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Pondering Life and Death ……………

My brother’s wife passed away last Thursday, but to me she wasn’t an ‘in-law’ but always considered my sister!

Briefly, she had an neurological disorder with a very long name, but basically it was a very rare disorder of an unknown origin. The disease progressed very slowly, to the point where her nerve endings were dead. Even so, for many years she could walk and talk; she just couldn’t feel her arms. legs,  and other areas like her face and her fingertips etc. As the doctor explained; as long as possible if she continued to make sure and exercise on a stationary bike etc; the brain would remember how to walk etc. She did so for years, but this spring my brother became unable to care for her, as her abilities had finally diminished and she had to be placed in a long term home.

She had been able to go home for the day last Monday, to celebrate our Canadian Thanksgiving with her family.

On Wednesday she became very ill with multiple issues, but basically her body was just shutting down. Because of the rarity of her disease, she had decided to donate her body with the hope that something could be learned about her condition, and help someone else in the future.

I mention a little about her because whenever there is death of someone close to us, we do tend to think of the subject. I don’t take credit for this thought that I read at some point or heard, but I like it.

When we are a baby in our mother’s womb, we are nourished with food, warmth, comfort and security. We believe this is what life is; there is no knowledge of what lies ahead. Then we are born into this world, and life changes. Usually we are cared for as infants, and the years following; but it is very different than when we were as yet unborn.

As a Christian therefore, it is not difficult to believe that the world we live in now, with all the challenges and joys of everyday life, is not all there is either. We are promised that when our lives on earth have or will come to an end of life as we know it, there is yet one more to come. That is eternity with God, when we believe. While I have heard much about what Heaven is like, with no sorrow, pain illness………….only joy, I won’t really know until that time comes for me.

My mind has just reverted back unexpectedly to a time over 40 years ago, when I had a very vivid ‘dream’ that felt much more. I had been going through a time of depression, but was starting to feel somewhat better; and I had this wonderful sense of being enveloped in a warmth , with an array of colours that seemed to be such as I’d never seen before. While in this “dream”…. I felt so loved, protected and just full of joy that I didn’t want to wake up, but I also wondered if somehow my husband could feel the same… so I was hoping when I did wake up, this would happen. Of course it didn’t, but I wondered if I could or should try to explain it at all to him and maybe our children.  So when I took our my Bible, I asked God  to let me know. I wasn’t in the habit of opening my Bible at random for some special message, but this time I did. The first words that I read were ‘tell the people’. So I did!

I guess this was to me, a little glimpse into heaven.

The Bible also talks about Hell…. I guess I don’t know what that entails totally. It has been described in many ways. My feeling about it is, that for the most part it means an eternity without the presence of God, or joy, peace, love or security. If there is no God, then there is no heaven or hell. We will not be reunited with other loved ones, and this life we live now is all there is.

But I guess you know that I don’t believe that. I believe that there is that world within the womb, the life here on earth, and an eternity thereafter!

Kind of some deep thoughts in this post, but they evolved this week with the passing of my ‘sister’!  

Sometimes Answers Just Don’t Come

For quite a while now I’ve been trying to find answers to questions relating to health issues but sometimes the answers just don’t come.

While I realize many ills come with age, the hope is that we can somehow find out the cause and just feel as good as we can. When I was diagnosed many years ago with Multiple Sclerosis, it was after two or more years of feeling unwell but basically after some blood tests and maybe an xray, I was advised that nothing physical was wrong. I was offered an increase in an antidepressant that I was taking at that time for depression. I remember how I felt as though I was a hypochondriac, and yet deep inside I knew that something was amiss. Well to make a long story short, I ended up in emergency one day; saw an internist and was sent to a neurologist who after testing learned I had M.S.

I have not been severely debilitated by M.S. through these years, but the last couple of years have just had one issue after another. I’ve had so many tests it’s a wonder I don’t glow in the dark or have any blood left. I’ve been to my general practitioner, gastrologist, otolaryngologist, neurologist, dermatologist, cardiologist, respirologist, neuro-surgeon; had blood tests, xrays, ct scans, MRI, bone density, bone scan..

I have some answers; but some with no solution, such as severe dysmotility… which basically means when I eat I have to be very careful as food does not move as it should down the esophagus…. causing issues which I will not go into. There is nothing that can be done about this, as it’s basically the muscles that are just damaged.

One answer I do have is that there is spinal stenosis in my lower back, and will have surgery to help alleviate the pain.

There are other issues which I won’t delve into; one however is a breathing issue for which there seems to be no answer. That’s the one that is giving me the ‘I feel like a hypochondriac again’ thoughts. But I’ve decided to just accept that I’ve pretty well exhausted all the options, and I will just live with it.

Sometimes I guess we just have to accept that the answer is just not going to come !

(Thanks for listening to my rambling/grumbling).

 

WHAT DO YOU SEE? – Poem

If you look into a baby’s face

With tiny fingers and all its’ toes

With eyes that sparkle

And a little button nose…..

Their hands that grasp your fingers

A smile that grabs your heart

You simply watch and wonder

With the joy that they impart.

The innocence and purity

No malice within their soul

They emanate pure trust

Such a gift that they extol.

For when we look into the face

Of an infant undefiled

A sense of peace, of wonderment

We truly are beguiled.

There was no evolution,

No origin unknown

This child was a creation,

A gift from God alone

Great-granddaughter born 2008

WITHOUT HOPE THE PEOPLE PERISH – Poem

I have been so moved by all that those dealing with the hurricanes, and also of course the recent earthquakes, I just wrote an expression of what I’m feeling in the form of a poem.  My poems are random, meaning that they do not have a proper form or even rhythm necessarily, but it’s one way that I choose to write my thoughts…..

WITHOUT HOPE THE PEOPLE PERISH

The sun was shining bright

The clouds appearing white

Rain could not be seen

It was, as it had always been.

And then the news came

Life would never be the same

The hurricanes would be

The wrath of wind and sea.

They must seek shelter from the storm

And people needed to be informed,

Saving lives would be the test

Homes, belongings, all the rest,

Brave souls worked day and night

To save all who were in sight.

So many huddled inside

Any place where they could to hide.

The fury finally passed

They could go outside at last.

What was seen when they emerged

Was that their lives had been purged

From all that they had known

All that they had owned .

Where will these people go

Can we help some way to show

Can those able give some aid

So their trauma might somehow fade….

To help rebuild their lives

And for them to just survive

To return to all they cherish…..

Because without this hope to cling to

Instead the ‘people simply perish”

 

Photo Credit
CNN

 

 

The Act of Forgiveness

For various reasons I’ve been thinking about the ‘act of forgiveness’.

What does it mean or what should it mean?

As an individual we believe that if a person says they are sorry, we ought to forgive them. As a Christian we believe that it is imperative that we forgive someone, even if they do not say they are sorry. Some would say that even if we aren’t feeling forgiving we ought to do so anyway, to free us … to release the anger and hurt we are feeling, and give it to God.

While I certainly believe that forgiveness ought to be our goal, I think sometimes it’s not as cut and dried for some. Should we ‘mouth’ the words without feeling it in our hearts? If it’s just words does it mean anything? As a comparison, I would say that if anyone were to say the words that they are told to say, in order to become a Christian without really understanding or meaning it, is it meaningful?

Would it perhaps be more apropos to pray for God to help us through our feelings, in order that we can honestly say that we forgive someone?

When we are Christians and parenting our children, how do we teach them about forgiveness? If they do something wrong do we simply force them to say that they are sorry, without helping them understand? Do we then forgive them? Sometimes there are consequences to their misbehaviour. Do we punish them in a manner that is equivalent in degree, that their behaviour was?

If we want to present a loving and forgiving God, do we then ensure that they see that compassion and understanding in us as parents? If we are extreme in the punishment we give, how then will this affect their views?

 

 

Just some thoughts !

Feeling Our Age….

Lately it seems I’ve had conversations with a few women around my age, and when speaking of a few of our issues we invariably talk about the fact we’re getting older.

We’re all in our 70’s, and it occurred to us that 80 wasn’t very old after all. We agreed that the older we get, the faster the years go, though we weren’t sure why. One thought was that it was kind of like this summer seemingly going so fast. We felt that since the weather wasn’t that good, because of quite a bit of rain and cooler weather, that we were kind of still waiting for summer. Then of course the realization it is September, and so summer is coming to an end. Maybe we feel a bit downcast, as we know what lays ahead in the manner of cold and wintery weather.

We kind of related some of those thoughts, when we realized that we are in our senior years and wondering how life now seems like it went so fast. Of course it’s only the perception, because time passes equally no matter what age we are.

While we aren’t afraid of what the future holds, none the less had to admit that we were feeling our ‘mortality’. I suppose there are many times in our lives we wonder what is ahead for us; but maybe we don’t just have the same amount of time to think about it as we now do, being seniors and having for the most part, a lot of time to ‘think’!

Anyway, ‘whatever will be, will be’ as the saying goes, and it will be taken one day/week/year at a time, with God’s help!

 

Thinking of You

I’ve been watching the news lately and how challenged… the people who live in the USA are, and I’ve been thinking of you..

Many of my friends in the blogging community live there, and my heart goes out to you. Of course right now there is the devastating hurricane in Texas. So many lives put in jeopardy, and the losses are so great. It seems surreal at times, because we usually expect a catastrophe of this magnitude, to be ‘over’ in a day or so. When I say over, I mean the immediate threat. There is then of course the remnants of it to take awhile, but in this case it is seemingly going to go on for days and weeks to come.

My heart breaks when I see the faces and the shock and disbelief that are so evident in so many. I see people leaving their homes and most, if not all of their possessions …. arm in arm, and often with their beloved pets. We know of course that material belongings are not the important factor, when our lives are at risk. Never the less, some of those ‘things’ are part of us… part of who we are, and while I’m sure we all agree that saving lives is the primary goal, it saddens us that our home will not be the same again.

The reaching out from those desperately trying to help though, warms the heart and spirit.

I realize from the news there are political issues and challenges ongoing too, but it is evident that the  people of the United States of America are strong, and will persevere in all that they face. ‘United’ being the key word.

So from a friend from Canada, I just wanted to let you know that I’m thinking of you, and that I know there is no kind of adversity you cannot overcome……. 

Diane