A “water summit” attended. In my area we depend on ground water and with our state in a historic drought we are all concerned about water. Learned a lot.

A dear friend has a young daughter that is really sick and I’m praying for her. It us tragic when a small child is gravely I’ll and all you can do is pray. Unfortunately in medical science virus infections don’t respond to regular medications. I hope she recovers.

We are really into fall. Cool nights and clear skies. Hoping for a little rain by next weekend we need it.

Fall also inspires me to adventure. This month I will spend a night camped at Agua Caliente hot springs. A night in the desert with some hot water to soak in. Time to heal both physically and mentally.

The weather is cooling and I’m seeing traces of moisture. I don’t know why I’m still here other than to enter the unknown requires that I stop procrastination and embrace the challenge. Maybe I’m just getting tired of the struggle with inner demons and unwilling to face them. No inspiration or significant other to drive me. I’m not the nomad I wanted to be but am just one step from being a hobo. Maybe that should have been my lot in life. Simple but true.

Mohs happened. They took a chunk of my ear. Not quite Van Gogh but it healed “somewhat”. Now to follow up because the signs say the cancer is still there. I guess at this stage of life I’m not in a hurry to go under the knife again. I’ll probably face the truth and visit the doctor next week. I’m resigned to the fact that as you grow older life forces you to face the fact we are not immortal.

The visit was not good. I am now scheduled for Mohs surgery because of the pathology results from the removal of a skin cancer on my right ear. When someone hears the word cancer one gets this sick feeling. However it goes they are moving forward to make it history.

One must be aware that while the sun is something we enjoy, too much sun is the same as being exposed to radiation. The rays cause cancer. I now have a sun hat and use sunscreen which gives me a small bit of protection. Take care. Having skin cancer is not something you want to experience.

A short post. I’m finding enough stimulation in life here in this small town to start thinking of settling down. As it stands I am living as a nomad/homeless person. I have a very small trailer and my truck and some great friends who let me park on their land. I originally was going to move with the seasons but got derailed by health issues. Now that those things are getting resolved I’m thinking of travel again.

As for health… I have cataracts and it has come time to do something about it. Also I’m going to see a dermatologist and take better care there. I need to schedule another visit to my ENT doctor. I need to look into alternative treatments for type 2 diabetes. All my years of neglect and abuse are catching up with me.

The other day I was involved in a conversation about the price of marujuana. It’s not like the 60’s no more.. an ounce can cost $100. I remember when that would cost $10. Oh well… inflation.

I cared for both parents and I’ve written about the experiences with my mom. However I have said little about my dad.

My dad died from a form of brain wasting. It was diagnosed as sporadic Kreutzfeld Jacob disease. It was a quick way to go and a as best as I can tell the victim is not aware that there is a problem. My dad started by having memory problems. His short term memory was first to go. My mom was the first to notice this when he would go grocery shopping then forget why he was at the store and leave. At first we thought of Alzhiemers but soon discovered it was more than that. My dad was one who took care of his appearance. He was always taking shave and change into nice clothes when you went shopping. We first notice that he would get ready to go shopping then he would basically sit down in wonder y you just done what he did. He went through bouts of confusion during this time. My mom took over driving duties since she was afraid he might have an accident.

The onset was quick. He studied degrading mentally very fast. He stopped taking and call me by name. He started referring to me as that other man. He started taking longer naps. at this point he was somewhat aware that something wasn’t right. We visited the doctor and the doctor referred us to a specialist who ran a series of tests. A brain scan revealed a lack of activity in large areas of the brain. After awhile he stopped talking. Later as the brain wasted he would stop talking but his mannerisms and speach was that of the child. It’s gone from man of 80 to a child maybe 6 years old. At this time I became more of a mischievous child than an adult. He now required constant supervision. I had some children’s books around the house and he found these very fascinating. He would read these books out loud a simple questions about things get better about. I also had a small toy that talks when you squeeze it and he would take and play with that for hours repeating the words as the dolls spoke. This went on for months at a time and we do a lot of energy to keeping him safe and entertained. With regular doctor visits the doctors were monitoring his progress and good give us no hope for any recovery. All they can do was telling us how to care for him and make him happy. As a small child he got into mischief a lot. he’d never been a very agile man as he had arthritis but sometimes he would surprise us bye doing things that where things you’d expect a six-year-old to do. One time while sitting in the backseat of my car going to the doctor he decided he’s gonna take all his clothes off. I had to take and get off the freeway quickly and find the place where I can take care of him. I got him dressed again but he refused to put his shoes on he wanted to go barefoot. So I obliged him and let him travel without his shoes on the doctor. I found having child proof locks in the rear seat was a godsend. I could not love him sit in the front of the car because he became a hazard to my driving. my dad is at least had the assistance of my mother. This was a very hard time prefer seeing them and she loved slowly fade away. Overall I think this attitude her skepticism of doctors because she did not trust the diagnosis. This would come back later when she was ill give me all kinds of problems.

Finally got to the point where my dads vital functions were affected. At that time we knew the end was near and arranged to do home hospice. My dad stopped eating and had already taken had problems breathing so we had all the equipment on hand to address this. We have your advance directive which we followed very closely. It was to be no extraordinary support or any issues with resuscitation as it was a no recesitate order. This all went well until one day my sister came to visit. See in a panic not knowing how to handle the situation got upset when outside and dial 911. This led to the confrontation between me my mom and the paramedics. One thing people must remember is if you are in a situation where you are doing Hospice and the paramedics were called they will take take the patient and transported the nearest hospital. In this case my dad was put into one hopital then transferred to Kaiser Permanente. This incident upset my mom very much. I went into panic mode and went to the hospital immediately. I immediately moved to invoke the advance directive for healthcare and the do not resuscitate clause. That’s a multi-day battle with doctors and lawyers of Kaiser Permanente. I eventually prevailed but only after finding a sympathetic doctor who stuck his neck out and followed the directive. Is feeding tube removed and any oxygen removed mostly because I could tell that he was existing only because of these actions. He was not responsive and it was only a matter of hours before he passed. Because of her previous encounter with one doctor at the hospital who wanted to do a brain removal his death I stood by until his body was transported to the mortuary. Finally we had him cremated and I still have the ashes. This marked the end of his life and the start of the decline in my moms health.

During the time my dad’s passing my mom assumed most of the duties as caregiver. I was working at a time and living up in Long Beach. However as my dad got worse I would spend many a night in Anza and commute to work the next day. I remember the day when I was notified of my sisters actions I was not there but sprung into action. The results of my sisters actions so angered my mom see specifically took my sister out of the living trusts. My sister to this day still does not see what she did is wrong. That is why in some cases I don’t consider myself as having any family. There are issues with how we face death and dying. I’m hoping what I write helps someone handle this difficult time.

Sometimes I wonder why I work so hard to grow older. As I age I find the quality of life more important than how long I’m on this planet. I know I have health problems, and some of them may become very debilitating in the future, I’m spending a lot of money trying to delay the inevitable. I’m trying to decide at what point quality takes on more importance that quantity. In a few weeks I’ll see the eye doctor. I’m finding that vision in my left eye has issues. It is probably the cataracts I have. I have been diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic. They gave me some pill form of blood sugar control but if I follow the dosage, it makes me ill. I have Lupus. I know it is smewhat active because every set of labs has me spilling protein in my urine. This is either the sign of a serious infection or the fact that the lupus is hard at work trying to kill me. These are reasons why I am looking at quality over quantity. I don’t think I will see 80 years with all I have wrong. So, what shall I do with the “good years” I have left. If I ever find myself confined to a skilled nursing facility I will see that as the end and deal with it accordingly.

The after life is good. But some thing happens i cannot explain.  One other time i was visited with the spirit of a person i knew as he passed.

I was asleep and suddenly woke to a very cold room. Standing at the end of my bed was a family friend. He looked as if he was wearing a hospital gown. He raised his hand as if to wave goodbye then vanished. I glanced at the bedside alarm clock to note the time. The next day I found out he had died in the hospital at that exact time.

After dad passed there was a period of time (months) when his presence was evident. One time I had had an argument with my mom and a short while later I felt myself being slapped by an unseen being and I knew I had to apologize . A few months later my mom had not been feeling well and I was shaken awake by this spirit and instinctively knew I had to check on.my mom. She was having breathing problems that made me drive her to the emergency room. These interactions felt like things my dad would do and in each case it was his presence that I felt. His spirit was still there watching over my mom.

In the case of my mom’s death it was different. I never felt her around. Sine times I did feel that quite possibly her little chihuahua was possessed by her spirit because it became very angry with me for no apparent reason. That behavior for an animal after the passing of a lifelong companion could be explained by realizing the animal blamed me for her passing. Either way it became so bad that I had to give the dog over to the humane society. I could not exist in the same household with a dog that did nothing but exhibit anger and contempt for me.

I think maybe why I didn’t feel the same presence with my mother that I felt with my dad may have been because she went quickly to join him in the afterlife. My mother and I had a love/hate relationship. As her dementia progressed she would get angry if I did not do the things she demanded. Only at the end did that change. In fact both parents had a brief lucid moment where they expressed love towards me. When I experienced this with my mom it was clear to me that death was immanent.
I do t know if communication is possible from the other side but I did get some physical contact in my dad’s case

Somewhat different but related was a story my mom told me just after I somewhat recovered from my first relapse of my Lupus. One night she stopped by my room to check on me because I had felt I’ll and went to bed early. She said as she opened the bedroom door she was hit by the feeling oof intense cold and saw a dark shadowy being leaning over me… she said it entered her mind that this was the angel of death coming to take me so she rushed into the room screaming NO at the top if her voice. She said the being turned toward her and left. She said it felt evil and was faceless.  I never have had a similar experience but I believe what she told me because she was very shaken by this incident.

I think that part of my awareness of the afterlife and spirit world comes from my native american heritage. I have on occasion felt the presence of evil. It is a strange and scary feeling but in those cases I know that I must leave the area as I feel a confrontation with such a force would kill me.

I have used my sensitivity to the sprit realm to explore places I visit at times. It is as if I can feel what it was like to be there when it was a town, not the ghost town it is now. I do stay vigilant as these places have also brought with them feeling of the presence if evil.

Enough for now. Maybe more later.

I’m 67. I’m getting to the point in my life when my body is telling me that I just can’t do what I did 10 years ago. I wonder what the next 5 years will bring. I’m starting from a place where I had problems a long time ago. I was disposed with Lupus in 1975. I have been on some sort of steroid since then. I was born with a bad heart valve. I have a big up I’d aortic valve. I have arthritis. Not a good basis for long life, or at least an active life. I have been diagnosed with Type II diabetes. I have cataracts caused by some of the medications I took in the past. Because if Lupus, my kidneys have been damaged and operate at about 80 percent.

Now about life. I am wondering when I will get to the point that the quality of life will have diminished to the point I just decide that I don’t want to live this way?  That will be a difficult decision as there are a lot of variables.

One thing I see that could hasten that is I live alone. Loneliness causes depression. Depression can make a person want to die. I deal with depression right now and have been reluctant to even consider ending my life.

Diabetes is hard for me. I’m not doing insulin yet but as my lab numbers indicate that might not be that far away. The complications from being diabetic can also kill you. You run a higher risk of stroke ( I have a family history of strokes). Will this be my fate?

As for the Lupus, I’ve been lucky so far. After a few major life threatening episodes I’m still here. I have died and cane back and have experienced the “other side”. That was a life changing moment. Being the unpredictable disease it is I can never say it won’t try to kill me again.

Probably I will be okay but at some point I will be faced with a decision… is life worth living or not?

Death is not the mystery to me as it is to most people. I have seen my parents die. In the case if my father it was a quick process as his brain wasted away. He died of sporadic Kreutzfeld Jacob disease. He started having memory problems that progressed to motor skills then he started to lose autonomic functions such as heart rhyme and breathing. I realized the end was near when he lost the ability to swallow. His passing was quiet and as best as could be done painless.

My mother was a decade long process. First there was cancer, then more cancer. As time passed dementia complicated life. I lived for her, being her constant companion, dealing with every aspect of irrational behavior that arose. It was draining. Maybe I should have walked away but as a son I sacrificed my life for her. The last year was one medical emergency after another. She had the will to live but her body was failing. I was somewhat relieved to see her accept that it was time to prepare to die. She had broken her hip and survived the surgery however she found the physical therapy too hard. She told me one day that she was giving up the fight. There was a moment where we had some meaningful conveersation and she had but one request. She did not want to die in a hospital.

I made arrangements for home hospice and dedicated the next months to making her request work. It was hard as the cancer saw a weakness and complications started to manifest themselves. She became stoic. She did not eat, she did not speak, she never left the bed. I learned to cloth and bathe her, to change the diapers, to administer the morphine sulfate. She was in a lot of pain. Death didn’t come easy. One afternoon she suffered a massive stroke.. I was there holding her as the stroke destroyed her brain. I called the hospice nurse and they responded in minutes. There were only hours left. She was breathing, her eyes were open but she was not there. The physical body was fighting for life but death was inevitable. I made her as comfortable as possible with morphine and oxygen and stayed by her bedside. I was fighting exhaustion myself but allowed myself only cat naps all the while holding her hand. She passed sometime as I sat next to her. The first clue was she grew cold. Then the breathing stopped. She was gone. Her death was not peaceful. While I did not take any extraordinary measures to prolong life I did want her to pass without much pain. I called the hospice nurse and she and a doctor pronounced the death as official and I called the mortuary. Within a hour she was transported and I faced the reality of being alone. The grieving process for my dad was a shared process but with my mom it was something I faced alone. I have a sister but for the last decade she had been out if the picture as her and my mother had parted over how she complicated my dad’s death by disrupting the home hospice by dialing 911. My mom never for have her.

After these deaths I have some thoughts of how I want my pending death handled. If it is possible I want to chose when and where. I don’t want any extra measures used to prolong life if “living” means being confined to life support. I have died once. It wasn’t bad. In fact I passed through the light and saw a glimpse of the other side. I also now know that your life is a series of tasks and when you finish these tasks then you are called “home”. You never know when you have finished your mission but I have a feeling you will have some strong feelings or revelations that it is time to die. Of course in some cases it is our bodies that fail us but even that may be part if the plan. Our bodies are nothing but a vessel for the life force to function in this physical realm but I am also aware of another realm beyond this that is hard to describe. It us a realm of intense emotion and more of the mind than of physical nature. What happens then is still a mystery but one mystery I will embrace. I know that I will not know when death is going to happen. The last time I thought it was final only to be “told” that my mission was not complete and that I had to go back. Only “god” really knows. Do I believe in god? It all depends on how you see it. I believe there is a spiritual force and that we are part of that. I know that life as we know it is but one part of the matrix that we operate in. It is all powerful, full of love and grace, and beyond most people’s understanding. We are now in one part of the process and I know there is much more.

We live in a world that is limited by constructs of mere mortals. There are dimensions beyond these constructs we have yet to discover. Will we ever know the meaning of life? I doubt it. There may be a few people who have experienced part of this other realm but I don’t think we have heard of them or we have in our bias labeled them as crazy. We all will find that time when it is revealed to us.

I wrote this because I have feelings at times that I have nothing more to add to the world but then someone enters life to waken me to another part if my mission. I spent many happy years sharing life with Rosemary. But her mission ended. She passed away from complications from surgery. I met Mary only to have her reveal to me she had terminal cancer. I provided some joy and comfort in her final days. I now realize that these people were there because there was something for me to learn and something for me to share with them. Each encounter has enriched my experience. I have never stopped doing that. As I move forward I will discover more. I will hopefully will leave my mark just as others have left their mark on me.

While this writing is for myself I hope it makes you think. Life is what we make if it. We can try to isolate ourselves from the world around us but sooner or later we will be forced to be aware. It us best to be our best. We all have something to contribute but sometimes our contribution is not seen as such but is seen as a nuisance. I have discovered that after a person passes many people realize that a person was much more than a friend but we live with the regrets of not being able to acknowledge that in their presence. Life life to its full potential. That is how it supposed to be. I love life and all I encounter in it. You should to.

Thank you. I reserve the right to add to this at any time but I will try to let anyone who reads this know about it. This is about leaving a mark. It is about trying to make things better.

As we celebrate the 4th of July we need to be aware that we are no longer free or independent. Since the Reagan years our freedoms (including those in the Bill of Rights) have be diminished. We now have seen TV become a propaganda tool with both the left and the right trying to yell their lies often enough to convince people they are telling the truth. We are forgetting history and are bound too repeat it. We are still sending our sons and daughters to fight wars for corporate benefit. We are not fighting for freedom or democracy. So as the flag passes show some respect but remember how that flag has become the biggest threat to peace on the world. If what I just wrote upsets you than you need to discover the truth. While I did my military service I served in a unit affiliated with the Defense Intelligence Agency. That agency works under the NSA so I’m very familiar with truth, propaganda and psyops. We are not free.

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