Friday, January 27, 2012

A Better Place

I have been wanting to write this for some time now, but just never seemed to have gotten around to doing it somehow. With that said, I would like to tell everyone that my brother-in-law passed away this past summer (July 2011), quite unexpectedly. Well, maybe not all that unexpectedly.

My brother-in-law was morbidly obese and was on a few different medications. He did not take care of himself and, in the years of my knowing him, never even tried to get himself healthy. The notion now-a-days, is that my doctor know best (which is a lie) and the medication he will give me will make me better (which is another lie). Step back from the big picture for a moment and think about this one. If you get healthy who wins and who loses? Well, we all know that answer...don't we? doctors don't make money off healthy or dead people. They need us to be just sick enough to keep coming back to them for regular check ups. I teach food classes at my local health food store and I tell my audience this all the time. You have to be your own food police and take care of yourself. Do the research, wake up and see what our government is allowing to happen to our food supply.

With that said, there is a reason for this post. When my brother-in-law passed away, I know see what ridiculous things people say. Someone actually asked my sister if she was going to commit suicide. I mean really...come on. She has two girls to raise. But the one that stuck a cord with my sister was this one: 'Leo is in a much better place.' Well my sister quite quickly turned to them and said: 'No he is not, his place is with us, not being dead.' Shut that person up real fast.

And think about it. He did not have a long drawn out illness where his death would have been a relief, he was not suffering in any way what-so-ever. So for someone (And usually it is someone who believes in God/Christ) to say he is in a better place, well to me, that is the biggest load of crap someone could ever say. And yet it is said all-the-time without even thinking about it. I truly never said that to anyone, even if they were better off. The family who is mourning does not want to hear that, and yet, even they themselves do not stand up and say anything to contradict what said person has just said. Well, my sister did and I for one, applaud her for it.

I hope anyone that reads this will get a better understanding of just how thoughtless that comment is. And my sister was a believer that there was a God before her husbands passing. She believes no longer. But I will save that for another post.

Monday, May 2, 2011

It's The Humane Thing To Do

Well another one has gone down. Yes dear friends, one of my friends has had to take her dog to the vets and put her dog down. Why you may ask? Who knows, and who cares? that last reference was not meant to be a callous one. Oh contrare. It was meant as a measuring stick for how we treat our pets and why we don't give ourselves the same thought process.

A few years back our little mutt got extremely ill from some flame retardant she got hold of, unbeknownst to us. With that said, her entire digestive tract was being destroyed. And shortly after her ingesting this chemical we had to put her to sleep. It tore us apart for weeks to come, but we knew in our hearts that she was better off. Why you may ask, well there are a couple of reasons. 1) She no longer had to suffer(for she already had a week of discomfort. 2) She could have had surgery, but the vet could not guarantee her being better after a very expensive surgery.

Why can't we have that same option for our human loved ones? Why do we feel the need to keep them alive if they are living vegetables. Or better yet, why can't our final wishes be observed and take it a step further past a DNR(Do Not Resuscitate) and let us say when our end should come.

This may come off as a backing for suicide, which it isn't, and which I am not 100% against either. Why shouldn't we be allowed to choose when we leave this place called home. We definitely do not have a say in when we arrive, it is the least we can do to give us the choice as to when we depart.

There was a very touching Star Trek episode(The Captain Picard series) called, 'Half a Life'. To this day, it is still one of my most favorite episodes. It is about a race that takes their own lives at the age of 60, leaving life to the young.

Take a look here: Half a Life Clip

I can see both sides to the argument they were having. But in the end, should we all not have the right to end our lives when we still have some dignity left and not be kept around while some attendant is wiping our backside. How cruel is that? I know that when I am no longer a productive member of society, then I no longer want to take up space. I am but just a tiny blip in the big scheme of things. That is not to say I feel my life is not worth anything. Just thee opposite. I know in my heart of hearts I am making a huge difference in the lives of the people I come in contact with. You may also think that is an arrogant, pompous way of thinking of ones self, but I disagree.

I see thee effect I have on people when I tell them about a better way of eating. I love it when my AVON customers get their bags and they get their products. The list goes on. But when I can no longer have an effect on peoples lives, then I am done here and the baton should be passed on. I know how I will be talked about when I am dead and gone, and I am AOK with that. That is not arrogance, that is self-confidence, that is being confident in the fact that you love what you do and are good at that very same thing you love.

You cannot hide true passion about life. The rest is just gravy. But when that ability is no longer available to me, then it is time to turn off the light. I just hope beyond all hope that when my time comes, that there will be a Dr. Kavorkian on my side, helping me to transition to a more peaceful place, or that new laws will be in place for me to take the necessary step to pass on, and maybe even with a few friends with me holding my hands while I pass on.

Death should not be something feared, but embraced. It is just a natural step in the cycle of life. But to tell me I do not have the right to say when that should end, well that is just wrong. It should be my fundamental right for me have that choice. Who are you/they to tell me how run or end my life? It is my life, not yours...or theirs.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

10 Ways To Take A Day Off

I found this in a Natural Awakenings Magazine and fell in love with ti. What gets me, is that the little things that make so much sense, we never seem to implement..why is that? Well maybe we should. Try one or some of these out and see what goes.

1) Avoid technology
2) Contact loved one
3) Nurture your health
4) Get outside
5) Avoid commerce
6) Light candles
7) Drink wine
8) Eat bread
9) Find silence
10) Give back

I am a firm believer in #10 and I will tell you why. So many people have thee attitude of,'Well I never get anything.', and there is a reason why. That is because those people never give. And I am talking about giving because you want to, not because you are made to. For when it comes from the heart, then the getting starts flowing in your direction. Try it, you will see.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

In The End

None of it matters, for it all comes to an end.

There will be no more sunrises, minutes or days. All the things you collected whether it be treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else. your wealth, fame, temporal power, will shrivel to irrelevance.

It will not matter what you owned or owed, your grudges, resentments, frustrations, jealousies, will finally disappear. So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, to-do list will expire. the wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.

It won't matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived. It won't matter if you are beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant. So, what will matter?

How will the values of your days be measured? What will not matter is what you bought, but what you built. Now what you got, but what you gave. What will matter, is not your success, but your significance. What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught. What will matter is every act of integrity, courage, compassion or sacrifice that enriched, empowered, or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What will matter, is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you are gone. What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.

To say that I find/found this to be profound is a gross understatement. If everyone lived like this, so much of the bad that is lurking in so many places would be gone. But many people live for themselves. The minute you stop doing for you and do for others, your life changes. I know mine has. now, the question is, how far are you willing to go to change your life?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Where's The Fire?

We will all get old...hopefully. With that said, I wonder why people are not more patient with seniors. Yes, I know some of them can be a bit cranky and others just down right pissed off at the world. I know those people are not happy with their lives and feel the need to bring everyone else into their miserable little world. But those people are not the ones I will be referring to.

I recently took my daughter to work, where more than a few seniors come to shop. I have always been a patient person to those with babies and seniors. For I know that one day, hopefully, I too will be old. And I can only hope that someone will be patient with me.

I am also a firm believer in positive thinking and that you will only get back in life what you give. So for those who say, "It's just our luck." Not true. There are no coincidences. You get what you give. And one of my most favorites is, What Goes Around...Comes Around. Now that may come off as a little vengeful, as my daughter so eagerly pointed out. And that may very well be true. But what most folks don't get is that when something goes wrong, you are thee only one who can rectify that situation. Do not sit and blame everyone and their mother on your little miseries. No one wants to hear your whining and no one, for the most part, gives a rats backside.

With that said, let me get back to the incident that got me to put this post up. I was sitting at a 2-way stop and letting my daughter out of the car to get into work. There was an elderly woman trying to cross in front of me to get to the parking lot to get to her car. Fifteen extra seconds of me letting her pass by was not going to make that big a difference. So I waved her to pass in front of my car.

There was another car facing me at the opposing stop sign. He was visibly in a hurry. Even thought I had arrived at the stop sing first and had the right of way, he was already inching up to move through the stop sign. the elderly woman, who had a noticeable limp was doing the best that she could to get across the walkway. But this man was in a Harry Hurry. And as he inched up closer to her, and passing my vehicle, he begin to swear obscenities to her under his breath. But due to the fact that both his window and mine were rolled down, I got a whiff of what he said .

Where was his fire? Where did he have to be that 15 seconds would have effected his getting there. I mean really. Are people that so wrapped up in their lives that they cannot slow down for just a few seconds? Obviously not in this mans case. I just want people to sit and think how we treat others that are not as able bodies as we are. And I mean that literally. I see seniors all the time that have difficulty getting around or even physically handicapped people and it never ceases to amaze me just how insensitive people can be. I mean do you really thing that a mentally/physically handicapped person woke up and thought of ways to tick off the general population? I think not. And yet I see it more often then I care to admit, that many a folk who want these people moved or removed out of their way. Sad.

I think if Rod Serling could take folks like that (thee impatient ones or intolerable ones) and just set them into a situation they are perpetuating, they may see things a bit differently. If only for an hour, day in the life of someone you have no patience for, just to see how it is like in their world. then maybe we would have a more passive human race.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Best Nanny Memory

Edit In: I was supposed to have saved this post and added on, but somehow it got published. Must have hit the wrong button. I am adding the story that made my nanny the best grandmother ever. Read on.

For those who have not had the pleasure of grand-parents (and good ones at that), you do not know what you are missing.

My nanny is my mother's mother. She was in-your-face, up front, blunt, brusque, abrupt, but I loved her. And even as a child, I knew she was someone to be reckoned with. People looked at her with a sort of reverence. If she liked/loved you, then you were good. But cross her...and watch out. Fell the wrath of Emily Grace Strayer.

Nanny and I had to go 'In to town' as those who live din the boonies called it. That meant that you either went to Okeechobee or you went to West Palm Beach. This day was WPB. Nanny had some flats of vegetables to pick up and a plethora of other things to do while there, for you did not go 'in to town' all that often, so you made the best of your time there. And we did.

Well, it was getting on to lunchtime and we were both starving. I was about 10-12ish at the time and just worshiped my Nanny. In my eyes, she could do no wrong. We needed to grab lunch somewhere...anywhere. I, of course, had no money. Heck, I was 10 years old, and even if I did, I would not share it with anyone. No way no how.

Now, for those of you who are old enough, you may remember thee older cars and how the dashboards were metal. That way your parents or grandparents could buy those magnetic trays that stuck onto the dashboards. Everything got thrown in there. Anything form match books, to loose charge and the such. Well, I had looked in my nanny's wallet, as per her instructions, to look for money for lunch. I did as I was asked, but found not one bit of money.

I looked, and looked again and then I relooked again. Still nothing. So I went to digging in the magnetic tray on her dashboard. I was able to scrape up enough change that I remember totalling up to less that $1.00. Now, back in those days, we could have purchased a small soda and small fry and that would have held us over until we got back home. We resigned to the fact we would have to share those food items.

But I took one more stab at looking for money in my nanny's wallet. I pulled out photos and special documents. And behold, I let out a blood curdling scream. My grandmother's reply was, "How much did you find?" She knew I was not in any pain, or had been bitten by some odd insect. She knew I had fond gold in them there hills. It was a $10 bill and we were able to feast on a Whopper, fries and shake at Burger King.

Back then it was a treat to eat at a fast food joint. Now it is common place and just a bunch of crap these companies try to call food. That s another post entirely. But suffice it to say, that is a day that is branded into my memory forever and ever. Thank you Nanny and rest in peace.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's Just A Wave

For those of you who may not know or remember, I had major spinal surgery in the summer of 2008. That was a harrowing experience to say the least. Then add a nearly one year long recovery...well you can see how fun that year was.

With that said. Thee only rehabilitation they wanted me to do was walking, yes, walking. For walking strengthens your core and what is your spinal column? Oh yeah, the core to your very being. And if you think you what your back/spinal cord does for you, then have back surgery. You will then realize that your back controls everything you do.

I have been pretty darned steadfast in my keeping up on my walking. I try to get out at lease five days a week and due to the fact that I have a pooch to keep healthy, it is a great symbiont relationship and it is a win win for the both of us.

But there is a group of us exercisers that work out in our own little neck of this neighborhood. That includes walkers (with and without dogs), bikers (and I am not referring to the Harley-Davidson type either) and runners. It seems to be an unwritten credo to just greet one another, whether it be a simple hello, a 'Hi, how are you?', or something to that effect, it usually gets said. But there are cars that pass us by on their way to work as well. With their windows rolled up, air conditioning cranking, there is no way to greet these folks. But alas...there is.

I grew up in a family that camped. We dragged our pull along pop-up camper behind a Volkswagen van and camped in there and we also used a tiny little two-sleeper tent. We loved it. But what I think I loved most about the camping experience was the friendliness of the fellow campers. They always had a kind word, or would offer their help when needed, and if passed when walking or biking, there was always a friendly words needed.

So I took up this practice in my walking routine. I wave to all vehicles that cross my path. Now I know that a majority of them are shaking their heads that some whacko lady is waving to a complete stranger. But I heard recently, that a stranger is just a friend we haven't met yet. Now I will grant you that I may not invite these people to my Thanksgiving dinner table, but I may just be planting a seed of kindness into their brains. And how knows, I could be cultivating a new breed of people who will soon be known as Waver's.