Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Generations

Yesterday was one of my really wonkie head days. So I didn’t make it on to the computer, it is just so hard to concentrate or even just think straight, so I just relaxed.

Yesterday I would have written about the major thunder storm we had the night before. Must have been a lightening strike somewhere as our electricity was out for 5 or 6 hours. We both love watching those storms. Our front step is protected by a large overhanging eave and we will often just go out and enjoy the light show being put on by God. The sheer power contained in some of those storms can make me realize how small and powerless I actually am in the overall big picture.

I have written about how when we returned from visiting my daughter, we found our lawn had been freshly mowed. We found out it was Art our next door neighbor. Thank you Art. We really couldn’t have asked for any better neighbors than we have. Art is the same guy that comes over in the winter and uses his snow blower to clear our sidewalks for us. Such a blessing and a great help to us. Art is one of our heroes and I am going to try and get a picture to post here, let the world see what a hero looks like.

Yesterday a few of the words of a song kept rattling around in my head. It is a country song, I can’t remember the name of the song or the singer. But the lyrics speak of longing for yesterday, when a ho was a hoe, when coke was something you drink. I wonder if it is a generational thing. I look back and think life was so much simpler then. But then I wonder was it, I wonder if I could get the thoughts of my father when he was my age. Would he be looking back thinking, things used to be so much simpler and easier. I think likely he would have been. I am sure there was just as much pressure and stress back then, maybe just from a different source. There was also just as much joy, happiness and love. The world changes, we adapt and carry on, everything changes but then in some ways nothing changes.

I read somewhere, in life pain, suffering and grief are inevitable, misery is optional. The same applies today as it has at all times in the past. Misery is optional, our circumstances don’t make us happy or unhappy. It is how we deal with those circumstances that determine how we feel internally. That is so easy to say but so hard at times to do.

I am getting better at this. There was a time when if someone even a stranger on the street made some sort of rude or what I felt was an inappropriate comment, I would get all in a flap. I allowed it at times to change my mood and at times even spoil my entire day. I look back now and realize how silly that all was. Why would I allow even a stranger who happened to be in a bad mood to pass his bad mood on to me. When I think of it that way, it really doesn’t make any sense at all, but I used to allow my mood to be determined by my surroundings or happenings.

I am so grateful to be mostly past that silliness. I remember taking training courses with the bank years ago. They talked of having monkeys on your shoulders. A monkey representing a problem and of how people so often want to rid themselves of problems (monkeys) by letting them jump from their shoulders to mine. The monkey jumped and, suddenly their problem suddenly became mine. This is something I have struggled with all of my life, taking on the problems of others allowing them to become mine. Thankfully, I have reached the point where I can often think to myself. “OK, whose problem is this anyway? If it is not mine I will not take it on as mine, I will help in anyway I can but at the same time recognize who this monkey belongs to.

19 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Generations

  1. Ed says:

    Hello Bill

    I thought to leave you with some words seeing as I took something from you as well. Make each day count. Some people may have more time than others, but many may spend theirs unwisely. We can’t unwind the cogs of time but we can make sure that whatever we’re doing in the present means something.
    There’s inevitability for us all so with the time we’ve got left, we should spend it wisely each day doing something that matters.
    Because we aren’t getting any more or less time than what some divine entity or tragedy in our lives has given us.

    You mentioned in your blog that you weren’t bothered by insult anymore. This is an interesting point and more or less relates to things that matter to you. It doesn’t matter to you, fine, that’s okay, there’s no shame in it. This may relieve some unnecessary stress or negativity in your life.
    However, emotions are still a necessary part of us, like work and play, we’re apt to laugh and cry. It’s a natural cycle of life and we shouldn’t necessarily forgo some or even part of our emotions. Is it really bad to cry, to be angry, or get upset, or cuss another person out? Probably the latter is unnecessary but it still happens. It’s good to cry (esp. on the shoulder of someone who cares about you), or perhaps cuss at someone or thing, to release your emotions once in a while, to let another person know that you’re upset or sick or dying, and then to tell him or her about your problems. It makes us feel better when we’re able explore our situations in this way.
    The heart is where emotion is felt, it’s inseparable from our bodies, and while some things may be indeed be bad like getting angry at another person’s rude comments we shouldn’t become too detached from our emotions to such. It’s what makes us human beings.
    Common agreement is that people who cuss or spit in public, threaten you or other people, cause public disorder, steal, vandalize, murder so on and so forth are all bad. What causes these people to do bad though? Hypothetically it could be that the person who cusses may have had a bad day, the ones who spit, threaten, cause disorder or vandalize don’t care, the one who steals has no option (or so he thinks), and the one who murders may have been abused when he was younger.
    When we think about the causes in those examples and ignore the badness for just a moment, we realize that by exploring our emotions with other people and by sharing our thoughts, it’d make us feel a bit better than before. Perhaps then we might not cuss because we sorted out that problem at work before leaving for the day, or wish to murder the bully at school because we spoke with his mother.
    So by not ignoring our emotion we’ve ultimately made ourselves better than we otherwise would’ve been. I suppose you’re using your blog to do this, so tell us what matters to you, allow your emotions to sway you, don’t ignore them, don’t become a shell even though your life may seem to be ebbing from yourself, let us know how you feel, cry on our shoulders, ask our opinion on occasion, let us know who Bill Howdle is, what he believes in, and what wisdom he can impart to us to make us, the readers of your blog, better people.

    You may be wondering what I took from you now? Well, I’m researching how journals are written structure-wise, what people write in them, and then I’m going to write an essay on a journal entry which mixes fact with fiction.

  2. Jo Hart says:

    Hey Bill, Glad you are feeling better.

    I love those storms too. I could sit and watch them all night. I agree, it makes you feel very small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

    Have a good one dear friend.
    jo xxx

  3. reggiehudson says:

    There have been those few rare instances you were glad to adopt a monkey…..only because you woke up one day realizing your monkey’s being dealt with by them. I’m meaning that outside of the family environment…in the family environment…every body’s monkey has free reign.

    Brother Reg

  4. mel says:

    Don’t you remember
    The fizz in a pepper
    Peanuts in a bottle
    At ten, two and four
    A fried bologna sandwich
    With mayo and tomato
    Sittin’ round the table
    Don’t happen much anymore

    We got too complicated
    It’s all way over-rated
    I like the old and out-dated
    Way of life

    Back when a hoe was a hoe
    Coke was a coke
    And crack’s what you were doing
    When you were cracking jokes
    Back when a screw was a screw
    The wind was all that blew
    And when you said I’m down with that
    Well it meant you had the flu
    I miss back when
    I miss back when
    I miss back when

    I love my records
    Black, shiny vinyl
    Clicks and pops
    And white noise
    Man they sounded fine
    I had my favorite stations
    The ones that played them all
    Country, soul and rock-and-roll
    What happened to those times?

    I’m readin’ Street Slang For Dummies
    Cause they put pop in my country
    I want more for my money
    The way it was back then

    Back when a hoe was a hoe
    Coke was a coke
    And crack’s what you were doing
    When you were cracking jokes
    Back when a screw was a screw
    The wind was all that blew
    And when you said I’m down with that
    Well it meant you had the flu
    I miss back when
    I miss back when
    I miss back when

    Give me a flat top for strumming
    I want the whole world to be humming
    Just keep it coming
    The way it was back then

    Back when a hoe was a hoe
    Coke was a coke
    And crack’s what you were doing
    When you were cracking jokes
    Back when a screw was a screw
    The wind was all that blew
    And when you said I’m down with that
    Well it meant you had the flu
    I miss back when
    I miss back when
    I miss back when

    NOW I’ll have this one stuck in my brain for a while! LOL
    Ah well, it’s my monkey, eh? 😉

  5. reggiehudson says:

    Bill and sista Mel
    I’d fully anticipated if anyone was going to come up with the words to that song it was going to be you! There you have it, Bill, I knew Mel would come up with it.

    Later Brother and Sister,

  6. pradapixie says:

    Hi Bill, got here via rubyshooz.

    I admire your spirit in working through what you need to.

    Death is just so difficult, if not a bit final!

    I’m 18 months post breast cancer and starting to get to a new place where i can consider reconstruction.

    But the angel of death still hovers in the periphery of my life.

    Going to scroll down some more of your words.

  7. pradapixie says:

    I’ve just read down you blog Bill ,and the tears are pouring down my face.

    Although I have had faith that i will be alright the pain of my beloved sons, sister, neice and nephew and all my friends has been a gift to sustain me becasue it was attached to such love. I am grateful to having had cancer, simply to know. really know how much Kit and Alex love me.

    I’ve also lost both my parents, and I was with my darling mum when she died of a very messy cancer of the oesophagus.

    I haven’t talked about her death in years. But on the day she died I wrote a poem about what I was feeling.

    And I would be happy to post it on your site, if you thought it appropriate. let me know.


  8. Simonne says:

    Hey there Wonkie-Head, this is a fabulous post. I like it when you start ruminating! I’m not at all surprised that you have Earth Angels like Art who congregate right near you! Thanks for the email – will get to reading some stuff here soon and get back to you.
    Much love to you and Wise-Woman,
    Simonne x

  9. Hope the wonky head is fixed now!

    Have a great weekend

  10. babychaos says:

    I think what goes around comes around so if you are good to people, eventually, somehow, it comes back to you. I have always believed that it’s not what happens to you that counts but how you react, so I guess we’re coming from the same place on that one! Great post.

    I am sorry to hear you have had a wonky head, I hope it’s straightened out now!



  11. Bill Howdle says:

    Catherine, I am glad the post made you smile

    Ed, I thank you for stopping by and taking the time to leave a response. Your first paragraph pretty much sums up what I had in mind with the blog. Over the months I hope I have conveyed that message.
    When speaking of not letting things bother me I was referring more to the mundane things in life, a grumpy coworker, getting stuck in traffic or what ever. That is not to say there are not still many, many things in life that bother me.
    I appreciate the comment and suggestions as it makes me realize, I have over time drifted away from what I had intended to me the blog “theme”

    Jo. Aren’t those storms amazing to watch. I am going to send you an email, I want to find out more about emu oil.

    Reg. Right on about the monkeys. We should always be ready to jump in and help when ever possible. But helping doesn’t have to mean taking ownership of the problem

    Dear pradapixie. I would love to have you post your poem on the site. Congrats on the 18 months post surgery and good luck with the reconstruction. I am glad you had the love and support of your family through the difficult times. I know they love you very much. I am looking forward to your poem.

    Simonne, glad you liked the post. We are blessed with Earth Angels all around us.

    misslionheart, thank you for the visit and good wishes. I hope you have a wonderful weekend

  12. Bill Howdle says:

    Dear babychaos. I absolutely agree with you. In the overall scheme of life no good deed ever goes unrewarded. Could be years later from an entirely different source, but it will find you

  13. LorriM says:

    The goodness, kindness and grace that one gives to others will be returned somewhere down life’s journey.

  14. pradapixie says:

    I wrote this poem on the 24/11/1986.
    I wrote it one hour before my mother died, when I took a break from being with her. I knew she didn’t have long. When I went back in to her, I made the decision to call the hospice chaplin. My mother had lost her faith when the Catholic church in Ireland had excommunicated her for marrying an English Protestant.

    She was almost beyond speech until the Chaplin Blesed her, and with all her srrength she whispered ‘Happy Now’ as i held her hand and she died.

    I was happy that I had given my mother the thing she needed most to end her life.

    I have only shared this with a couple of people in my life. But right now seems a good time to put it out, as I am not in a good place and it will make me cry which I need to do.

    So here goes;


    The mummy I have in my heart is warm and safe.
    And will kiss me better when it hurts.
    The mummy i have in reality lies in her bed waiting to die.
    It still hurts- who”ll kiss me bettter now?

    The mummy I have in my heart
    loves me unconditonally, no questions asked.
    The mummy I have in reality
    is past caring waiting to die.
    I’ll have to grow up at long last.

    The mummy I have in my heart
    helped make me safe and secure
    The mummy i have in reality lies agitated ,
    twitching waiting to die.
    what price security now

    The mummy I have in my heart,
    helped me believe in myself-
    Go on try
    The mummy i have in reality
    Has no more strength to stand by
    She’s just waiting to die.

    Maureen Katherine Cotterell,
    nee Bennett
    Died one hour after I’d written this poem,
    at 12.55 aged 57years, 5months and 21days

    And I loved her.

  15. Bill Howdle says:

    This is one of the occasions I am at a loss for words. We, Howdle men don’t cry, but your story and then the poem brought tears to my eyes.
    So beautiful, so filled with emotion I thank you so much for sharing it. As hard as it must have been for you, having you there was a true blessing to your mother, she would have felt your love. Calling the Chaplin as you did, you gave your mother the most precious gift she could have received at that time. Peace of mind. Bless you.
    You say you are not in a good place now and need a cry. Please know there are many shoulders here ready and willing to give you a place to cry. Please write often and share as you can.
    Bless you

  16. ceeque says:

    A very very beautiful tribute to your mum, heartfelt and full of love and you must know your mum felt this love and knows of it well. She is alright now and at peace and will see you again..”…its just a little time”. God Bless.

  17. art says:

    bill we only do things to help others because we want to and know its apretiated.
    you keep calling me a hero or an angel . i must say i dont agree with the way i was braught up is the way i am i think the word your looking for to describe me is
    neighbour thats it thats all
    luv ya both
    your neighbours lisa and art

  18. Bill Howdle says:

    Art, buddy, It is nice to hear from you. No matter what words you want to use, you are a great neighbor and to Vi and I a hero.

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