t even realize I had made, until 10/12 years later.

When my father passed, did I feel any sorrow? Now, I am ashamed to admit it but at the time, I only felt relief. I have been trying to find a way to explain the depth of my feelings in some way with out bad mouthing him. I don’t think it is possible to understand  my feelings at that time with out explaining a little of the circumstances at the time. Only by understanding where I was can I explain how far I have come or how my feelings have changed.

My father sadly lost himself in a world of alcohol and subsequent depression. He was in a downward spiral in life.  Some how I lost sight of my father and instead began to see only an harassing drunk. Someone, I saw as seemingly trying to do everything he could to make our lives miserable. Unless you are in that situation you can never really appreciate the depth of the feelings. The words tough love were never thought of but I suppose that was a form of what I tried. No visits, no accepting phone calls when he was drunk. After the first few phone calls that I refused, he got a message to me. The next time I refused to talk to him, he would phone my boss at the Bank to tell him just what an Ass, I was. He did.

It was after years of this that I felt nothing but a sense of relief when he passed. My last conversation with him was very early in the morning of the day before he passed. Our last conversation ended with me hanging up on him.

It is only years later that I realize, I was not separating the deeds from the doer. My anger at the deeds done to me began to be directed at the doer. This is hard to explain but I can now see there is a definite difference. I was a banker for many years so I will try to use a banking issue as a comparison. You go to the bank and apply for a loan and for what ever reason you are declined. You are angry, but who should you be angry at. The Banker, a person just trying to do their job and must follow certain guides and rules. Or, if there is anger would it be more appropriate to be directed at the fact the loan was declined. There is a difference. Separate the deed from the doer of the deed.

In my situation the “deeds” carried on over many years and I became lost in the anger. So lost in the anger I lost sight of the man my father was. When sober a great guy to be around. Would my anger have been more appropriately been directed at the booze and how it affected him and created his dependency on it? What could I have done differently, I don’t know. He refused help or to even admit his drinking was a problem.

I hear stories of people that haven’t spoken in years over some silly little squabble. I just think, huh, so sad, so silly. Separate the deed from the doer and get over it before it is to late.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Happy St. Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2007

I am proud to say I have some of the blood of the Irish flowing in my veins and wish all a happy St. Patrick’s Day. OK, I am not wearing anything or drinking anything green, but “tis a glorious day to be celebrating”. Imagine you heard me say that with the silvery lilt of the Irish tongue. I left this bless’n on the site of Saija who is also celebratin’ this such a wonderous day.

My bless’n to all: “May the very best day in your past be not nearly as good as the worst day in your future.”

Hey, Ceeqee, Charles you are the man #40,000. Here is your “BIG VIRTUAL INTERNET HUG”. <<<<CHARLES>>>>. All done in a very manly way. Vi is working on the recipe, trying to get quantities figured out, otherwise, it will be add some of this and some of that, OR you are welcome to come and sample the real thing here. Ceeqee, you didn’t have to email me a photo of the screen showing the 40,000. But in fairness it is likely good you did as we are talking a “big prize” here. LOL. I have a bit of a story I can share with you on this, maybe tomorrow.