My dear Joon...

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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:36 pm

Dear Susan,

You died on a Friday. I remember because we spent the whole week on math, and then we'd get tested on Friday. I remember Dad working with me every night, and when I got the test in front of me, it all went right out of my head. And I cried, because I couldn't remember. Then all of the sudden, it came to me, and I slew every single one of those suckers. Knocked 'em right out of the park. I got a A - an A, like in Alpha A on that paper, and I couldn't wait to bring it home.

I came through the back door, the test clutched in my fist, and before I could say anything, Mom said you were dead...

Not "Sit down, honey," or "I've got something to tell you," - just said it, like it meant nothing. I was numb. I went to my room, and Mom came in, and told me not to cry. And wouldn't let me go to your funeral, and never took me to your grave. My best friend, in the whole world, there's never been another like you. I can't - I won't let there be.

I did finally find out where you were buried, and I was 26 when I went there for the first - and so far - only time. I took you flowers. There was no headstone, so I had to triangulate from a tree, and two other grave markers. And I found you. I knew it was you, because I felt your hug, just like on the playground at St. Ambrose. Sister hit me for leaving the first graders space to find you. You hugged like nobody else, and I loved you.

We lived in a strange time. A time before it was criminal to beat children; a time when it was considered prudent to force girls to kneel in the corner on rice, while boys could stand. When you could be tattled on to your parents, or the nuns, and you had no way to defend yourself - when you could be killed by your mother, without consequence (at least in your case, there wasn't. Though everybody saw you running down the street, your mom on your heels, brandishing a wooden spoon. It was my mother who caught you, and held you for her. I thought it was a dream, some mangled memory, but my sister remembers it, too. She confirmed it for me, and said it happened just that way.)

I overheard how you were laid out in your coffin. You wore a nightgown with a cardigan over it - that was to cover the bruises on your arms. Back then, the gossip was that you had been beaten, and it showed through the makeup. Now I wonder if it wasn't the frantic pokings of the EMTs, looking for a vein. My guilt stems from the hours I spent in school, that A on my arithmetic paper, and the sheer joy I felt in conquering that son of a bitch. I never got another decent grade in math after that. All I could think was that like Catherine of Aragon, I was making merry while my child died. I was ten-years-old, but I'd heard of her.

You would have been 63 in June. We would have been friends all this time; I know it, I could never have stopped loving you. I go a year or so, I remember and I'm okay. But this year, I miss you terribly and I don't know why.

Just promise me this, Susie. Promise me, that when I draw my last, that your's will be the first face I see, okay? Take my hand, and promise me. And we'll go off to play, like we always wanted to. Promise me, sweetheart. Just promise, and I won't ask for anything else.


sara
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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:33 pm

Duane's back on track. Yelling at the computer was my first clue.

We already have our first bill sent to us. It's from the cardiologist, and I hope it's the only one. I got my March statement for my insurance, and it was 289.21 for the premium. I could have done a better job affording the 193.21 (they're telling me that I'm behind - I'm not, I've paid every single statement that they sent me, and they never had this amount), but I got my plan set up before we had all of this stuff happen to the Honey. So, I go back to the MarketPlace, told them what happened and got another plan. It's 156.55, 25 bucks for office appointments, and zero copays for my meds. I made the first payment yesterday, and that should help a bit. In 2014, my premiums were just under $48, and covered vision, dental and heart - that was awesome and I'm glad I took advantage of it. Because the following year, our Governor switched us over to the State from the Federal, and it's been rising like crazy ever since. I'll be 63 in October - only two more years after that until I'm on Medicare. If it still exists. If the Republicans haven't killed it.

And they may find it harder to do everything, even with the across the board takeover of Congress and White House. I'm feeling less depressed about this; my wonderful country people are so pissed off - God, I love America! She ain't perfect, but she's home. You Electoral-Colleged your way into office, but you did not win the popular vote, and that is just driving you nuts, isn't it, trump'la?

I was behind a man in the grocery store who said he was glad his mother was gone and hadn't lived to see this election. According to him, she was a Kennedy Democrat, and if she wasn't already dead, this would kill her. My folks were the same, but I would love to know what they would have thought of this. You know what really gets me? Is that everything, well, everything so far is just what you would expect, or rather I would. This great 'attempt' at undoing all that has come to pass.

This isn't a white nation. Or a solely Christian nation, and it's not for straight, right-handed, 5'7" men only. Fifty years behind the times, old darling, and whatever bubble you've resided in, is bursting with an enormous pop. Look at that cabinet. White guys in suits, like right out of Nixon's playbook. You could be excused for mistaking what women there are for secretaries, there's so few of them.

These last three weeks feel like years. And while I know the comedians are having a ball, it's not funny anymore. It's bad, and thank God, THANK GOD, the courts are stepping up. And Mr. Trump loves judges - just loves them. Okay so he doesn't, but I will tell you this. I wouldn't mind watching this whole thing play out from the vantage of another planet. It's not safe anywhere on earth, I don't think, to follow this. But, here I am, and one day at a time, unless I can only handle fifteen minute increments. Or five.

I've been up since 3 AM. This whole thing is wrecking havoc on my sleep life, and that's got to stop. So, heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's back to bed I go...


sara
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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:14 pm

Finally got the hygienist appointment for the Honey.

He's been bugging me for days to make it, and I wanted to make sure that the gallbladder thing was well over with first. Actually, it's not - he's not able to sleep on his right side, which is the only side he sleeps on. The only side of the bed, the only side of him - yep, that's the case. The trouble I've had with getting him to see that it would be better if he could toss over onto the left from time to time...well, I need to find somebody whose opinion he respects for that. Sleeping on the left would mean that his digestion wouldn't have to go against gravity, it's the way of the gastric system. While he will listen to me on some stuff, he's had a long history of simply dismissing others - like medical. I wouldn't care so much if it weren't for the fact that I made a pretty good living as a nurse, and I could tell how impressed he was that I could speak the same language as the visiting nurse. Nope, it's the right side or nothing.

Anyway, the dentist had an opening early yesterday, and we took it. The cleaning found three cavities, and three maybes down the road. Did we want to get them filled right then? She had a cancellation. It made sense, so while they were getting things set up, the billing clerk and I tortured and twisted the costs so that we could get another eighteen months without interest. I haven't even begun to pay on that first one, and if I don't get the current paid off by March 20th, we'll be socked with 26 percent. But, it's okay - it's only money.

I can remember getting all upset and worried in the past, but what sense does that make? I make sure that I clean my own teeth twice a day, using a water pick before brushing. I don't floss. I've tried but I can't do it without popping the thread into the gum, so I don't and I am not going to the dentist as a patient myself. I am also not going to the doctor - can't afford it. His bills need to be paid, and right now he has two specialists following him besides the GP. Of course if I'm in an accident or some such, like a house falls on me, that's a different story. But all of my free exams become expensive if they think they see something. What better way to avoid the shadow on the x-ray than to just skip it all together?

In other news, my beloved Frankies want to come up with a rite to welcome me into the Fraternity. That is so sweet. There isn't one, and I thought that there were other Associates, Secular Franciscan ones. But there aren't. Those are Associates to the 2cd Tier? I'm not sure if that's correct, what they're called, but those Associates are with the Tertiary (nuns and brothers.) So, I do think that's lovely. I'm not so sure what it means to them. But this coming Sunday, when it comes up - and it will in new business - I want to know what they all think I believe.

I had a conversation with one of them, the Counselor. She helped me grocery shop when Duane was still unable, and I treated her to coffee. We had a long, long talk, and I did share with her what I thought the issue was with Islam and Catholicism - that moving beyond the Gospels and the additions of saints, 'might' be an issue that needs addressing. Well, that did not go over very nicely at all. She was very cordial, but it was a non-starter. And how does anybody go there anyway? If you're wondering why people believe what they do that's different from you, then you need to hear it. Of course, if you could care less, than you don't. But how do I answer these deep questions without offending? It's such a delicate walk, and I'm not saying that you are wrong, person I'm speaking to, I'm just stating what I see. But I can see how you would take that hard, like a brick.

But getting back to the rite which they want to perform, my problem is I can't swear allegiance to them - if that's in there. So they have to know what I believe. And the unvarnished truth is that I am not waiting for Jesus. I believe He returned three times, in three separate Dispensations - Muhammad, The Bab, and Baha'u'llah - and that Christianity denied Him all three times. Like Peter, that horrible Thursday night, after the scene in the Garden, all the way to dawn, denied Him one time after another, and when the cock crowed, the Rock remembered and wept.

*teary* Just writing that, the suffering, the sorrow, it impacts me. And don't even get me started on the Martyrdom of the Imam Husayn. It never ceases to dawn on me just how rich, and full, and complete my Faith life feels to me - having embraced all of these Manifestations, Their Scriptures and Their Lives. Did you know, my joons, that

It is recorded in a tradition that of the entire concourse of the Christians no more than seventy people embraced the Faith of the Apostle of God (Muhammad). - Selections from the Writings of That Bab, page 123

Did you know that it was a series of Christian priests - men like the Magi, or Solomon and Anna in the Temple, who recognized the Infant Christ - it was these who led the first Muslim, to Muhammad? Or that it was the Gnostic cousin of Khadijah, the Prophet's wife, who rejoiced when he heard of Muhammad's encounter with the Archangel? That it was also a priest who wept to see the abuse heaped upon the decapitated head of Husayn, lamenting that he had heard the Word of God from those very lips?

Pretty heady stuff, no fun intended. But I've spent nearly fifty years of my life, studying and meditating. I'm not on a journey, at least not one as this Counselor thinks. My life, my heart, my everything is Baha'u'llah's, and while I love and cherish Jesus, I can think of no other way to break His sweet Heart than to deny Him in this Revelation.

I've put away childish things, Paul, and I can't go back.

I know this got heavy but this is where I am. It's getting late and I've at least taken care of Amy, so I'm not too far gone. I'm off to the kitchen to get a big glass of water and to make my bed while Herself is out of the room. Have a good day, and I'll let you know what goes down on Sunday.


sara
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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:01 am

Had an interesting weekend...

In order of importance, my credit card number was used three times without me knowing - or the card. The card was being given a holiday, away from my wallet, when somebody or bodies decided to charge 40 cents, then 2 dollars, then $511 bucks. For a rental car, that last one. Fortunately, the bank turned them down - this was all done online - and called me. I was at my Franciscan meeting, so I didn't get the call until later in the day. But I was still able to call back, and get that all taken care of (banks were closed today due to President's Day, and that could not have been lost on the creeps who did this.) So, I'm not being held responsible for the charges, and I was told to cut up the card - which I did, and told the Honey all about it.

The Franciscan meeting was good. It was lightly attended (a lot of people are out with flu, and some with pneumonia :( .) When it came time for the Infirmarian in Old Business, I was able to thank everybody for their prayers and cards, and Joan for helping me shop. I'd also gotten a card from a lady who was grateful that the date of her profession was remembered, and I passed that around.
Also, in the monthly newsletter, there were birthdays and other Profession Dates listed, so I was able to add those to my list and call around for addresses. Some folks are inactive, they've requested it, so I've been told which ones I should pay attention to. Anne gave me a pile of cards with envelopes, just for Franciscan Professions. They're very plain, and I'm itching to add something more to them, but I won't. This is somebody's contribution to my job, and it would be rude, I think. Well, as someone who has made humble attempts over the years to be of service, only to have had those dismissed, I'd humbly like to think I know better (but that doesn't stop me from wanting to do something...like find a nice set of stickers from the St. Mark Book Store, or a stencil that I can circle the Tau with on the front of the card. Arrrrrggggggh!)

Well, we are heading out that way today. The Honey is returning a library book and the one library that we favor is closed for remodeling (which makes it hard to get my hands on SFBook Club books.) Everything is right there, the Library and St. Mark's are side by side. I'll look. If I don't find anything, that'll be that.

Anyway, the Rite of Affiliation was brought up. There is one online, and I did look it over. It's very limited, and you have to reaffirm it every couple of years. I don't really see why it's at all necessary. I'm perfectly happy as things are. But Baha'u'llah said,"Let your vision be world-embracing, rather than confined to your own self". and "Blessed is he who preferreth his brother to himself." "See the truth in all religions, for truth is in all & truth is one!" is from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha. So, it's for them, not for me. It would make them happy. As it is, they probably shouldn't have given me this responsibility, and I do pay dues - just five bucks a month - and I pay my own way to the annual events I've been to. I'm cool with it now, especially as I see how they are struggling at the moment with so many people ill.

And then there's Buzz.

Buzz is very depressed. Like not a few folk, he's totally undone by this last presidential election, and may not want to continue his position as Historian. I think I'll call him tomorrow, and just let him know I'm here, if he wants to talk. He's the most well-read of the bunch, and has interests beyond some of the others in the Fraternity - which is probably why this has hit him so hard. He and his wife both have kids in the service, so I can well imagine what they're going through, with the Knucklehead in Chief and all. Oh, and btw, if you can catch Parliament discussing the aforementioned visit and State Dinner with the Queen, please do. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm so glad that English is their first language. They say it exactly the way it should be.

Well, it is midnight here. I have yet to take my meds, and I really should go to sleep. Or at least, make the effort. Night, joons.


sara
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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:40 pm

Had a flat tire yesterday

Two keys on a very weirdly wrapped bit of metal, got picked up in the tread of the back passenger tire, and punctured it. The sound was so strange - this rapping at first, but I had to see what was wrong. So I pull into this tiny lot populated only by a hot tub/pool supply shop, and follow the hissing. I saw nothing, but I get back in and pull Girlfriend up to the front door.

This place has been here for twenty years, and this was the first time I'd set foot in it. I mean, I have no pool, I have no hot tub - why would I? Anyway, I alert the man behind the counter, and he looks up the number for the place the tires came from (which is not that far.) While I'm on the phone, trying to figure out how to get there, under the circumstances, the gentleman offers to change the tire for me.

The Honey's in the back seat, and I don't think he's ever changed a tire. I, on the other hand, have but, that was right around the time that I singlehandedly lifted that same car out of a snow bank (it was my Honda Civic, back when they were being mocked and giggled over.) So, I'm glad to hear this, and when it's done, I give him my silver ring. He didn't want to take it, but I insisted. I found it under the dresser, while chasing down a fleeing Metformin pill (the pill is still AWOL), and it just felt right. He's got a nice piece of jewelry to memorialize the event, and I could now take my husband home to while away the hours as I sat in the Firestone waiting room.

$50.54, which was the price for a replacement tire. And the errant keys, once they were plucked from their rubbery tread bed.

Consideration, folks. That's what keeps some of us from littering. And the word covers a whole lot of ground; it's actually the foundation for The Golden Rule - once you get past loving, "The Lord, your God, with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind..." It's the "and your neighbor as yourself," part that I think of. I don't think anybody thought that this would be a problem, just tossing away this busted house key and its mangled mailbox pal. But, throwing it into a trash can would have saved me 50 bucks. And if I hadn't run over it, somebody else might have. Somebody who could ill-afford a new tire (well, I really can't either, but that's not the point), or who had a car full of kids and had picked it up in the front tire, and have the tire blow...you get my drift. And besides, if you're reading this, you are already too fine a person to litter, especially anything as dangerous as unwanted keys.

TGIF, my joons! Mikey's coming on Sunday, and we're dining out for lunch! On a brand new tire too, :) . Have a lovely, safe rest to your day.


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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:04 pm

It's Saturday. And I feel awful...

I don't know exactly when my nose started packing up, and my throat got so scratchy yesterday, but today, I'm not good at all. My eyes feel like cotton bolls - not balls - bolls, complete with thorny hull, seeds and a critter or two. So, I'm thinking I may go back to bed, but not just now.

With our cable upgrade (we got grandfathered into Spectrum from Time Warner), we found this series on John Adams. So far, we've seen two episodes. It's based on David McCullough's book of the same name, and he is such a treasure. He was the narrator for Ken Burn's Civil War; that's one of those things that I will stop whatever I'm doing, no matter where it is in the history, and watch it. Duane's family was here during that - at least his mother's was. They were pacifist Quakers in South Carolina; their neighbors were on and off about whether they were Yankee spies. There's two photos of the great-great-grandparents, before and after the war. The best way to describe the after is that they look ridden hard and put away wet. The toll it took on that couple. Of course, having 19 children was also a contributor. That was old Restore's contribution, over two marriages, and he was widowed in the case of Mrs. Number One.

Speaking of that, there's a book that was written by my mother-in-law's cousin, and I can't find it. I have looked everywhere. It was an autographed copy, and it tells the story of her side of the family. We're even listed in the family tree. I think I lent it to somebody back when the Baha'i Center was open, and I called them - they said that they will look around for it. Anyway, on the first page, it tells of a slave that was lent to the family to wet nurse Duane's great grandfather, Nathan. Nathan's mother either didn't come into milk, or it stopped too soon (that's why I need the book, I don't remember.) But this lady was with the family as Nathan's 'mammy' until he was six (I heard that from Uncle Harold before he died.) In order for her to take such care of Nathan, she had to have had a baby of her own at the time, and I am just champing at the bit to find out more about her. There's no name, no names at all, so I can't even track down the owner. Without her, that branch of the family would not exist, and it amazes me that she's been given such short shrift.

How did she feel about it? I mean, I would nurse any baby, I wouldn't think twice. But she didn't have a choice, I don't think she did. It bugs me that there isn't more. I've gone online, and all I have been able to find are general accounts - even with the family name, I can't find a thing. At first I thought it would be great to know this, but as time has gone on, I'm finding myself obsessed with knowing. There's not a clue in Mom's genealogy papers, it's only about white folk. It's so ungenerous. This lady must have family, and I am determined now to find out just who she was. Did she have to give up her child to take Nathan? I nursed Michael, not as much as I wanted to, but I know the attachment that it forms. I can't imagine not having my own baby with me. How was she regarded? Was she cherished? Did the family thank her, take care of her, recognize the service she provided?

I've been taken for granted, so I know how much that hurts. I've got to know. I just don't know where to begin, and, right now, having a cold isn't helping one bit...

I just called Michael's staffer (turns out they've had a death in the family, and she's out of state.) I'm cancelling his visit tomorrow; she said she would call Jamie and tell him. It's a weird world, how you can call people and not have them be where you think they are. Like the first time another of Michael's caregivers was in the back seat of the car, and he got a call from his daughter back home in Sierra Leone! I'm tooling down the interstate, and he's on the phone to Africa! HOW COOL IS THAT? Don't try to talk; it's beyond beyond.

Well, Amy just bit me. Not hard - just a nip to remind me that she's alive and hungry, and wants me in the kitchen. In fact, I think she's there now...I don't see her here. You know the one good thing about a cold is that my voice gets real sexy; the rest of me doesn't, but them's the breaks.

Well, have a good Saturday, joons, and I'll try to do the same.

sara
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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:24 am

I'm worse today. I'm glad I called off the Michael visit.

I have an idea that the cold may have to do with the weather. We went from a very warm sunny day, to one forty degrees colder with snow. I've made hot teas for myself and have thrown back Day-Quils as directed. Now that works very well on everything that ails me; the only trouble is that once the dose wears off, I'm just as bad as before.

So, since it was Saturday, I made it down to the mailbox and found a ladybug. The poor little thing was on its back on the freezing metal shelf, its tiny legs waving in the air. Of course, it woke up. It was warm, and thinking it time to greet the Spring, threw off its winter sleep. I don't know where it came from; it might have flown in when the wind tossed the hall door on its hinges. Or it might have fallen out from behind a chink in the wall. But, none of that mattered. Now it was awake, and would likely die without help.

So, I got the mail from our box, and slipped an envelope underneath it. I was careful not to touch it; they bite, and nobody was as surprised as I was when I found this out. Anyway, I carried it into my room, and flipped it on its feet. That's when I saw the spider's webbing, and the bits of debris clinging to the polka-dot shell. I caught the edge with my finger tip, and pulled it off; the beetle took a few steps forward, before hunkering down like the Volkswagen named for it, and drawing all six legs to its belly.

Well, now that I had saved it, had I really? Could it go back to sleep? I don't know, and against all better judgement, I decided not to google and find out. I mean, why would I want to know that my interference had condemned it? I looked around, and upon the shelf directly above my desk, sit two very large, very old dolls and a fully-jointed teddy bear. Assuming that if I were a ladybug, I would appreciate the warmth of the bear, so I scooched the critter back onto a piece of mail, and dumped it from a short height into the fur of the paw closest to me.

That was yesterday. And today, the wee bug has made its way down the heel of the pad of the bear's right foot, where it seems to have gone back to sleep. At least I hope so.


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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Sun Mar 05, 2017 2:54 am

Should I do good news or bad news? I think bad, get it out of the way...

Went to the pharmacy today, and was told that my insurance is not covering my prescriptions. The pharmacist kept putting it through, and it wouldn't go. I was told that my meds were 10 dollars, as long as they were generic. So I tried to call the company from the store, and they're closed until Monday. I'm okay - I've got plenty to get me through until Friday - but I did call the Marketplace to see if they had anything more they could tell me.

It was a very nice lady I talked to. She said that everything was okay, as far as she could see; she said I had coverage, but there's nothing there about prescriptions. It could be that they just haven't gotten my most recent payment - I have sent them three, one for each month, and the last one was not expected until March 14th; I thought it was the 10th, but I've got even more time. I just put it in yesterday's mail, so they will get it by then.

You know, it's hard to care anymore. I've talked to maybe a dozen people over the past year or so who are just going to pay the fine. It's not worth it, it's just not. And I have to laugh because now that I'm over 60, I'm supposed to be republican. Just like that, because of age, I turn stupid. These guys are all about government not working; they get in and immediately start sitting on their hands, and say, "See? We told you it didn't work."

And now the latest. President Obama - my President - has been accused by the Apricot Snook, of wiretapping his tower. It's so pathetic. And all it took was years of lying to the American people who were too busy working, raising their kids and doing the right thing, to check on these bozos. And why would you? You can trust them, right? They know the Constitution, they have the country's best interests at heart, don't they? It's heartbreaking. All of these folks who've been led down the primrose path because they were all too trusting.

I probably put this in here sometime ago. It's from an episode of Kung Fu

Kwai Chang Caine and another young priest are given money and told to buy provisions for the Temple. Along the way, they meet an old man who greets them warmly and asks them what they're doing. "Oh, we've been given money and told to buy food for the Temple!" they say. The man comments on this great responsibility and wishes them a good day.

Around the next bend, they are set upon by thieves, including the old man, who beat and rob them. And as soon as they are able, the boys pick themselves up, and make their way back. Upon entry, they are taken back, fed and their wounds are dressed. Once rested, they are called to the presence of the Master.

He asks them to tell their story and when they've finished, they're asked what they learned. The first child says, "I've learned to never trust a stranger."
The Master nods, and turning to Kwai Chang, asks him. The boy hesitates, and then says, "Expect the unexpected."

This causes the Master to turn to the first boy, and say, "Time for you to leave."


We've got to think for ourselves. I've never heard of a president in my lifetime refuse to show tax returns - until now. I've never heard of a president in my lifetime refuse to show medical records - until now. I have followed all of these candidates, and I voted accordingly. I have not seen anything redeemable about this guy where it matters - in his working life or in his character.

Now, I'm sure he loved his mother. And I'm sure he loved his wife...one after the other. He's a stranger to the truth, and from what I've seen, so are those around him. And I can't look to the Congress; they are hopelessly in the thrall of their party. Remember, in Harry Potter, how Dumbledore and Harry tried in vain to show everybody that "HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED" was back in town? :lmao: Even the Ministry of Magic finally woke up, finally, and that's what I hope for, in our terribly muddled, Muggle society.

What's so terribly sad is that he's been given such an amazing gift, with this election. What an incredible opportunity to make good, and he just twitters it away...

Okay, good news :D.

The ladybug is sleeping on the bear paw. He/she made itself a little hammock of sorts to nap in, and it seems to have acclimated to
the cold air in my bedroom. It is cold in here, but I like it that way - especially in the summer. So, I hope that things continue for it; I've got to give the ladies a heads up when they come to clean Monday, so they don't disturb it with a duster or such. I'm glad I did that. And I'm glad I gave the last box of strawberry and cream oatmeal to that old lady in the cereal aisle Thursday. It made her so happy (it was 1.49 and all of the store brand was gone, except that one.) She likes peaches and cream, and that one with the strawberries. It meant getting the brand - which was not on sale - but, hey, if you had seen the look on her face, you'd have been glad you did.

Makes me wonder when was the last time Resident Scrooge didn't squash a bug. Or passed on the deal to help somebody else. On second thought, life's too short.


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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:24 am

I'm so sorry I've been lapsing, coming here...

Last Sunday afternoon/evening, my brother-in-law, Phil, Duane's brother, started seizing. It just kept up, and they couldn't stop it. He was unresponsive, and the doctor and Phil's medical power of attorney both decided to send him to hospice. That's where he's been since midnight going into Monday morning.

And he's still having seizures. The doctor that evaluated him today said that Phil is in a constant state of this. They've been able to stop the physical, but mentally he's not coming out of it. Seizures are in the family; Lloyd had his first terrible set at the age of 22, and that was the beginning of his decline. Michael's had them on and off; as far as I know, he still takes Depakote for them. But Phil hasn't ever had them - as far as I know. He's been kept medicated and that keeps the seizures at bay, but they can't stop dosing him. As the drug finishes, these things come back. So, medically, they are going to keep to the same plan. He's on O2, and there are ports for the medication in both arms. The staff is wonderful; they turn him, keep him clean and comfortable; I just love them. This was the kind of work that I loved doing - hands on patient care and these folks are excellent.

I stayed there with him the first night, and we've gone everyday, except yesterday. There was nothing in place as far as end of life.
Now there's a funeral home, sheets for shrouds, and a burial ring. We bought him a CD player (somebody took his when he left the facility), and one of the Baha'is had made him two CDs. So, we get there, set it up, turn it on, and he starts vocalizing - not words, just groaning - but it sounded as though he were pleased. It'd had taken us days to realize that nobody had one - it's just been a mess.

Well, when is death ever convenient? Or anything having to do with life? His community has a Persian Cultural fete this weekend, and another couple is expecting a granddaughter, out of town; the baby's due any day now. At least, Phil's been moved closer to us. I had the burial ring for years. I bought my first one back in the '70s, and over time I gave it away whenever someone needed it. It's for declared Baha'is over the age of 15, so I always bought one whenever the one I had was given away. I just bought three more yesterday - one for each of us, including Michael.

The sheets are cotton. I bought them Wednesday night. Liz, bless her heart, has washed and ironed them. A lady helped me pick through the bins to find a full set. She said they'll wrinkle, and I told her what they were for. That's when she started helping me look, and she's the one who found these 100% Egyptian Cotton, with 630 thread count. I was thrilled; her name is Cora - what a sweetie...

I'm angry. Angry that a 68-year-old man is dying. He has normal blood sugar, normal vitals and he's dying. On the other hand, when you can buy a little boombox and put it on repeat and you actually get a smile for doing that, maybe he's not so bad off.

I'll be back.
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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Sun Mar 26, 2017 12:43 am

This morning I went over and sat with him for half an hour.

I'd brought a book of James Herriot's cat stories, but Phil didn't seem interested. He's kinda responsive but he's not. All I know was that he was different when I began to read, and when I stopped and put the CD back on, he seemed content again. I kissed him, told him that there may not be as many people coming today, and why. I am so glad for that boombox. Staff had put a note on it,that it belonged to family and to keep it playing.

I stopped at the store for pop, parmesan and pharmacy. I filled our weekly pill boxes, went through the bills and got them in order, made the beds, took care of Amy (scoop/feed/comb/greenies), made hot dogs for lunch, got our copies of Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, I drove to Nan's, we piled into her car and went to Alice & Brad's, and studied for two hours (some of it was questions and some of it was laughing; we're a pretty congenial bunch.) I'd eaten about a dozen almonds at the deepening, and went to a woman's shop around the corner from Nan's place for an outfit (I had nothing decent to wear; believe me when I say, I have mom jeans, four camp shirts, three old tops I use for pajamas and three that are nice enough to wear under my jean jacket - otherwise, nothing - unless you count my two bathing suits.) There is going to be a funeral, and I do want to be respectfully dressed.

So, I'm in there, thinking long dress with jacket, maybe. There is no such thing in the shop. The lady finds me lovely slacks right off the bat, and I try on two tops. The first is peasant neckline (too young for me), but the second was perfect. V-neck, long-sleeved, might be able to get away with it at a wedding, too! It was a special sales going on, and she scratched off a circle, giving me 50% off! The Honey and I celebrated with milkshakes before driving home and collapsing - me, that is. I slept until Dick Wagner made his presence known (I don't know why Duane can't listen to The Ring Cycle without headphones!)

All that being said, I wish with all my heart that I'd been a Social Worker. I don't have the smarts to explain to anybody what's wrong with Phil. I tell them what I know from the doctor, but that tends to make more questions, and I don't know! I'm a humble LPN whose license is buried under so much dust that Lawrence of Arabia would have to turn back. And I especially don't like the implications that my brother-in-law has been doped-up and that's why he's as he is. For Christ's sake! And I'm saying this in here - oh hell, I don't know who reads this anymore - but, he's dying :( , and they're trying to keep him from having any more seizures. I think of when I have those terrible leg cramps, and I can pretty well imagine what happens when it comes over him and he arches his back, unable to come out of it. Phil shouldn't ever have had to suffer. Yes, he drove me crazy! Yes, he could be an enormous pain in the gluteus maximus! But he couldn't help it; that's the way he's wired. Duane has driven me nuts, too, but that I signed up for. This...Now it's a slow, drawn-out process, and he has to go it alone. We can be there, and pray, and sing, and hold his hand, and kiss his brow, but we can't get inside and help drive the truck.

Michael's coming tomorrow, and we've decided to go to Devotions. Duane said Michael should see Phil when he's alert, and I agree.
I just want some time with my baby, trying to steal as many kisses as I can from him. I asked Duane how he feels; he says he's fine.

He's going to be the last of his family; I still have all my siblings, whether they want anything to do with me or not. Steven won't talk to me, not once I told him whom I believe Baha'u'llah to be. I've told other people, and they say, "Oh, cool," and that's the end of the conversation, but they still love me. They still talk to me. I'm glad Bevie's one of them, and Ricky is too. I've never pushed it, just told him, but I guess that was enough.

I think I'm done for now. My new clothes are in the closet, the program's coming together, the volunteers for washing and shrouding the body have come forward, the burial ring is in hand, I have a funeral home ready to meet with, and there's one grave left in the family plot to open. It's a hell of a thing, waiting for Death.


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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:18 am

Just got off the phone with the hospice nurse.

Phil's the same. Tomorrow night will be one week since he was admitted. I'm not tired, but I'm exhausted. It's such a toll mentally. And the weather is warm. I'm not a fan of humidity, and when you live in a valley, that's pretty much all there is. Which is odd when it's winter, because everything is so dry. There's static everywhere.

I don't know what to do. I'm watching Godfather III, which is so depressing :lol:. It's one of those movies that I just have to watch, the Godfather Trilogy and Goodfellas. Goodfellas I watch for the food; I remember when we saw it at the movies, and just had to have spaghetti afterwards.

O God, my God...


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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:45 pm

Phillip died today at 2:29 PM, EST...

Three of our friends, and Duane & I were there. It was peaceful.

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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:20 am

The funeral is today.

Yesterday, Duane and three of the men of the Baha'i Community washed and shrouded Phil's body. They put the burial ring on his finger, and placed him in the casket. We bought him a wooden one, the same as for Dr. Bushruhi; it has no metal parts, outside of those that hold it together. There will be two standing flower sprays at each end, and Phil wanted people to give to the charity of their choice in lieu of more. My dear Frankies have been kept in the loop, with their prayers and offers of help, and some of them will be attending.

Liz and Dick Gordon have been our rocks through this. Roi and David and Jim; Linden, Kim and Jackie. Mel made and framed an 8 x 10 for us. Yesterday, when Dick came to take Duane to the funeral home, he brought us all of the Readings printed out and mounted on deep green backing. There will be music - both recorded and live - poems by Gibran and Emerson, The Lord's Prayer by His Holiness Jesus Christ, Writings by the Central Figures and the Beloved Guardian, and the Prayer for the Dead, our only congregational prayer in the Baha'i Faith. Then we'll take him to the cemetery, to rest with his parents and youngest brother.

We don't know how we would gotten through this without all of them. When faced with the enormity of that tiny room of Phil's and all of the stuff in it, we realized that it was just too much for us. My sister, Nan and some others are all drowning, each at their own level, under the burden of other people's belongings, their in-laws, siblings, etc, without a clue about what to do with it. When Duane's parents died, all of their things, with the exception of a few pieces that we kept, were sold at auction and yard sale. With the exception of his high school photo and his boombox, we left Lloyd's to Essex House, to redistribute among the staff and residents, and to donate any leftovers; we're doing the same with Phil's - though, Lloyd's guardian wanted something else, so we left that to her.

The Baha'i Center has the bulk of his books; Susie, who had been gradually talking Phil into divesting of some of the stuff he wasn't using, found his diplomas and some pictures to add to our display of Phil's life. Anything the Center can use, we figured, just take it. His father's Craftsman tool chest, his wheelchair, walker, clothing, phone, watches, TV, computer - anything - please, help yourselves. On the back of Phil's wheelchair, there was a joined canvas pouch, which he kept filled with tea bags. I brought it home, washed it, and when the nursing home staff comes for the Visitation, I'll give it back to them for someone else. ...the things ye possess; tonight they are yours, tomorrow others will possess them. Boy, if that ain't the truth.

The three burial rings I bought have arrived. I put them in Duane's 'jewelry' box, the one that used to sit on his father's chest of drawers. The little box that held the ring we gave to Phil, is sitting there empty this morning, beside the keys and wallet. It was lettered in English; ours are all in Arabic. But they all say the same thing

“I came forth from God and return unto Him, detached from all save Him, holding fast to His name, the Merciful, the Compassionate.”

We've been married 35 years - well, it will be in October - and it's astonishing, the procession of lives that have gone on before. Just Duane, Mikey and me...and Amy. We mustn't forget the furry family, come all one after the other. One after the other.


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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:31 pm

The funeral was beautiful. And like I said before, the help and just general love and attention we got from the Friends was so precious. The casket - I didn't see it until we got there, and the photo didn't do it justice - was a lovely oak coffin, completely made of the wood. The two standing sprays at either end, were full of every color and variety of flower, but not at all feminine. There were only two hiccups; one was that some people wanted to say the Prayer for the Dead at the gravesite. But, those were all able-bodied folks, and those of us who have mobility issues, like me, thought it better to stay indoors.

This prayer is the only one we say congregationally, and if you can, you should stand for it. Because we were inside, on a level surface, I could stand, holding onto my rollator. I wanted to be able to stand for Phil, out of respect for his life and his suffering, and I think, and this is just me, that it should be remembered, that funerals are for the living. Also, we should probably have had eight pallbearers. There were only six, and Duane was on the end. He started struggling almost immediately, and Liz - who was helping me - called for Dick, who hurried up and lifted up the end where the Honey was; I'll never forget that, or forget to reward it.

Then the Friends pulled out their prayer books, and several recited. I looked around and when I saw all heads were bowed and no one was about to read, I started singing "Allah'u'Abha". Everyone joined in, and that ended the service. You know, that was the thing that impressed the cemetery manager and the funeral director. The word was 'refreshing', to hear prayers recited from the heart by people who knew the deceased, and loved him, and not from a cleric. Priestly duties, done by those who obviously care, are compassionate and mean well, are never to be dismissed. But, there's something so lovely about the voices of those who knew Phil, and didn't hesitate to call on God, in the Words of the Prophet Himself, to watch over, protect and advance this newly-welcomed soul into the Supernal Realm. No weeping, no wailing, just warmth and cherishing...

Susie has been going through Philip's things, boxing up clothes and washing others before donating them. She's just been going at it, every day she could get over there. We got all of his usable toiletries, a couple of electric razors, a few chachies in a basket from when he played Bingo, the Christmas ornaments I gave him for the nursing home trees (he kept them), and photos of his parents from when they were young, in very heavy frames. It didn't seem like a lot, until we got home, and I realized that I couldn't climb the stairs with what was in my arms.

We were out on the front stoop, and I just couldn't lift my leg to the next step. Our neighbor, Jean, heard us talking and ran down to help. That's going to have to be that. I'm not bringing home anything else from the nursing home. Of course, we wanted anything that was family-oriented, but the rest can be donated. It's funny because he loved this one tye-dyed tee, and it's what he wore most of the days we visited; who knew he had so many clothes? Belts and shoes, and socks and shirts, stacks of slacks, and drawers of, well, drawers. Magazines were piled on the bed, though all of the CDs and DVDs were already gone; the computer, TV, DVR, and DVD player have all gone to their new homes. We did keep one of the razors for Duane, and the newly-opened tube of CREST, things we figured others would throw away, and who could blame them? There is also a huge quilt with an 8-pointed star design. But it needs mending, and, it's a good thing, we've got people in the community who can't wait to get their hands on it.

We still need to address the last headstone for the family plot. We're now looking for our own final quarters, to share with Michael, and it seems that this cemetery is under the same management. The problem had been that we needed one that was within an hour's distance from the place of death for the three of us; well, lo and behold, there is one. So, we need not move - which I'm becoming more and more reluctant to do anyway - especially after being stuck on the stoop like I was. So, pre-planning is the next to do, once we settle all of Phil's affairs, and I get the bills from Duane's surgery under control.

I called all of the departments, and they all agreed to finance plans; one insisted that the payments be limited to two, but because everybody else was so accommodating, they won't be a problem. On Saturday, we got an addition to the radiologist statement. I'll call them tomorrow to see if we can just add on to it.

Amy's sleeping behind me, snoring on my plastic bag. I was putting together a few things for the Baha'i fund raiser, and she laid down on it - with the stuff inside. I don't think it's because she wanted the bag. I think she's fed up with us leaving her alone for hours at a time, and I can't blame her. We spent days at Phil's bedside, and driving from one place to another; buying the shrouds, making arrangements, going to the funeral, and we still have to go back to the cemetery for Phil's monument. Then there's an appointment with the Trustee of the estate, and we have no idea what that means, other than that Duane, as surviving son, has to be made aware of what's next. Add to that our usual routine of mall walking, and doctor's appointments. I insisted we stay home today, so that Her ladyship could take a nap with me.

Well, I think that's all for now. Hope your weekend was relaxing. Take care, joon-ams.

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Re: My dear Joon...

Postby shireling » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:47 am

One of the grief councilors is calling me tomorrow...

Quite frankly, I'm a wreck. I burst into tears at Duane's psychiatrist's, and she insisted that I talk. Which was okay with him, because his Paxil dosage - which was upped six weeks ago - has fixed his depression. She invited me to meet her with him, but Hospice is expecting me. I called them today to let them know I'm still coming out there, but the Trustee has rescheduled us for next week, which means that the cemetery is on hold until then.

Linda, upstairs, is going to drive us to the attorneys. So far, we went back to look at the will, and the trust was only in place for Duane's parents and brothers. He's not listed at all, except to say that the trust will end with the death of the last of the four people under the grantors. Have no idea what's in store with that, or how much money there is. Or if the Honey wants to see about continuing the thing somehow. They stopped by the funeral home to pay their respects, and I think they were shocked to see how I am. Well, I was just at the beginning of this whole neuro-whatever, when Lloyd died back '10, and I had no expectation that it would have gotten so bad in seven years.

Thank God for the rollator! I can really move with that, but the cane is good for balance, nothing else. I can walk without it, as long as it isn't far, and I can get a grocery cart. Most people will happily give me theirs once they've unloaded, and will also take mine from me so that I don't have to leave it in the lot. I used to grab two at a time, and bring them into the store - I can't remember when I last did that.

Anyway, I need to address some issues over this family. The whole bunch, including my husband, who would not consider adoption because the "kid had to look like us". And boy, does our kid ever look like us! My siblings and I look like each other and our grandparents :lol: - not a whit like our brown-eyed, black-haired folks. Duane resembles their dad, Phil, their mother, and Lloyd, the paternal grandpa who ran off with the church secretary. Oh, I forgot, that's backbiting, :roll:, which is why I treasure what little I know of those juicy bits of history. Church Lady Phil, was forever shutting us down; the only place we could talk freely was in the car on our way to shop for Christmas. And even then, I'm not really sure he hadn't stashed a cassette player in the trunk.

I wish I'd become a social worker, instead of an LPN. I could probably still do the job; you sit at a desk, answer phones, do interviews of clients, and once or twice a week, you have field work where you go to client's homes and make sure that they're following whatever protocol the courts have ruled in order to regain custody of their children, for example. Any work dealing with the public will eventually just do you in; nursing did that to me. Not the patients, never them. It was the unbelievable nonsense set out by administrations whose members have never had a complete stranger throw up on them, or had to dump a bed pan filled with what could only be described as toxic waste. But they also never had the joy of carrying a newborn, fresh from the delivery room to the nursery, or had the satisfaction of back-rubbing a fretful patient to sleep. I got proposals for my back-rubs...and those were just the women. Who would have thought I could have taken them up on it all these years later.

Well, I'm late taking my meds and going to bed - which has become my routine. Good night, you sweeties, you joons of my heart.


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