Dying Man’s Daily Journal – I am mad – Religious Wackos

August 8, 2008

Up early today 5:00am but am feeling good and very rested. Fell asleep watching TV last night around 7:00 woke up around 10 but only long enough to put on my CPAP mask and back to sleep. As I had managed to get in about a 4 hour nap in the afternoon that was unusual. My body must have needed it as I am feeling good.

Here in Winnipeg the heat of summer seems to finally be really upon us. I imagine virtually every one is happy for this, well except for me. I always seem to have to be contrary. Heat makes it more difficult for me to breathe, if there is humidity with it and I am miserable. I should clarify what I mean by difficult to breathe. My breathing is not restricted or anything like that. I suppose it would be more accurate to say I have more trouble catching my breath. A few minutes in the heat and I am huffing and puffing such that you might think I had just run a mile or something.

Yesterday was an unusual day for me. I published a post. I only had it up for an hour or so and then deleted it entirely, first time I have every done that. In my post I talked about how I was mad and still am.

There was an article in the Winnipeg Free Press, our newspaper. Talk to anyone that knows me and they will tell you I am a pretty laid back kind of guy. I just don’t let things bother me or get to me. There is just no point in allowing that to happen so I don’t, GENERALLY.

This newspaper article pushed all of my buttons and had me jumping up and down kind of mad. OK, I wasn’t actually jumping up and down, takes to much energy.

Here in Manitoba several days ago a innocent young man was murdered in a very gruesome manner. It is so sad and tragic. I can’t even imagine the pain being felt by the family loosing a son in such a senseless and tragic manner. My prayers are with them and I do ask for prayers from all please. The funeral is tomorrow. Words escape me as to what else to say about this tragedy. The funeral is tomorrow and will be undoubtedly such a painful time for all. Just so sad.

That all has me sad, now here is what made me really, really mad. Apparently, a “church” from the U.S. has announced it is sending 7 members to attend the funeral. Now as they are coming as representatives of a “church” wouldn’t you think they would be bringing a loving message of support for the grieving family. Well at least that is what I would have thought. Is that what they are doing? NO!!!!!

They as I understand it intend to stand outside the Church where the funeral is being held carrying large signs. Signs carrying messages of love and support for the family, NO. I understand the messages will be along the line of “God hates Canadians” for our sins such a legalizing abortion. Or, “this young man was taken as God’s punishment to Canadians”. I can’t even begin to tell you how disgusted this whole thing makes me feel. Give this poor family time to bury their son and grieve in peace.

I am all for freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but in my mind this just crosses the line. Some in the U.S. have labeled this group as a hate group, I can understand and agree with that. Notice I have quit referring to them as a church. I am not sure why a “group” from the United States would want to come to Canada to protest our laws, surely there is enough in your own country to protest against. But, OK, fair enough you have that right but not to interrupt a family in their time of grief at a funeral. That by itself proves what a bunch of crack pot lunatics you are. You want to protest our laws do it in front of a government building somewhere, not at a funeral.

This got me so worked up, I sent yesterday on the phone. I phoned everyone I could think of. I phoned the federal government, our provincial government, our city government. Individual representatives at all levels of government. I phoned the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the city police anyone and everyone I could think of. There just has to be some way to stop this lunacy. I was very vocal with everyone I spoke to and made sure all knew my feelings on this matter.

In today’s newspaper there is a follow up story. I understand I wasn’t the only one to “jump on the band wagon” and many phone calls were made. I am not sure if it was because of the phone calls or what. But for what ever reason the newspaper states the group was turned away at the border yesterday and were denied entry into Canada. Thank goodness. A spokes person for the group though still vows they will be at the funeral and have other plans for getting into Canada.

Something else that concerns me is reading that a group of angry Manitoban’s plan on being on hand at the funeral to block their entry should they actually arrive. This whole thing is just so sad. There is a grieving family just trying to lay their son to rest and they potentially have all of this to deal with.

In one of my numerous phone calls yesterday, it was suggested possibly this group was just seeking publicity for themselves. That is why I have purposefully not mention the name of this group. I am just not going to give them that satisfaction.

I love and respect my American brothers and sisters just across the border. I know this group is no reflection on you as a group. We all have our wacko’s, I do feel sorry for you having to put up with them all the time.

Sorry to be ranting like this. I suppose it is just that death, funerals etc are something I am a little touchy about, it strikes a little close to home for me

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – The Power of Words

August 6, 2008

Feeling good these days, just really sucked out, no energy.

I am going to do something today that I have never done before. I am going to copy an entire post from a fellow blogger. It was posted by my dear blogging friend Jennie over at no more abuse.

OK, I admit she is very flattering and complimentary about me in her post and that does make me feel good. But that is a side issue and doesn’t relate to the point I am trying to make here. Now Jennie really is a stranger to me, just as are most of the people here on the blog. The point I am trying to illustrate is the tremendous power of words not just my words but words used by everyone. Jennie writes of how I was able to reach out to her through cyber space and have a positive impact on her and for that I am so very glad.

The point I am trying to make is that we all have within us a tremendous power. The power of words can be beyond our imagination and affect people in ways we can never realize. We must appreciate the power of the words that we have within us and so often come out of our mouths. Simple words can have an amazingly powerful positive affect or can have a devastating negative affect. Everyone of us has this power of words and it is a power we should always use wisely.

Now, I will always be the first to admit I am no one special. I have no training at anything well other than banking. I am just a guy sitting at his computer in his basement typing his thoughts and feelings. I have first hand experience feeling the power of words, on a daily basis. I experience it through the loving, kind and supportive comments left here on the blog. Positive and uplifting words have such an impact. They lift our spirits, they can change a mood and yes even change a life. Change a life, many may think I am going a little over board with that comment. But, it is true, again I know it from first hand experience. Writing this journal and reading the comments left by readers has indeed changed my life.

Think about it what does it cost us to spread a few words of kind loving support, NOTHING. I write often of how every moment of our time is precious and that we should waste not a single one of them. The few moments of time spent in this way would truly not be wasted but instead very well spent. Spending a few precious moment in this way can be so very rewarding. To see a smile on the face of another and to know you put it there is a reward of immeasurable value. It warms your heart like few other things can. PLUS, you just never know how deeply you few words may have affected that other person, you never know the ripples it may created. All from a few simple words.

Obviously, I am suggesting we share these words on a very regular if not constant basis with family and friends. But, why limit them to this very special select fews? Why not share them with everyone in our world? It costs us nothing, it takes but a few seconds but who is to ever know how deeply our few words may impact the individual and how wide spread may be the results.

We can be so quick to notice and comment on what we see as the negative around us. Let’s make a conscious effort to be just as quick to notice the positive and be just as quick to voice those comments. Todays world has evolved into such that we generally avoid contact with any that are not within “our group”, that being family, friends, coworkers etc.. Yes, today’s world has evolved and changed, to the point where our daily interactions can include literally hundred of “strangers” on a daily basis. Who are all of these strangers? Well, really they are just potential friends we haven’t gotten to know that well yet. All need and are deserving of a few kind supportive words every now and again. I am just sitting here thinking, is it just me or does everyone seem to appreciate and feel a little more uplifted by a few kind words from a stranger than from our own family? Each of us has that great power within so let’s start to use it in a very positive way, TODAY!!!!!!!

Our words to others don’t have to contain great wisdom. It is enough for the person to just know that even if it is only for a brief moment there is someone that recognizes them, appreciates them for what they are doing and cares enough about them to say it.

Here in my journal, my words are never fancy. In fact almost always they are never even thought out or planned in any sort of a way. I just write my thoughts and share my feelings. If I can do is so can you in fact so can everyone.

Here on the administrators site of my blog, I can see how many hits each individual posting gets. I can also see how many actually visited other sites I have recommended or have asked people to visit. I see that generally it is a small percentage. My dear friend Jennie’s post so clearly illustrates what I am trying to say here. She quotes my simple words to her, you will see, nothing fancy or wise. She also writes of how those few simple words impacted on her.

To Jennie, I thank you my friend you can never know how deeply touched I am or how deeply your words have impacted on me. I do thank you so much.

Top illustrate my point, I humbly give you Jennie’s post and comments:

The Power of Words

I recently came across a web site,
wordle.net, where you can create “word clouds” with any text. It takes the words and arranges them randomly in various ways. Common words like prepositions are thrown out, and words repeated often appear larger. I was playing around with it by copying and pasting snippets of text from various websites. It was pretty interesting to see the words thrown together out of context.

I decided to try a snippet from Bill Howdle’s Dying Man’s Journal. I copied and pasted a paragraph from his post Words Helping Others and added a few other words he uses frequently. The above “wordle” was the result, (link to larger size). Makes me feel good just looking at those words. So I’m looking at them a lot.

I have always known that words have great power to help or to hurt, yet I did not fully appreciate the power of words until my exposure to verbal abuse. Perhaps one positive result of this experience will be that I become more mindful of the impact of my words on others, and on myself for that matter.

A woman named Juanita posted this comment on Bill’s blog:

“I want to thank you for helping me want to go on living. Your words, on this site, has done more for me than anyone. From your words I have been given hope, encouragement, and love. I had forgotten that there were loving people in the world, but more than anything I had forgotten I was one of them. Thank you for giving me back my life. You will always be one of my hero’s and always in my prayers.”

I can relate to that. Last May I left a comment on Bill’s blog about how his post about making changes had helped me. He replied:

“I am proud of you for taking the small steps to improve your life. Way to go, and good for you Jennie, keep that thought process going, it will get you to where you want to be.”

At that time, when it had been so long since I had received any encouragement, Bills’ words were like rain in the desert to me. I’m getting teary eyed just remembering how it felt when I read those words.
I understand more than ever how much words matter. I am making an effort to speak more lovingly and positively. And that includes what I say to myself, by my thoughts.

I am reminded of a post by Avi at husbandabuse about a time when he was in the hospital for a heart condition.

Although the nurse is paid to do her job I could not help but be touched by the fact that after leaving the room she took the time and made the effort to stop, turnaround, and say “Have a good night”. Oh! How many nights did my wife NOT do that for me. I honestly cannot remember her EVER initiating those final few words one would think would be exchanged by a “loving” couple as they fall asleep for the night. Hmmm, gets me thinking about the tenderness of our hearts both circulatory system wise and perhaps just as importantly, emotionally.

In writing about verbal abuse, one must necessarily write about the negative impact. And the flip side of that is the positive impact of loving words. As Bill said:

How many times have I heard or read that verbal (emotional) abuse can have a must longer and deeper impact on a person than even physical abuse. Physical scars and bruising heal much more quickly than emotional ones.

Emotional bruises and scarring take much longer to heal and can stay with a person for their entire life time. Not always but often this time of long term hurt is caused by words. Depending on where and who these words come from they can cut down inside to our very soul.

I would imagine most of us at one time or another have at least heard of this, the terrible power that can be contained within a few words. We know of how words can be just devastating, we realize that. We know that “mere” words can have such a devastatingly negative impact. I ask then wouldn’t it just stand to reason, if we look at the flip side of the coin, that “mere” words could have a wonderfully healthy healing power to them. If words can tear us down then obviously words can build us up in a healthy positive way.


As usual, Bill’s message is simple, true, and powerful.

Language is funny. Take the word ‘heart’ for example. Medically speaking, Bill has a “bad heart”, in layman’s terms. Yet in human terms, it is clear that he has a very good heart. His good heart is abundantly clear from his efforts to reach out to others, and the supportive, encouraging, caring words he uses.

Words are powerful, yet sometimes seem so inadequate. How do I say “Thank you Bill” in a way which conveys the gratitude in my heart?

Collapse comments

Anonymous Bill said…
There is and never has been any need to thank me. I thank you for becoming a cyber friend.
I feel very touched and honored by what you have written and I thank you for your words. If you felt any need to thank me consider it done and done in such a beautiful way. I appreciate it so very much.

August 4, 2008 1:47 PM

Blogger jennie said…
I know you didn’t need to hear ‘thank you’, but I wanted to say it anyway. Expressing gratitude feels good and knowing you made a difference in someone’s life feels good too.

Having experienced the positive effect of your words in my life, I am making an extra effort to follow your example and pass it on to others.

August 4, 2008 3:34 PM

I guess all I am really trying to say is if I can do so can everyone else.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Respect/tolerance

August 4, 2008

Had a good nights sleep and am feeling pretty good. Have just a niggling of what I hope is not one of my headaches. Thankfully it is only very occasionally but I do get these head aches that are just wicked. My brain tumor is on the right side of my head. Now go figure, it is on the right hand side but apparently affects my on the left hand side, hmm. Anyway, when I do get these headaches it is totally on the left hand side. Through my meditation I am actually trying to work on a way in which I can in the midst of such a head ache, basically just move over and live in the right side of the brain. Possible???? If I get a big one I am not even sure if it is still just a head ache. It is all on the left hand side but even the upper parts of my nose ache. It extends up through my eye, all the way through my head, down my neck and extends into the left shoulder. Not much fun for sure. Some times these head aches serve to remind me that I am a lucky man. As bad as it may get, I still have the luxury of knowing that within a few hours or by tomorrow at least it will be gone. Others do not have that luxury and face it constantly, my prayers go to them.

I know in the past I have written about my wonderful neighbors Art and Lisa. They have been together for years and on Saturday they made if “official”, they got married. I wish you a life of wonderful loving happiness.

Their house has been a bee hive of activity over this past week with friends and family arriving for every where. Such an exciting time for all, with much celebrating going on of the joyous occasion. I hope all had and are still having a great time. Actually this morning at about 8:00am I was surprised to look out the window and see Lisa, her mother, brother Garry and a friend out there playing a bean bag tossing game somewhat like horse shoes. I grabbed a coffee and went out to chat over the fence. Again I was surprised when I heard they had been at it all night. They had literally partied the night away. Good for you, I hope wonderful lasting memories were created.

I had one more surprise coming. While I was standing there a different neighbor arrived to complain about the noise they were creating and had created all night long. Now that definitely threw a wet blanket on the festive mood.

Now I have been thinking about this and can see I think both sides of the coin. There are very few of us that don’t have neighbors. I believe we must have both respect for but also tolerance of our neighbors. It is one of those fine line balance things. This issue this morning is fresh in my mind so I will use it to I hope explain what I mean. If any of my neighbors happen to read this and I offend sorry.

Let’s start off with the newly weds and how I see their side of the story. It is a time to celebrate. Friends and family have gathered from all over the country. Let’s make the most of this special gathering and celebrate and party. Fair enough.

Then there is the other side of the coin. I should be able to sleep in my own home without being bothered by noise from neighbors especially late into the night. Fair enough.

This is where we get to the respect and tolerance thing. As a good and considerate neighbor I should indeed keep noise levels down especially when I know people are trying to sleep. This is where we get to what I suppose is a judgement call. What is an acceptable amount of noise. I mean surely I can’t be expected not to spend any time in my own yard irregardless of the time of day. Now in this particular situation, I am the immediate neighbor and I hear virtually nothing, certainly not enough to in anyway bother or interrupt my sleep and I had my windows open. In fact the only time I did hear anything was at some time through the night I got up to have a “pee” and I could hear voices talking and soft music playing. Nothing that in anyway hindered me going back to sleep. All of which I suppose explains why I was surprised to see them out in the yard this morning. But, hey that is me, maybe others are more sensitive to noise than I.

Now we get to the tolerance part. We all have neighbors and have to expect and accept they are going to live their lives. Living their lives may occasionally spill over into our lives, noise etc.. Now to be good and considerate neighbors we have to also accept that. We get to another judgement call. How much do we tolerate or put up with before enough is enough all ready. Valid point and I am sure it will differ from individual to individual and again fair enough.

Legitimately everyone is entitled to their own view on this and may agree or disagree with mine.

I know all of my neighbors are good people as are by far the majority of people in the world. I accept they are living their own lives according to their timetable in life and this may not always match mine. While we are all the same we are also individuals that allows us to be slightly different in the direction or timing of our lives. If I am to live around people with any degree of joy I must accept this. I accept that they living of their lives as they should be and by the mere fact we are neighbors, in the living of their lives, it may well spill over into my life. I respect that and accept it, I can’t expect them to live their lives by my time table or in a way I see as being acceptable. I can’t expect anyone’s life to revolve around me and I don’t expect that. I know I must be tolerant of and allow for the fact my neighbors may well cause little interruption’s in my life as they live theirs and that is fair enough.

Now back to my case in point with my neighbors. Art and Lisa are wonderful neighbors, they are not noisy. Now if you know me, you would know I would most certainly have no problem going over and complaining about the noise levels if I felt by my standards it was necessary. I think we all need on occasion to have a little bend in our normal tolerance levels. For me last night would have been one of them. Keep in mind I didn’t hear anything. But you know what, knowing it was such a special occasion, they could have had the wildest nosiest party in the city. They could have kept me awake all night and I would be just smiling thinking I hope it was a wonderful party, a wonderful time and that many lasting memories were created.

I hope everyone would sit down and really think about it. Are you showing your neighbors due respect and allowing the appropriate amount of tolerance? At least enough tolerance to really allow them to live their lives.

What kind of neighbor are you?

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Why me??

August 2, 2008

I have come to realize that every once in a while I need to put aside a little time. Time to just sit back, think about my life and count my blessings. I need to do this occasionally to bring my mind back into focus and to realize what a lucky man I really am.

OK, it is an accepted fact, my health may not be the best and often it seems to be so easy to get lost in thoughts of that. That takes me back to the good old Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change.” My health conditions fall into that catagory, as much as I would like to I can not change them. Grudgingly, I must accept them and my life as it is, and move on if I am to get any pleasure and enjoyment out of it. Now, I didn’t just accept the original diagnosis. I didn’t like what I was hearing so I got a second opinion and then even a third opinion, all from highly qualified professionals in their field. Independently they all came to the same diagnosis. Now you have to know I really didn’t like that. Back to the serenity prayer, accept the things you can not change.

I realized how wonderful, how beautiful life is. I realized I was at a cross road on the highway of life. I had 2 paths to choose from:

Path one, accept what I could not change and really try not to fret about it. Now that is a lot easier said than done. Now with that I would naturally follow doctors orders, take all my medications……. and just move on to enjoy as much life as I have available to me. No one ever said life would always be easy but it can still be enjoyed.

Path two, would see me in something like panic mode. Possibly running from doctor to doctor, franticly searching for someone anyone that would claim to have a cure. I have total faith and trust in my doctors and know that is any such cure or new procedure were discovered they would bring it to my attention. By frantically running around what would I accomplish. I would be totally stressed (not good for the heart) and my attention would be totally focused on finding the elusive cure and not on simply enjoying life in what ever time I may have left.

As I am sitting here thinking I realize there could also be a third path. On this path, I could just become so bitter and angry over the hand life has dealt me that I would deny myself the enjoyment of what ever time is left. I could be bitter and angry screaming things like, why me? I admit, I went through what thankfully was a short period of the why me feelings. Come on, I have had 4 heart attacks that have damaged my heart and have me in heart failure. I have a brain tumor that causes embarrassing memory loss. I have diabetes, epilepsy, sleep apnea, carpal tunnel, peripheral neuropathy, thyroid problems and am prone to kidney stones. So I do think I have enough just medical conditions going on to entitle me to ask, WHY ME? It took me a while but then I realized why not me? I have no idea of the statistics but every year a certain percentage of the population will get each of these conditions. I realized what could make me so special as to have the Good Lord spare me over anyone else? Huh, what makes me so special? Now don’t you just hate it when you can’t think of one single reason for what makes me special, or more special than anyone else. Special enough to warrant me being spared over anyone else. No reason I can think of, so just accept this is where the highway of life has lead me. I do wish I had come to this realization long ago, about the why me. Bad, sad and tragic things happen everyday and it sucks big time. No one that I know of ever said life would always be easy but it can always be lived in the best way we can. There are for sure times of tragedy and grief when it seems next to impossible to get any real joy out of life. But, we all know the joy can be returned and we never know what lies just around the next bend in the highway of life.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Don’t Miss Out on Life

August 1, 2008

Have some running around to do today and won’t have much time on the computer. Bless the heart of the wonderful staff at the heart failure clinic. They are aware I have shall we say memory issues. Last evening one of the nurses called me to remind me of my appointment today, I thank you so much.

Memory is such a strange thing. Generally, I just blissfully travel through live blissfully ignorant of what I am occasionally missing. You don’t miss what you have forgotten about. You don’t realize how much you have forgotten, well because it is forgotten. I just blissfully travel down the highway of life. This medical appointment is but one example. I am so grateful to have wonderful people that so often give me the reminding little pokes I so often need.

As always seems to be the case, when I need a lift I that day get an email containing a wonderful uplifting message giving me that little boost I need. This often also works when I just don’t feel up to writing or am rushed as I am today. This morning this wonderful message was waiting for me from my dear sister-in-law Vicky. It contains a message from withing my heart but worded and written in a manner far better than any I could come up with. As with it seems the majority of the inspirational message forwarded via email. I don’t know the original source to whom I would give due credit.

One day I had a date for lunch with friends. Mae, a little old “blue hair” about 80 years old, came along with them—all in all, a pleasant bunch. When the menus were presented, we ordered salads, sandwiches, and soups, except for Mae who said, “Ice Cream, please. Two scoops, chocolate.”

I wasn’t sure my ears heard right, and the others were aghast.

“Along with heated apple pie,” Mae added, completely unabashed.

We tried to act quite nonchalant, as if people did this all the time.

But when our orders were brought out, I didn’t enjoy mine.

I couldn’t take my eyes off Mae as her pie a-la-mode went down.

The other ladies showed dismay. They ate their lunches silently and frowned.

The next time I went out to eat, I called and invited Mae.

I lunched on white meat tuna. She ordered a parfait.

I smiled. She asked if she amused me.

I answered, “Yes, you do, but also you confuse me.

How come you order rich desserts, while I feel I must be sensible?
She laughed and said, with wanton mirth, “I’m tasting all that is Possible.

I try to eat the food I need, and do the things I should.

But life’s so short, my friend, I hate missing out on something good.

This year I realized how old I was. (She grinned) I haven’t been this old before.”
“So, before I die, I’ve got to try those things that for years I had ignored.

I haven’t smelled all the flowers yet. There are too many books I haven’t read. There’s more fudge sundaes to wolf down and kites to be flown overhead.

There are many malls I haven’t shopped. I’ve not laughed at all the jokes.

I’ve missed a lot of Broadway hits and potato chips and cokes.
I want to wade again in water and feel ocean spray on my face.

I want to sit in a country church once more and thank God for His grace.

I want peanut butter every day spread on my morning toast.

I want un-timed long distance calls to the folks I love the most.

I haven’t cried at all the movies yet, or walked in the morning rain.

I need to feel wind in my hair. I want to fall in love again.

So, if I choose to have dessert, instead of having dinner,

then should I die before night fall, I’d say I died a winner,

because I missed out on nothing. I filled my heart’s desire.

I had that final chocolate mousse before my life expired.”

With that, I called the waitress over.. “I’ve changed my mind, ” I said. “I want what she is having, only add some more whipped cream!”

This is my gift to you – We need an annual Friends Day! If  you get this twice, then you have more than one friend. Live well, love much & laugh often – Be happy.

SHARE THIS WITH YOUR FRIENDS including me if I’m lucky enough to be counted among them.

Be mindful that happiness isn’t based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people we love and respect. Remember that while money talks,