Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Life lessons from nature

April 26, 2011

I spent some time today outside raking the lawn. I take lots of rest breaks, coffee breaks, chat with the neighbors breaks, look at the beautiful birds around me breaks. It is a pretty tough job, in any given hour I maybe put in 10-15 minutes of actual raking. So I am definitely not over doing it.

I love watching nature unfolding it’s wonders around me. After out Canadian winter it has only been the past 2-3 weeks that  everything out doors is like coming alive again. Just look around and it is amazing what you can see . Life is just bustling everywhere around us, all of which we are just usually totally oblivious to. What a shame. It is in a way like the cycle of life at the beginning stages for the various plants etc..

I have an amazing picture if I can get it down loaded.. It shows the eagerness the zest for life contained with in nature around us. I think all know our Canadian winters are a little harsh at times. This year we got an exceptional amount of snow. This year the snow bank up against the front of the house must have been close to 3 feet deep. Some from shoveling the side walk and all. Now our home is brick on the outside and as the spring sun warms it heats the brick and that helps melt the snow away from the side of the house, faster than it melts in other areas. What does this picture show? Well as the snow has melted away from the side of the house, gradually the soil which is in one of Vi’s flower gardens began to appear. The picture shows the receding snow bank which is still about 2 feet deep at that time and the strip of exposed soil. Now there are tulips planted in that area. What I find amazing and inspiring both is the fact that you can clearly see the tulips coming up from the ground less than an inch from the receding snow.

Think about it these plants don’t wait for the weather to be perfect or even necessarily good. At the very first opportunity they get on with living and growing. Coming up that early they are often exposed to many freezing nights, likely more snow all sorts of nasty stuff. Does that stop them or even slow them down, NO, they get on with “living” with growing at the very first opportunity.

The bulbs from which these flowers grow could easily lie dormant in the ground until growing conditions were better or even until conditions were ideal. It almost seems the tulip sees the value in life and just wants to get on with it, irregardless of conditions.

For me a lesson is learned from this beautiful plant. Conditions don’t have to be ideal for me to sprout and grow. It is like I just need to get on with it at the very first opportunity and things will work themselves out from there.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Explaining life

April 24, 2011

I just received in this email and it really does make a lot of sense if we just allow our selves to really think about it. 

Sometimes we wonder, ‘What did I do to deserve this?’ or ‘Why did God have to do this to me?’ Here is a wonderful explanation! A daughter is telling her Mother how everything is going wrong, she’s failing algebra, her boyfriend broke up with her and her best friend is moving away.
Meanwhile, her Mother is baking a cake and asks her daughter if she would like a snack, and the daughter says, ‘Absolutely Mom, I love your cake.’
‘Here, have some cooking oil,’ her Mother offers.
‘Yuck’ says her daughter.
‘How about a couple raw eggs?’ ‘Gross, Mom!’
‘Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?’
‘Mom, those are all yucky!’
To which the mother replies: ‘Yes , all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake! ‘
God works the same way. Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times. But God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good! We just have to trust Him and, eventually, they will all make something wonderful!

God is crazy about you. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, He’ll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart. 

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

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Family Search

April 23, 2011

I know many families have gathered for this Easter long weekend and I hope all are having a wonderful time.

I have had myself in a bit of a stew this past few days. That is until common sense got ahold of me and I realize what is the point, I am just wasting precious time. I saw my neurologist a few days back and was told my brain is shrinking. Now that came as a bit of a surprise as I didn’t even know such a thing was possible. I thank all that left the supportive messages on that. At first I thought he was just kidding but he wasn’t, huh.

Then came the questions about family medical history. Is there any history of Alzheimer’s in the family? Well, no there isn’t as far as I know. I realize though that I only know 1/2 of my family medical history. I know nothing of my mother’s side. My mother came to Canada in 1946 as a war bride. I am not sure of details but that move apparently caused a lot of friction and all ties were cut. I feel both sad and bad right now that I didn’t ask her for details. She never spoke of her family and well as a kid growing up I just never asked. It seemed that I knew I had a lot of family way over in England on both parent’s sides but as we never heard from any of them, I knew nothing about them so it became sadly as if they didn’t matter. Now that is a really sad statement to make.

Now over about the past 5 or 6 years I have been trying to track down anyone from my mother’s family. I have been on numerous of those family ancestry type web sites.Never with any luck. Then it was just to establish contact with 1/2 of my family. I still want that but now also getting some information on medical history would also be of a great help. I will keep digging I have found some information but not enough to make contact with anyone. Lookout English side of the family, here I come.

Now back to this shrinking brain thing. Now the doctor wasn’t forthcoming with a lot of information other than more tests will be scheduled. No answers there so I googled it. There are quite a number of potential causes. Hey did you know being a vegetarian can cause your brain to shrink, well vegetarian that is not me. There on the list of possibilities is Alzheimer’s. Now that is not new to me as for the past 4 or 5 years the doctors have been mentioning it as a possibility with my memory etc..

Well I have given myself a couple of days of moping and enough of that. There are certain things in life we just can’t change, so the isn’t much point in worrying about them. This is one of them for me.What comes will come and I will deal with it, it is not going to spoil my today.

Hey, give me a few more days and I will likely have forgotten all about this anyway. LOL

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Easter

April 22, 2011

Easter has arrived and with it I envision many children excitedly scampering about searching for Easter eggs. It is a chocolate filled day and I wish them much love and joy.

Good Friday and Easter Sunday are the most important dates on the Christian calendar. Today Good Friday is intented to observe the sacrifice made by Jesus as He died on the Cross for our sins. The entire Christian Religion would not, could not be if it were not for Jesus dying on the Cross and subsequently rising on Sunday, Easter Sunday. There would be no Christian religion as we know it today were it not for these events taking place.

I have my own little tradition every Easter, I say a short prayer asking for the forgiveness of human kind. It was our ancestors or humans just such as us the did indeed crucify Jesus. That may sound strange but hey that is me. It came to me though while in that prayer this morning.

I am not sure how to word this so as not to sound either like a heretic or a lunatic or something but I really came to me that Jesus had to die for the Christian religion as we know it to even begin.  Does that make any sense at all .I have my wonky head going on. I know what I am trying to say but can’t seem to make sense of it all.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Trip to Neurologist

April 19, 2011

Yesterday was the day I went to see my neurologist and got the results of the MRI then did on my head back a couple of months ago.

Good news is the tumor has grown only very slightly over the past year. They have a new computerized system at the hospital and the doctor was able to bring up on the screen one of the pictures from the MRI. He did as I was curious about what it looked like. I can official confirm that in spite of what some may think, there really is a brain in this head of mine. I was able to see the tumor. It is in fact round in shape about the size of a large walnut. It is located in the front of the head about 2 inches above my right eye brow.

He said measurements show my brain is actually shrinking???? At first I thought he was just kidding around but he is sending me for more tests. I will be advised the where and the when. I didn’t know it was possible for a brain to be shrinking is size. Research has shown that can be a precursor to some pretty nasty stuff. I guess we shall see

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – In harmony with Nature

April 18, 2011

Had a bit of a tough night and up really early 4:00am. Read the newspaper, downed a pot of coffee and here I am.

They did an MRI on my head a while back and today I see the neurologist. We know the brain tumor is there the question will be if it has grown and if so by how much.

Weather is much nicer and I get to sit outside on the step a times. I have this silly little game that I play while out there. Our neighborhood is home to many wild rabbits, squirrels and about a bazillion birds (now that the song birds have returned). The sound of all of those birds singing to the world in the morning is so beautiful.

Anyway,  I have heard or read dogs can sense fear in people. OK, can they or other animals sense other feelings or emotions? I don’t know but I decided to try and find out with “very scientific” Bill experiments. Here is how it works. I sit on the step, get myself as relaxed as I can. Sort of a meditation I suppose as I then try to fill myself with God’s love. I usually don’t have to wait too long and some sort of animal/bird will happen by. I then focus my attention on that particular animal and attempt to send the white light of God’s love. I never say a word just focus on the feeling and mentally encourage the animal to come closer to me. Now I can’t explain this and it doesn’t alway work but often it does.

Example, last week on morning I was out there and a wild rabbit came racing across the neighbours yard and was crossing ours. It got to the sidewalk right in front of me and just stopped and began looking at me. I focused my attention sending the white light. After a minute or so of us looking at each other, it did indeed take 3 or 4 steps towards me. I don’t know how far it would have come as a car drove by and scared it away.

A while back I even had a squirrel come right on the step and lie down beside me. What can I say but, huh?

As humans we are but a part of nature. We are a part of something so vast, so beautiful. Why do we chose to abuse it rather than joining in and be in harmony with it?

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Crabby Old Man

April 14, 2011

 I received  an email this morning that just touched my heart. It contained a poem the writer of which is listed as anonymous. There is a bit of a preamble. It describes an elderly gentleman alone, in poor health and unable to care for himself any more. I am not sure but he was in a hospital, care home or some such. He felt old and so feeble he had nothing left to contribute to society. among his things a nurse found this poem he had written. This gentleman made a huge contribution to society, I am sure throughout his life and with this poem:     

 Crabby Old Man…*
       What do you see nurses? . . .. . . What do you see?
       What are you thinking . . . . . when you’re looking at me?
       A crabby old man . . . . . not very wise,
       Uncertain of habit . . . .. . with faraway eyes?

       Who dribbles his food . . . . . and makes no reply.
       When you say in a loud voice . . . . . ‘I do wish you’d try!’
       Who seems not to notice .. . . . . the things that you do.
       And forever is losing . . . . . A sock or shoe?

       Who, resisting or not . . . . . lets you do as you will,
       With bathing and feeding . . . . . The long day to fill?
       Is that what you’re thinking? . .. . . . Is that what you see?
       Then open your eyes, nurse . . . . . you’re not looking at me.

       I’ll tell you who I am. . . . .. . As I sit here so still,
       As I do at your bidding, . . . . . as I eat at your will.
       I’m a small child of Ten . . . . .. with a father and mother,
       Brothers and sisters . . . . . who love one another.

       A young boy of Sixteen . .. . . with wings on his feet.
       Dreaming that soon now . . . . . a lover he’ll meet.
       A groom soon at Twenty . . . . . my heart gives a leap.
       Remembering, the vows . . . . . that I promised to keep.

       At Twenty-Five, now .. . . .. . I have young of my own.
       Who need me to guide . . . . . And a secure happy home.
       A man of Thirty . . . . . My young now grown fast,
       Bound to each other . . . . . With ties that should last.

       At Forty, my young sons . . .. . . have grown and are gone,
       But my woman’s beside me . . . . . to see I don’t mourn.
       At Fifty, once more, babies play ’round my knee,
       Again, we know children . . . . . My loved one and me.

       Dark days are upon me . . . . . my wife is now dead.
       I look at the future . . . . . shudder with dread.
       For my young are all rearing . . . . . young of their own.
       And I think of the years .. . . . . and the love that I’ve known.

       I’m now an old man . . . . .. and nature is cruel.
       Tis jest to make old age . . . . . look like a fool.
       The body, it crumbles . . . . . grace and vigor, depart.
       There is now a stone . . . . where I once had a heart.

       But inside this old carcass . . . . . a young guy still dwells,
       And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells.
       I remember the joys . . . . . I remember the pain.
       And I’m loving and living . . . . . life over again.

       I think of the years, all too few . . . . . gone too fast.
       And accept the stark fact . . . . that nothing can last.
       So open your eyes, people . . . . . open and see.
       Not a crabby old man . . . . Look closer . .. . see ME!!

       **Remember this poem when you next meet****an older person who
       you might brush aside****without looking at the young soul

       **We will all, one day, be there, too!


       **The best and most beautiful things of this world can’t be seen
       or touched.****They must be felt by the heart*

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Life altering decisions

April 9, 2011

I have been very open about the fact that I have very strong Spiritual beliefs. I believe in God, I believe there is an after life. I lean heavily on that belief system, it helps and comforts me tremendously. I take time every day to thank God for all that I have in my life, for the fact that I still have life. Is my life a perfect picture of the way I would like it to be, NO. Daily I pray, I place myself in God’s hands asking that His will be done in all parts of my life and here I am. God has granted me extra time on this earth, time beyond anything the doctors thought I would have. Father, I thank you so much.

As best I can I am trying to use this time to grow as a person. It is a struggle as I seem to be a slow learner at somethings. I heard or read, “you are never a loser as long as you keep trying.” I believe that God with His infinite love and wisdom, knows we are but human. We have the strengths and the weaknesses that come with being human. I do not believe He expects us to be perfect but maybe He hopes at least we will keep trying to grow, to become better people.

When I talk about growing as a person, I am talking about growing spiritually and emotionally. Daily we are faced with decisions, some big, some small. As a decision is required we obviously have 2 or more options to choose from.How do we decide, do we take the easiest way or do we take what we know inside to be the right way. Do we take the high road or do we take the low road, just because it is easier? Do only major big decision affect our lives or can even the smallest play a part?

I can look back over my life and see so very many times, I took the easy way. At the time I could always justify it as: I am too tired, or I am too busy to deal with this.I will just take the easy way out “this time”. That is a very slippery slope we are all on. It is so very easy for: “I will take the easy way out, this time” to become out norm and somehow without even being aware of it become every time.

I and I alone am in charge of my life and I and I alone am responsible for my life. I and I alone am responsible for the inner self that will one day face Our Father in Heaven. When I do that, the condition of the inner me, the me that will face our Father is in my hands, NOW. We can excuse or rationalize things away here on earth.I don’t think those same excuses may seem  to be as valid at that time. What do you think?

I pray daily, often numerous times through the day. I have a regular routine when it comes to writing anything here. I pray for guidance, I pray for the words that may help someone, anyone. Prayers are answered.

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Worn Out

April 6, 2011

Just a quick note to say hi to all my blogging friends. Haven’t been feeling all that spry the past while, just sort of worn out. But I am doing fine other wise.

Meg, if you should read this, I am still trying to get in touch with you by email.

I am part Irish and came across this one:

“Walking into the bar, Mike said to Charlie the bartender, ‘Pour me a stiff one – just had another fight with the little woman.’

‘Oh yeah?’ said Charlie, ‘And how did this one end?’

‘When it was over,’ Mike replied, ‘She came to me on her hands and knees.’

‘Really,’ said Charles, ‘Now that’s a switch!   What did she say?’

She said, ‘Come out from under the bed, you little chicken”

OK, the names may have been changed to protect “my” identity. lol

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Human Feelings

April 1, 2011

In a few of the comments I have read recently, I read of some I suppose basic human emotions. They span the entire spectrum from love on one side over to fear, panic and feelings of vulnerability. At least to some degree we have all experienced each of these and all the other emotions.

The context of these messages got me thinking back to the very first time I heard the dying word. I don’t think you can ever be prepared to hear that about your self. But, I suppose to some extent I had been prepared. By that I mean, Huh, I can’t even remember now, it was either after heart attack #3 or #4. I think #4 but it doesn’t matter. I had by that time on numerous occasions heard things like shortened life expectancy etc.

It is a huge leap though to go from hearing shortened life expectancy to you are dying. This may be strange I don’t know, but I didn’t even get upset. Instead it is like I went blank. I remember feeling totally empty inside except for what felt like a huge weight in my lower abdominal area. I felt lost, not knowing what to do. I am sure the doctor went on to say more after that but even 2 minutes after I left his office I could remember nothing but I AM DYING. That is news that cheers you right down. I became like a walking zombie, my body was there but really I wasn’t. At first I told no one. The zombie me just carried on, I wasn’t afraid, nor angry nothing. Maybe it was a form of denial, I was just empty.

Over the course of time I got a 2nd and then a 3rd opinion. I liked neither of them, they just confirmed what had been told to me. Somewhere in that time, the emotions started to kick in. Panic is the one I remember the best as I think it was with me the most. It was panic about all the things I wanted to and needed to get done. Outwardly I did my best to remain cool and calm. As my brain scrambled through all those emotions my body continued to feel hollow, empty inside??

Somewhere back there I also began to open up to family. Maybe I was avoiding saying the “I am dying” words because by saying them it would some how make it real. As long as I kept it my head maybe I thought is was then just a conceptual thing, just a thought and what is a thought, really nothing. Saying it made it real.

I really don’t understand this but as I began to talk about it, I suppose I opened up my heart to the love around me. That feeling of emptiness began to lessen.

Then I came up with the idea for this blog. because of my circumstances I had been doing a lot of reading on death, dying, the afterlife etc.. A few things really struck me doing that reading. Talking about death/dying is a taboo subject for most. We don’t even want to let ourselves think about it. As I thought about it, I realize that is a little ironic (I suppose that is a good word to describe what I am thinking). Dying is the one and only thing that each and everyone of us, every person on this planet has in common, we are all going to die when our time comes. As I read different books I began to see a pattern. One chapter would told of someone sad that they didn’t get to say good bye to a loved one. The next chapter would talk of someone being afraid, or nervous maybe just not wanting to go and visit the dying,. Total opposites of each other. I think to me the saddest stories were of those that for what ever reason passed up the opportunity to visit a loved one and then regretted it when it was to late.

I came up with the grandiose idea that maybe by sharing my story, I could maybe give others a bit of an understanding of what it is like and maybe alleviate some the the fears.

I admit I was very nervous and felt vulnerable about going on line and sharing my inner most thoughts. Dying is a very personal thing and we all deal with it in our own way. What sort of reaction would I get from baring my soul to the world?

A WONDERFUL REACTION is what it has proven to be. I have received loving support from literally all around the world. The more I opened up my heart and shared, the more vulnerable I became. I had to open my heart to let the love out. By opening it more love than I could ever have imagined flowed in. I thank  you all.

That hollow empty feeling has long since gone.