Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Healthy Options

May 31, 2008

Here is a translation of a psalm that I like very much:

Even in the midst of great pain, Lord, I praise you for that which is.
I will not refuse this grief or close myself to this anguish.

Let shallow men pray for ease: “Comfort us; shield us from sorrow.”
I pray for whatever you send me, and I ask to receive it as your gift.

You have put a joy in my heart greater than all the world’s riches.
I lie down trusting the darkness, for I know that even now you are here.

— An improvisation on Psalm 4 by Stephen Mitchell.

My good blogging friend Jennie over at no more abuse, left me with this beautiful improvisation by Stephen Mitchell. I went to the Bible and read the actual Psalm and I do think this is a beautiful and wonderful improvisation or interpretation, call it what you will. The Bible is a most wonderful book, but let’s face it, it can be somewhat confusing and parts left open to individual interpretation. That leaves it up to each of us individually to decide if that makes sense or matches our beliefs. This happens to hit mine right on.

I think about what it says. All of my life I have prayed for God’s will to be done in my life. I realize I was one of those shallow people, in that I was actually praying I suppose with conditions imposed. I was praying for God’s will to be done but then expected that would include only things that I saw as “good stuff”. Things that I felt I wanted or needed in my life, according to my will.

Time is so precious, every moment we waste in any sort of negativity is a moment gone forever, one that we will never get back, never have a second chance to relive. So many of those precious moments did I waste, floundering around in my private field of woe. Praying with all of my heart for God to change her/him, change my circumstances what ever.

Why do so many seem to have to wait until they reach the point of nearing the end of their life that they realize the obvious. I say the obvious, but really it only becomes obvious, at least for me, after a lot of prayer, meditation and deep thought. Even when we realize the obvious, it is still so very difficult to accept it into our hearts and really move on with our lives in a healthy and happy way.

What is this thing that is so obvious. We can’t change other people, or even expect them to change to “suit our wishes”. We must look at each individual person and accept them for who they are, good, bad or in between. Just as they must accept us for who we are. By really looking at and seeing an individual for who or what they are. It is then up to each of us to utilize our free will to make our own individual choices about whether or not we want that person as they are to be a part of our lives, or at least to what extent we want them in our lives, or will even allow them in our lives. The ideal, I suppose would be to totally surround ourself with only loving, healthy, nurturing people and relationship. This I think would be an ideal goal or target to aim for in the way we live our lives. Who in the ideal world would we want to eliminate or at least greatly restrict in our lives. Anyone who’s negativity or what ever drain or suck the life force and energy from us. We just don’t need that sort of relationship in our lives.

That takes us to the circumstances in our lives. Not always, but I think it would be fair to say that the vast majority of the time, negative relationships either directly cause or at least greatly contribute to our negative circumstances. So, so often it seems to me, that the only way to improve that circumstance is to change the relationship with the negative forces (people) in our lives. We must live our lives and not the lives we are expected to live by others and visa vera. Nor can we allow the negativity of others to drag us down. Their issues are their own and we don’t have to allow them to inflict their issues on to us. We have enough to deal with in our own lives without accepting negativity or abuse in any form from anyone else. So often it seems we change our circumstances our lives by changing our relationships.

Now this is all according to “Bill”, but I do believe God does answer our prayers each and every one of them. I am not exactly sure how to word this but I do believe God hears more just the words contained within our prayers. He also hears the need contained with in our hearts. His answer may be directed more to the need than our spoken want.

I am not sure if this is a good comparable or not but hey, it works for me and this is my blog so I can write what I want. I believe God loves us all as his children. In my comparable I see our Heavenly Father in what would be comparable to a Parenting role, leading, guiding us to make healthy choices in our lives. Helping us to become the very best we can be. I picture myself as being some what comparable to say a feisty and stubborn 4 year old. It is meal time and I am hungry and I know what it is I want, candy and potato chips. I am making sure everyone knows what it is I want, I WANT CANDY!!!!! But instead before me is place a healthy meal choice. I am upset, I am mad this is not what I want, this is not what I asked for. I’m mad and my stubborn streak comes out. I know what I want and this healthy choice is not it. Never mind that my loving Parent has given me what is truly best and healthiest for me, I know what I want and refuse to eat. Now I am sure in a 4 year old mind that when you are hungry and waiting to eat, minutes can seem like hours. But I am determined, I know what I want and hold out for what I want. After what I am sure would seem like hours and hours of fighting, totally worn out I finally give in and accept the healthy choice the one my loving parent knew was best for me, inspite of what I declared I wanted. The loving parent knew the child was hungry and in need of healthy nourishment. Being a loving parent the child was not given what he asked for but instead what he needed to grow strong and healthy.

Maybe this comparison is overly simplistic or even way off base I don’t know. But, this is how I see our Loving Heavenly Father answering our prayers. He hears our words, but also hears the need in our hearts. He does want what is best for us and will answer our prayer with a healthy option for our true need. He will place it before us, making it available to us. Sadly so often we don’t see what is laid out before us as it is just not in line with what we wanted and were asking for. God has laid before us healthy options, healthy choices. We just have to see them as such and seek nourishment and growth from them. Sometimes those choices have been right in front of us for so long we have almost become oblivious to them and may have even brushed them aside as just not being in line with what we want. It is only when I have finished throwing my child like temper tantrum demanding what I know I want. That I can sometimes look around and really see the other options that have been laid before me, the healthy nourishing options.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – My Answered Prayers Updated

May 25, 2008

Would it sound strange for me to say I “needed” to reread on of my own posts? When I write, in this my journal, I just let the thoughts come and then post them, be what they may and as they came. I am sure that the fact that I don’t plan and think out a posting, and that I don’t proof read, edit or anything like that is obvious many times.

So if I am writing from my heart with the thoughts in my head, why would I need to go back to reread one of my own posts and how could I seemingly gain or benefit from reading my own thoughts?

For me anyway, I know it can almost vary depending even on the on the day I am having. How do I describe this my beliefs never change, I suppose it is more how I accept or deal with my beliefs that may vary. i know what I know but still find at times I need reminders of what it is I do believe in, or what it is I do know. Depending on the day or the situation, how I am feeling, what ever. It can seem that at times my levels of things like, acceptance, determination, any strength or courage I may have, may vary. At times something will happen that just seems to “rock my world”. At times like these I never question my faith but I suppose it is the amount of comfort or support that I can take from it that can vary. It is at times like this that I scurry to the comfort of my meditation chair. Here I often receive more clarity or am led to someone or something that will help provide me with what I need at the moment.

Would it sound strange for me to say, I think I need to let go of life. Understand, I certainly don’t mean let go of living life. I want to really live life to the fullest for as long as I can. This is complicated even within my own mind, so I hope I can find the words to describe what it is I mean.

It is sometimes like my own thoughts directly contradict themselves. Daily, I pray for God’s will to be done in my life and often it seems I will find some sort of an issue in which I try to exert my own will as I “KNOW” what is best for me. i allow myself to feel hurt, upset or what ever, when in these situations if it not my will that prevails. There was a time when my daily prayer was more like a shopping list than a true prayer. It was sort of like, “please give me this, and this and this.” I was left feeling let down and I suppose feeling disappointed in God, that my prayers hadn’t been answered. I mean I hadn’t been given everything on my “shopping list” so obviously my prayer hadn’t been answered. What is up with that, I prayed for it so why didn’t I get what I asked for, I mean I was only asking for things that I knew would make my life better and who better than I would know what would make my life better.

It has taken me a while to get to the point where I can see how every single prayer has been answered in a positive way. Just not always in the positive way I was asking for. In each situation it was not until well after the fact that I was able to look back and really see and appreciate how the prayer was answered. We live in a physical world inhabited by physical people, it would only seem therefore natural that the Good Lord would use other physical people here on earth to help answer our prayers. I have heard the saying, “when the student is ready to learn a teacher will appear.” I have always said we can learn from everyone and should always be open to do so. I know I have done it, so I have to wonder how many others have done it also. I have been in situations where it seemed my whole life was a total mess, everything was out of control. I would turn to God in prayer, with something like, “my whole life is such a mess, I can’t take all of this anymore, please, please get me out of this.” I would wake up the next morning and be disappointed to see, nothing had changed, here I was still in my own world of woe. I would be disappointed to see that something akin to a miracle hadn’t happened that instantly changed ever aspect of my life, just like that. Poof, and all my problems would be gone.

I know that God’s love for us, his children is far greater, far stronger than anything we can imagine. Yes, He could cause a miracle to happen and poof our lives would just instantly be different. So often we seem to get stuck in the circumstances of the moment and loose sight of the overall big picture of our lives. I think that God’s love for us is actually to great, to strong to just “poof” away our problems. That would in fact be depriving us of an opportunity to grow inside as a person, to become a better and a stronger person. Let’s face it the mess, what ever mess it is our lives are in, we didn’t get ourselves there intentionally. We likely got our selves into that position over a number of years, mistakes and poor decisions got us where we are. It is often easy to look back and now see out mistakes and recognize some of our poor choices or decisions. We have to accept the fact that back when we made those choices and decisions they were the ones that likely seemed to be best for us at the time. It is easy to say “have I ever learned my lesson with this one.” I hope and pray that is true but I have to think that in at least most cases if we don’t learn from our mistakes we are likely bound to repeat them. An example of this just comes to mind, how often do we hear of battered and abused women managing to escape on relationship only to shortly thereafter enter into another identical relationship.

God, does want us all to grow to become the very best “spiritual beings” we can be. He will give us opportunities in which we can grow and will help us and support us through this growth period, by sending us teachers, helpers, supporters, who ever it is we need at the time. We need to just accept responsibility for our lives, accept when we are in a mess and open our eyes to see and to accept the help and support, the teachings that will be made available. If your life truly is in a “mess” it will take life changes to get you out of it. It takes courage to see out from what has become your norm, it takes courage to accept change is needed, it take courage and determination to seek to make the changes that will positively impact your life. It takes courage to be able to put trust in something or someone that is seemingly beyond, your vision of the “norm”. It takes courage to accept that  what has become your vision of the “norm” may not be in line with reality. It takes a great desire to grow as a person, to improve you life, to be able to leave your existing perceived reality and to reach out for help from those around you, maybe forcing you to see a new reality, or life as it is intended to be. Help is always there just look for it and reach for it.

I needed a reminder about answered prayer and was led by my friend Jen, to one of my own posts. Titled Answered Prayers, I think it was in May of last year. I needed the gentle reminder that prayers are answered. Here is a portion of that posting:

“…..I only had 4 or 5 seizures when I actually fell. Those were the strangest things. I would be just doing what ever and the next thing I know I am flat on my face on the ground. No memory of falling or anything just there I am on the floor or on the ground. Usually, just a minute or two to clear my head and I was fine, just very tired. Now wouldn’t you think even just the law of averages would say out of my 4 or 5 falls at least once I would land on something soft like a bed or couch or something. Nope, once I even broke my wrist and a second time sprained my ankle. I must think, I am a macho guy or something because when I “pick” something to land on it is always hard. I think the one that creeps me out the most is finding myself literally face down on the floor of a not so clean public washroom (restroom), yuck.

It has taken me a while to realize that my many prayers over the years have been answered. Answered, just not in exactly the way I was praying for or I suppose even partially expecting.

OK, what are my conditions: damaged heart, heart failure, unstable angina, prone to tachycardia, edema, brain tumor, epilepsy, diabetes, thyroid problems, sleep apnea, carpal tunnel, peripheral neuropathy and post traumatic stress disorder.

I wasn’t diagnosed with all of these in one shot, it was over the course of time. Most though in 2003 and 2004 those were almost like nightmare years I even came to the point of “joking” about how I don’t want to see the doctor any more, every time I do, he has found something new.

Oh, how I prayed back then. Now I see my prayers were my own personal wish lists, I suppose it became almost comparable to a grocery shopping list, I need this and I need this and that. I can see that I was hoping, Our Heavenly Father would reach down touch me on the forehead and poof all my problems would be gone. What did I get instead within a month or two I would be hit with another diagnosis of another condition. This was like my prayers being answered in reverse, I am praying for health and am getting the exact opposite in response. What is up with this?

As I am typing this I have actually just sat here for about 5 or 10 minutes wondering. Wondering, why the thought never even seemed to enter my head at anytime, to maybe question my faith. Not once ever have I question or doubted my faith in God. Now that is certainly not to say that I never questioned or disagreed with His decisions. By that I mean I have ALWAYS known what is best for me, how wrong could I be. Was I disappointed in the lack of positive response to my prayers, for sure.

Over the years my prayers have changed as has my way of seeing things. I now see every prayer was indeed answered in a positive way.

When my health issues with my heart first began, I was praying for help, hoping for a miracle. My idea of the miracle would be that suddenly my heart would be healed. Instead, I was guided to the right doctors who were able to prescribe the right medications. All things I needed help with and I did receive that help. God works in mysterious ways and often utilizes people on this earth to help in His work. Who granted the doctor with the brains and the desire to help other. Who placed the doctor in the right place at the right time. Scientists somewhere “discovered” the medications I required. Who was it that inspired them to do so. To me the answer to all these questions is obvious.

As my list of conditions increased, my prayers changed to asking for strength in dealing with all of this. Here the prayer was clearly directly answered as I did reach the point where I could joke about it all.

Finally, my prayer changed yet again. Now, I pray for nothing more than for God’s will to be done in my life. This prayer has also been answered as I am no longer plagued with questions about the hows or the whys of all of this. I can’t explain any of all of this, why it is happening in my life. I don’t have to be able to explain it. It is God’s will and that certainly is good enough for me.

Everyone of my prayers was indeed, answered in a positive way.”

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Examining our motives

May 24, 2008

I am not sure why this year is different than others it seems. We just passed Mother’s Day and I seem to be spending more time thinking of my mother than I have in past years. It is more than 17 years since she passed over. Every year on Mother’s Day and on her birthday, I make a point of taking at least a few minutes to sit quietly and just think of her, say a little prayer and thank her for being my mother.

I love my mother very much, and yes I mean it in the current and not past tense. She may not be here with me in a physical sense, but she is still my mother. Still my mother, just residing in a much better place. I know in God’s time I will see her again. Of that I have no doubt what so ever.

My belief system did indeed help ease the pain and sense of loss at her passing. I KNOW she was in a tremendous amount of pain prior to her passing. I KNOW she is now in a much much better place, I KNOW I will in God’s time be seeing her again. I KNOW that her leaving this world when she did was what God knew to be best for her and He called her home. I KNEW in my heart even back at the time that I should be happy for her that she was gone, I mean considering where I knew she had gone to. I KNEW my feelings of grief and loss were the inner selfish me seeing only what I was losing, having her in my life. I certainly can’t say that even with this belief that it made the dealing with her loss easy, it certainly was not, but I do think it helped, at least make it easier.

In my mind I have a comparable I use when I think of the loss of a loved one, I know I have written about it before.

I think of this. Suppose a loved one won something really spectacular say a cruise around the world that would last a full year. You know your loved one would have the time of their lives, be happier than possibly ever before. How do you deal with this? You do want your loved one to be happy, but having him/her gone for a full year. That could mean you have to make changes to your own life, I mean a year is a long time for them to be gone. I am sure there are many but I see there as being basically 3 different ways we could deal with it.

#1. Feel our love for the person foremost. Be happy for them, be so glad in your own heart that they have this chance for happiness and joy. Encourage and support them as they prepare for this wonderful time. For sure you know you are going to miss them, but know you can deal with it. The fact they will be happy makes you happy. To me this is the loving approach.

#2. You grudgingly give into them going. But, you make it plain and obvious how difficult things will be for you without them around for this time. You rob them of the shine the excitement of the trip. You fill them with worry and dread about how you will be able to make out with them gone. Yes, they may still go but the enjoyment factor of possibly the entire time is greatly reduced. Who is to know, maybe the enjoyment is even replaced with regret for having gone on the trip, we are so filled with worry about those left behind, how they are doing and how they are feeling.

#3. We take our personal selfishness to the extreme. I don’t care how much joy or happiness he/she will have. I need him/her here with me. I don’t want to have to make any changes in my life, I want things to remain as they are. I like life as it is now and I don’t want him/her to even think of changing the way I want it to be. So what if they miss out on this chance, there will be others. Now way I am going to let them do this to me, I am going to do anything and everything I can to stop it. “I know the way things should be and will be.”

As I am sitting here I realize this applies to virtually every situation in our lives, when it comes to dealing with loved ones and well with everyone in which we have contact. Each of us is an individual and as such have our own personal “agendas”. Our personal agendas motivate our actions and interactions with all others. Are our motives our actions love based or are they based on our own selfishness? I don’t think there is really any gray area here, when it really comes down to it, it is one or the other, love or selfishness. I know it is so easy to rationalize away our individual situations, thinking, “yeah but this is different”. NO IT IS NOT, not if you are honest and really get down to the core of the matter. I want and I really do try to make all of my actions and interactions love based.

Wow, I got off on a bit of a tangent there. But it is what I believe. I guess it is obvious I don’t plan my posts I just start writing what is in my heart and mind. Thoughts just go where they go. This is my journal and I just write.

I knew when my mother passed, she had gone on a voyage. A voyage to a wonderful destination where she would be so happy, she would be in such a better place and so very much better off. My sense of loss was real. I knew my life was changed forever. It would never be the same without her in it. But, I knew I could deal with the change. I chose to celebrate, remember and appreciate the time we had together rather than “just” mourn what I had lost.

I have no doubt, never have had any doubt, that my mother still “exists”. I use the term “exists” as I am not quite sure how else to describe it. She is maybe just in a different form, living in a different Realm.

I am not sure what has made this Mother’s Day different, it is almost like I can feel her presence her with me. Not sure, if that makes any sense of how else to describe it. It is just how I feel.

This post certainly took a different direction on me but that seems to so often happen. I have said before of my little routine before I write. I say a little prayer asking for guidance and direction in what I am going to write. I ask for guidance in finding the words that my help someone, anyone today. I then call upon the Arch Angels Gabriel, Uriel, and Raphael to be with me and guide my thought. From there I just go at it. When I sat down I had intended to write of the wonderful things my mother taught me and of how grateful I was to her for those lessons. I guess that will wait until tomorrow, I am tired and heading for a nap.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – My mother/my servant?????

May 24, 2008

Nothing special planned for today other than have to go for some blood work. Feeling pretty good, will try and get outside for a little fresh air and exercise.

Mother’s Day passed a short while ago and I have been spending a lot of time thinking of my own dear mother. In some ways it is hard to believe it has been 17 years since she passed over. I can remember some of our talks like they were yesterday. In other ways it seems almost like forever since I last got to see her. Isn’t it almost strange how the passing of time can seem different. Maybe it is just our mood at the moment that determines if 17 years ago seems like yesterday or like it was forever ago.

My mother was an amazing lady. She had such a great internal strength that just kept her going through anything and everything. To say she had a hard life would be an understatement but nothing kept her down or really even hardly slowed her down. She worked outside the home full time and yet still came home and did everything in the home. It is only now with my more mature and I hope wiser eyes that I can really look back and see things as they were. It is only now that I can look and really see and appreciate how strong she was, how much she endured, how much she gave and how much she loved. How much I selfishly seemed to expect her to sacrifice of herself for me. I always felt love to my mother but those feelings just never even seemed to enter into the equation. I just knew what I wanted, what I expected and was mad if it didn’t work out the way I wanted. OK, granted I am talking about when I was a kid. From my youngest memory she was always just there and did everything for us. That she was there and that she would do everything was just taken for granted, just automatically accepted as the norm, was expected as who she was and what she was there fore.

I can see that when I was really young that would be natural. I kick myself so often now, when I think back and really wonder why when I grew into and advanced in my teens wasn’t I able to see this. I think I was just so self absorbed in my own life, my own wants and desires I just didn’t see things for what they were and just accepted that this was the norm, as it was the way it had always been, and as the way it should be.

It truly wasn’t until I had been out on my own for a few years that I began to really see things more clearly and I suppose in fact stop taking her for granted. I experienced life for myself, I worked full time and had to come home to the house hold stuff. It was only then that I began to take on an appreciation for all that she was doing and of how hard it was on her year after year. As I advanced in my teen years I did a few things to help out around the house, but any effort I put in was pitifully small.

I look back with feelings of guilt, wondering how she must have been made to feel realizing that somehow she had been lowered to an almost servant status. Somehow, I don’t even thing she ever likely saw it that way, more as her role in life as a mother. I know in my mind I certainly never saw her or thought of her as a servant or anything of the sort. It is just I realize that really that is how she was so often treated. Never did I see it or realize it at the time.

I think of the times she must have felt so disheartened, so frustrated, so tired and maybe even so unloved. I can’t remember any specific examples but I am sure there were many times after a hard full day at work when she came home to 3 complaining teenage sons. Hungry and complaining about the minutes late she was. “Didn’t she realize, how inconvenient this was for me. I may have had plans for the evening and here she was late. Didn’t she know I had to have eaten and be out by a certain time or my plans might be delayed.” “Why couldn’t she understand how I had every right to be upset with her?”

I regret it so much, how could I have allowed myself to grow into that mindset. Embarrassing as it is to admit it I did.

Reality didn’t hit me until a couple of years after I had been on my own and I went home for a visit. I was likely feeling pretty proud of myself for my new found independence being off on my own. I went home for a visit. The bank had transfered me a long distance from home and visits weren’t able to be often. I remember arriving late afternoon, just before supper/dinner time. There were my 2 bothers and father (on one of his visits) sitting, complaining of being hungry and wondering why mother was late getting home from work to prepare the meal. I guess I had been transformed, because I remember being shock, thinking what is the matter with you guys. You can cook for yourself and why aren’t you cooking supper for mother when she gets home. You are just sitting here, what is the matter with you. Somewhere in there it came to me that just a year or two previously I had been sitting on the same couch waiting in the same impatient way. Here I was questioning what was the matter with them, huh, the same thing that had been the matter with me. It was like a light had gone off in my head, the realization had set in. I remember that during this conversation my mother in fact arrived home and immediately began preparing the meal. Well with my new found insight I was in there trying to help but she just kept shooing me away.

That truly was a life changing moment for me a great moment of learning. Never did I treat her the same, or even see her with the same eyes again. She was elevated back to her proper position as my respected and loved mother.

My mother was a wonderful Lady, she taught me so much. So much that makes me who I am today. The lesson she taught me here was to look at all relationships in my life and make sure I am treating everyone with dignity and respect. I learned that lesson that day, and it has stuck with me.

I will write again of the many other lessons I have learned from her.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – The Cab Ride

May 22, 2008

Going to have a busy day and not have much time to write, but I received an email with such a powerful message I just had to share it. The message says it all, what more could I add.


Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window.

Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, and then drive away.

But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself.

So I walked to the door and knocked. “Just a minute”, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.
After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters.

In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

“Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness.

“It’s nothing”, I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated”.

“Oh, you’re such a good boy”, she said.

When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, and then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”

“It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly.

“Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice”.

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.
“I don’t have any family left,” she continued. “The doctor says I don’t have very long.” I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. “What route would you like me to take?” I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.”

We drove in silence to the address she had given me.

It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up.

They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door.

The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

“How much do I owe you?” she asked, reaching into her purse.

“Nothing,” I said.

“You have to make a living,” she answered.

“There are other passengers,” I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

“You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said. “Thank you.” I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.

Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk.

What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift?

What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

~ BUT ~

You won’t get any big surprise in 10 days if you send this to ten people.

But, you might help make the world a little kinder and more compassionate by sending it on.

Thank you, my friend…

“Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here, we might as well dance”.

Thank You

Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.

Dream as if you’ll live forever…Live as if you’ll die tomorrow!

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Tears of a woman

May 22, 2008
Sometimes I get to lazy to really write anything. At times like these I like to just go to the many emails I receive and pick out on of the wonderful and beautiful message I have received and just share it.

Why Women Cry

A little boy asked his mother, ‘Why are you crying?’ ‘Because I’m a woman,’ she told him.

‘I don’t understand,’ he said. His Mom just hugged him and said, ‘And you never will.’

Later the little boy asked his father, ‘Why does mother seem to cry for no reason?’

‘All women cry for no reason,’ was all his dad could say.

The little boy grew up an d became a man, still wondering why women cry.

Finally he put in a call to God. When God got on the phone, he asked, ‘God, why do women cry so easily?’

God said:

‘When I made the woman she had to be special.

I made her shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the world,

yet gentle enough to give comfort

I gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection that many times comes from her children.

I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going when everyone else gives up, and take care of her family through sickness and fatigue with out complaining.

I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and all circumstances, even when her child has hurt her very badly.

I gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults and fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart.

I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts his wife, but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside him unfalteringly..

And finally, I gave her a tear to shed. This is hers exclusively to use whenever it is needed.’

‘You see my son,’ said God, ‘the beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair.

The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart – the place where love resides.’

Please send this to five beautiful women you know today. If you do, something good will happen – You will boost another woman’s self-esteem!

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – How A Man treats a Woman

May 20, 2008

Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today. ~ James Dean

A little while ago I sort of stumbled on this whole issue of abuse. I admit to having a hard time letting go of it, as it is all just so wrong and just makes no sense what so ever to me.

I never have and never will be a physical abuser and have never intentionally been an emotional abuser. I say “intentionally” as lets face it at times we all mispeak or are misunderstood and can unintentionally hurt another.

I often get quite a number of emails from fellow bloggers and other friends. At times it is requested I do a post stating what my thoughts are on certain things. This is one of those cases, I have received a number of messages asking me to state my thoughts on how women should be treated by men. When I got the first message I sort of just laughed it off, thinking that is a no brain-er every man knows how to treat a woman. Then 3 more messages came in asking the for the same thing. That made me stop and think, this along with the abuse issues I have been writing about make it clear maybe all males don’t know how they should be treating a woman. In fact I do believe all males know how a woman should be treated. The sad fact of the matter is many males are so immature and insecure within themselves that they CHOOSE not to do this. To make themselves feel better, more secure, I don’t know something. I do know this is unloving, unkind, just plain cruel and self centered. It is ridiculous.

First off though I have to come to the defense of men. Now I know I have said this before but I must say it again. I hear so much about “MEN” abusing women, it almost at times make me ashamed to admit to being a man. I can say from my heart no “MAN” has ever hit a woman, controlled her or abused her in anyway. A real man just would not do that. There is a lot of understandable confusion as there are a lot of punks out there that see themselves as men, in general the world sees them as men, just because of age and size. This is where the confusion comes in. I takes more than age or size to become a MAN. It is time for all of us to realize the difference, a punk irregardless of age or size is not a Man. Abuse a woman in anyway and you have just proved to her, to yourself and all around, you are not a man but a PUNK. No explanations, reasons or excuses can ever change this, you are a punk. Maybe it is time to realize that, realize that real men look down on you, realize it is time to grow up to become an MAN.

OK, so how should any man treat any woman. A woman, any woman should always be treated with dignity and respect, treated as a Lady. There are just no exceptions to this rule, none, circumstances, situation nothing matters.

Now right away I can picture many shaking their heads, both men and women, saying there are some women out there that just don’t deserve to be treated as ladies. OK, I admit it, I have said there are a number of immature selfish males out there passing themselves off as men but are just punks. Statistically speaking I am there fore also sure there are a number of women doing the same. Irregardless, should this be true or not, as a man this does not give me the right to in essence pass judgement and treat them with anything but dignity and respect.

As a man I must have my own internal set of standards or conduct. To really be a man and to be true to myself, I can not ever allow myself to sink below that set of standards. I am not responsible for the actions or deeds of others, but I am very much responsible for my own. I many not in fact approve, personally, of the deeds of another, and in fact not even want to have really anything to do with that person. That is fine, but, it does not mean that I can treat the individual with less than the dignity and respect any human being deserves.

Husband/wife relationship. Obviously the same dignity and respect would apply here, even to a much higher level. If a man loves his Lady he will show his love and do everything he can to make his Lady feel the love, feel safe and secure, feel protected, feel valued and cherished, feel respected as a person in her own right. He will strive to make her feel valued as the person she is, independent and free.

Some will question, how could anyone in a committed relationship be allowed to feel independent and free. Free to make her own choices. Some will ask if you are in a committed relationship, how can you be allowed to feel independent and free. Doesn’t the commitment remove the independence and freedom? It shouldn’t remove your right to choose your actions. It is in fact your choice of actions that will determine the depth of your commitment to the relationship.

A real man if he truly loves his Lady will do everything he can to make her happy. He will help to nurture and support her, encouraging her to become the very best she can be. Nature dictates that in most cases the male will have superior size and strength. This should only and always be used to protect your Lady from harm, make her safe, make her feel safe.

A woman’s place is at a man’s side, equal in all ways, irregardless of anything. This is something I believe and have written many times. I recently read something about Canadian Native Culture. This indicated that some believe at times a woman should indeed walk about 10 steps behind the man and under the circumstances described I agree.  How could this be justified, may be asked? At the time this practice was in place, they lived in the wilderness. The man walked ahead simply to ensure the trail was safe, free of snakes or anything that might endanger his lady. Your Lady should be loved, cherished and protected at all times.

When I think of a healthy relationship I think of 2 ships floating on the sea of life. I see 2 ships that are fully functional on their own, fully capable of navigating through life on their own. I see these 2 ships choosing to sail the sea of life together side by side. Love is the only reason these ships choose to sail side by side. As a man, I would not want to be sailing through life with another ship at my side that didn’t really want to be there, how unsatisfying in unfulfilled would that be, really.

Tired and off for my nap, may add more later.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Starfish Story

May 20, 2008

A woman was walking along a beach when she saw a man scooping up starfish off the sand and tossing them into the waves. Curious, she asked him what he was doing. He replied “When the tide goes out it leaves these starfish stranded on the beach. They will dry up and die before the tide comes back in, so I am throwing them back into the sea where they can live.”

The woman laughed, “But this beach is miles long and there are hundreds of stranded starfish, most will die before you reach them – do you really think throwing back a few starfish is going to make a difference?”

The man picked up a starfish and looked at it and threw it into the waves. “It makes a difference to this one” he said.

I received this wonderful story as part of a comment left by my new good blogging friend, Jennie. I thank you so much for this Jennie, the story is so inspirational. There really is so much we can all learn from it.

In the story here we have a man seemingly taking on a hopeless or maybe even seemingly a useless task. There are miles of beach all of which he alone can’t possibly cover to save all of the starfish. But, does he give it up as a useless or hopeless task, NO. He realizes you Maybe can’t mean the world to everyone, but you can be the world to someone. He was doing his part, to help the world and meant the world to those starfish he did save.

I meant it when I said he was doing his part to help the world, he realize that every little bit counts, every little bit helps. He was showing his true character and the size of his heart by helping a living thing in trouble. I can only imagine that a man with a heart this big would be also helping other people in anyway he could with that same determined effort. Realizing every little bit helps, no extra effort is to small and no one would be seen as being not worth his help. He would just do what he could and I am sure felt better in his heart for knowing he did what he could.

Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all did that, had that attitude. If we all just did what we could instead of just throwing up our hands in despair, thinking this task, this problem, whatever is just to big, so big that nothing I could ever do would make a difference. That thinking is just so wrong as truly every little bit helps. Love is what make this world go around. It is the one thing there really can never be to much of. It truly is a case of the more the better. You have it in your heart, an inexhaustible supply of love. By showing it, sharing it through a simple act of kindness to another can be your way of doing your bit to make the world a better place.

Sharing this love can and will have its own rewards as you will feel the very love in your heart that you are giving away is growing, more than you can imagine.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Misdirected negative feelings

May 19, 2008

I thought I would give this abuse stuff a bit of a break. But there is a story I came upon on another blog. I read it and was so touched by it. I should have put the site on my blog roll or bookmarked it or something so I could go back and read it again. It just sort of keeps coming back to me again and again. It gave me a bit more of an insight into why possibly some suffers of abuse don’t seek help or at least take it when offered. I don’t know just my thoughts.

A part of it was about misdirected negative feelings. It spoke of long term abuse suffers being so beaten down, so defeated, they had no energy left to fight or really try any more. It goes back to the trained helplessness and hopelessness. I wish I had copied it to post it here, it states so much better the conditions of these situations than I can.

It spoke of women but I know it would equally apply to men. People who after 30 or 40 years of abuse are just left feeling empty and defeated. No energy to face anymore challenges, barely enough energy to just get through the day. They are so beaten down they are vulnerable to any and all that should wish to use or take advantage of them. They may have escaped from the abusive partner only to have that role taken over by other family members. Here I am talking brothers, sisters and even children to parents. There is no end of people willing to take advantage is given the opportunity, friend, neighbors, coworkers that list would be endless. Wittingly or unwittingly many seem to sense when someone is vulnerable and can be taken advantage of. I am sure this taking advantage of, using, controlling or abusing starts off with something small. But, it almost seems like human nature, if you get away with something small the tendency is continue pushing the envelope just to see how far you can take it. I am sure so often it is even at a subconscious level. The situation gradually evolves, expands and grows until it reaches the point total control is established over the other. I am sure even at that point many do not even realize what they are doing. Things have evolved and changed so slowly that it is not even realized that we have taken control of or are dominating the life of another. We don’t even realize or appreciate what is being done. It reaches the point where it becomes an expectation. “She will do what I want or I will be very mad and will make her life so miserable she will eventually cave in and I will get my way, as it should have been.”

Our abuse victim is pushed even further down. I have read our own children can be the worst at doing this. Our abuse victim just gives up. Her self esteem and self confidence so beat and taken away, she has no confidence in her own decisions. It is just easier to let anyone, even my kids decide what I should be doing, their decisions are likely better than mine anyway, and I just don’t have the energy to fight them, so be it.

I was surprised to read of a quite a number of women actually seeing and recognizing a loving, healthy hand being extended to help them. Of them feeling it was the right thing, the healthy thing to do but of them refusing the offered hand. Possibly maybe because of lack of trust in her own ability to make the right decision but mostly because of the objections of her own family. I am not sure if their objections were based on their own fear of change, I certainly hope not to just exert their control, this I just can’t believe.

I read of women giving up on what they knew would be a real chance of happiness in a healthy relationship because it was to much bother. Their families were comfortable the way things were and didn’t want change and fought it. In each case she just gave in not having the energy to fight for anything, not even her own health, happiness and well being.

I read of the stories of 3 women that had managed to find a new love. A love with a good loving and respectful man. In each case family pressure was so great, it became so stressful each ended the relationship. One guy ran for the hills never to be seem again. The other 2 had to much love to just give up that easily, they persisted in trying to wooing the lady they loved. Neither realized what they were really up against. Each attempted contact caused such an uproar in the home, more and more stress for the lady. So much stress she began to dread the thought of him calling, knowing the stress and tension in the home that it would cause. In each woman apparently the feelings of love remained in tact, but she began to resent the man for calling or trying to contact her because of the family stress it would cause her.

This is what I call the misdirected negative feelings. Here we had 3 women that had loving hands extended to them. Three woman that had a chance at a healthy happy life but gave it up. Not only that but their negative feelings were directed at the loving man, the health support and not at those holding her back, controlling her life. I don’t get it!!!!!!!!

I have often encourage people to shed negative draining relationships from your life and surround yourself with healthy, supportive and nurturing relationships. I just ask before you shed a relationship, please be sure you are sure where the negativity is coming from and be sure you shed the correct relationship. In the case if the relationship that needs to be shedded is with family, remember that doesn’t necessarily have to mean ending or cutting the ties, just the relationship as it is. End it as it is and reform it into a new and healthy one.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – So frustrating

May 18, 2008

Feeling good today, got in my walk yesterday. Stretched my distance a little, still not going to say how far I go and still call it exercise. But hey, even one step is better than no steps. I do take a lot more than one step, just not at a very fast pace.

I’m taking a step back from what seems to have become my main topic this last while, abuse particularly abuse of women. I just find any kind of abuse so wrong. Have you ever had something that really bothered you, really really irritated you, something that you know is just so wrong. Something that you know is there, but you can’t actually see it, but you know it is happening, you desperately want to do something about it but seemingly just can’t. Well that is the way I feel about that issue. It is wrong, it is unloving, it is cruel, and yet accepted by many. I am certainly not abandoning it, just taking a break as I seem to get very worked up inside of myself just thinking of it. Frustrating, why can’t people just see!!!!!! I think maybe I will set up a separate page or something and invite real men to comment on how they treat their ladies the jerks in the world will realize that that is just what they are jerks and what they are doing is wrong.

I have had several emailed requests for me to do a post on how a man should treat a woman, or all women. When I read that for the first time, I just sort of blew it off, thinking that is kind of silly, everyone knows that. When I think about it though I realize there are a lot of males out there in particular that obviously do not. I will get that up in the next day or two.

I am getting more back into my meditation and this morning something came to me. The Serenity Prayer is in fact a wonderful guideline for life, everyones life.

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change. The courage to change the things I can, and The wisdom to know the difference.”

That is so right on, such a wonderful thought, if we can only learn to see it and realize it in our hearts.

Think about it, what in life is the only thing that really we can not change, Other people. Let’s face it, while it may be difficult, every thing else in life can be changed. I am not saying it would be easy but jobs can be changed, housing can be changed. When it comes right down to it, there really is nothing in our lives that can’t be changed, except other people. We can’t make other people change, we may try, even hope and pray for another to change. Ultimately we must accept that, no matter how we try, or what we do, we can’t change other people, into being the person we want them to be. For better or worse they are who they are and we must accept that, come to terms with it.

“The courage to change the things I can. Where can I make the biggest change the most important change, is within myself and for myself. I and only I am the master of my own destiny. I and only I am responsible for my life. I and only I must make the decisions and have the courage to accept responsibility for my own life. Have the courage to make changes as I see needing to be made. I think we often abdicate responsibility for our life’s as they are today. Maybe, it is more like an avoidance issue. It is easier to avoid dealing with our lives as they are today, by putting off the issues until tomorrow. Life will be so much better: when I get the new job. when we get a bigger house, when the kid’s leave home…….. What did we just do with that, avoided dealing with our lives. It is easier to dream of a better life at some point in the future than it is to have the courage to deal with it now. If we don’t deal with our issues nothing will ever change in our contentment and serenity in life. It is not outside factors that determine the quality of life that is determined only from within.

“The wisdom to know the difference”. This is so big. The wisdom to know we can not expect or even force others to change to fit our expectations. We can’t change others no matter how we try. (excluding parents raising children). To truly live a happy and contented life, the only thing we can change is ourselves. It is futile to expect another to change, not going to happen, unless they want it, and then they will change to who and what they want, not necessarily what we still want. All we can change is ourselves. That does take courage, but it can be done. The first single step takes the most courage from there it is more determination and a sense of direction as to where you want to take your life. If you don’t have a goal or a target in mind how can you know what steps to be taking to get there.