What did you learn from your Father? My dad’s name was Joseph, known only to all as Joe. He died 10 years ago April from metastatic throat, esophageal, lung cancer followed by the maximum chemo and radiation treatments. He approached this cancer with a real sense of curiosity, willingness, and adventure. He was willing to try most anything and didn’t demonstrate any attachment to the outcomes. He was in the hospital about six months of the final two years of his life, not consecutively, just as needed with collapsed lungs, bleeding stomach, and other complications. I was with him for the duration of that time. I sat in his hospital room, most often in silence. When he was home, it required a high level of care and skill, including feeding tube, intense wound care, personal care, bathing, administrating medicines and discerning, often intuitively, what was the kindest next action to take.
As I reflect on that time, I absolutely do not know how I made it through that time with all the extreme and intense conditions that were present. What is clear is that something greater than me was guiding, informing, instructing, and present in and through it all.
(front row) Joe Dale, Wesley, Shirley (in law), Joe
(back row) Martha, Virginia, Randy
I can then count on that “something” in reality for all things. That remembering is right on time as I move into what appears as the final months of my mother’s journey. While only God knows the journey, the prognosis is 3–6 months from March. What I know for sure is that I want to live without regrets, and that the decisions and path I choose during this time are integral, for my foundation now and going forward. I don’t know how I’m doing as much as I am now either. I’m aware of the pattern of the oldest, responsible, get ’er done energy. I’m also very present, guided, resourceful, willing, and aware of the tremendous privilege it is to serve her and my family in this way.
Our door is a revolving one that includes family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and florist coming to visit and bless us. It all has been great medicine.
Here's an article I found during my reading and research about end of life matters. May it inform and ignite you (http://worldobserveronline.com/2014/01/13/top-37-things-youll-regret-youre-old/). I thank the author for the work. See which ones are true for you and begin to LIVE NOW. No regrets! At least only few regrets!
(front row) Joe, Virginia
(back row) Randy, Martha, Joe Dale
Joe-youngest in his 3 siblings; Virginia-youngest in her 8 siblings; Martha-Oldest born to 2 youngest; Joe Dale-middle; Randy-youngest (functioning as only since he was 8 years behind the others). What can you observe from the family makeup?
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Those Top 37 Things You’ll Regret
When You’re Old
- Not traveling when you had the chance.
Traveling becomes infinitely harder the older you get, especially if you have a family and need to pay the way for three-plus people instead of just yourself.
- Not learning another language.
You’ll kick yourself when you realize you took three years of language in high school and remember none of it.
- Staying in a bad relationship.
No one who ever gets out of a bad relationship looks back without wishing they made the move sooner.
- Forgoing sunscreen.
Wrinkles, moles, and skin cancer can largely be avoided if you protect yourself.
- Missing the chance to see your favorite musicians or plays.
“Nah, dude, I’ll catch Nirvana next time they come through town.”
- Being scared to do things.
Looking back you’ll think, What was I so afraid of?
- Failing to make physical fitness a priority.
Too many of us spend the physical peak of our lives on the couch. When you hit 40, 50, 60, and beyond, you’ll dream of what you could have done.
- Letting yourself be defined by gender roles.
Few things are as sad as an old person saying, “Well, it just wasn’t done back then.”
- Not quitting a terrible job.
Look, you gotta pay the bills. But if you don’t make a plan to improve your situation, you might wake up one day having spent 40 years in hell.
- Not trying harder in school.
It’s not just that your grades play a role in determining where you end up in life. Eventually you’ll realize how neat it was to get to spend all day learning, and wish you’d paid more attention.
- Not realizing how beautiful you were.
Too many of us spend our youth unhappy with the way we look, but the reality is, that’s when we’re our most beautiful.
- Being afraid to say “I love you.”
When you’re old, you won’t care if your love wasn’t returned—only that you made it known how you felt.
- Not listening to your parents’ advice.
You don’t want to hear it when you’re young, but the infuriating truth is that most of what your parents say about life is true.
- Spending your youth self-absorbed.
You’ll be embarrassed about it, frankly.
- Caring too much about what other people think.
In 20 years you won’t give a darn about any of those people you once worried so much about.
- Supporting others’ dreams over your own.
Supporting others is a beautiful thing, but not when it means you never get to shine or forego your own dreams.
- Not moving on fast enough.
Old people look back at the long periods spent picking themselves off the ground as nothing but wasted time.
- Holding grudges, especially with those you love.
What’s the point of re-living the anger over and over?
- Not standing up for yourself.
Old people don’t take sh*t from anyone. Neither should you.
- Not volunteering enough.
OK, so you probably won’t regret not volunteering Hunger Games style, but nearing the end of one’s life without having helped to make the world a better place is a great source of sadness for many.
- Neglecting your teeth.
Brush. Floss. Get regular checkups. It will all seem so maddeningly easy when you have dentures.
- Missing the chance to ask your parents, grandparents or elders questions before they die.
Most of us realize too late what an awesome resource the elders are. They can explain everything you’ll ever wonder about where you came from, but only if you ask them in time.
- Working too much.
No one looks back from their deathbed and wishes they spent more time at the office, but they do wish they spent more time with family, friends, and hobbies.
- Not learning how to cook one awesome meal.
Knowing one drool-worthy meal will make all those dinner parties and celebrations that much more special.
- Not stopping enough to appreciate the moment.
Young people are constantly on the go, but stopping to take it all in now and again is a good thing.
- Failing to finish what you start.
Failing to finish what you start.
“I had big dreams of becoming a nurse. I even signed up for the classes, but then…”
- Never mastering one awesome party trick.
You will go to hundreds, if not thousands, of parties in your life. Wouldn’t it be cool to be the life of them all?
- Letting yourself be defined by cultural expectations.
Letting yourself be defined by cultural expectations.
Don’t let them tell you, “We don’t do that.”
- Refusing to let friendships run their course.
People grow apart. Clinging to what was, instead of acknowledging that things have changed, can be a source of ongoing agitation and sadness.
- Not playing with your kids enough.
When you’re old, you’ll realize your kid went from wanting to play with you to wanting you out of their room in the blink of an eye.
- Never taking a big risk (especially in love).
Knowing that you took a leap of faith at least once—even if you fell flat on your face—will be a great comfort when you’re old.
- Not taking the time to develop contacts and network.
Networking may seem like a bunch of crap when you’re young, but later on it becomes clear that it’s how so many jobs are won.
- Worrying too much.
As Tom Petty sang, “Most things I worry about never happen anyway.”
- Getting caught up in needless drama.
Who needs it?
- Not spending enough time with loved ones.
Not spending enough time with loved ones.
Our time with our loved ones is finite. Make it count.
- Never performing in front of others.
This isn’t a regret for everyone, but many elderly people wish they knew—just once—what it was like to stand in front of a crowd and show off their talents.
- Not being grateful sooner.
It can be hard to see in the beginning, but eventually it becomes clear that every moment on this earth—from the mundane to the amazing—is a gift that we’re all so incredibly lucky to share.
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Spider-the master of touching two legs at one time
Happy Father’s Day to all and be sure to father yourSELF. I love and bless you all and thank you sincerely for your ongoing love, prayers, gifts, cards, and flowers for momma. I’m in practice and presence. ON PURPOSE.
And here is my special gift to you this month.
Click on the box to open your gift.
“When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry.”
~ William Shakespeare
“Son, brother, father, lover, friend. There is room in the heart for all the affections, as there is room in heaven for all the stars.”
~ Victor Hugo
“Dad taught me everything I know. Unfortunately, he didn’t teach me everything he knows.”
~ Al Unser
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