Dying Man’s Daily Journal – The Strength of Vi

July 9, 2007

I thank all that sent John and Nellie the wedding anniversary congratulations. It was a quiet celebration as various member of the family gathered at their home. Both are not in good health which eliminated any ideas of going out. John (87) is in the end stages of Alzheimer’s and is unable to recognize anyone or even be aware of what is happening. Nellie (81) with her failing health was unable to get out of bed, so each in turn spent time “visiting” with her in the bedroom. I ask all please for prayers for each of them. Please include John (Vi’s brother) and Vi herself. John suffered a major stroke a couple of months ago and was left paralyzed on his left side. He is making progress but it is painfully slow and he seems to be becoming more depressed and frustrated. I can understand his frustration, going from being an active guy to one that is completely bedridden.

Vi is carrying such a great weight on her shoulders, it is getting her down. It is all so emotionally draining, dealing with my health issues, her father’s, her mother’s and her brothers all at the same time. Add to that, she is a volunteer for hospice and palliative care. She volunteers by visiting terminal patients in their homes, providing support and general help in any way she can, driving them to doctors appointments etc. Often just a visit and some company is the greatest and most appreciated thing she can provide.

I am very proud of my Vi, who has the biggest most loving heart I have ever seem. The Good Lord was certainly smiling down on me the day he directed us to meet. Daily, I thank Him for that.


My dear Vi

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Happy Anniverary

July 8, 2007

Today is a special day. Vi’s parents John and Nellie Chevillard are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. Imagine in this day and age a 60th wedding anniversary.They were married in 1947 shortly after John’s return from serving  in active duty in world war 2. This afternoon family will be gathering to celebrate an occasion very few other couples achieve.


John Then


Nellie then


John and Nellie now

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Recreating ourselves?

July 7, 2007

I am still spending most of my time hiding out in our basement, where it is much cooler. Even with the air conditioning, down here seems so much more comfortable. Our weather seems a little different than normal this year. A lot of rain and a lot of heat, creating high humidity, which makes it more difficult to catch your breath. Forecast is for more of the same today, hot with risks of severe thunder storms.

Breathing, is such a taken for granted function our body does for us. We don’t have to think about it, our body just does it for us. The thought of breathing just never crosses our minds, until we are having difficulty with it. It is one of the so many wonderful gifts we have in this life that is just taken for granted, never even noticed. We have been blessed with so much that we never notice or appreciate. Unless, you are afflicted with a breathing disorder of some type, who is ever appreciative of the mere fact, I can breath easily. How about the simple act of urinating “peeing”. It is a simple fact of life, at times we just need to relieve ourselves and just do it, really no thought to it. That is until you must take pills to make your body perform that basic function. There is so much we just take for granted.

I have said this before, I consider myself to be a rambler and not a writer. By being a rambler I mean, I just sit down and start typing what ever thoughts are in my head. There is no forethought no planning just go to it, what ever comes out, comes out. There have been times when I have even thought I should be trying or plan or organize a little better. I quickly then think, nah, (I’m to lazy). Who organizes or plans their daily journal? Obviously, not me. I just type thoughts as they come and I just ramble on.

I have written before about the little routine I follow just before I start to write. I say a little prayer asking for guidance in finding the right words to say something anything that may help someone today. I then call upon all the Angels in the Heavens to come to me and guide me in the same way.

I get a thought and off I go, what ever comes into my head down it goes, into the journal. When I get that thought, with it comes a sort of overall image of what my writing will be about that day.

I have my starting point and off I go, writing the thoughts as they come.I seem to lose focus on what I thought I was going to be writing about and just type thoughts as they come. So often when I am finished I am kind of surprised, somewhere along the line in my rambling, my thoughts seemed to take a bit of a different direction from what I had originally imagined. So be it.

Yesterday, is a prime example. I have been thinking about the character within myself. My character is truly what makes me who I am. It speaks to my values, morals and beliefs, the real me inside this body of mine. The real me that is so often hidden to the world. Our character is so important as it truly is the only thing we have that is truly ours and ours alone. No one can give it to us or take it from us. It is truly ours to mold and shape as we see fit. I would encourage all to read the wonderful and insightful comments left over the past few days. Such wisdom, beyond any I could hope to share.

I was going to say, I believe we all come into this world essentially with a clean slate, our human character not yet beginning to form. Then I read the very wise comment left by Sister Julie. Our Heavenly Father sends us into this world with our DNA coded with a predisposition towards love, kindness and goodness.

We retain that predisposition until the physical world get a hold on us. Our physical environment begins to take hold and to play its role in creating or molding our character, for the good and at times for the bad. When we are young we have no choice in our environment and what is affecting us, creating our reality of how we see the world. When we are young, I suppose our unknowing young minds could almost be compared to a lump of clay in the hands of a sculptor. Waiting to be formed into what ever it is the sculptor choose to create. At that time I believe, we, being our character is created, molded by outside influences, our environment. We are young, naive and innocent and know nothing but what we are taught, be it positive or negative.

That is when we are young and have little or no choice in the matter. We grow to be adults and suddenly we do have that choice. External forces, our environment may have played a large part in “molding” me into the person I am today. I am now an adult and I do have a say about the external influences around me and how I allow them to affect me.

My character was “molded” creating the person I am today. Anything that was “molded” can obviously be remolded. Would that be an easy task, very likely not. Our character is really our thoughts that often translate into actions. Thoughts can be changed, a way of thinking can be changed. Thus our character, who we are can be changed.

It may take outside influences again to help bring a change. If within your life you are surrounded by negativity, it will be so much more difficult to surpass it.

I am just to tired to continue today. I pose another question to any and all that may consider sharing. What can we do for ourselves or to help others in accomplishing this difficult task if undertaken?

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Character/our children

July 6, 2007

I have decided that I am going to devote one day a week talk more about my life, the factors and stresses etc that have brought me to or at least contributed to the conditions I face now. The issues I face, how I dealt with them and how I possibly could have dealt with them in a healthier way. Stress has to often been a major factor in my life. I hope by sharing my situation others may see the potential long term effects.

Yesterday I posed a question. Can we create ourselves? By ourselves I mean our true inner selves, our character. Our character our inner selves is really all we have in this world that is truly ours. Character is the one thing no one can “give” us and no one can take it away from us. It is uniquely ours. Ours to mold and shape in anyway we like, in that way we do create ourselves. I believe through our Heavenly Father all things are possible, today I am just writing more on the more physical things here.

During my recent visit with my friend Tom, we discussed the difference between personality and character. My personality is the me, I put out for the world to see. My character is largely the me, I live with inside of myself. Some of which I allow the world to see, some I do not. Character is what makes me unique, what really makes me who I really am.

Character is more about my internal feelings, how I see, feel about and deal with the world. Some are standards I set for myself, honesty, work ethic, dependability etc.. Separate from these standards are my true feelings and ability to share them, feelings such as love, forgiveness, empathy, sympathy, kindness, generosity and even courage ( standing up for what you believe in) again this list can to on and on. I think whether I have these qualities and the varying levels to which I do have them, if indeed I have them at all make the real me. The me, I must live with. This internal me, may or may not be a very easy person to be. Living within your own skin can be one of life’s greatest challenges and that is where we are forced to live. The good news is if we can create ourselves then obviously we can recreate ourselves.

I think every single person has within them each and every quality needed to attain my definition of a good strong character. Sister Julie said it so well, when we are born God as planted within our DNA the predisposition to be good, I believe that. Sadly it isn’t long before the world gets a hold of us and external forces set to work on us. Now this is certainly not all bad but neither is it necessarily all good. So much of our character can be molded while we are so young, to young to realize any thing different be it good or bad. Again I say anything that has been molded can always be redone, nothing has to be permanent, unless we chose to make it that.

I look back on my own parenting and wonder. I also have to wonder, how many parents realize and take the time to help their children develop a good strong character. I have to wonder how many may, basically just be feeding and clothing their children and watching them grow and develop on their own. What are we teaching our children by the very examples we set. We are the role models for our children, what kind of a role model, what kind of example are we setting.

Lets just take honesty as an example. Are we teaching honesty as a virtue as a strength of character or are we by example teaching that sometimes it is OK to lie or to cheat or even steal. I imagine every parent out there would automatically stand up and say, I would never teach my child to steal. Stealing is wrong it is a crime, I would never teach my child that. I ask are you sure and I know many will be.

I ask you to consider this. Have you ever come home from shopping after buy a number of items, to realize the clerk missed charging you for one. How did you react, by exclaiming hey we got a deal we didn’t get charged for this sweater or what ever. Really, isn’t that stealing, true it is a mistake by another for which you can never be caught. But you know it, how does that speak to your character or to the lesson you just taught you child how may have seem the whole thing. How about something as simple as just borrowing something. You borrow it with the full intention of returning it, but somehow just never get around to it. Who ever you borrowed it from may even have forgotten about it. You end up keeping it, but inside you know it isn’t really yours, question of character again. What kind of role models are we or what kind of example are we setting.

We can all relate to bringing up our children and wanting to do it in the best way we can. Can we extend this beyond our children?

I have so much more I wanted to say here, but am just getting to tired. More will be coming.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Creating ourselves

July 5, 2007

I had an idea for a post today, based on something I read on another blog. I really am going to have to start writing more things down. I can’t remember where it was I read this but it was such an excellent post.

I am having an extreme wonkie head day and can’t seem to put the thoughts together the way I want.

So for now I will put it out as a question to all that may read this and wish to comment. Can we create ourselves? By ourselves, I mean the inner us, our character, who we really are. How much does our environment and the external forces in our life, have to do with it? As mere humans is it possible to do so, without Heavenly guidance and help? How much can we do on our own?

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – trying this tagging

July 3, 2007

I have been tagged by my friends Grace and Sandy will give it a go.

* We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.

* Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

* People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

* Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Random fact #1. My father was married and divorced before he met my mother. During WW11, while in England and through that marriage had a son and a daughter. I have a half brother and sister living now in South Africa. It is only in recent years I have actually met my brother Bryan and his wonderful wife Vicky. My sister Anita, I still have not had the pleasure of meeting but am hoping.

Random fact #2. I have scandalized and embarrassed many of members of my family. For years I had a toilet bowel brush laying beside the bed. OK, it had never actually been anywhere close to a toilet. But those nylon bristles and long handle certainly made for an excellent back scratcher.

Random fact #3. I once performed live in a Toronto restaurant/bar as “a belly dancer”. A group of us serious banker types had gone to eat at a traditional Greek restaurant. Before you get ahead of me, this was not a strip club or anything like that, it was quite fancy and respectable but they did have traditional belly dancers. Dancers started on a small stage then danced their way around the room past each table. This I was not aware of prior to our arrival, although even if I had known I would have just thought BONUS. I definitely did not know that one of the dancers liked to pick out a particular man, then wrap one of her veils around his neck and drag him up on stage to dance with her. Yup, it was me and I did try to give it my best shot. I am sure many of my movements were entirely new to the art of the belly dance and I may have even set the art of the belly dance back several hundred years. My friends all assured me I had done and excellent job, but were unable to control their laughter for quite some time. Hmm.

Random fact #4. The working life of a banker is not always as quiet and boring as I am sure many think. I once had the occasion to be punched straight in the mouth. Looks can be deceiving. On the outside she appeared to be the sweetest little grandma anyone could ask for. But, do I have a story that could go with that.Random fact

#5. I am to short for my weight, I am vertically challenged.

Random fact #6. In music I don’t like jazz or rap. I really do like country and almost everything from the 60’s. Does that age me a little?

Random fact #7. I occasionally scribble down a few lines I call poetry. Not sure if anyone else would consider it that.

Random fact #8. I proposed to Vi with one of my “poems” by way of an email. There is a story that goes with that.

Man, now comes the hard part, who among all my blogging friends would I like to learn more about. The answer to that is easy, everyone. So I am tagging everyone. Here by the rules I am limited to 8 so here we go. I hope I get all this linking stuff correct.

Mel, Babychaos, Natasha, Enreal, Ruby, Kelly

Charles, Miriam

This has I think been the hardest post I have done. I had to try and organize thoughts instead of just starting to ramble and go to what ever comes to mind. A good lesson or reality check for me on how hard it has become to concentrate to write something in an organized fashion. Grace & Sandy thank you for asking me to do this.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – I met an Earth Angel

July 2, 2007

I was blessed and honored to get to spend a few hours with A truly amazing MAN. I have talked of Earth Angels and Tom Chan is without a doubt an Earth Angel.

Before I talk of the visit, let me speak of this man and what he does. Tom has very strong Christian beliefs which he is freely willing to share. It is actually a beautiful thing to see the way his eyes seem to twinkle and his whole face lights up, his joy is so great when he talks of his belief in Jesus Christ.

By day Tom is a school principal, but he is definitely not what I would picture as your typical school principal. His great desire to help, inspire, encourage and teach transcends what I would consider the “norm”. With our laws as they are Tom is not able to formal “teach” or speak of his beliefs in school. Tom doesn’t need mere words to teach, by his very loving nature, the example he sets eliminates the need for words.

At least by my definition a part of being a good Christian is to provide help, encouragement and support for those who may be in need. Our kids, when in school are in a time of need. They need to learn or why would they be there to begin with. Tom sees this and accepts it as a part of his responsibility as a teacher to do anything and everything he can to encourage his students to learn. Each year he does something above and beyond the norm. What did he do this year, Tom ate worms. Yes, I mean worms real worms.

Tom’s school teaches from kindergarten to grade 6. An age group where things are really appreciated for being yucky or gross. Tom recognizes this and uses it as an opportunity to support his students and encourage them to read. Each year at the beginning of the school year he makes a deal with all of the classes collectively. If all of the students as a group read 2.5 million pages, he in front of them all will do something yucky. This past year it was eating worms. I can almost feel the excitement of the young students as they sit thinking “I am going to read a lot, I want to see Mr. Chan eat worms”. The students lived up to their part of the deal and so did Tom. At a final assembly before the entire student body, after a huge amount of congratulations to the students for accomplishing the reading assignment, Tom delivered his side of the deal. Wearing a tuxedo and with much gusto Tom ate 6 worms, large glasses of both apple and grape juice helped the possess. Worms specially fried and prepared for the occasion so as not to give the idea eating just any old worm was acceptable to eat. The students went wild with excitement.

This is not Tom’s first time at doing this sort of thing. Last year he kissed a pig, he has allowed his hair to be dyed, ridden a llama. He is willing to do anything and everything he can to encourage his students to read.

Now, 2.5 million pages is a lot of reading by a lot of students. Over the past 14 years I can’t imagine how many students developed a love of reading or how much extra was learned in all this reading.

I am sure all of the students as they advance in age, will always remember the “crazy” things Mr. Chan used to do. A few may realize and appreciate the true love and the great gift he was giving them. He was doing what ever he could to encourage and support his students in encouraging them to read. Sometimes to be of really support it takes stepping outside our own comfort level, going beyond the “norm”. Tom you are an inspiration and have so very positively impacted on the lives of so many of your students. That Tom a pretty inspirational guy, but there is more. That is how Tom spends his week days.

Tom shares his evenings and weekends with his wife and 4 children. Amidst all of this he makes the time to visit many many people, those with terminal illnesses. His goal to help in anyway he can and spread comfort with the sharing of his Christian beliefs. I was truly blessed by one of Tom’s visits.

I had planned on writing of our discussion but am getting tired so will do that another day.

As our visit ended, Tom gifted me with a simple wooden cross. Really, nothing fancy but so special to me as he had made it himself. This in itself made me realize something. A gift doesn’t have to be of great monetary value or something that would be seen as of great beauty to the world. The simple hand make wooden cross is one of the most beautiful things I have seem.

I knew I would be writing about Tom, but I forgot to ask his permission while he was here. I sent him an email asking his permission. He gave his permission with one condition attached. If there is any credit or glory to be given it must be given to God.

What more can I say, but, Thank you Dear Father, for delivery Tom Chan and others like him into this world.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Happy Birthday Canada

July 1, 2007

Happy Birthday Canada, I am a Canadian and very proud of that fact. Our country is officially 140 years old today. Pretty young as countries go, but we are doing well, considering we are youngsters relatively speaking.

Over all yesterday was a pretty good day. Had a wonderful visit in the afternoon with Tom and I will be talking about.

But first a little more about my trip to the hospital. The professional quality care I received was excellent and I did leave the hospital feeling better. The reality is though, what were they able to medically do for me, nothing. That nothing meant a lot to both Vi and I. They ran numerous tests and found nothing new, nothing new they could treat or help with. They are faxing all the test results to my family doctor. The family doctor is sort of like the captain of the medical team, pulling together all the results from the various specialist. They instructed me to and I will try to see him as early as possible next week.

It might be asked then, if they did nothing for me (OK, I was on oxygen and that did help the breathing) why or how could I leave feeling better. It was mere words that did it, words of encouragement and reassurance. I have thought and I think written in the past about the power that can be contained within a few words. This experience just so re-enforces that belief in my mind. Vi and I both felt so much better just hearing a few words.

I think back over my life and wonder, how many times could I have shared a few words of encouragement and reassurance that could have eased the burden or another. Not maybe in a medical capacity but just in day to day life.

How many opportunities did I miss to ease the burden or help another by just not saying a few words at the right time. How much time or effort would it take on my part just to say a few words, really none. So often I seem to get wrapped up in my own little world of me, I either forget or neglect to notice what is really happening around me.

Who is to know, what a few simple words coming out of your mouth can do. Anything and everything from uplifting a sagging spirit to maybe even changing the world, who is to know.

Many will snicker at the idea, how could a few words from me possibly change the world. Well, who is to know. I am trying to think of an example. You have a new co worker, new to the job but possibly also new to the work force. Being new to the job they may be struggling to learn it, lacking in self confidence about their abilities. Possibly even thinking of quiting feeling it is just to much for them. Who is to know, a few simple words of encouragement or reassurance may be all it takes to rekindle their fallen spirits and many cause them to keep trying. They with time catch on to the job and self confidence increases. Who is to know. With this increased confidence they improve and advance to possibly even president of the company. Who is to know, possibly from there to politics and eventually to Prime Minister or President of the country and can bring about change in the world. It could have started with a few simple words of encouragement spoken many years earlier. Who is to know?

I concede the chances of the scenario I have laid out happening maybe remote, but who is to know. Every great person started as a child and received support and encouragement as they developed. Comments and encouragement that kept them going to achieve their greatness. It will be the same going forward, how can we ever know when a single kind word of support, may actually help change the world. I don’t want to miss any more chances to do that.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Time at the Hospital

July 1, 2007

A big hello and thank you to the fine doctors, nurses and staff at Seven Oaks Hospital, emergency department. Yesterday, in my visit to the emergency department I was shown much kindness and received excellent care. I even made a mental note of some of the first names of those involved in my care. I wanted to extend personal thank yous. Memory guy here has come through again. So thank you to all.

A very big thank you to all my friends here on the blog that left kind messages and prayers. It means a lot to me thank you.

My medical conditions are always a challenge to the doctors. It seems some of the symptoms of my various issues can overlap with each other. Making it difficult to determine which issue is actually causing my symptoms. Our bodies are so amazingly complex and everything interacts with everything else. They did numerous test ruled out anything immediately life threatening and are going to fax everything to my family doctor. I will try to get in to see him this week.

This is my little mini wish list of things I hope for when ever I go to the hospital.

1. Be able to come home. Got that

2. Have the right doctor, with the right knowledge and bedside manner on call. Definitely got that

3. Have the right knowledegable, kind and caring nurses there. Definitely got that

4. The nurses all be in mini skirts (hey I am a guy what can I say).

I got 3 out of 4, I did pretty well.