Tag Archives: death

Precious Gifts

We hear the word “precious” bantered around like it is something ordinary. We might hear: “Oh doesn’t so-and-so look precious?” The word seems pedestrian. We hear it everywhere.

I like this definition of precious: (from dictionary.reference.com)

(something) highly esteemed for some spiritual, non material, or moral quality:

It is uncommon. It is exceedingly rare.

This past week, I realised I had two very distinct precious gifts.

A person who is part of my extended family was ill. He came home from the hospital, to die. We didn’t know when, but was certain that we had a few days. He came home on a Friday. Despite all, we had a great evening, enjoying each others company. The next day, Saturday, we also enjoyed a wonderful (awe filled) day. He wanted sausage. I went home to prepare the peppers and onions that would accompany the meal. He didn’t eat a lot, but as I jokingly said, he always ate with gusto. He savoured every morsel. It was time to rest. He was having difficultly moving, so his wife called me to help him back to bed. A few hours later, he had passed. No lingering illness. No suffering. He was gone.

The Bible says:

“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants.” (Psalm 116:15 NIV)

While I was saddened at the loss of a dear friend, I realised that God had given me a great honour. I was privileged to help prepare the last meal he would eat on this earth. While I wasn’t there physically when he passed, I knew that he was safely in the arms of our beloved Saviour.

Exactly a week later, I was visiting a friend who is severely autistic. I have high functioning Autism. I share a kindred bond with other Autistics, that Neuro-Typicals (our name for people who are NOT on the Autism Spectrum) would not understand. One of the other residents there, a non-verbal Autistic, had been seated in the living room. He enjoys playing with toys, and I asked the staff if it would be okay if I gave Michael a toy. They said it would be fine. As I carefully placed the toy in his lap, he took my hand in his. He looked at me, then carefully took my hand, and kissed it. People with Autism are usually poor at non-verbal communication. This simple act communicated volumes. God had again bestowed, a precious gift.

“The closer we are to the Lord, the more likely He is to commit precious things and precious people to our care. Let’s love him deeply, that we might be privileged to serve our Lord as John served Christ.”

Richards, L., (1990). The 365 Day Daily Devotional, pg 810, Wheaton , Illinois: Victor Publications

Dealing with Death

Startling as it seems, I spent over an hour on the phone with my best friend, helping me to understand life.

Brad helped me understand that I am powerless to change the situation in which I find myself in, regarding my Dad.

There is no going back to the halcyon days of yesteryear. It is, after all, what it is. Dying is a process I am just beginning to understand, as I myself, enter my 6th decade on this seemingly rotating ball of boredom at times.

I am learning that time is perhaps the most precious commodity we humans have. Memories are fashioned in the context of time, whether they be good or bad.

I have not been here. It is painful. It is powerful. The lessons being taught, are not what I desire. Control. It is an illusion, to an extent. I want control of the situation, but it it not mine to orchestrate.

Perhaps as we look back at our own life, and understand the necessity of brokenness and barren spirit, we begin to understand the essence of life itself. We sequester that which is painful. Which is tedious. Which is dull, and mundane.

It is in these things, we find the true meaning of life. Simply to love, and to be loved.

Thanks old friend, for reminding me of the value of friendship. “To rejoice with them that rejoice, and to weep with them that weep.” (Romans 12:15)

“A joy shared, is a double joy. But a burden shared, is half a burden.”
— Jewish Proverb

Original text,


Letters to God (No April Fool’s)

This has been unlike any week in my life. Much sadness in reflections of the past.

I find quiet comfort in the routine, ordinary things of life. But this week was far from that.

Monday was fairly uneventful. Nothing much happened. I thought. Hurrah! An ordinary week for a change. Mom called and said she started her cat on insulin. Dropped stuff in the mail that I had to return to amazon. Had to go to post office twice, because the folks there said that they could not give me any packing tape. Stopped off at UPS which was way way too expensive. Back home to tape up the packages, and then back to the post office.

Tuesday was not too bad. I went over to TMC and helped Daniel teach a class on General Class Amateur radio. He had brought in several antennas (we only had a class of 1 besides us), and he explained anyway. I learned more in 45 minutes, then I did in 5 years of study. I knew that my amateur radio rig at home, just needed a better antenna to work. Fortunately Daniel had found one I could buy that was in my budget range. He also showed us a home brew 2 metre antenna he had made from a cat food can, a pl-259 bulkhead, and coat hangers. Who knew? Stopped by Wally’s World and picked up some dish detergent.

Wednesday was semi-routine. I did not go the R.A.C.E.S. meeting downtown, as it was not being held at the EOC, but instead at a school on the south side of town. Instead I went out to see my Dad, who is in adult care. Mom came up from town, and we met at the facility. (side note: we put Dad into adult care and hospice, just a few days before Christmas.) We got there, and Dad — well I thought he had had a stroke, since he was pretty in-coherent. Mumbled, confused and came up with all the wrong words. Frightening to watch parents age and go onto fragility.

I went by the place Daniel had told me about on the east side of town, and ordered the indoor HF antenna.

From there, I went to the shelter where I do volunteer I.T. support. Moved a bunch of furniture around to plan for an expansion of the network. But this left the cable modem with a short ethernet cable, and ended up putting the cable modem in an inbox on the wall. Thanks Cox Communications, for a sub-standard install. Visited some of my favourite cats there. In the G.I. section. These cats have no bowel/bladder control because someone mangled their tails. It is stinky, to be honest. But that doesn’t stop the cats from wanting or needing love. I spend 10 minutes with them before I start, and 10 minutes before I leave. They are permanent residents, and nobody wants to deal with them. But they deserve to be loved, just the same. Got home late. Mom called and said that her cat had not eaten for several days and was going to the vet.

The cat is one they found while camp hosting several years back. He had heart worms and asthma. They brought him home, and he spent about 5 years with them. Quiet big kitty. Good personality.

Thursday is my “catch up day.” The day I do laundry, clean the apartment, etc. That went fairly well. Did some light shopping.

Friday was fairly routine. My antenna came in, but I am not on that part of town (about 30 plus miles round trip) so I will pick that up this Wednesday. Folks cat was still getting sicker. No food or water for 3 days now.

Saturday rolled around. I had a cat cpr class at the shelter at 1 pm, so I went there for that. Learned a lot. But I could sit through that a second time, if they will let me. Jackie is a great teacher. She is the Certified Vet Tech at the shelter where I volunteer. Classes are about an hour long, with power point presentation. I am glad that she is helping to educate the public. Went to a local computer store, got a 15 foot ethernet cable, returned to the shelter, took the network down, and installed a new cable. Moved the cable modem to it’s new spot: on top of a table. Tested everything, and was good to go.

Mom said the cat was breathing hard and so she took him into the vet again. Give him a shot of antibiotics. He pee’d all over himself. The end was near.

An acquaintance came over and we watched some TV. It is never easy to tell some one they have body odor, but I had to, to protect my new furniture. I tried to tell him in such a way as not to puncture. I think this is the first time he has been on his own, and he may not know how to use a washing machine. Seriously. That’s okay. He’s teachable. Maybe that’s why are paths crossed. Very bright person.

Saturday marked the 11th anniversary of when I moved, and the 14th anniversary of when I had to put one of my pets down.

Sunday. Mom met the vet @ 9 am, and put the cat down. Right thing to do. Discovered in the x-ray he had a collapsed lung. Explains why he was breathing so hard, not eating or drinking. That cat NEVER lacked for love.

Hosted a live chat for CBC. The online church I am a part of, before I left to see Dad.

When I arrived at Dad’s place around 11 am or so, I saw both Mom and Dad crying their eyes out. I said, “Why didn’t you wait for me, so we could both tell him?” My Mom and I are deaf as a post and both wear hearing aids. Dad however, was able to hear my Mom tell the care giver about the cat, even at a whisper.

It is hard to watch both parents grieve over the loss of a beloved pet. I have been here. The cat was the glue that sort of held things from the past together, with the present. The future for both of them is murky. They are both near end-of-life and it is hard to watch your parents deteriorate before your eyes.

Mom and I went to lunch at Carl’s Jr. near the Costco. Had their southwestern burger, drink and a salad. A better memory of the day.

Spent sometime tonight talking to my friends Cyndi and Jeff. Cyndi drove me to the vet, 14 years ago. Jeff. If I ever had a soul mate, it would be Jeff. One of but maybe 1/2 dozen people I can be totally honest with.

And now, I am writing this. I hope I never have another week like this one.

“The pain now, is part of the happiness then. That’s the deal.”
CS Lewis

and so it goes….