Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cancer and people

Today is one of the days I've set aside for those people and their families involved with cancer and other critical diseases. If you haven't been affected by one of them I would be surprised. Sometimes the pain is so great that we avoid talking about it. That's a shame. Admitting the pain and difficulties involved is part of the healing process.

One of my heroes is a guy that had inoperable brain cancer. His way of dealing with it was buying a sailboat and sailing around the world and visit as many tropical islands as he could. living off the local food and fauna. I haven't heard from him since. he was so grateful he found out in time to go off and realize his dream. Another is a guy diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. He was an active, grab life by the horns type of guy, surfer, sky diver, avid skier, mountain climber and hiker all his life. After his initial diagnosis and treatments he stopped by to visit. Full of stories and jokes it took him almost two hours to tell me what was going on. Then he took off his hat and showed me his bald head. His long, flowing, curly, blond, surfer locks were gone. He grinned and said it was beginning to grow back. I felt immediate sadness. He dispelled a lot of it by explaining what he intended to do. During his treatment he saved up a lot of the pain medication and he also had a stash of "medicinal" stuff of some kind. He was leaving that day to go on a long vacation by train across the United States. Stopping spontaneously wherever he wished and ski, climb a mountain, surf or whatever tripped his trigger at that moment. I haven't heard from him either. Another acquaintance had ALS and rode across the old Route 66 with a bunch of car guys in a caravan of Corvettes. Another dream come true. A minister with the same situation lived a year as Jesus did. Doing without many common amenities. We all have our own opinion of what is important.

I've visited many other every day heroes too. Most have overcome what ever they faced and gone on to many more years of life. Others didn't fare so well and I've held their hand while they slipped away. We all have our way of handling such matters. I do know this; Friends and family can make all the difference when it comes to comfort and support. It's a good thing to remember. For them, and us don't you think?...............Joe

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April, 7th, 2010

Today is International Beaver Day!............I can sense you're scepticism but according to "them" April 7th is, in fact International Beaver Day. I guess it's up to each of us, as to what we do with that bit of information. But we can't stop there. Other, far more important things are being honored or recognized as we sit here. April is IBS month. Did you know that? It's also STDs month. Serious stuff. No parades though. If you see the stores a bit crowded today it's because today is National No-Housework Day. That should help the bottom line of the national chains and even the local mom and pop stores.

Dog owners have cause to celebrate because we are in the midst of National Pooper Scooper week. That explains why the sidewalks and the neighbor's front yards are looking a little less like mine fields. If you are receiving more emails of the funny nature it's probably because this is National Humor Month and more specifically this is the long standing, much recognized Laugh at Work Week.

So, now that you have reasons to celebrate or recognize something it has now become a day, a week, a month or a year with purpose. I'm glad I could help with that.........................Joe

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Jesse James and Tiger Woods

I think a good lesson can be learned for all of us from the events over the past couple weeks concerning Tiger Woods and Jesse James.

Regardless our personal opinions of the lack of integrity and loyalty when it comes to these two guys, their desire to move on from it all is what we should focus on. Leave the admiration or condemnation for another time. Moving on, an attitude we all need. There is a cross country auto race that happens every year somewhere in Michigan's Northern Peninsula. The idea is to keep driving through whatever you face along the course. Creeks, trees, mud holes, washboard two tracks, hairpin turns and darkness. It's called, "Press on Regardless." It's not a race for the weak and just as importantly, the car is literally guaranteed to be a mess when it's over.

The lesson I glean from Jesse James and Tiger Woods is this: For them and their families this is horribly painful. By various means they are moving through it and getting on with their lives. Facing an embarrassing media blitz that most of us will never fully understand. In a few years, for the most part what is happening now will be left to a few heartless, old, stale jokes. Their social lives will return to as normal as possible. They'll get all beat up from this, just like the cars and drivers in the "Press on Regardless" race. Repairs will be made and they'll continue on.

That's the attitude it takes I think, The two things to remember when we are dealing with ourselves as imperfect human beings: Damage control and pressing on regardless. No matter what else, they are doing that. We probably should remember that......................Joe

Monday, April 5, 2010

Perspective can be unhealthy

Perception. What you perceive may not at all be what you see.

A long time ago I rode a train back to Grand Rapids from the East side of the state. Arriving rather late at a, long since demolished way station used mostly by commuters. Not having much in the way of money made it an easy decision to walk the 5 miles to my home through the dark streets. At approximately the halfway mark I was about to cross a very busy, 4 lane avenue when I saw one of my old high school buddies walking down the middle of the street, carefully following the center line looking very confused. I waited for the cross walk sign and approached him cautiously. "What's going on? I asked. He looked at me and said, "Hi Joe! Hey, do you have any idea why all these crazy people are driving on the sidewalk like that?" rather than correct him and cause possible disagreement, I said I didn't know but why don't we get the heck out of here until they leave. He followed like a puppy, wandering this way and that but did manage to stay with me until I'd gotten to a side street with no traffic. He said thanks and went running down the side street. I tried to keep up with him and couldn't so I watched until he was out of sight, far away from the busy avenue. I've not seen or heard of him since.

He believed that he was walking on a sidewalk. That was his perspective. It could have gotten him killed. That's what perspective can do sometimes. Just a Dingus Day observation. I wonder if that has anything to do with philosophical thought? ..........................Joe

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter!

It's not all about the bunny rabbit!

A reminder that every problem has an ending!

An ending of a problem is often a new beginning!

If you are going through any problems, hang in there!

You just might wind up with something to celebrate!

I wish you a Happy Easter!..................................Joe
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