Too Old to Die Young

“If life is like a candle bright, death must be the wind”

Today, just like yesterday, life has me puzzled.  More specifically, death has me puzzled.  I received a phone call yesterday morning that my cousin Henry had lost his wife the night before due to an apparent blood clot.  Suddenly.  In an instant.  Gone.  Henry went from a happily married father to a widower- father of five motherless children, the youngest of whom is just one month old.  Wow.

Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t close- the loss didn’t strike close to home that way.  In a family of over a hundred cousins, I know very few of them well.  In fact I don’t know if I’d ever even met Evaline.  But the news rocked me from the perspective of the potentially sudden nature of the end of life.

So as I’m sitting here this evening with my girls in their beds, I’m reminded of one of my all time favourite songs.  This song was recorded my Moe Bandy (possibly by other artists through the years, but Moe Bandy’s is the version I have rolling through my head tonight).

Too Old To Die Young

If life is like a candle bright, death must be the wind
You can close your window tight, but it still comes rolling in
So I will climb the highest hill and watch the rising sun
And I pray that I don’t feel the chill till I’m too old to die young

Let me watch my children grow to see what they become
Oh Lord don’t let that cold wind blow till I’m too old to die young

Now I have had some dear sweet friends I thought would never die
Now the only thing that’s left of them is the teardrops in my eyes
If I could have one wish today and know it would be done
Well I would stay everyone could stay till they’re too old to die young

Let me watch my children grow to see what they become
Oh Lord don’t let that cold wind blow till I’m too old to die young

Songwriters- Welch/Dooley/Hadley

Look this song up on youtube or ITunes or whatever your favourite service is, and as you listen to it, just try not to feel it, I dare you! Though probably not recorded as such, today this song is my prayer for me and you, whoever you might be reading these words.

God bless you!
Duey

 

After a Mixed up 2016-Hopeful

via Daily Prompt: Hopeful

Wow- What a ride!

As I sit here thinking back over this past trip around the sun, one word sums it up- Wow!  This was certainly an interesting year.

It started off with the finalization of my divorce in January, which anyone who has been there can understand was a very bittersweet milestone.  If you haven’t been there- Thank God!  I won’t delve into all that. One great side benefit of the divorce was being able to spend time hanging out with my kids and my family, knowing that my time with them is now a legal right.  One negative of the divorce was a very tight year financially.  I guess I better get used to that.  In the words of an old country song- “She got the gold mine, I got the shaft”.  Well, not that bad, but definitely a new financial reality.

As the world mourned the passing of one famous person after another this year, I have to ask myself if anyone of their lives mean any more than any other human life.  I know they all had an influence on our world, not always for the good in my opinion.  But to be utterly pragmatic about it, does the death of a musical legend (for example) whom we really haven’t heard anything new from in a long time, really affect us?

Having said that, Man I love old music!  Largely from people who are no longer with us.  This year I really reconnected with my love for old country music.  Watched “The Highwaymen” live from Nassau Colliseum a couple times on PBS.  Sat on my couch and listened to the classic country channel on my cable and memories flooded back of old stuff I used to hear as a kid.  Ok, Ok, that cost me a lot of money on iTunes, but man, I love this old music.

Also had a chance to listen to some fantastic, young, country acts as well.  The passing of the old guard doesn’t mean the end of music.  Saw a guy named Shane Chisholm play a 15 minute tribute to the Man in Black- on a stand up Bass he had built himself.  Out of gas tank from a minivan!!

Moving on from music, I watched my eldest daughter move more firmly into the teen years.  Fourteen already!  Man, I must be getting old.  And the youngest turned eight.  What an awesome blessing it is to have three beautiful daughters who are so sweet, and to get to enjoy time with them.  I am blessed!

I am truly grateful to live in a country with such good health care.  I watched my dad go through a health scare when we all thought he’d had a heart attack.  Doesn’t appear that that’s what it was, we are still waiting for answers, but I’m hopeful it’s all OK.  I watched a good friend, a shining light to all around her, go through surgeries, chemo, and more surgery.  To watch her attitude through it all was awesome.  Thank you Glenna!

On a less important note, it was another good year at work, though it ends with me pondering a potential career change at some point in the future and having been approached about a couple different opportunities.  And I know I need a job, and enjoy mine, but this is really not the most important part of my life.

And now, as we all prepare to enter a new year- 2017!  Already?!?!  I’m Hopeful…  I’m hopeful that all goes as well this year as it did last year- maybe even better!

I pray for each of you that you will be richly blessed with Health, Happiness, and all you need to live a life that blesses others.

God Bless!

Duey

More Than Being Alive

I used to think it was all in being alive.  Now I know it’s about living.

“what???” You might ask.  Let me explain.

In July of 2013, I spent eight days in a beautiful retreat center called “Sanctum” near Caroline, Alberta.  I was there with 26 other people who were all on a journey with me called the”Hoffman Process”.  To sum that up in a few words, we learned to put all of our life in perspective, and to understand the forces that made us who we are.  I won’t go into detail about the process right now, that’s not what this is about.

To get to the point, I was asked one time for a couple words about what the Hoffman Process meant to me after the fact.  I said “it saved my life- I haven’t contemplated suicide since my graduation!”  The day that dawned on me, it blew my mind to remember the thoughts that used to run through my mind, and how I hadn’t thought those thoughts in years.

But then, a month ago, I had a chance to speak a couple words about being a Hoffman grad, and I knew at that point that it was much more than just being on the green side of the grass.  The longer I live in this post-Hoffman life, the more ALIVE I am.  And FREE.  Free of a lot of the bitterness towards others that used to occupy my mind continually.  You see, I came to understand that just as life forces shaped me, and gave me some rather negative patterns- so also, the people that hurt me are acting out of patterns given to them by their past.  Not only by my past, or anybody else’s personal past, but by the pasts of our ancestors as well.

It’s so incredibly freeing to look at somebody’s negative actions as bad actions, not necessarily proof that the person is bad.  I have really gained an appreciation for the pain in others’ pasts, and understanding for the actions (done by others) that can really hurt me.

I’ve been through a lot of crap in my life, which reminds of this fantastic quote I’d like to close this article with:

 “He said “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are REAL, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are REAL you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

from “The Velveteen Rabbit”, by Margery Williams

Understandingly ALIVE,
Duey

Thankful

Canadian Thanksgiving

On this 2016 Canadian Thanksgiving day I am sitting here, watching the snow accumulate, pondering my life.  So here goes-

I am grateful for a warm house to sit in and watch the snow pile up.

I am grateful that I don’t live in the Canada that comedians like to poke fun at.  I don’t travel by dogsled.  I don’t live in an igloo.  Snow this time of year, while not uncommon, is the exception rather than the rule for most Canadians.  including for my part of Canada.  We should be melted off and 16 degrees Celsius later this week.

I am so incredibly grateful for my three beautiful daughters.  They light up my life.  A few minutes ago the oldest poked me on Facebook.  so we chatted for a couple minutes.

I am grateful for my kids’ mom- my ex-wife.  While I often like to complain about her, I am grateful for the good times we had, for the three daughters she gave me, and for how well she takes care of them now.

I am grateful for my immediate and extended family.  My parents who are both in their sixties, and reasonably healthy.  My brothers and sisters, who all get along with each other, and all the nieces and nephews.  That extended family is so large that I don’t know most of their names if I meet them, but I guess that’s what happens when one’s grandparents have 16 kids, right?

I am grateful to be Canadian.  Living in a land which gives me the freedom to express myself without fear of consequences for my opinions.  Living in a land with good health care.

I am grateful for a good job that keeps me challenged and rewards me well for doing my job.  In that vein, I am grateful for the customers who support me, and the relationships that I have been able to build up with customers across western Canada.

Above all, I am grateful to God, who makes all of this possible, and offers eternal life to all who will believe in him.

And with this partial list of the blessings in my life ready for me to hit the “publish” button, I wish you all a fantastic day!  Now it’s time to go eat a Thanksgiving meal with my family.

Such Sweet Mistakes

Sweet Mistakes, Such Sweet Mistakesmistake.

As a divorced dad, there’s people who ask what I’d do different if I could do it over.  They suggest that having married my kids’ mom was a mistake.  And maybe in a lot of ways it was.  But, Oh, what a sweet mistake.  Because of that “mistake” I have three beautiful, sweet daughters that I love deeply and I know they love me too.  Besides that, there was a lot of good to that marriage, and never minding the things that ended it, I try to remember with pleasure the good that came from that “mistake”.

But, let’s set me aside for a couple minutes here.  I’m sure all of my readers know somebody who was born as a “mistake”, right?  I mean, some people say they were a “surprise”, or an “accident”, but we all know what that means- their mom made a mistake, and had a child.  What a sweet punishment for having a mistake, right?  I’m not seeking to minimize the hardships of unplanned pregnancy, or single motherhood, or any of those things.  We all know that is an incredibly tough row to hoe.  But who can hold a baby, then watch them grow, and call that precious life a “mistake”?

I’d love to hear it if you think I’m nuts…that would just be another mistake to lear from, eh?

Duane

 

via Daily Prompt: Mistake

To Love Again

Learning to Love (and Live) Again

We met cautiously, online
Then for a glass or two of wine
There was an unspoken, mutual hope
That we could more than cope

There’s been, for both, heartbreak and pain
Perhaps we can break that miserable chain
Maybe together we’ll learn
And find that for which all yearn

Two souls with mutual trust
Past loves have all gone bust
But all beings crave to be
One of two, loving tenderly

Oh, so slowly, softly, day by day
Learning, trusting, till some day
We may, side by side, partners be
One flesh, one mind, loving tenderly

Wishing love for you all,
Duane

 

via Daily Prompt: Learning