Dying Man’s Daily Journal – To know you are dying

August 7, 2009

House has been pretty busy the past few days. We have been blessed with a house full of company. Vi’s son Michael, daughter Lynelle and two grandchildren Seth and Sadie. Pluse dear friends Alex and Jane Anderson from Norway House. It was nice to see them all. I am so glad our house is large enough that we can offer our hospitality to visitors on a regular basis.

Often the lions share of the “entertaining” falls to  Vi as I still make sure I get my naps etc.. Our general rule of thumb is, while in our home, you become like a member of the family so help yourself. If you are hungry or thirsty feel free to go through the fridge or cupboards. If you see somthing that looks good, eat it or drink it as the case may be. If you don’t see anything then I guess it sucks to be you as we apparently don’t have it. That I am aware of that has never happened as the cupboards and fridge are generally pretty well stocked.

With being gone from the blog for about a month, so many wonderful comments have been left I will never be able to respond to them all. But know I have read and appreciate all. I am glad to see that in some ways the blog has become sort of a community bulletin board with messages being passed back and forth. I think that is great, promotes a sort of sense of community witch I like very much.

There was one comment that asked me several very good questions, that I am going to try to answer. Here is the comment from Morgan:

Does death give us a better view of the world? Does it open our hearts and minds? I have lost many loved ones and only want to know this: what is it like to live when you know you are dying?

I am struggling with this a little, not because of the question, but struggling to find the right wording to express my thoughts and feelings. This is a very personal and individual thing. What applies to me may not apply to someone else.

I have found it to be a very mind opening, attitude changing experience. I truly do see life and the world differently than I did say 10 years ago. This may sound totally crazy but if anything I would say I have found it to be a very good experience because of the very positive changes it has brought about in me. These are changes that I am sure would never have come about, without something as major as this happening. That I think is very sad. I think back over my life and remember so, so many times when I allowed myself to get so stressed out, so fired up over what I now see as a nothing event. My life could have been so much easier, so much better.

I have not always been a willing participant in bringing about these changes. The first 3 heart attacks, open heart surgery all brought about minimal and short lasting changes. The last 2 heart attacks literally forced me to slow down and with that I struggled against reduced physical limitations and still do to some extent. Change had to be forced on me before I would slow down enough to appreciate life. To recognize what was and is important to me. It is not work, it is not material possessions.  It is living life, not enduring it or constantly struggling to advance in this materialistic world. It is living life, living each moment appreciating who I have in my life and the world around me. I have this “dying” thing hanging over my head but I have come to realize and appreciate I am one of the luckiest men in the world. I always have been, I just didn’t see it or appreciate it for what I had. I was just never satisfied always striving for more.

OK, it was forced on me but I have learned to slow down. Look at life for what ir really is and what is important to me. Look at the big picture and realize that individual events or circumstances don’t define my life but are merely little blips that likely don’t even warrent a single stitch on the over all tapestry that represents my life. If an event is over all so insignificant, why am I allowing mysef to be even the slightest bit upset about it as it happens?

Do I still hold grudges? No, it is not worth the time or the effort. I admit this is an area I really had to work on. I carried grudges, was angry or hurt by the actions of others in the past. Finally, I came to realize the past is the past. I can’t change it, the other person can’t change it. If it can’t be changed, by letting that anger fester inside of me, I am hurting no one but myself. I realized I was giving that person the power to carry on hurting me, well after the fact. Doesn’t mean I have to ever forget and become buddy buddy again with who ever. But, I don’t have to carry on giving them the power to control or damage my life. It is not worth it let it go.

Life is a learning experience, I am still learning as I go. I do know I am much further down the learning path than I was in the past.

I started off intending to actually write something here but somehow fell back into may comfortable rambling ways. Hope I got my message across.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Medical Update

August 4, 2009

I have received several inquiries as to how I am feeling, so a quick medical update.

Heart seems fine, no pain of any sort, no palpitaions, doing well. Here in August I see both my cardiologist and neurologist and will get more of an update I suppose from them. For the past month or so, just have not been feeling too spry. It is sort of like I feel like I am bordering on the edge of having the flu but not quite there. Energy level is about zero and I have to force myself to do anything and everything. Breathing is I suppose my biggest difficulty. By that I simply mean getting winded very easily and spend a lot of time huffing and puffing. I don’t think I am necessarily getting winded any easier than before, it just seems my recovery time is longer. Everything considered I am doing very well and am grateful for that.

I wrote yesterday about my adventures with the rabbit and how I met Conrad. Conrad stopped by yesterday afternoon, inquiring about the rabbit. I hated to have to tell him the rabbit had been put to sleep. I am guessing Conrad is about 12 or 13 years old. It is obvious he is growing to be a good strong man with a big heart.

Spent time yesterday reading all the wonderful comments left here on the blog. I thank everyone for each and every one of them. Because of the sheer number I don’t think I will be able to respond to each individually but please know they have all been read and appreciated.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Real life Earth Angels

August 3, 2009

It is really nice to be back on internet land. I feel almost like it is a home coming, getting back with dear friends and family. I must admit I was surpised to find how much I missed the blog and all of you. It is nice to be back.

Have you ever had one of those situations where there was a problem and the more you tried to fix it, the worse it seemed to get. I am blessed to have friends that are very computer knowledgable, unlike myself. (my computer skills are limited basically to pushing the power button, then it works or it doesn’t). After several misadventures a true Earth Angel came to my rescue.

Now this is a gentleman, whose true passion is computers and whose knowledge seems to be unlimited. He took the computer, cleaned it up getting it running about 10 times faster than it had been. Gave us new updated virus protection, replaced a defective CD burner, installed a new DVD burner, installed another 6 or so programs some for added  safety and some for enjoyment (games). When it was all done, he brought it back here to the house and gave us about a 2 hour tutorial on how to use it all.

We were both thrilled and so very appreciative. Naturally, I expected to pay him for all of his time and work. He refused any sort of payment of any type and I offered a couple. He simply stated he doesn’t do this for any sort of remuneration or recognition but to help people. In our discusions it had come up that he often is up until even 2 or 3 in the morning working on these computers. This being in addition to his regular job. I know of many that have benefited from his knowledge and willingness to help. I told him of how I would be writing about him here on the blog and he asked me not to, the no recognition thing.

I am honoring his request for anonymity and will only identify him as Dave. Dave, you are truly an Earth Angel and we thank you so very much.

This world is just full of kind, loving and generous people. It is such a shame their acts are some how lost in the seemingly endless flow of bad news that we hear. It causes us to loose sight of the goodness that is all around us. Have we allowed ourselves to get to the point where we are almost like programed to look for the worst in the world? I suppose that could be almost understandable as that seems to be almost everything we hear or read in the media. We seem to focus on the problems so much we fail to see the goodness right in front of us.

Everything so far I wrote yesterday. I intended to end the post with a bit of a medical update. I got tired, took a rest and just never seemed to get back to it.

But, something special happened last night and I have to write about it. I suppose it illustrates my own blind eye, seeing something and automatically assuming the worst. Was I ever wrong. Thankfully this was a time when my mouth wasn’t working in advance of my thinking and I kept quite until I understood what was going on.

First off to set the stage. We live in a good safe area of the city. Over the past several years though a group of younger teens have discovered the “joys” of partying with alcohol. I can remember going through that stage myself. Vandalism particularly to the local school has become an issue. We have a local neighborhood watch (doing a wonderful job) that keeps us all informed of any activity in the area very often this group of kids are mentioned. We are advised to be on the watch etc.. It is likely the same thought everywhere. What is up with the kids today?

Back to last night. I was laying on the bed watching TV when I heard yelling out in front of the house. Have to check it out and out I go. Right across the street between 2 elderly neighbors homes, I see a young teen. As I heard yelling there must be more than one or he was confronted by one of the elderly neighbors. I’ll have none of this and off I go across the street. This was after I went back into the house and told Vi to be on the look out ready to call the police. I could only see one guy but who knows maybe there were 8 or 10 of them.

After talking to Vi I come back out but this time I can see the young man walking very slowly forward. A head of him I can see a rabbit that is very obviously seriously hurt. He asks me to help him catch this injured rabbit to get him to a vet or somewhere that can help him. Apparently this young man had been going by on his bike when he saw a cat catch the rabbit. The yelling was to chase the cat away.

This is how I met Conrad. I don’t know Conrad other than from our brief meeting last evening. Together with a towel we were able to quite easily catch the injured rabbit. We took it back to the house, put it into a box. It must have been for about 20 minutes or so that Conrad sat at the door with the injured rabbit showing amazing loving care for this a wild rabbit. This was while I was on the phone trying to find somewhere that was open to which we could take the rabbit.

Conrad, you never knew what my thoughts and suspicions were when I first came out of the house. Even so I do appologize to you. You were and are a kind and brave young man. A young man with a big and loving heart. You are an Earth Angel, doing yourself, your family and your entire generation proud. It was my honor to have met you and I wish you well.

Sad note to end the post. Got the rabbit to an animal hospital. From it’s injuries, they felt it had likely been hit by a car prior to the cat getting a hold ot it. It was put to sleep.

Dying man’s Daily Joural – I’m Back

August 2, 2009

Got my computer back and it is working better than ever. I’ve missed my daily visits with all of my blogging friends.

Getting the computer done was more of an issue than I had expected, will write about it and the Earth Angel that got me back on track.

I have an amazing number of messages left here which I will be getting to over the next few days, also have more than 170 emails. It will take time but I will get to each one.

Plan on having a regular post up tomorrow.