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.