Life Lesson

April 30, 2014

“don’t let your ears witness what your eyes don’t see, don’t let your mouth speak what your heart doesn’t feel.”

I read this and thought it is just to good not to share. Just think about this and how it applies to our individual lives


Danger in rationalizing what we want

April 29, 2014

The past couple of weeks really haven’t been much fun. Diabetes has been acting up. Blood sugar levels have been a struggle to control for years. Then to be honest I haven’t really been as strict with the diet as I could/should have been.
I have been taking 3 different medications (pills) with varying degrees of success in controlling the numbers. I understand I was pretty much maxed out on the oral medication so now insulin injections have been thrown into the mix. Started with same oral meds plus the insulin. Checking blood sugars 5 times a day monitoring it. This level caused my numbers to bottom out (really no fun). Doctors are tinkering with dosage levels looking for that just right balance.
I am struggling to find the right words here. I really don’t mean this as a poor me but know it could end up sounding that way.
I realize the diabetes is but one more issue I haven’t paid nearly enough attention to most particularly in the diet area.
Now this is the hard part. For over 10 years now I have lived with this “you are dying thing”. It must be close to a couple of years ago now. I was flatly told, I had reached the point of it being down to days, maybe weeks but not months and there is nothing further that can be done. That cheered me right down. But, yet here I am still plugging away. Maybe slowed down but not stopped.
If I have a philosophy I suppose it would be live life, enjoy life to the fullest. That I am doing to the very best I can. I believe that is the only way to live. I do realize you do have to use a little restraint with that, enjoying life to the fullest every moment of every day.
Here I am thinking about the diabetic diet. Sugar is a big one to avoid and I really do work at that (well usually).
Now this is where my own philosophy can work against me. Enjoy life to the fullest. I seem to be able to rationalize and use that thought process to justify almost anything if I put my mind to it. Go for the gusto, enjoy life.
Now back to the diet thing. There are times I seem to get very specific cravings, let’s say cherry pie. Now I know I shouldn’t but then I can start to rationalize to justify it.
It goes like this, “oh that would be good but I shouldn’t. But, oh that would be good. This will run around a few times in my head until I have convinced myself I really want it. But maybe to ease my conscience I have to justify it to myself.
Which goes like this. Hey, I might be in my last few days, I am going to enjoy them, screw the diet.
OK,I just used cherry pie as an example. I think so often all if us find ways to rationalize what ever it takes to get what ever it is we want. Thoughts anyone and I am thinking of life issues.


There is a benefit in knowing you are dying

April 23, 2014

I have been reading some of my earliest posts. I have no memory of any of this. It is like reading it for the first time. Well actually it likely is the first time. It is good to compare my thoughts then to now.

 

I look back and realize, now this may sound really crazy, but all my medical conditions have been good for me. How can 4 (now 5 heart attacks, heart failure, brain tumor, epilepsy, diabetes…. possibly be good for you? Each has given me the opportunity to grow, maybe in some cases it would be more accurate to say forced me, to grow as a spiritual person. I have always had my own very strong beliefs in God, Jesus and the teachings of the Bible. I am not sure how to describe it but the beliefs were always there, but maybe buried a little to deeply inside. Through all this in the past few years, I have turned within and brought those feelings more to the surface. It is for this reason I consider it all to have been good for me. Why did it take such drastic happenings for me to do this? I think I have become a better, stronger person spiritually and mentally, but on the flip side the health paid the price. I can’t help but feel it was a fair trade.

I have written a lot about talking to and being around the dying. I am still surprised, almost daily, at how uncomfortable people are with this. But, I shouldn’t be all I have to do is look back at my own mind set a few years ago. I didn’t avoid, but I certainly, didn’t make a point of visiting. My reason was the fear, the fear I might say or do something that may upset the person. I felt they had enough to deal with already, the fear and stress of dying, can’t be easy to deal with. I was afraid of compounding or adding to their stress by saying something stupid. Has, my attitude ever changed now. I look back and think, man, I was so selfish and uncaring. I realize it was MY fear that kept me away. It was a fear of making myself feel bad or guilty IF I said something inappropriate.

There was also a second element, none of this have I realized, until I started this journal. The second was a feeling of inadequacy. We all want to help or at least ease the burden of those we care about. I thought I should be going in with some “wise” words to help put them more at ease or change the tragedy of their “plight”.

So there it is, I mean what good could my visit possibly do, I couldn’t think of anything “wise” to say and at the say timed feared saying the wrong thing.

I rationalized it, with the thought, I was possibly sparing them, but it was sparing me. How selfish was I? It is natural to want to spare your loved ones or anyone, undo, pain or stess. Fear is a terrible thing and a very sad thing in this context. It becomes a crippling fear that robs so many of so much.

What changed my attitude? Obviously, knowing I am dying has had a big impact on me. I mean, WOW, I am dying. When the realization sinks in those 3 little words, “I am Dying”, it changes, your life, your thought processes, your ideas. It just changes you and with luck for the better. I came to the realization that yes my thinking has changed, but I still am the same in day to day life, within my physical limitations.

I still enjoy visiting with friends and family and doing the things I did before. In that regard nothing has changed. Please don’t deprive me of those things by avoiding me, or by being so nervous and on edge during a visit that we can’t really relax and enjoy it. Take a deep breathe and relax, I have.


Prayers Please

April 15, 2014

Over the past couple of months, Mike has joined us as a new blogging friend. In one of his messages Mike shared with us he gas been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Since that time Mike and I have exchanged emails. In his last email Mike revealed this Thursday he is scheduled for an MRI. This to check to see if the cancer has spread.

Mike asked that I post a prayer request on his behalf, which I am most happy to do. I pray the cancer has not spread, which if only in the prostate is much easier to treat.

i ask prayers please


Vi’s update

April 14, 2014

Vi is struggling with her greatly decreased physical abilities. Not knowing what is happening adds to that stress.

about 2 months ago, she had procedures done to alleviate pain in both of her legs. Now it helped with the right leg but definitely made it worse for the left leg. Any that know Vi, know she is like the energizer bunny constantly on the run. That running has been changed to a slow and short walk. The pain becomes such she as to stop and rest.

Now she is not the type to let this stop her. Things like trips to the store are only made when necessary no longer the trips made on a whim. I can go but there are times when she gets cabin fever and just wants to get out. It has been very humbling and even embarrassing  for her to accept that a wheel chair is now needed. A lot of stores now have motorized wheel chair shopping carts.

as humbling as it may have been accepting the fact a wheel chair is required. I has also been liberating for her. Vi and I are different shoppers. I go in with a list of 10 things, I pick those 10 things am in and out in minutes. Vi on the other hand loves to stroll/ride through the isles for seemingly hours looking for specials, new products and I don’t know what. I go with a list of 10 things and come home with 10 things. She goes in with that same list and comes home with 50 things. By accepting the need for the motorized wheel chair she is back to leisurely rolling the isles. I think shopping is linked to female DNA. Lol. I guess it proves you can’t keep a good woman down and where there is a will, there is a way.

Awaiting C scan results. She sees the vascular surgeon on May 7th, who we hope by now has a plan B. It is one thing to go into a surgery and not have it work. That has happened to me. But, it is a totally different situation when you go into a surgery and come out worse.


I am a blessed man

April 14, 2014

From Sept. 25/06.

Rereading this one just warmed my heart. These were life changing moments for me. I am a truly blessed man. I have the two most wonderful daughters a man could ever ask for. Both of whom are married to wonderful men that I am proud to have as son-inLaws. Three granddaughters, well don’t even get me started there. My little princesses, each a heart melter in her own way. My post from way back.

Did a little meditation and more reflecting back on my life. there have been some definite highs and lows. Why is it the lows, seem more clear in my memory? That is with the exception of the birth of my two daughters. I saw them both come into this world, words can not describe my emotions and feelings at those wonderous moments. Wonderful life changing moments. My oldest daughter was born when I was 26. Up to that point I thought I was really enjoying life. I partied (got drunk) every weekend, occationally got into fights lived the high life, I thought. Some thing change inside me the first moment I held my daughter. Suddenly, I didn’t want to party anymore, I just wanted to be with her, to hold her, change diapers, it didn’t matter, just she did and being with her. My heart was just so full of love for her that when my wife became pregnant the second time, I was worried. How could I possibly love a second child as much. But my second daughter proved me wrong. Again, from that very first moment, my heart was filled to the bursting point with love. I have the two most wonderful daughters, I really am a lucky man. Both are now grown, married starting their own families. Though, we are now separated by many miles, my heart is still just as full of love and pride. they are two of the main reasons I am reluctant to leave this world, I will miss them.

I have come to realize, I am not afraid to die. Maybe reluctant is a better word. I know God will take care of me in the after life, it is the people I will leave behind. My physical life in this world is good, we are comfortably set financially, not rich but comfortable. Does it sound strange to say, it is the people in my life I will miss more even than my life. I know I (my soul) will continue, physical death is not the end just a new beginning. Death is just like ending one chapter in a book and beginning a new chapter. I am just not sure I am ready to turn that final page to begin the new chapter, I am enjoying being with the people in this chapter.

I am finding this typing and the telling of my story almost therapeutic or something. It is like it gives me a purpose for being, something to do besides sitting around thinking. Not that that is always bad, doing all this reflecting and meditation I have come to know and understand myself a little better. So, I guess I will continue as long as I can. Look out world here I come.


I am special in Good’s eyes but no more special than anyone else

April 13, 2014

I am finding going back and reading my post from back at the very beginning to be very helpful. I like to stand chin up, shoulders squared  and face things head on. When I wrote this I was about a 1 1/2 years into the “2 years if you are lucky” time frame given by the doctor. I was standing tall, ready to face what ever was coming. By the grace go God that 2 year time left to period came and went and I am still here. As more time progressed, I realize I became more and more cocky. When I was young and foolish I thought I was tough and “bullet proof”. In the time since I have had several “close calls” with let’s just say doctors becoming less and less optimistic. I realize I have allowed that to wear away at me. I am still standing ready to face what ever is coming. But, maybe shoulders aren’t quite as square and chin may be down a little. Reading this early stuff shows me how I have grown in areas but maybe faltering a little in others

 

I have had a about a year and a half to get used to this dying thing. But, I don’t think you can get used to the idea, I am going to die soon, unless you grow both inside as a person and spiritually. When I first was told by the doctors that I am dying, I spent a period where I was angry. Angry at myself for not taking better care of my health, and even angry at God. Why me, I am a good person, why would God let this happen to me. Some where along the line a realization came to me. Yes, I am what I consider to be a good person, but so are the millions or others out there that are dying. What gave me the right to assume I would get treated any differently than any of them. I believe in a loving and a fair God. A God that loves all of his children. His children being absolutely everyone on this earth. Does,God love me in a way stronger and more pure than anything I can hope to imagine, Yes. Does God consider me to be special and unique, Yes. Does God love me or consider me to be more special than anyone else in this world, No.

God, loves all of his children equally, with the same pure love for all, irregardless or race, colour, sex or anything else. I realized, it was pretty arrogant of me to expect that I should be treated any differently than anyone else. What makes me think I am so special as to receive perefential treatment. Am I loved by God and have I received special treatment from him, absolutely. Can I or should I expect to receive pereffential treatment above all others, No. So I guess the answer to my question why me, is why not me.

That is a humbling realization. I have never considered myself to be superior to anyone else, nor have I ever considered anyone else to be superior to me. What could possibly make God see me any differently? I have come to accept what ever God has in store for me, I am in his hands. When it is obvious that it is inevitable, acceptance is the greatest comfort.