Dying Man’s Daily Journal – My head a bowling ball????

July 30, 2010

Have been getting a lot of rest and am feeling better.

I can officially confirm some of the rumors that were floating around here on the blog a while ago.

Some time ago I wrote something about having taken a fall, banging both my head and shoulder. Of how I had seemed to bang my head harder but that it was fine but my shoulder was bothering me. Now in jest (I think, lol) it was suggested by family, friends and readers here that there was an explanation for that.  My head is a non-essential part of my body as there is nothing going on inside of it. It was compared to all sorts of things. I think I liked the bowling ball comparison the best. My head is hard on the outside and filled with nothing but hot air. It will hit the floor with a bang but isn’t damaged in any way. Hmmm.

It seems this theory may actually correct. About 8 or 9 days ago, Vi wanted to water the flowers in the front of the house. This involves dragging the garden hose from the back yard. I was doing this, walking backwards to keep an eye out to ensure the hose didn’t tangle in any of her other flower beds. Walking backwards, paying attention to where the hose may get to, I seem to forget that at the exterior side door of the house there is one concrete step. Yup, I tripped on it. Now I suppose fortunately for me, I must have used my head to break the fall on to the concrete sidewalk. From the bang I got one wicked headache, but that only lasted a minute or so and was gone. I picked myself up, dusted myself off and was fine. One of those situations when you are embarrassed, hoping none of the neighbors saw me.

It was not until the next morning in the shower, I noticed my right ankle was really swollen. The inside of my ankle and all the way down the inside of my foot was bruised black. I had been wearing sandals so I guess I banged it also on the way down. It didn’t hurt in the slightest, good deal. I am thinking it is the neuropathy, no feeling in my hands or feet. It took a couple of days though and it seemed to just get more and more painful. Still aches a little if I stretch the ankle in the wrong direction.

So it seemed I hit my head the hardest, no damage. Bang the ankle and big boo-boo. Maybe that bowling ball idea isn’t to far fetched after all. LOL

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Pushing ourselves

July 29, 2010

Yesterday was a bit of a tough day, I was just beat. Driving out to visit my cousin was a wonderful time and so very worth the effort but it just wore me out. Got in a good nap yesterday and slept a full 12 hours last night but am still feeling worn out. This tired worn out feeling is different from I have experienced in years gone by and is hard to describe other than just worn out, done in, no energy.

Life is a balancing act. Our precious time is what we seem to try to balance the most. Often trying to balance  our time between our jobs or outside commitments and our family or personal time. How much time can be spent doing this or that and it never seems to be enough. Balance is so very important in everything from our emotions right down to our bank accounts and spending.

For me the big balancing act is between getting enough rest and just plain old doing things. Now that sounds like it should be easy, rest when you are tired. Now that is advise everyone should use. Rest when you are tired and accept that energy levels may vary from day-to-day. But, how many of us do that, how many of us can afford to do that? We have jobs, family all sorts of commitments that often force us to push ourselves to meet our obligations. I am at the point in my life where I realize proper rest is critical for my body. I suppose I am in a lucky position in that I have very few obligations that actually require much or any energy from me. I could in fact spend all of each day just sitting around or lying around watching TV or reading and napping. Actually, I do spend much of my day doing exactly that.

I have written of how I like to do what I still can. This is where my balancing act comes into play. More often than not my energy level is about zero and I have to push myself to do almost anything. I wonder sometimes if even a bit of laziness might not be sneaking in. I mean there really is nothing I have to do and no one would blame me if I didn’t do it so why bother? For me that answer is easy, I makes me feel useful, that I am accomplishing something, contributing something.

Over the years my definition of accomplishing something has changed. My past thoughts had always been that to accomplish something it had to be something big or really worth while.I have come to realize that depending on circumstances accomplishing something can be as “small” as changing a light bulb. Never stop  doing what  you can.

One of my bench mark accomplishments of late has been cutting the grass, mowing the lawn. In my  mind I have the lawn all divided up into little sections. I do one little section, rest before moving on to the next. I tackled the lawn yesterday and I think for the first time wasn’t able to get it finished. Keeping a positive out look, well I accomplished cutting about 1/2 of the lawn, I do have today to finish it.

Questions, how hard should we push ourselves? How hard do you push yourself? How necessary are the things in your life that you push yourself for? How do you determine what is a healthy balance in pushing youself and what do you do about it?

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – death in the family

July 28, 2010

Yesterday was really a day of mixed feelings for me. Really the good, the bad, the hard providing a thought-provoking eye opener of a day.

It was really brought to my attention that I am not always that good in keeping in touch with family, cousins etc. I mean here. Last week I learned that Jack the husband of my cousin Faye had passed back in May. Now Faye is a “couple” of years older than myself. When I was quite young she married, moved away with here new husband starting their lives together and with that sort of dropped off my personal radar screen. Now obviously I have always known I had a cousin Faye out there somewhere and could have easily tracked her down and got in touch with her over the years but I didn’t. I was busy with my life as she was with her’s and our paths just never crossed. Some how she became like a distant memory for way back almost 50 years ago.

Well that is until about 3 years ago. I must have been feeling sentimental or something. Through other cousins I was able to get her phone number and gave her a call and we had a very nice little chat. Now Faye lives about a 1 1/2 hour drive from the city here but they did come here to Winnipeg on a fairly regular basis and within a few weeks they graced us with a visit followed by 2 or 3 more visits over the next year of so. Basically, they stopped by for coffee either on the way into or back out of the city. Each visit was very short but a very enjoyable time getting to know this long-lost cousin of mine, a very nice lady indeed. After each visit as they were leaving there were always the promises of more visits and invitations for Vi and I to travel out to Lac Du Bonnet to visit them. Vi and I actually planned the trip a time or two but somehow it was always put off. Can’t remember why. Likely I wasn’t feeling well at the time of something.

Suddenly about a year ago or so their visits for coffee and chat just stopped. Previous visits had been sporadic with no set schedule or anything. Honestly at the time I never gave it much thought just assuming one of these days back they will come. I thought of phoning a couple of times but again somehow never got around to doing it. It turns out that was when his cancer became more aggressive I suppose is the word to use. It had reached the point where it was too difficult for them to travel other than for necessary doctors appointment etc.. huh, I realize I still don’t know the date, just that he passed over in May.

Last week cousin Marge called me to tell me about it, she had just learned of it herself. I called my brother Eric and the three of us planned a trip to go and visit this long-lost cousin or ours. It was yesterday that we went. Faye served a wonderful lunch and we had a great visit. Only briefly did we talk of his passing and it was hard watching her trying to maintain her composure as she talked of the passing of her husband of almost 50 years.

We left with many promises to keep in closer contact which I AM going to do my best to do. I invited her to come in and stay with us for a few days as we will be having another big family get together this upcoming weekend. None brothers or sisters live anywhere near this area but there will be an Aunt and cousins galore. I truly do hope she comes.

Our little visit helped me put some of my issues into a little better prospective. Yesterday really pointed that out to me. My heart failure causes me to be short of breath a lot of the time particularly when it is hot and humid. Much of our visit was outside on their beautiful shaded deck. Yesterday was hot and I was huffing and puffing or I should say I am sure I must have been. It was just somehow sitting with Faye and knowing the pain she was feeling made my feelings of being a little short of breath seem so inconsequential I never even really noticed.

Faye I really do hope to see you this weekend.I ask all for prayers please for my dear cousin.

I urge any that may read this to give some serious thought to the contact you are maintaining with your family. Are you putting off visits thinking well there will always be tomorrow?

Dying Man’s Daily Journal

July 21, 2010

With Monday came a beautiful and wonderful evening. Had a family get together in the back yard. Aunt Isabel being the jet setter she is passed through town blessing us with her company for the evening and night. We were joined by cousin Carol with Garry, cousin Marge, Eric and Lynda, Eric (jr), Sara along with Vi’s sister Debbie. Food was wonderful the company even better. The amount I ate could have likely fed a family of 10 in some impoverished country. More family excitement in a couple of weeks when brother Bryan with wife Vicky and nephew Barry visit for 10 days. Really really looking forward to that. Hoping we will be joined at that time by other members of the family.

Had a big ramble planned here but seem to be a little tired. Putting up shorter posts rather than getting into one of my rambles that ends up not finished and put into the draft section where they seem to ususally just remain.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Prayers please

July 18, 2010

I send my deepest and most sincere aplogize to a new blogging friend Nic. I have realized with this wonkie head of mine I am occasionally missing comments.. I don’t know how that is even possible as I read and often reread comments numerous times. I am really going to try harder to pay attention to what it is I am doing and not just come in here and sort of float around. Nic left us this comment way back on June 10th and I am just reading it today, geesh, I am sorry Nic an email is on the way.

I ask all please for both prayers and support for out new friend. Her comment:

Bill, it’s very funny, I totally relate to you and all these comments. While I don’t generally feel sorry for myself sometimes I do have my moments of a private pity party where I allow myself to grieve what I have lost. I guess this is supposed to be healthy, but what generally pulls me out of it is friends and family who are in similar situations or worse. I have a few cousins with MS and somehow in the midst of their struggles I can speak openly with them about my illnesses make me feel some days and it brings me great comfort. Over the past few years I’ve had a lot of young friends die and that has hit me hard and sometimes no matter how settled, which I am most days I have my periods of struggle with my situation I guess that’s just human right? Just last summer I was able to plan out some final wishes and start drafting my will, something I never thought I’d have to do yet. But I have a few friends who are very ill and we comfort each other about being frank about our troubles and our thoughts about quality of life and facing terminal illness. I like to think that in some ways these illnesses are sometimes a blessing in disguise. Making us more compassionate and empathetic people — bringing comfort to others in their own situations because we can speak openly about our feelings about death, afterlife, and how to live with what we have. Until I was no longer able to take a shower on my own without oxygen or not being able to stand up, I took a lot of things for granted, though that was temporarily, it taught me alot about life and what’s important in it. There’s a lot of days that are a struggle, but I’m never sorry to wake up and face another day, even if its tiring to do so.
I do not do well in humidity either or any extremes of temperature so my thoughts are with you. I know how exhausting it is to function in that and I hope it lets up soon. Thank you for being so open.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – My Faith

July 17, 2010

A few days ago I had been looking through my saved draft messages and came across the one about faith being nothing but a crutch. I still have really no idea where I got the scientific type message from but it was to the effect:

Faith/Religion is a crutch leaned on by those that are too weak to face their lives on their own. Science is slowly explaining all and with time and further advancement will be able to explain away all. Belief in an afterlife gives those without the strength to accept the finality of their death merely an element of hope”

I published that post basically as I found the draft without any of the further comments that I obviously must have had in my mind back at the time. I have been thinking about that few lines quite since I put it up. I am not a man of the clergy or anything like that, I am just plain old me. I never feel I have to defend my beliefs but will be happy to share them.

To me, what is faith? (According to Bill) A belief in God the Supreme All Knowing and All Powerful, a Higher Power than ourselves. Once accepting of that basic belief, faith becomes personal and individual. Yes, many attend the same church or follow the teachings of a specific religion and may share many of the same beliefs maybe even virtually all of the same beliefs.no two people are going to read the same thing or hear the same thing and necessarily come away with exactly the same message. Each of us based on past experiences etc. put our own slant on things. Faith is one of those things and each must develop their own personal relationship with our Heavenly Father.

To me many confuse Religion with Faith. To me, Religion is the organized teaching of a specific style or type of faith. To me faith is the particular belief system taken on by each individual. These individual beliefs or faiths taken on are evident by the vast number of Christian Churches. How did we get so many different churches? An individual or group of individuals decided they didn’t agree with something about the church they were currently attending and broke away starting their own, simple as that. They formed their own church that suited or matched their individual believes and I say good for you. This breaks right back down to individuals, how to know which church to attend. The one that feels right to you, in helping you establish you own relationship with God. This also carries over to the Great Faiths of the world.Is one better or more right than the next? Personally, I do not belief so. I believe that any Faith, any Religion, any Church that helps us become better, stronger people, the type of people God would like us to be is good. Now I know many will disagree with that and that in itself illustrates my point of personal beliefs. Comments from followers of other faiths are always welcome.

At times I have been asked which church I attend. Well other than for weddings or funerals, I can’t actually remember the last time I was in church h. In that way I am not a religious man That though does not stop me from having my own very strong spiritual beliefs my individual relationship with God, a relationship with which I am comfortable. I know that church is out there, I just haven’t come across it yet. I half jokingly say I attend the Church of Bill, a church of one. Yup, the teaching of that church happen to match my own beliefs. lol.

Personally, I have a problem with the churches I have attended in the past. But, that is “MY” problem and not that of the church. To me some churches are so wrapped up in man made pomp and pageantry that I get lost in it all and struggle at times to hear the message of God. The overall message others seem to have as I take it in, is more a message of fearing the devil than worshipping God. What is right for each individual is right for them and good for you is what I say to that. I ask what do you think of a last minute confession being a ticket to Heaven?

Huh, in typical Bill style I have ramble on so much I have tired myself out. i had a lot to say on how faith has impacted on my life. I will get to that another day or this post will likely end up being another saved draft I will come across sometime in the future.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Prayers for families please

July 16, 2010

Haven’t been feeling to spry this past bit. I think it has to do with changing some medications causing a lot of wonkie head. Plus heat, high humidity and my breathing don’t do well together.

I do know for a fact that there are some that just pop by the blog to check if I have indeed posted anything new. That is great, very flattering to me, I suppose and I thank you. I encourage all though to check the comments left also. More often than not there is far more wisdom left in those messages than I could ever hope to possess.

I am tired today so I suppose I am cheating by copying a comment and my reply to it and then using it as a post. What can I say to that other than, oh well. Please read the comment and I ask for prayers please.

Dear Bill,
I stumbled across your blog looking for a phrase that I had posted on my FaceBook: “When we truly love it is never lost. It is only after death that the depth of the bond is truly felt, and our loved one becomes more a part of us than was possible in life.”
Oriental Tradition
This phrase ment alot to considering I lost my fiance on July 2, 2010. I guess I have been searching for reasoning to his death..sudden heart attack. We are both 46 yrs old. I have so many mixed emotions right now. I’m hurt, sad, mad, lonely and a little depressed.
After browsing your blog a little, I decided to start at the begining. Your first amazing thought that encourages me is the one associating dying with the birth of a baby. How great of an explanation to why we fear death. Of course fearing death and facing the troubles of being the one left behind are two different issues, I’m hoping to find a little peace of mind through your blog. I plan on reading more of it each day. I truly believe, from what I’ve read so far that you are a very spiritual man and this last post probably fits in somewhere down the line. I wish you the best and hope that the remaining days of your life are not painful days but blessed ones.

Hello Lou Lou and welcome to the blog. I am so very sorry to hear of the passing of your fiance, you are in my heart thoughts and prayers. Your comment is full of much wisdom and I thank you for sharing it with us. You are so right on when you say the fear of facing death and facing the troubles of being the one left behind are two different issues. Personally, I believe it is many times harder on the loved ones left behind trying to pick up the pieces of their lives and carry on. When someone of great significance in our lives dies, our own lives going forward will never be the same again. It can’t be the same as someone that played a big part in our lives is gone. Now, that in itself is a very sobering thought. With your fiancee having passed so very recently I can only image that this well may be how you see the world at this moment. At this time so soon after his passing, it is alright to feel that way. You must grieve and that can take time. How we deal with our grief is a very personal in individual thing. We each do it in our own way and in our own time.
I hope though that you will remember this one thing as you go through and learn to deal with your feelings. It is true you life will never be exactly the same but with time it can become just as good, different but just as good. It is very possibly too early in your grieving process to even consider such a thought and that I can understand. Maybe just bury that thought way back in your mind until the time is right.
You are in such a very difficult time, I encourage you to reach out to family, friends, a minister. Lean on them for support in this time of need. It is not a sign of weakness to reach out, it is a sign of being human. “I’m hurt, sad, mad, lonely and a little depressed”. You can face a whole range of emotions you may at times feel angry at your fiancee for leaving you, at God for taking him from you and that is OK you are human.
I feel honored that you chose to share you feelings with me here on the blog and I do welcome you to return anytime you like and as often as you like. This is a very supportive, understanding and loving spot. you are welcome to return to rant and rave, to cry, to grieve in the way that you need to at the moment. Understanding and support will be here for you.
You are the number one priority right now, take care of yourself in healthy ways.
I am so touched by your message, I hope you don’t mind I am going to email you directly