Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Serious Cooking

March 17, 2007

Today, is a different day. Today, I feel good, tired but good. It is such an unusual feeling, now that is something that will sound really strange but its true. I woke up feeling full of vim and vigor, I even got some paper work finished. I even had to stop in the middle of it all for just a minute, to comment to Vi. I am feeling good today and even have the energy to actually get something. That is a reality bite when you realize feeling good has become a strange feeling.

Might be having a bit of a problem coming up, that I hadn’t counted on. Getting Vi’s recipe for her lasagna. Now its not that it is a big family secret or anything, I am just having a hard time getting it written down. It is the home make sauce part that is hard.

She seems to be throwing what must be hard core cooking terms at me. “I start off putting in a pinch if that isn’t enough I will add a dab more”, “somethings I just pour into my hand until the amount looks right”, ” if when it is all together and it doesn’t taste right I might add a dash more”

I am going to try and be a little more quantity specific when I send out the recipe. If not I hope you are a little more of a hard core cook than obviously I am.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Thoughts on the dying

March 16, 2007

I am not feeling so well today so instead of trying to think up something to say, I am just going to comment on some of the terms I see that people us on the search engine to find my blog.

As always I write based on my own thoughts and experiences only. Grief is very individual and what applies to me, may not to the next person.

“how do I act around a dying person” – exactly the same way you always have. Just because I have a medical condition doesn’t mean I am any different. I am still me. All I would ask is be a little tolerant of my need for naps etc.. Other than allowing for possible physical limitations, I see no reason to act anything other than normally.

“how do I say good bye” Speaking for myself, I am not sure I want to hear the actual words good bye. Those words have such a final or sad tone to them. I prefer to think of it as, I will see you later in the Spiritual World. BUT, always, always remember this is a time of grief for you as well and if saying the word goodbye, would ease your pain as a form of closure or something say it. I would prefer to say and hear last words  such as I love you.

“what can I say or do to comfort the family” Say, not much mere at at time like that are not likely of any comfort. I would not say something like “he will be missed” prior to the actual event. If anything possibly a little reminiscing about how the person had touched you life in a positive way. Now what you do, I think is a different story. How many times have we all said the words, “If there is anything you need or that I can do just call”. We mean them when they are said, but at the same time we know deep down the chances of them actually calling and asking are almost zero. Watch to see anything that needs doing and do it. Now I am not talking anything that may infringe on the families possible need for privacy at the time. I am talking smaller things, just go and mow their lawn if you see it needs cutting, shovel snow, fix a broken hinge on a backyard gate. All those little things the family may just not be in the mood to do themselves. Drop off a casserole, phone and offer to take any children to the zoo or a movie. So much can be done in a non intrusive way. Things all a help to the family but that would never be asked for. Be a friend and help. If you know their cash situation is tight and you can help, but know their pride would never allow them to accept any help. Put cash in an envelope and leave it in the mail box, if they don’t know where it came from they can’t return it.

” What birthday gift for a dying person” I would think something very personal would be appropriate. If you are down to the final days or weeks, something as simple as a foot massage may be appreciated more than say a watch. Maybe a picture taken at a very special time you shared, will bring back good and happy memories.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Today Bragging

March 14, 2007

Yesterday, I manager to successfully sleep away another day. Well, I suppose it is as I tell Vi, sleeping away the day is a tough job but someone has to do it. Hey,I think this is a first, I am actually, rereading and trying to do a little editing. That is because a lot of what I have written was done last evening. I had intended to post it yesterday but seemed to run out of energy before I got finished. That is a good thing as this morning I have the big time nausea going on. Family doc. tells me this is something to just live with but that I should check with my neurologist when I see him in a couple of weeks. Could be the brain tumor is acting up or something. I really wonder if it isn’t sort of a hangover effect from big combination of medications I take at bedtime. I do seem to feel better as the day wears on and by late afternoon or early evening I am usually feeling a lot better with the nausea. At bedtime the last time I counted I take 19 pills, not all are different medications but I wonder if taken in combination, they affect me this way. Going to ask about spreading them out through the day. That though might be worse over all, with my memory, remembering to take them throughout the day could be a real issue. Ah, we will see.

Reading the comments today (yesterday), I see a few reminders about the lasagna. I looked, wow, we are closing in on that 40,000 hit mark. Sometimes it is good to remind me (memory guy) about things. I did promise a big hug and a lasagna dinner to who ever acknowledged being hit #40,000. Anyone that has tried it, would agree Vi’s lasagna is a prize worth going after. I did say you would have to come and get it. So it is waiting if someone claims it. I think it was Jo that asked what if it is someone in say Australia that wins. Well Jo, her lasagna is good but I am not sure you want to fly all that way to get it. You would be welcome to do so though. If that is the case I will have to email out her secret recipe. One hint, I think it is her homemade sauce that does it.

Some time a while back, I offered a “big prize” (hug from me) to anyone that commented that they were the one who’s view moved the blog to the next even 1000. “Amazingly” no one has actually stepped up to claim that prize????? So it looks like I have to bribe my way to the hug, ah well, what a guy has to do to get a hug. LOL. It must be as my brother said: “you are offering a hug, is that supposed to be a prize or punishment” (again LOL)

Starting to count down the days until we are blessed with the company of 3 very special ladies. My cousins Shirley, Gloria and Sherry are coming for a visit. (Gloria,see you ladies also rate the special ranking) They are coming all the way from Red Deer and Calgary, Alberta. That is a long way to come, Ladies know how much I appreciate it.

To my cousin Ken. Ken you had me worried there for a moment thinking of the special ladies that are coming. You say their husbands have a lot less hair now than when they got married. That did scare me until I looked in the mirror and realized most of mine is already gone. So I guess I am OK. Ken, I received a comment a while back from your daughter, I replied suggesting she grab you by the ear and drag you here. I’m hoping same goes to the rest of the clan.

I am a lucky man. I have written about how lucky I am to have Vi, my daughters and brothers and sister as family. I have never really talked much about my cousins and other family. I am just as lucky there. The mere fact they are coming for visits from long distances speaks for itself but it goes well beyond that. Hey, I am family so I have bragging rights. Really, I could pick anyone of them and find a lot to brag about.

This time it is my cousin Carol and her daughter Lori. Carol and her mother, my aunt Isabel visited me about 3 weeks ago. They made a 6 hour drive just to get here and we had a wonderful visit.

Carol is a very kind, loving and caring lady. She has been a nurse for over 30 years and a true blessing to thousands I am sure. Carol is so proud and rightfully so to see Lori her daughter follow in her footsteps into the nursing profession. Lori graduated as a nurse last fall and is now doing her part in making the world a better place. I just found out Carol was recently recognized and honored by the Manitoba Nurses Union for her outstanding contributions to the nursing community for her professionalism and as a role model for and mentor to so many young nurses. Carol was presented with a prestigious yellow ribbon award. Her evening was made even more special as her daughter Lori and son Cory had be smuggled into the banquet unknown to Carol. Lori a student nurse at the time, proudly pinned the award on her mother. Carol and Lori were both featured on the cover of the cover of the magazine, Front lines put out by the Manitoba Nurses Union, with follow up articles in newspapers. Carol, Lori, I am so proud of both of you.

Lori you are making not only your mother proud by following in her footsteps, but the whole family is proud. Lori, I do have to say something about one of your comments in the magazine. You commented that how earlier while in high school you had volunteered at a nursing home and the great satisfaction you got from helping others. It shows you have your mother’s wonderful big heart and are such a wonderful young lady you will do your profession proud.  But you state how gratified you felt when you saw a 90 something year old gentleman was happy just to talk to you. Lori, you being a drop dead gorgeous young woman may have also contributed to his happiness, it would mine.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Reunion Opportunity

March 13, 2007

I know everyone that signs in doesn’t always read the comments. If you don’t you are really missing out often on wisdom far beyond any I can provide. There is one comment today that may be a golden opportunity for someone.

All may wish to read a comment left earlier today by Tami Spence. Tami is a television producer and is working on a new television show coming in the fall. In the show they wish to reunite some one with a terminal illness with someone from their past, a long lost friend, a mentor, someone special that would be like a dream come true to be reunited with.

I am giving it a shot and have contacted Tami at the email address she provided. I wanted to just share the opportunity with all.

****Just learned available in US. only*****

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Doing My Bit

March 12, 2007

Had a pretty good weekend. Saturday was the highlight, when Allison and Rick, friends from Thompson stopped by for a short visit. Such a nice couple, with 2 beautiful kids. Allison and I worked together at the bank in Thompson. Allison and Rick thank you for driving all that way to visit with us. Allie, I know you will be reading this could you send me an email, I would love to hear about the appointment you had after you left our place.

To my cousin Carol. Carol, I have always known you are a wonderful lady. I just hadn’t realized how truly wonderful until I just read some information on you and daughter Lori. Mother and daughter both nurses and making a difference in this world. When I finish reading it all, I plan on bragging to the world about my cousins.

Over the past several days it has been my pleasure to meet via our blogs a very nice young lady, Kelly. Now, Kelly describes herself as a very insecure writer, personally I do not understand why she would feel insecure as I find her writing to be excellent. It is here I would put a link to her site, if I knew how, but I don’t so all I can do is add her to my blog role. West Coast Grrlie Blather

Now why would I single out Kelly and her blog. I know there are thousands and thousands of wonderful blogs out there. There are 3 reasons I mention Kelly specifically.

1) Kelly is obviously a lady of great intelligence as she seems to think I am great. LOL. I am not laughing at her intelligence that is obvious, I laugh at the me being great part.

2) Kelly sent me a personal email in which she expanded on some of her thoughts. I am going to quote part of that private email, I hope you don’t mind Kelly.

3) Most importantly, Kelly is trying to make a difference. Trying in her own way to make the world a better place, not just “her world” but the world. In her post, I think it was titled Mardi Gras, Kelly points out some of the inequities in the labor laws and the working conditions of many around the world. She offers a simple solution. Here Kelly, sorry but I would have to edit your comment. You are a proud American and suggest buy American made, well I as a proud Canadian would just change that to buy Canadian.

OK, changing working conditions around the world is a very worthy cause and I do support that. But, that is not the point I want to make, I now quote Kelly in her email.

“It is so easy to become overwhelmed by the problems of the world. But if individuals do not believe their actions will make a difference, and then stop doing anything positive–well, it just speeds up the whole hell-in- a- handbasket theory, doesn’t it?” West Coast Grrlie Blather

Very well put Kelly. It is here a thought hits me, I am sorry I can’t remember where I heard this “maybe you can’t save a million lives but you can save one”. I think it was one of the wonderful organizations through which you can sponsor a child. Due credit is given to which ever organization.

After my usual rambling I get to my point. Maybe one person can’t change the world or cure all the problems of the world. Every day though as individual I believe we can do our own little bit. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to go to sleep at night content with the knowledge, I did my bit, the world is just a little bit better because I was here. This is where Kelly’s message above is so right on. If we all throw up our hands in despair, thinking what could I possibly do that would help change the world? Nothing will ever happen.

So what can I as one individual do? Something big, something small and every size in between. There are the obvious, donate money to charities etc., get involved in your community as a volunteer in some worthy organization. But what if extra time or money is not available, there are still millions of things, some big, some small. If we think about it, even recycling one plastic jug, or picking up one piece of trash off the street, make a difference. A big difference maybe not, but a difference, non the less. I am not sure what the population of the world is in excess of 6 billion, but if everyone of those 6 billion did just one small thing every day, think of how much better our world would be. Realistically will the entire population ever get involved, not likely. But that doesn’t have to stop me from doing my part in doing my bit, be it big or small.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – A Dying Person’s Gift of Love.

March 10, 2007

Special thank you, to my cousin Carol. I had intended to thank you yesterday but memory guy here forgot. I received the 2nd. letter you spoke of but still no sign of the first. I will continue watching the mail. Thanks Carol.

I today read such a touching message from my good blog friend Jo Hart. Such a sad and tragic story of the pending passing of her cousin and the struggles of his family. My prayers and my heart go out to you all.

Jo, you can never really know how much I wish there was something I could do or say to ease the pain being felt by all. I have said many times here I am not a doctor, a member of the clergy nor do I have any training in any form of grief counseling. I have no qualifications what so ever other than my own personal first hand experiences as I have been told I am dying. The dying process, (acceptance or denial) and the grieving process are all such individual and personal issues. No two people will ever deal with it in exactly the same way. I can share my way, which I feel is the right way, for me. What I have decided is the right way for me may not be anywhere even close to the right way for anyone else.

What is my way? With my faith strongly in place, I have no fear of what lies ahead for me. OK, I admit I am a little nervous about the physical process of dying. They tell me I have a high pain tolerance level but inside I know I am a wimp that just wants it to be a natural but pain free experience. The fact of the matter is, I have the easy part of this whole experience. I know I will have move on to such a more wonderful place, while my family and friends are left behind. Not only are they left behind but they are left facing the pain and grief of their loss. So, I do have the easier part, they have the much more difficult part in this whole experience.

I love my family, my friends and blogging family. With this love in my heart, how can I not do anything and everything I can to help them. There will come a time when I am no longer physically here and able to help them. But, what I can do is try to help them prepare for the trying time that lies ahead. All through life, if someone is preparing for a very difficult challenge, would we not do everything we can to help them prepare to meet that challenge. Really, should this be so much different? This could be one of their most difficult challenges so how could I not want to help in any way I can.

It is my hope, my prayer that by really opening up to them, by allowing all to see I am “OK” with this, it will ease worry levels now and I hope provide a level of comfort later. Through this if I can ease their burden even a little, it is worth it.
While I do not fear my actual passing, there is still an element of fear or maybe worry. How will my family deal with all of this? Will they be alright without me? Naturally, I know they will be just fine as all are good strong people, but that little bit of worry still lingers. I suppose knowing they are as prepared as you can ever be in a situation like this, does lessen that worry a little.

I suppose there is another factor also. I hope to leave all with good and pleasant memories of me. Me as I am, and not of some old grouch that made everyone’s lives miserable at the end.

I can only hope that my last acts in this physical world will be gifts of love to my family and friends.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Back to feeling lucky

March 10, 2007

Haven’t been feeling really spry the past few days, nothing serious. Would even be over stating it to say I was feeling sick, just off, a lot of the thick head and very tired. OK, enough whining, got some really exciting news the other day. Two maybe even three more of my cousins are coming for a visit. Shirley, Gloria and I hope Sherry are planning a visit. We are both looking forward to it.

Have a little external chaos going on in my life right now, but that should all be put to rest by the end of the month.

I really want to thank everyone that shared their thoughts on Angels. Each of these comments I hope to respond to individually over the next day or so.

Ok, from here on is new, what I wrote above is actually what I started 2 or 3 days ago. I have been trying to do something different, actually write about my thoughts and beliefs in Angels. By actually, write I mean actually trying to plan what I want to say, going back and restructuring paragraphs, edit thoughts, all that sort of stuff. That whole thing just doesn’t seem to work for me. When finished, I reread and realize what I have said is nothing like what I meant.

Any other time I just sit down and type I suppose straight from my heart, just what ever comes. That is what I am going to do in the next day or so with my thoughts on Angels. Actually, trying to write with a purpose just isn’t in me these days I suppose. It requires organization of thoughts. Huh, maybe that is why I have been delaying filling out some needed paperwork.

I have been so very gratified to be receiving comments on how people are benefiting from my writing. It is almost like a sense of mission accomplished as that is what I had hoped to do when I started this whole thing. If I could help, in anyway even one person, before I leave this world, I have accomplished something. Now it always goes without saying that my 2 beautiful daughters are my greatest pride and sense of accomplishment.

This last while I have realized something important about myself. I have a tendency when I am physically not feeling all that good to allow it to affect my mood or frame of mind. Now I am not trying to say, when I am not feeling good I should still be all chipper and happy. But, I don’t have to allow it to drag my overall mood down, I allow that to happen. I do not have to allow my mind set to shift from the moment to dwell on my tomorrows.

OK, enough of this. I know by concentrating or focusing on the positive, I can put all else into its proper perspective. When put into its proper perspective it seems pretty small in the overall scheme of things. “Celebrate what you have, instead of mourning what you do not have, or will loose”.

Just typing those few words make me more clearly see. I am a lucky man. There are so many that have it so much worse than I. I have visited other blogs and from the writings there so often I can feel the pain, hurt and sorrow.

I have said a short prayer ask our Heavenly Father to ease the pain and suffering of so many. In a separate short prayer I just thanked Our Father for the blessings he has granted me.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Blogging Family

March 8, 2007

The natural goodness of heat and kindness of people never ceases to amaze me. The true loving nature of the hearts of my bogging family. I consider everyone that reads, comment left or not to be apart of my family. With some I am lucky enough to share actual blood lines with most it is a virtual family connection. I treasure and appreciate both.

I am struggling to find the right words to express what I am trying to say. To say I love Vi, my daughters, granddaughter, step children, brothers. niece and nephews, Aunt, cousins and friends is such a understatement without their love and support I just do not know where I would be today. In fact we are both excited that more cousins are coming all the way from Alberta just for a visit. I do not want to say anything that minimize or take away from that. But lets face facts, they are “stuck” with me, I am family, what are they going to do. I hope all understand and take that the way I mean it.

But, then I get to my blog family. In the real world we are strangers, but in the blog world we are family. The blogging family is not “stuck” with me but chooses to be with me, expressing their love and support. So much from real world strangers. Love and kindness to a stranger, what a great blogging family I have.

Lets just say the past few days I haven’t felt my best or not all that spry and didn’t get to the computer to write. The messages of concern and support, so touching. I even received a couple of phone calls just checking on me, also so touching.

I am feeling better today, still have the thick head, groggy feeling but better. I hope to write more later on one of my favorite topics, the Angel.

Blessings to all

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Angels

March 5, 2007

Had a really nice surprise yesterday. We were just sitting down for dinner and my daughter Shauna called. Shauna and hubby Jake were in the city for a bit of quick shopping. Highways are not all that good, a lot of ice covering and they wanted to be back on the road before it got to late. So visit was short but very nice. Really don’t most visits seem to short.

It was our pleasure to have them bring dear friends of theirs. A young couple Neil and Mary with their 2 children Emily and MacKenzie. Such a nice young family, we both thank you for sharing some of your precious time with us.

This morning I have my thick head feeling going on. It is really not all that bad just makes it more difficult to concentrate or think clearly. I am sure nap time, which is coming shortly will help clear that up.

Yesterday, I wrote as I have many times on my belief in Angels. This is a topic near and dear to my heart. I thank those that left a comment on their beliefs and even some of their experiences.

I can certainly understand, as I have had it myself, that we feel so hesitant or reluctant to share these stories. Afraid, I suppose that people will think we are crazy. Well we are not.

I really need my nap, so I will just ask any and all please share any stories or thoughts you have. I promise I will not think you are crazy.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Lets Discuss Angels

March 4, 2007

Yesterday was a good day. Didn’t really do anything, still have the zero energy thing going on, but over all felt fine.

I recently began exchanging a few email with a new blogging friend. I will not identify her by name as much of what I am going to say came by way of an email and I have not asked permission to include it on the blog. When she reads it I am sure she will know to whom I am referring.

Firstly, I should apologize to her and those that have emailed me and to all that have left comments. I read and appreciate everyone, I am just so far behind in responding but I hope to soon.

My new email, blogging friend is an avid believer in Angels as am I. She  even sent me a picture of herself and family and such a beautiful family it is. It is always nice to be able to put a face to those to whom you are writing. She writes in a way that I can feel her gratitude and love for the Angels and departed loved ones that watch over her. She KNOWS her much loved grandmother, who even though she has passed, still watches over her. What a blessing that must be, not just to believe it but to know it.

I share all of her believes. I can even relate to her reluctance to so often discuss or share her feelings or experiences. For me this makes me realize I have more of a fear of what will other people think, than I care to admit. Will they think I am a nut case or fruit cake. I have though reached the point where I realize my beliefs are my beliefs and what others may feel about them are their thoughts and feelings which I respect.

I have written in the past about my belief in Angels. I invite any who wish to share their feelings or experiences with Angels to please do so. All comments are always welcome. Should any wish to so  in a more private forum my email is      howdlebill@gmail.com.

Should anyone wish to email me directly, it doesn’t necessarily have to be just about Angels but on any topic you may wish. Just be warned I am often tardy at getting replies back.