Monthly Archives: November 2013

Hunger

Ally spooky

I have been with you since the dawn of time

I sit in the shadows and wait

you need me, you feed me.

It must be your fate

Racism and bigotry

cruelty and lies

violence and hatred

are food for my eyes.

I live behind doors

behind windows and tears

in the alleys I feast

on the emotion of fears.

The main course tomorrow

in the boardroom I wait

I am old and not wise

my hunger to sate.

The day to day wealth

the riches of youth

a serving of pain

so sweet on my tooth.

Generations have passed

the evil has won

there is nothing to stop me

I can’t be undone.

Kindness and honour

are poisons to my touch

I relished the evils

that flourish so  much.

Perhaps there’s a spark

that lies deep in your soul

a saviour perhaps

can hope make us whole?

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The Battleground

Nov 5 2013 017

I do not considered myself to being doing battle with MS anymore than I think of my body as a battleground between healthy and diseased. “In this corner we have ‘Healthy Hannah’ battling the evil ‘Diseased Kid’! Nhat! I am right handed, I am a red-head with highlights of ash blond (gray).  I like popcorn and red wine (not together).  I also have multiple sclerosis. I do not spend my days bemoaning the fact that I have an itty, bitty, incurable disease.  I do not spend my days worrying about the fact that my hair is turning gray (ash blond thank you very much).  The fact that I have a disability is rather hard to hide.  I am in a wheelchair.  But this also does not occupy my thoughts.  Do you spend the entire day worrying about your choice of shoes that morning? I am fully aware of my limitations just as you are aware of yours.  There are certain concessions that have to be made because I am in a wheelchair just as you might make concessions due to an allergy to peanuts.

I try to live each day to the fullest because I am a vibrant, incredibly cute, mildly funny, individual.  Period.  Not because I have a disability or because I have to prove something to the rest of the world.  The rest of the world can do whatever it wants (within reason). I am responsible only for myself.  I wish to live a full life and I am endeavoring to do so.

I am beginning to understand that the way I see the world is perhaps not that common.  I watched a program about someone with MS who is going blind and has difficulty walking.  He spoke about his battles with this ‘debilitating’ disease. He is a successful man with a wonderful wife and several beautiful children.  He does not appear to be in financial difficulties.  To the outside world he looks to be in good shape.  I do not doubt for a second that in his world he is indeed doing ‘battle’ with an evil foe.  I simply see the picture a little differently.  Yes I have missed out a few things I had hoped to have in my life: husband, children, career, but I do have something that is invaluable to me: myself. I am in a good place in my life and I believe I will make a difference to others in my own way, in my own time.  That I think is what I want my legacy to be: ‘she made a difference’.  Not yet of course, I have 50 or so years to go before I want any legacy talk!

 

Purple Shoes

Nov 19 2013 008

I’ve loved the life I’ve lived

and I hope I’ve lived it well

I hope I’m going to heaven

and not to live in hell

I think that I’ve lived fully

my memories are strong

the fun I’ve had, the laughter

I’m sure it wasn’t wrong

They say I’m getting older

my red hair’s going blonde

I do not wish to say goodbye

to the people I’ve grown fond

One day the thing will happen

that starts me on my way

I’ll go the way directed

If I really cannot stay

But in the time that’s left to me

I wish to do so much

I’ll go, I’ll see, I’ll experience

with just a silly touch

The person that I am right now

the wicked grin I choose

will show to you the truly me

as I wear my purple shoes

 Nov 19 2013 009

Believe?

 

Nov 5 2013 005

What do you believe in?  Do you believe in a supreme being that has mapped out each individual path?  In which case there is no personal choice, our lives are fated and we cannot change the course it must take.

Or do you believe that our lives are self-directed?  This would mean that each path we cross will have an impact on the choices we make. Or perhaps it is a combination of both.  Is there a Supreme Being who offers us choices and we must choose the path to follow? I must tell you, from my perspective, that Supreme Being has one hell of a lot to answer for! Not that I am in a hurry to shake his or her hand, but come on.  You give me an incurable disease, make me pay a fortune for the ‘stuff’ to function in today’s society and then have the audacity to make it rain!!!  If life is mapped out by you Big Guy/Gal then I do not want to play anymore.  I am going to pick up my toys and go home.  Your sense of humour is a little too twisted . . . Think God is scared yet?  It must be tough being omnipotent.  Nothing surprises you ‘cause you caused it all.  Boring!

I do not belief that what happens to us is merely at the whim of a Supreme Being anymore than I think we have full control over our lives.  We are born naked and innocent.  From that moment we are constantly bombarded with information.  Our parents, our siblings, doctors, bus drivers, everyone we come into contact with throughout our lives has an influence on who we become.  How we deal with adversity is a result of that lifelong input.  We cannot control the world around us, just how we react to it. Our belief structure is based on the need for acceptance.  It also helps to have someone else to blame.  “The devil made me do it.”

How we deal with disease or any perceived imperfection is directly related to our beliefs, be they spiritual or secular.  No one is perfect.  No one is without any redeeming qualities.  And as hard as it may be, your belief in others and in yourself will get you through anything. You are worth it.

In many ways you and I are lucky. Yes, I said lucky. Think about it, how many people get a wake-up call? Having a nasty disease has awoken me to the world around me. It has forced me to see what is important in life, in my life.  Had it not been for the MS I would probably be out in the world amassing ‘things’ and ‘stuff’ to make my life better.  I may have missed the beauty of a solid friendship and the wonders of a kitten’s purr.  I now look at flowers given to me by a friend and I see much more than the simple flower.  I see the love of a friend and I see myself reflected in the gesture.  If I were a schmuck, I would never have received the flowers or had people care and demonstrate that concern in a simple gesture.

A Poem Worth Reading

I didn’t write this poem, I don’t know who did.  A friend sent it to me. My Grandfather and my Father each fought in a world war. May we one day know world peace.

He was getting old and paunchy
And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion,
Telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he once fought in
And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies;
They were heroes, every one.

And ‘tho sometimes to his neighbors
His tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened quietly
For they knew where of he spoke.

But we’ll hear his tales no longer,
For ol’ Joe has passed away,
And the world’s a little poorer
For a Veteran died today.

He won’t be mourned by many,
Just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary,
Very quiet sort of life.

He held a job and raised a family,
Going quietly on his way;
And the world won’t note his passing,
‘Tho a Veteran died today.

When politicians leave this earth,
Their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing,
And proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell of their life stories
From the time that they were young,
But the passing of a Veteran
Goes unnoticed, and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution
To the welfare of our land,
Some jerk who breaks his promise
And cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow
Who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country
And offers up his life?

The politician’s stipend
And the style in which he lives,
Are often disproportionate,
To the service that he gives.

While the ordinary Veteran,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps a pension, small.

It is not the politicians
With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
That our country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger,
With your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some cop-out,
With his ever-waffling stand?

Or would you want a Veteran
His home, his country, his kin,
Just a common Veteran,
Who would fight until the end.

He was just a common Veteran,
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his likes again.

For when countries are in conflict,
We find the Veteran’s part,
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor
While he’s here to hear the praise,
Then at least let’s give him homage
At the ending of his days.

Perhaps just a simple headline
In the paper that might say:
“OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING,
A VETERAN DIED TODAY.”

soldier image via internet

FARAWAY HEROES

poppy

TO THE FARAWAY HEROES,

I SALUTE YOU

YOU FILL MY HEART WITH PRIDE,

AND WITH SADNESS.

THE PRIDE IS FOR YOUR COURAGE,

THE SADNESS FOR YOUR DISTANCE.

HOW LITTLE WE EVER SAY.

HOW MUCH WE REALLY FEEL.

THE DISTANCE IS SO GREAT,

BUT YOU ARE EVER NEAR.

NEVER FORGET THAT WE CARE,

WE WORRY,

AND WE GRIEVE.

WE FEAR FOR YOUR SAFETY,

YOUR WELL BEING.

FOR YOU ARE A PART OF US

A VITAL PART.

THE DISTANCE WILL NEVER BE SO GREAT

THAT WE FORGET

THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF CANADA

FOR ONLY TOGETHER

ARE WE ONE.

TAKE CARE.

This is for all the soldiers around the world who are far from home,

past and present.  And for those who once wore the uniform and

still bear the scars.

We will never forget.

It happened to me . . .

me b

I have read about this happening.  I have known other people it has happened to.  I guess I always knew that it would happen to me one day.  But when it does, it is devastating.  I was crushed.  OMG!  I have been ma’am ed!

Recently I was going into a shop, intent on buying something inconsequential, when I was approached.  What happened next changed me for the rest of my life.  An attractive young man walked up to me, wide eyed and smiling.  He said ”Can I help you ma’am?”  Ma’am.  Ma’am? MA’AM?

Evidently I have reached an age where I am no longer a ‘miss’ I am a ‘ma’am’.  I know the young man was being respectful but it is difficult when that word hits your ears for the first time.  I can no longer give credence to the image I have in my head of a sweet young thing.  I have aged.  I am old.  Wait!  I am so not there yet!

Okay, okay.  Perhaps I’m being a little ridiculous.  But women everywhere understand what it’s like to be greeted with that honorific for the first time.  Yes, It is a sign of respect.  But to the individual it is so much more.  I guess I have reached the age when my mere presence is grounds for respectfulness.  I still think of myself as a silly young woman when in reality I have reached Junior-Senior status.

When we are born we form an opinion of ourselves that is rudimentary.  We eat, we sleep, we evacuate.  There is no nice way to say we poop!  It is the cycle of life.  We are born, we live, we die.  It is the living part that gets messy.

As we grow up our opinion of ourselves changes.  We start to accept others’ opinions.  We often give more weight to the opinion of strangers even though they do not know us.  I have reached an age where I am able to dispense with a lot of the baggage that I grew up with.  I look inwards for validation instead of outwards.  And that doesn’t mean I don’t welcome the opinions of others.  It just means that I don’t only rely on others to feel good about myself.  I like who I am.  Some days I am drop-dead gorgeous!  I refuse to give credence to the reflection in a mirror when I’m in such a good mood!

Okay I have also noticed that I have slowed down a little bit.  Part of that of course is because I have multiple sclerosis and I’m in a wheelchair.  But yes I have to admit that perhaps part of that is because I am getting, cough, cough, cough, older.

We live in a world of fast cars, fast food and fast computes. Hurry up,  faster, faster. Deadlines. Time is money, early bird catches the worm.  Is it any wonder we seem to be programmed from infancy to see the world at 100 kms an hour?

I guess a little more rethinking has to be done as to my place in this world.  My time here may be finite but I ain’t done yet!  Maybe I’ll just slow down a wee bit.

HOW THE WORLD HAS TRAVELLED

IMG_0210

HOW THE WORLD HAS TRAVELLED

I GUESS ONE KNOWS NOT HOW

BUT TIME HAS BEEN THE KEEPER

AS WE’VE GROWN FROM THEN TO NOW

THE JOURNEY IS THE THING THEY SAY

FROM WHICH WE LEARN THE MOST

I GUESS THAT’S TRUE I DO NOT KNOW

OUR WORLD FROM COAST TO COAST

BUT NOW WE HAVE A DUTY

A PRECIOUS CHARGE TO SAVE

OUR WORLD IS OUR MOST CHERISHED JEWEL

THE TASK AT HAND IS GRAVE

PEOPLE OF THE WORLD UNITE

OUR FOE IS NEAR AT HAND

WE HAVE THE POWER WITHIN OUR REACH

TO SAVE THIS PRECIOUS LAND

THE BEAUTY OF OUR EARTH IS DEAR

AND SO WE RAISE OUR VOICE

THE CARNAGE OF THIS WORLD MUST END

TOGETHER, WE WILL MAKE THAT CHOICE.

Creatively speaking

May June 2013 006

Many years ago my mother and I were having an argument.  It wasn’t a negative argument, more a difference of opinion.  But as I recall it was quite vehement.  You see my mother had just made a comment that I strenuously disagreed with.  She maintained that while her children were creative, she was not.  My mother believed that she was just a wife and mother.  Just!  JUST!

I was raised by loving parents.  They taught me to appreciate the world and to be curious about everything.  Like most children I was born naked and ignorant.  If anyone out there doubts the importance and value of a loving mother and father, then I respectfully say you’re nuts!

Not everyone has the great fortune to be raised in idyllic circumstances.  Some people have the wherewithal to raise themselves to be good people.  I basically didn’t have a choice.  Being surrounded by good people there was no other way than to follow their lead.  It was the path of least resistance.

I had a mother that every Halloween made my costume.  That’s not creative?  One year I was a black cat with a long black tail and whiskers.  One year I was an alien with a javex bottle helmet painted gold and a corrugated cardboard belt with matchbox compartments also painted gold.  With that one she apologized for not being able to make my eyebrows look like Spock from Star Trek.

My mother fed us wonderful meals every day.  She found ways to make us eat things we did not like, often without us realizing it.  My mother used her charm, her wit and yes her force of will to raise three children to be responsible and caring adults.  You think that’s not creative?

I believe that one of the most important jobs in the world is that of mother.  Well, a good mother.  A good father is also important especially if he has to take over the role of mother.  I don’t have any children so I can only speak from the perspective of one that was raised by good parents.  But the way I figure it the time and effort it takes to raise children to adulthood is mind-boggling!  To the mothers and fathers out there, kudos to you!  The world is a better place because of the job you did raising your children.  Now if that isn’t power I don’t know what is!

Let me leave you with a few pieces of advice my mother gave me over the years:

–        always wear clean underwear, you never know who may be looking

–        smile at people who are angry at you, it messes with their heads

–        a good person does what’s right, even when no one is looking

–        wallowing in self-pity is fine, for 15 minutes

–        a woman should be good in two rooms in the house, and one of them is the kitchen

God love mothers!