Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?
This is the sign that is over the front door of Aileen's and my house, our home, going OUT. Meaning that when someone leaves our house they are going into the ACTUAL Mental Ward.

I've always felt that way. When it is considered how much ugliness and killing and hatred there is in the world today, it actually makes perfect sense that this sign is over the door going out of the house.

Because that's where the real mental ward is.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Daily life - it's a good day

5:29 AM, EST:

Well it's another your recover moment in my life.  I discovered this morning that the blockage I'm having in my intestines is actually not solid.  Meaning not solid food.  But in fact, gas.  I discovered that because I was actually able to expel some of that gas this morning.  And as I did I could feel in my intestines as a result of expelling the gas but I did, that the rest of it was beginning to slowly move.  And that was a really great and remarkable moment.  Because I can actually stand up.

It's funny how something simple like standing up that most of us take for granted every day can, under certain circumstances, really mean so very much.  I like I've said.  This is nothing new.  I've had these kinds of lower back spasms and intestinal lock ups pretty much ever since I was in my mid to late 20s.  So there have been a whole bunch of these wonderful little your recover moments.  And all of a sudden standing up completely you wrecked was just one of the best feelings in the world.

So that means that I am on the mend.  But it also means that with the ulcerated colitis that my intestines have had as a result of the operation it was done on me in 1968.  That my age it's probably a good idea if I keep some laxatives handy.  That's something that just doesn't really often come to the surface or be the foremost on your mind.  Because it really doesn't happen all the time.  But when it does.  It's certainly knocks me to my knees.  But I can actually stand up.  That is a wonderful feeling.  And I say with absolute and complete and total respect for and compassion for all of my brothers and sisters throughout this entire world who are not able to do that one very simple thing that so many of us take for granted.  There are millions and millions of absolutely amazing and wonderful people in this world who do not have the ability to stand up.  For one reason or another.

And I actually do know how they feel.  Because after I was in that 75 pounds plaster cast for those almost 12 months.  Those 12 months where I was not able to see any part of my body except my own hands.  Where I was never able to feel my feet on the floor.  When they finally began to stand me up.  They used a tilt table.  And they didn't stand me completely you wrecked on the tilt table.  Additionally.  The first day.  They only took me up about 25°.  Then the second day.  They took me up 50°.  And each of those days.  They had to first actually put nylons.  Meaning knee-high nylons that back in 1968 were actually modified so they would go just above my knee.  And then they took a stand just and wrapped them around my lower legs.  This was because since I have not stood up for almost a solid year.  There was a tendency for your veins and arteries to possibly explode when you would actually stand up the first time.  So by the third day they took me up a complete 90° where, on the tilt table.  I was actually standing up.  Although of course I was strapped to the tilt table.  I remember the feeling.  I was actually standing up.  I remember that day for some reason so clearly.  One of my friends who I will call by the name of David looked over from his bed and we smiled.  Because every time we saw someone stand up.  It gave the rest of us hope.  And when he saw me standing on that tilt table.  He knew that his time would soon come there after.  And then we became sort of serious because as I was standing there we remembered those who we had lost that year the ones who had died the ones who would never know that joy of being able to finally stand up.

And then for the next 45 days they worked with me teaching me how to walk and for those 45 days I was in a wheelchair.  And I thought I had experienced every kind of pain that I could have ever imagined.  But I was wrong.  Within 18 hours after I sat down and that wheelchair because I had not been sitting on my buttocks for a solid year.  Sitting in that wheelchair gave me an entirely new understanding of pain.  It was agonizing.  I finally had to sit on three regular pillows just to be able to sit and that wheelchair.  And there was nothing anyone could do because the muscles of my rear had become soft and did not have the resiliency necessary to support my upper body weight.  So they had to strengthen.  They had to become strong.  And it wasn't an overnight process.  It was one of the most painful times of that entire year.  I hated that wheelchair.  But because there was a bond between all of us in that ward instead of getting angry.  We laughed.  I laughed at the pain and that's all I had to do.  The others of us knew that it was really no laughing matter.  Because my rear had not supported my upper body weight for almost a solid year.  So sitting in a chair was like sitting on razor blades.

I've never forgotten not experience.  Not to this very day.  So when I see someone in a wheelchair I have this amazing feeling inside of myself where I don't see the person in the wheelchair as just someone I see them almost as part of my family.  Because I know how they feel.  Because I was there.  And that experience at least in my life has produced a huge amount of compassion and understanding for my brothers and sisters who are not able to stand up.  But I also know that when they see one of us actually do that.  When they see one of us actually stand up they have the very same mixed feelings that David and I had the very first time I sat in that wheelchair.  And all of these amazing children and men and women who are not able to stand the in my heart and my soul.  They are my brothers and my sisters.  Because I know how they feel and I know that most people that see them all ever really understand.  Because you have to be there.  You have to be in that chair, for a certain amount of time before you really understand.  But once you do understand you never forget.  At least I have never forgotten.

So today is a really good day.  Because I'm able to stand up.  And I know that my friend David wherever he may be made God watch over him always us.  I know he's smiling that same smile.  Because when you aren't able to stand up and then you suddenly are able to.  It's one of the best feelings in the world.

One of my neighbors who is about four years older than I am, and I were joking yesterday.  She's actually sort of like a sister.  It's because my adopted sister is actually four years older than I am.  But we never really got along very well.  She was more interested in money.  And I was more interested in the Maschke family.  The Maschke family to her was pretty much just all about money.  That's not what impressed me about the Maschke family.  Knowing my grandmother and loving her as I do.  She impressed me.  Knowing my grandfather's brother.  He certainly impressed me.  There were things about my father.  There were extremely impressive but then there was a whole lot of other stuff that wasn't.  It was my grandmother well, all you had to do was look in her eyes.  And then listen to her talk.  You didn't have to listen for very long.  Your mouth would just fall open.  Which she had lived through what she saw it was incredible.

So my sister was a lot more concerned with the money than she was with the Maschke family but the moment.  My grandmother and I began to know each other.  It was like love at first sight.  She was and still is in my heart and soul one of the most important Guardian Angels I ever had in my life.  So this neighbor of mine who is about four years older than I am.  We were talking yesterday and I made the remark that I didn't believe that growing old was really very much fun.  And I said that if anyone but the growing old was fun.  They should probably check themselves into the nearest psychiatric ward.  And she started laughing.  And all she said was, I know that's right.

Because growing old is not really a lot of fun.  It's challenging.  It tests every single thing you ever learned in your entire life.  And the numbers of people who grow old and becoming victimized by the process are legion.  But then the numbers to grow old and fight back.  I just as numerous.  Because that's what you do.  As you grow old you either become victimized by the process or you fight back.  And I'm not now nor have I ever been a victim of anything.  Not on my watch.  It doesn't happen.  I have never been the victim.  Nor will I ever be a victim.  I am a survivor.  No matter what I am a survivor.  So the fact that I could stand up today is a really fantastically good day.  The hips are still a bit frozen.  So I still need the Walker to stand up.  But once I'm up.  Once I'm on my feet.  I know how to walk.  I can do that.  So today is a life lesson.  These little pesky problems with my intestines are not going to go away.  And if I'm paying attention and not letting my mind wander off.  I will learn from this life lesson and realize that whether I like it or not I'm going to have to keep a laxative in the house.  Because it won't happen very often, but when it does I will be exactly where I was these last few days.  And I don't think I want to go back there.  I don't think I want to do that anymore.  It's not the most enjoyable saying on any list.  I might have.  So I will wise up.  I will put up and shut up and get it done.  Because that's what you do.  No matter what age you are if you want to get from one place to another you wise up.  You pay attention to put up and shut up and you do it.  You don't complain you do it.  Because every one of us is a mentor to others, whether we know it or not.  You can walk down the street to be talking with a friend on the way to the office and never realize how many people see you walking see you are behavior.  You never really understand or realize how many people will see you being the way you are and they will be affected by that.

So all you can do is go through life hateful and angry and that is what other people see.  And most of us don't even think about that.  But it's true.  You can drive in your car with the window open going to work.  You can hear one single song on the radio that brings a smile to your face.  And it might happen at an intersection.  And perhaps there might be just one single person at that intersection who looks at you and that car and you'll never know.  You'll never know how seeing you smile to that one song has affected that person.  But that's part of it.  Because they are affected.

Just like if you are at that same intersection.  And you are really angry and you are really upset about something and you are just cursing up a storm.  There may be just one person at that intersection who will look at you in that car and see you that way, and you'll never know.  You might not see them.  But they'll see you.  And you will have affected them.  You may not even be aware of it.  But it's true.  We are all mentors to each other.  Every single day.  Which is why I say we all have choices.  We have choices.  Every single second.  It was being in the Ward that year.  That taught me about that.  Watching the faces of my dearest friends as one of us would die.  That taught me so much about how we affect each other.  I was the oldest boy in the Ward.  I didn't have a choice.  My friends in the Ward were all younger than I was and there was no one there for them.  So I didn't have a choice.  They needed me to be strong they needed me to carry their hearts.  They needed me to lift them up.  They needed me to be in a good mood.  They needed me to fight back.  And with all the things they were facing I didn't have a choice not if I was going to keep my soul.  So I thought back.  I grabbed him by their hearts and I held them inside of mine.  And when they were week.  I smiled and told them it didn't matter because we would get through.  We were going to make no matter what.

Even though inside of myself I knew it wasn't true.  Because most of them didn't.  But at least they went out with dignity.  At least they want out with her heads held high knowing that no matter what.  They were not alone.  This others might have deserted them but I was never going to do that no matter what.

So standing up is something that we take for granted.  I never have.  Because I'm always aware when I am out walking.  If there are those people that I don't see.  Those people who see me.  So I whistle.  With the song in my heart and have been on my mind.  I walk and I'm happy.  I am grateful.  Because I know that there are some who will see me walking and they are in the darkest part of their life and perhaps just hearing the whistle will be that one single spark they might need.  That one single spark of light to help them find their own way home.  My dearest friends in the Ward taught me that.  And to this day I have never forgotten them.  And the matter what anyone might say I know they are there with my mother my darling mother and my wonderful darling Aileen.  And I know that when they see me stand up they are smiling just the way it used to.  Because of all the things that we went through that year.  They can always count on the fact that I would always fight back, no matter what if they felt down over felt like they didn't have hope.  All they had to do was watch me and I would take their hope in my hand and we would walk together the matter where I was.

So when I go out walking it's not just exercise is a whole lot more involved.  There are miracles that have nothing to do with religion and everything to do with humanity that take place every single day.  And most of us don't even pay attention.  But I do.  I always have.  Which is probably one of the reasons I didn't do very well in my life.  Meaning make lots of money you're becoming really important.  It's those things never mattered much to me.  My friends the ones who didn't make it out they were the ones who matter.  Because, whether they were on the side of the veil or the other.  They depended on me to keep going.  Just as they do now.  Just like my darling mother and my wonderful darling Aileen.

So when I say that I'm really happy about standing up.  There are a lot of reasons why that is so.  Because I know there are millions of my brothers and sisters who will never be able to do so.  So I never walk in spite of them.  I walk for them and with them.  And I carry every single one of them.  Whether I know them or not in my heart.  Because I know what it feels like to be trapped in that chair.  Where the way you survive is by living in your mind and in your head.  I know that feeling very well.

So today is a very good day.  Because I am standing up.  And for the last week that has been virtually almost impossible without a walker, and it has been I would say somewhat painful.  Just but nothing compared to what others are dealing with.  And nothing compared with some of the other junk I deal with.  Which is no big deal.  Because there are millions literally tens of millions of amazing and absolutely incredible children and unbelievable men and women throughout this world who can't do that, or who are suffering in so many other ways that so many of us may not even notice.  Whether I know them or not.  I notice every single one of them.  And I can explain how you but I do and I have my dearest friends from the Ward that year thank for my awareness.  And to my dying breath.  I will be grateful to my dearest for patents my brothers and sisters from that year, the ones who didn't get out the ones who didn't make it through.  And like I said, I've never seen my mother's face.  But I have felt her heart beat.  And I actually even know the song she used to sing and I can't even explain how that is possible.  But I do.  So I know that she is there with my darling Aileen.  Because I have her heart.  And where she is on that side of the veil.  She is that light.  She is the mother that holds those lost souls.  Because I have her heart and that's what I do.  That's why it was important for her to get to the hospitals that morning.  She knew it was going to happen.  She knew she wasn't going to get out or make it through.  But she was determined that no matter what she would push me on shore.

So today is a very good day.  Because the only time I ever really feel feeble and old is when I can't stand up when I can't get on my feet to pull myself through.  And usually when that happens.  I remember my friends from the Ward and how we used to say been made break me beat me.  Tear off my arms and I'll walk.  Tear off my legs and I will crawl.  Been me break me beat me.  The only way you will stop me is to kill me.

And so when I can't stand.  When I can't get to my feet.  I remember that chant that we all said together and how I had to be their determination how I had to always fight back to remind them that they could do the same and they had to do the same.  And they would do the same.

So when I am finally able to get to my feet.  It is always a very good day.  Because then I can walk with the song in my heart and heaven on my mind.  The Bible tells you to make a joyful noise unto the Lord and I have never thought that was the only thing you should do.  Because when I got out of that hospital the one thing I wanted to do more than anything else was to make a grateful noise unto the Lord to make a grateful noise to God and to my friends who did make it because in that word I was aware of every single person watching me and that taught me that when I'm out in the world walking anywhere I might be that there are those I will never see who will see me and every single thing I do anything I might do might be the very single spark they need.

So getting to my feet is always a good day.  Because I know how dark it can get inside your soul.  We're mind feels like you are walking alone in the woods with no one there to leave the way or even lend you a light.  And so, while others were out trying to make money and become famous I was more interested in trying to simply hold the light that I had inside because I know how dark it can be.  And that's not any place anyone should have to stay.  It's not very much fun.  And when you're there.  You don't think there's any way out.  And then suddenly in the midst of that darkness you will see someone perhaps walking or perhaps driving their car or maybe on the news or on TV, or maybe at work.  You'll see someone to just one single thing or say one single word.  And then suddenly there is that spark and it's not dark anymore.

That's why I say we're all mentors to each other.  It doesn't matter what country you are and or who you are or what your religion, or political party is or anything like that.  It doesn't matter at all.  Because that's not what connects us.  It's that light.  That light you can see with the eyes.  And yet the moment you look at someone or into their face.  It's there.  That light.  Sometimes you have to look for it.  But it's there.  And once you see it.  Once you see that light well, it changes everything.

So today is a very good day.  Because I can't stand up.  And if I can stand up I can keep going even though if I could not stand up I would still keep going.  Because I promised them I would do that.  And because that's what we promised each other.  That no matter what.  We would fight back we would keep going.  And if one of us fell we would pick them up and carry them on our back or inside of our soul.  But no matter what we would keep going.

Sometimes fast.  Sometimes slow.  But ever onward.

So many in the United States right now are still recovering from this really horrible storm.  And it is still quite cold outside.  It is warming up.  But slowly.  I will be able to do my petitions an e-mail today.  But I'm probably going to need to rest for a while first.  The fact that I have talked about what I have in this Journal entry.  Well, I don't talk about these things very much.  Those to understand will know why.  Those who don't won't.

So I will rest.  And then I will work.  And then I will probably rest.  Again.  But ever onward.  Because that's what I do.  I promised them.  I promised my mother.  I promised Aileen.  I promised God.  And I promised you.

Forgive me for being emotional.  I'm sorry.  And yet then again I'm not.  I'm very proud and honored that I can feel these emotions that I have my friends inside of my heart.  I am so proud and honored that my mother was so determined to push me on shore and give me her heart and I know she and Aileen there waiting for me.  And when God decides it's time I will find my way home.  And I will see my mother's face and all I will do is take her in my arms and say thank you.  You have no idea how many lies you help and said it by saving mine.  Thank you.  Thank you so much.  You died so I could live and you gave me your heart and if you ever doubt what you did.  Just look what happened by you giving me your heart look how many have found their way you are it's a miracle my darling mother you had my darling Aileen and my grandmother and all my good friends who never got out.  You as a miracle.  And I am so honored and grateful.  So the day is a very good day because I woke up and I can't stand and I can keep going.  And that's all I need to.  I am it be a very small voice in this world.  But God made me and my mother pulled her way and pushed me on shore with her last breath.  And I will never let her down.  I will never let my friends down I will never let God down I will never let Aileen down I will never let any of you down the matter how many times I fall on my face.  I will keep going.

There's a difference now.  Because.  The first three years Aileen died.  I was crying out of grief.  Now I'm crying out of gratitude.  And that's a huge difference.

Thank you so very much for listening.

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