Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Lost Peace and Serenity

December 31, 2010

 I hope and pray 2011 is a wonderful year for all. I hope and pray for all that it is the very best year of your life so far and that each coming year after shall continue to just get better and better.

I am not making any New Year’s resolutions but I am approaching the new year with more resolve, a greater determination to work on myself physically, spiritually and emotionally. In the last day or so I responded to a comment in which I stated I am prepared for what lies ahead. I realize that has become like just a pat, routine answer. Something made me stop and really think about it. I realize that yes, there was indeed a time when I was prepared both emotionally and spiritually, prepared to go home whenever the Father called me. I feel I have let that state of preparedness slide. I am not sure becoming complacent or something. Maybe, it is I am not as prepared as I once was or as I would always like to be. Dying is kind of a big deal for all of us!!! If you know it is coming wouldn’t you want to be as prepared as you can. Well guess what? I know I am dying but I also know you are dying, timing is the only difference. I may be on a bit more of an accelerated plan but really how do you even know that.

It is 6 or 7 years now that my family and I have been dealing with this. When I first heard the you are dying words come out of my doctors mouth it set me into a bit of a tizzy. I think back and it was very shortly after that, that I learned of the brain tumor. When you know you are dying some how learning you also have a brain tumor makes that tumor almost irrelevant and inconsequential. I wonder how many people can say they learned they had a brain tumor and their reaction was, it’s not big deal. With the dying business it was no big deal. Emotionally and spiritually I was in a state of turmoil. I knew I had at least a little time left and I decided to make the best of it and prepare myself spiritually and emotionally. I was certain in my mind I did not have long to go. I “knew” I would not see my next birthday, but then I did. Then I was certain I wouldn’t see my daughters birthday, but then I did. Some how time just kept rolling by and I just kept plugging away. I did reach the point where emotionally and spiritually I felt I was prepared. That gave me a feeling of peace and internal serenity, knowing I am ready and can deal with what ever comes my way.

Ok, I was prepared, but for reasons known only to him, the Good Lord seemed to be not ready to call me. Time kept rolling by and I am still here plugging away. Some how through this my feelings of not seeing my next birthday was replaced with a feeling of I have another 10 or 15 years left in my yet. I even survived another heart attack in there somewhere. I became cocky, complacent. my daily prayers and meditation began to slip until here I am now.

I am not sure why but over the past 4 or 5 months that cocky feeling of I have a good 10 or 15 years left in my has gone. I am feeling uncertain about this year. i need to get back my sense of being prepared the peace and serenity that comes with it.

I found this blog helped me gain those feelings in the past and I am hoping it will do it for me again. I have to go back to the beginning. but I will get there.

Dying Man’s Daily journal – Happy New Year.

December 31, 2010

I hope and pray all my dear blogging friends and any and all that may experience nothing but good health, happiness and love through out the up coming New Year.

Fort any that may be celebrating this evening, have fun but be safe. Don’t drink and drive..

As I wrote that line I got a little chuckle thinking of some, maybe most  of the New Year’s Eve celebrations in my past. Now this does go back a few years but I may have been known to celebrate just a little too hard. Just maybe, consuming a few more “beverages” than I maybe should have. Hey, that was when I was young and foolish not as I am now. LOL. Now we really are talking years ago, but there may have been times when, yes, I drove home, ever watchful for and fearful of being stopped by the police. REALLY REALLY STUPID I know and please don’t d it.

These days least here in Winnipeg. The police have extra check stops set up at various spots though the city specifically looking for drunk drivers. If you are stopped and are sober they give you a special ticket. A ticket you can use to enter a draw to win various prizes. Hey, now when I want to get stopped for one of those special tickets. Geesh, do you think you can find a police stop when you want one. LOL

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Facebook

December 30, 2010

Today I did something I should have done a long time ago. I deactivated my facebook account. I just never go on it, well maybe 3 or 4 times a year. It seems the blog and numerous emails keep me busy enough.

Last evening I received a rather concerned email, questioning why I had not accepted their friend request. Was there a problem or was I upset with them. The answer was no to both questions. I just never visit the site to see what is happening. Better to just delete the account and be done with it. Actually, I found I couldn’t delete it, just deactivate it, huh. So I am no longer on facebook if anyone is looking for me. That will explain why you may or I suppose may not get a message on facebook from me stating we are no longer friends. I hope we are still friends just not on that site.

Dying man’s Daily Journal – The Dying Process

December 28, 2010

I have received several requests both right here on the blog and via email to share my thoughts and feelings on what the dying process will be like. I almost think I have written about this in the past but am not really sure. I am not going to go back and look as I want to share my thoughts as they are today. I have evolved and changed as a person and I know some of my thinking has. I don’t really think it has changed much, my thinking that is, but that was then and now is now.

I remind all, I am not a doctor nor a man of the clergy and I have never witnessed or been present when someone died.  I am just me a regular guy, sitting at his computer sharing his thoughts. As a man facing his own demise, I acknowledge as I have been told that possibly this is but wishful thinking on my part. But, this is what I believe:

I am talking of the actual passing from this world to the next. While we are still on this side, our time well may be awful as our body is being ravaged by the disease or injury that has us on the brink of death. That is the part I do fear. That but marks the end of our time in this physical world.

I have had what I believe to be what we call a near death experience. It was right in the midst of heart attack #2. I was down on the ground experiencing intense pain all across my chest. It also felt like I had a huge weight on my chest, like someone was standing on my chest making it difficult to breathe. I will write about that experience in more detail some day. Let’s just say I was in a lot of discomfort struggling to breathe. I am not sure what happened but somehow suddenly the pain was gone. Where I had been consciously struggling to breathe, suddenly it wasn’t even a thought. I don’t have the words to describe it. To say I felt wonderful is such an understatement, so at peace, like I was basking in a warm glow. I did not see any lights or tunnels or any such thing. I was focused on my wife’s face (ex-wife now). As I was lying on the ground she was kneeling over me. I saw her face seem to very slowly start to float away. I then could hear her voice seemly coming from a long distance away, screaming at me to breath. Talking to her afterwards I learned that she had been screaming at me when I had in fact stopped breathing. This happened twice. As i listened to her voice, it was like her face started to float back towards me. The closer she came back came the chest pain and breathing issues. I am not sure how to explain that.

For my physical mind I need a physical reference to help me make sense of anything. Many have talked of a tunnel or something and that well may be. It is just for me to gain some sense of personal understanding, to allow me to picture or imagine it in my mind, I picture a doorway. In effect a doorway to the other side. God knows when we are to pass and He opens that doorway as a welcome to us as we near it. As we are preparing to leave this world we can see through that doorway. We can often see relatives or loved ones on the other side waiting to welcome us. When God deems the  time to be right He will call us to walk through that doorway entering the Kingdom of Heaven. I don’t know but I can only image that once through that doorway if we were to stop and think back we would be just shaking out heads at our dread and fear of this event.

Be it that we go through a doorway or a tunnel, it doesn’t really matter, the end destination is the same.

Please share your thoughts with me on this.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Alone at Christmas

December 25, 2010

I was thinking this morning (yes to family and friends, I can still do that just not often. LOL I think). I caught a weather forecast a day or two ago and saw there were massive storms forecast or happening all over the place. Holiday travelers are stranded, flights cancelled all sorts of things going on that would prevent many from making it to their Christmas destinations. Now that has to suck. Possibly being stranded in an airport or alone in a strange city, not at all where you want to be, especially at this time of the year.

As I thought of it I realized there are also many many others alone this Christmas Season. Now there can be countless reasons for this many beyond our control. It could be lack of money that prevents us from travelling, it could be having to work, there are all sorts of reasons. Or, it could be we are feeling terribly alone due to the passing of a loved one and this may in fact be our first Christmas without them. This list of reasons could just go on and on. irregardless of the reason why many of us are alone this Christmas. Many may be experiencing great dispare, anger, regret…… another list that could just go on and on.

It is to those that I specifically address this message, I pray it finds you.

As things in life work out, as I sit here I am alone. No family visits even Vi is not here. Where is Vi? Some time back she took on a part time job. Working ever second weekend. It is something she loves doing so good for her. Every second weekend, huh, that just happens to work out to be this weekend. Hey she is even working a double shift,now what is up with that. Actually, I have to tip my hat to her for doing it. She could have had the time off but instead opted for the double shift. To give some of the other workers with small children a chance to have the day off to spend with their families.

Now, here I have a choise to make. I can get myself all in a fret, stew about it and spoil my own Christmas Day. I mean come on now, none of the kids will be here and then Vi goes and takes on a double shift at work, geesh. Don’t they realize that means I am going to have to spend Christmas Day and most of the evening alone!!!!! don’t they realize the entire universe is supposed to revolve around me, especially at this time of the year. NOW WHAT IS UP WITH THAT.

Or, I can accept just “maybe” the entire universe doesn’t revolve around me, my plans and what I want. Now that is a humbling thought. Sometimes things just happen in spite of what I would like or want.

I am happy,content with the knowledge the kids are all safe and in a place where they are celebrating a wonderful Christmas. I am proud of Vi for taking on that extra shift so someone with a family on hand can be at home with them. I guess that means I accept the Universe does not revolve around me, how can that be. lol

If you happen to be alone some where and are feeling down or lonely and this message happens to find you. Please leave me a comment. I am not going to just sit here all day on the blog. But I will check in fairly often and if I do see such a message I will reply immediately. If the timing is right maybe we can get some sort of dialogue going between us. We can celebrate, alone but together.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – MERRY CHRISTMAS

December 25, 2010


Merry Christmas to to all. I pray all have a wonderfully happy and safe Christmas. Where ever you are, what ever you are doing may your day be wonderful

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Blog changes

December 17, 2010

I look outside this morning and more of that (%@*!) white stuff is falling from the sky. Yup, it is snowing again. We seem to be setting records this year (I think) for snow fall. Maybe it just seems that way. It is amazing how your out look or way of thinking changes as we “mature”. I can remember years back, it would snow and I would see a lot of the “old” guys out there shoveling even while it was still snowing. I laughed at them, not to their face of course. I thought how silly is that, just wait until it stops snowing and do it all in one shot.

Well guess what I have realized, I am now one of those old guys, geesh, how did that happen. Real snow shoveling is something I can’t do, But what I can do is when an inch or so of the soft fluffy stuff has accumulated. I can push the wide shovel down the sidewalk. When there is only an inch or less of the soft fluffy stuff it weighs virtually nothing. Huh,  maybe those old guys weren’t so silly after all.

There are a number of blog readers that have found me on facebook. Yup, I am there but not really. By that I mean, I am on facebook, it is just that with every thing else going on I just never seem to get on it. I mean I actually only check in on it maybe 3 or 4 times a year. A week or so ago, I did check in and found quite a number of friend requests, some from months ago.Hope I didn’t offend anyone by seeming not to accept their friend request in a timely manner. It is just I do not use that account. If you want to get in touch with me please use either the blog here or by email.

I am making some changes here on the blog. It has to do mainly with the pages listed across the top of the screen. I will be adding one new page and likely getting rid of at least a couple of the existing. Any thoughts or suggestions about the existing pages. The “Spirit within Me” page has special meaning to me. How do I revive interest in it?

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – My Birthday is here

December 13, 2010

Well another year has gone by, I should say flown by. Yup, 58 years ago today Mama Howdle delivered a baby boy into this world.

Not feeling so spry celebration plans being put off until tomorrow. Will write more then

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Has anther year slipped away

December 11, 2010

I have been in a very reflective mood of late. I am indeed approaching another birthday and another calendar year is drawing to a close.

Every year at this time there is an ad that comes on TV and I just hate watching it. I even have to leave the room or at least close my eyes when it comes on. Now, I love kids anyone that knows me knows that. This ad is in fact about kids and does show a number of them, so why does it bother me so much? Well it just tugs at the heart-strings almost breaking this old heart of mine just to see the terrible conditions in which some kids are forced to live. It is an ad placed by one of the wonderful organizations through which you can sponsor a child in need. I think this particular ad is for Christian children’s Fund but there are numerous such organizations.

This particular ad really gets to me even more than the  others because of the song that accompanies it. The words just stop me in my tracks and make me think ever time I hear it. Keep in mind I am memory guy but the song begins something like this.

“So this is Christmas. Another year has gone and what have you done……..”

It is the “what have you done” that gets me. Some how it seems the years just fly by. When I hear that song and every year when I REALLY stop to think about it, I hum and haw and realize that beyond surviving, I really haven’t done much. Now don’t take me wrong, believe me I know, there are many cases where just surviving is a feat all in itself. I ask though is just surviving really the way we want to live our lives? I really don’t think that just surviving is really the way any of us want to live. There is so much more to this beautiful life of ours and it is all right in front of us. Right there for us to seize upon yet we don’t and another year is gone. WHY? Please just think about that.

PS. Yes, Vi and I are sponsoring a young child

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Birthday Presents Please.

December 7, 2010

I sit here almost in awe of the amount of time that has passed both since I started this blog and since I made my first request for birthday presents. Last evening I sat down and spent a little time reading back on my previous request posts. It was a bit of a trip down memory lane bringing back some the feelings I was going through as I wrote those posts. When I posted that very first request, I remember feeling, “knowing” that it would be the one and only time I would be able to do so. At that time I truly did not believe I would see my next birthday. With that thought process in my head, I wanted to know that if only in some small way I had made a difference to someone, anyone. Some how it seems time has just flown by and the birthdays have just continued to pile up as the years fly by.

Through this time the journey hasn’t always been easy, but really just a few bumps in the highway of life. Countless doctors appointments, a few hospital stays and even heart attack #5. While going through some of those events they did at the time seem to be a little more than a bump in the road. As I look back now I can see that is all they were but little  bumps in the road of the highway of life. Isn’t is strange, how it is so much easier to see in hind sight how minor or insignificant those bumps really were.

Again I sit here wondering, will this one be my final birthday request? In my mind I know it well may be, but deep in my heart I feel I have a lot left in me.

Rambling on in my typical style, I seem to have worn myself out even before I get to my main point the request of gifts to me. Taking the easy way I am copying and reposting my request from I think it was in ’07. This year I am actually turning 58, but I am leaving the original post as was written back then. My request:

I can’t believe how quickly this past year has gone by. An entire year filled with precious moments, I have loved and appreciated everyone of them. In a couple of days, on Dec. 13th it will be my birthday. It will be the big 55. Hey, I will have to update my “about” page. It has been a good year, there have been a few little bumps in the road, but in the overall big picture of my life that is all they have been is little bumps in the road. Wow, I made it to 55. There have been times when it has been in question if I would make it this far. But I am here, doing fine and am aiming for quite a few more years.

It is so hard to even fathom, I have been blogging for well over a year now. I have met so many wonderful people, really is amazing. The love and support that has been shown to be is far beyond anything I could ever have imagined. I am so grateful.

Even as grateful as I am, I am not above straight out asking for birthday presents. I did it last year and I am doing it again this year. Last year I asked for a single present this year I am getting greedier and am asking for two. Imagine the nerve of this guy actually asking for presents from mostly strangers. Well here I am and at it again.

In my post of Nov 30th., I wrote of my first request. A quick recap of my request: Perform a single act of kindness. It doesn’t matter to whom this act is extended or even the size of the act. What matters to me is that one extra act of kindness was performed. I know by our very nature, all perform countless acts each and everyday. I am asking though that we all set out deliberately looking for some way in which to perform one more. Again the size of the act doesn’t matter, so much as that we each made a conscious choice to do something for another, purely from the loving goodness contained within our hearts.

I believe anonymous acts of kindness reflect the true beauty and love contained within our hearts. They are true loving acts done with no thought of recognition or compensation. Pure acts of love and kindness. Our acts may remain anonymous to the recipients but I ask that you tell me about them. It would not be in a glory or praise seeking way but to acknowledge ourselves for the good people we are. Plus, by sharing it may help or even encourage others to do the same.

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless – Mother Teresa

Gift #2. As I am facing the upcoming Christmas. I am feeling a little guilty. I know I will partake in many wonderful meals with mountains of food and goodies and that I will undoubtedly consume my fair share if not more. Hey, it is Christmas, isn’t that a part of the way we all celebrate it? I almost breaks my heart as I think that, sadly this is not the case for so many. When I think of people going without something as basic to life, my mind automatically goes to those tragically affected by conditions in 3rd world countries. My heart and prayers are with all of them.

I have a very definite soft spot in my heart for children. I know there are children right here in Canada, in ever country around the world that are hungry. For what ever reason, through circumstances far beyond their control they are often left hungry. How can this be???? There are occasions when we can indeed get on our moral high horses and point fingers at the parents for what ever reason. But, this is absolutely not always the case, circumstances beyond control can often be the major factor. But, who cares about the circumstances, when it comes to the children, I certainly don’t.

My request, help me ease my conscience as I chow down over Christmas. Make a food donation to someone in need. The where doesn’t matter, where ever you see there is a need. There is an almost unlimited number of places, organizations constantly looking for food to distribute to those in real need. It can be the neighbor down the street you know is going through a tough time. Here in Winnipeg, we have Winnipeg Harvest, a wonderful organization collecting and delivering food to those in need. There are the missions that run what I suppose would be called “soup kitchens” feeding the hungry. There are the countless international organizations. The list could just go on and on. Can I or can anyone help feed the world, well obviously not. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t at least a little bit to help feed even one other. Even a single can of soup can be a help to someone.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give” – Norman MacEwan