Either Laughing Or Learning

Orphan Wisdom - “From a young age we see around us that grief is mostly an affliction, a misery that intrudes into the life we deserve, a rupture of the natural order of things, a trauma that we need coping and management and five stages and twelve steps to get over.

Here’s the revolution: What if grief is a skill, in the same way that love is a skill, something that must be learned and cultivated and taught? What if grief is the natural order of things, a way of loving life anyway? Grief and the love of life are twins, natural human skills that can be learned first by being on the receiving end and feeling worthy of them, later by practicing them when you run short of understanding. In a time like ours, grieving is a subversive act…”

I sit here tonight, finally, blessedly alone in my house for the first time since last Monday. I’ve watched and re-watched the video clip of Dad & I singing together at his party last weekend and all I can do is grin from ear-to-ear with every viewing. What a spectacular video…what a spectacular day it was for us! I feel blessed, not bereaved.

!1ADadNMe

I know that it is our society’s standard that dictates to us that losing a loved one should be cause for reacting with extreme sadness, a sense of overwhelming loss and of course, a hardy display of tears & sobbing. My father passed away less than a week ago; according to societal norm, I should be in a state of zombie-like depression or collapsed in a pile of tears across my bed…it seems like folks are just waiting for me to suddenly up and pass out. I can’t decide if it (their concern) is touching, humorous or irritating…meh, all of the above, I suppose.

Anyone waiting for me to fall apart over the death of my father is going to be in for one very long vigil though. No, I am not avoiding or denying my grief or loss…I am keenly aware of what is no longer part of my life, believe me. Dad was hands down the most influential and respected person in my life; his presence will be missed more than I would ever care to share in public quite honestly. But even behind closed doors (or ‘puter screens as the case may be…), I am not feeling overly-saddened nor am I holding back tears just to be strong. I’ve already cried plenty in the time since we received the initial diagnosis. I bawled my damn head off at the moment he passed and for a good several minutes afterwards.

But I’ve done this death-n-dying thing before. I’ve walked a parent through an extended dying process and because of it, I now understand how blessed I am (we all are) that Dad lived and died on his own terms. Living on his own terms meant doing things his own way with no need to seek anyone’s approval. He lived a big, brave, interesting, daring and joyous life filled with adventures, constant self-educating & improvement and always, always…lots of singing, daincin’! and laughin’.

He died exactly as he lived; still seeking, still learning, teaching, singing…and laughing all the way.

The morning before he passed away, just at the serious beginnings of the ‘Death Watch’ stage of the dying process, Dad was nestled on the futon in the den, surrounded by family members. We all took turns reading passages of poetry from his favorite ancient Kipling and John Masefield books. As we read, he corrected us, explained background and abbreviations to us…and of course, we all shared moments of raucous laughter as I read Kipling’s, “The Female of the Species” and again later as Dad recited Masefield’s, “The Everlasting Mercy” from memory…and while under the influence of pain meds, mind you! And we laughed together on and off for hours…

We Laughed and We Learned right up to the very end. 

I am by no means trying to say that losing Dad was easy – it was not. Statements like, “This is just a big ol’ bowl of SUCK”, and, “Well, shit.”, came out of my mouth on multiple occasions this past week. It struck me that because of my middle name, he had always called me, ‘Little Orphan Annie’…and now…Well, shit. I really am an orphan and it really is a big ol’ bowl of suck. 

Fortunately for me (for all of the family), the way Dad chose to accept his death; the manner in which he set his Death Table for us was extraordinary. He set his life open for all of us to appreciate and feast from throughout the last months. He sat for long recording sessions, he visited with us endlessly. He stayed very much Alive and Living throughout his time of dying. Hell, we’d just taken him fishing at the beginning of October! He stayed present, open and honest with us every step of the way. He Lived in the Here & Now right up until he closed his eyes for the last time. He did not want to die, no two ways about it. However, seeing as how he was going to die no matter what he personally wanted, he damn well made the very best of it. Yes, he made the best of his own death & dying.

And because his attitude was what it was, because he was willing to participate in making the best of his own death, it makes it much easier for me to make the best of it as well. When I crack open the mental card catalog drawer labeled, “Dad’s Death” the first thing that hits me is the sound of his laughter on the night before he died. The laughter promptly gives way to the rather bawdy song lyrics he was delighting in making up for us. I have other ‘Death Drawers’ in my head…my mother’s, my grandpa’s…those drawers are usually triple-chained, double padlocked, splashed with Warning! stickers and rarely opened without dread for what will spill out. Not Dad’s drawer. I’ve cracked that sucker open 100 times already and each time I do, I feel uplifted, blessed… ~In Gratitude~ …for having been privileged enough to walk his Death-Path alongside him. He set a pretty high standard and bar to live up to in life…and unsurprisingly, he set the same level of standard for how to truly die a dignified and joyful death.

As I said to a friend the other day, “When I grow up, I wanna die like my Dad!”

I cannot imagine a better way to go than by leaving a legacy such as his. Grief is just like everything else; it is what you make of it. I plan on following his lead by making sure each and every day is filled with memories of his lessons and his humor…And I will hold to his example of never being crushed by life and death, but by embracing both with equal doses of acceptance and joy. The price of loving him was losing him. There is no more perfect way for things to be so why on earth would I ever want to shed and spread tears when he taught me to be grateful…and to always, always spend my life either laughing or learning…

The Day The Music – And My Dad – Died

Originally posted on With Dignity:

My father passed away at 10:15 this morning, October 28th. He was at home, comfortable, singing, reciting poetry, laughing and teasing us all the way out the door. He was surrounded by all of his loved ones and he died on his own terms, in his own way. It was truly a Dignified Death…just as he wished it to be.

And today…Well, for me…this is The Day The Music Died.

So here’s to you, Dad…one last song for the road…

A short clip of Dad & I at our last family party this past Sunday. I got to sing with Dad one last time…and I will be forever grateful.

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A Death With Dignity…Why I Care

Originally posted on With Dignity:

Those readers who know me from the MisBehavedWoman blog might remember that I decided to break from blogging to pursue other artistic interests. Here I am, less than 3 months later, already back in the blogosphere…so what gives? To answer a private message from a blogger-buddy, no, I did not get bored. I didn’t feel overly *lost* or disconnected…quite the opposite, actually. I was cruising along, working in our little garden, taking time to soak up sun & water in the pool and yes, I was painting and creating like a madwoman…or maybe just like someone trying to learn a new craft. Either way, life was chill and I thought my no-mas-blogging decision was final and right.

And then…and then and then and then…

My dad phoned me one afternoon a couple of weeks ago. While he’s had several months of relatively good health since his Mesothelioma diagnosis last year, he’s beginning…

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Famous Last Words

Anyone that would like to keep in touch is free to drop me a line at misbehavedwoman@gmail.com or, if you’re on FB, you can find my personal account here. I’m scaling back my online life all the way around but can’t see myself just up and disconnecting from everything so I will still be around…I just won’t be making new posts or promoting/updating this blog anymore.

~♪~

Nothing left for a dreamer now, only one final serenade…

And these are the last words I have to say
Before another age goes by
With all those other songs I’ll have to play
But that’s the story of my life

And it’s so clear standing here where I am
Ain’t that what justice is for?
Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn anymore…

~♪~

A millions thanks to everyone for making my time here such a wonderful, educational, uplifting and enlightening experience.

Peace, Blessings, Best Wishes and Love to All ~ Rebecca

!AaP1160152

Ntimubimbaze

~♫~♪~♫~♥~♫~♪~♫~

Just  a fun little tune as we head into the weekend.

Get your groove on & have a great one! 

~Reb

~♫~♪~♫~♥~♫~♪~♫~

A Letter From Ray Jasper, Who Is About to Be Executed

Originally posted on Moorbey'z Blog:

A Letter From Ray Jasper, Who Is About to Be Executed

Texas death row inmate Ray Jasper is scheduled to be put to death on March 19. He has written us a letter that, he acknowledges, “could be my final statement on earth.” It is well worth your time.

Ray Jasper was convicted of participating in the 1998 robbery and murder of recording studio owner David Alejandro. A teenager at the time of the crime, Jasper was sentenced to death. He wrote to us once before, as part of our Letters from Death Row series. That letter was remarkable for its calmness, clarity, and insight into life as a prisoner who will never see freedom. We wrote back and invited him to share any other thoughts he might have. Today, we received the letter below. Everyone should read it.

A Letter From Ray Jasper, Who Is About to Be ExecutedSExpand

Mr. Nolan,

When I first responded to you, I didn’t think that it would cause people to reach out to…

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Ukraine’s Top Scientists Turn to Academic Unity in Call for Peace

SA – “The National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine this week posted a letter asking for peace and Russian restraint and for support from the worldwide academic community…

“Now all of us have to unite and by [joining] efforts prevent further aggravation of the social and political situation, bloodshed and a split of the country. All Ukrainian scientists, all our fellow citizens—whether they live in the North or South, East or West—are to stay together for accomplishing the goal of the whole Ukrainian nation—to live in the country where the peace dominates, where rights and freedoms of every person are respected,” the letter said, asking the Russian people not to permit the use of arms.

“At this crucial moment of our country’s history we call on [the] worldwide academic community to take all the necessary efforts to preserve peace and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” the letter added.

Read Letter In Full Here On Scientific American

FOLI

Life has a rhythm, it’s constantly moving.
The word for rhythm ( used by the Malinke tribes ) is FOLI.
It is a word that encompasses so much more than drumming, dancing or sound.
It’s found in every part of daily life.
In this film you not only hear and feel rhythm but you see it.
It’s an extraordinary blend of image and sound that
feeds the senses and reminds us all
how essential it is…

Courage To Grow

This is a song for those
Who lost their hope
A long a long time ago
I know someday that you will find it somehow
Because you’re not too old
To accomplish goals
And all the answers are within your soul
It’s up to you, you gotta figure it out
Uh huh

Whether you want love or money
Good fortune or fame
You want a brand new card
You want the world to change
You better take some action right now, oh yes
Because there’s nothing in the world that you can’t get
So don’t fill your life with confusion and regret
You better take some chances right now

Well you can gain the world
But for the price of your soul
Yes I know, well I know, yes I know
You can gain the world for the price of your soul
But I hope you take the road less traveled
And I hope you find the courage to grow
Well I hope you find the courage to grow…

So now you’re 45
And you realize
Just what you wanna do with your life
Just took some time for you to figure it out
Cause everyone one of us
Has a purpose here
Sometimes it’s hidden underneath your fear
Just takes some time for the truth to come out

So whether you want love or money
Good fortune or fame
You want a brand new card
You want the world to change
You better take some action right now, oh yes
Because there’s nothing in the world that you can’t get
So don’t fill your life with confusion and regret
You better take some chances right now

Well you can gain the world
But for the price of your soul
Yes I know, well I know, yes I know
You can gain the world for the price of your soul
But I hope you take the road less traveled
And I hope you find the courage to grow
Well I hope you find the courage to grow…

Health Boundaries

Health Boundaries – “Did barbed wire ever tear into you? Health boundaries are worse. Health boundaries can permanently impair and range from misdiagnoses to stress. Luckily our fingernails reflect our health and show us warning signs.

When you look at the Health Boundaries Bite picture you see planted hills and a barbed wire fence. The barbed wire “health boundary” is a small part of the picture, but a health boundary can dominate. For instance, a prescription drug may keep us from pain, but also addict or do other unforeseen damage. 

For many of us stress dominates. Unemployment, foreclosure, loss of love ~~ we feel the affect on our health, on our nerves.

Not just our nerves, of course. Many of us associate stress w/ stomach ulcers. What isn’t commonly known is that many stomach ulcers are caused by h.pylori, a bacteria that thrives when our stomachs aren’t working properly, often due to stress.

Because h.pylori reduces stomach acid production it is associated with malabsorption of nutrients, like vitamin B12 and magnesium. Both need stomach acid for release from food.

As digestion problems emerge we may begin taking antacids. This can cause hypochlorhydria, (low stomach acid levels), often below what’s needed to get any vitamin B12 or magnesium from our food.

So, here we are thinking we have stomach problems, without realizing that our stomachs are vitally connected to our nerves and the amount of vitamin B12 they get. Insufficient B12 leads to nerve damage resulting in pain, balance problems, loss of memory, mood disorders and other health issues.

My site focuses on improving health through awareness of the vital link between vitamin B12 and the health of our nerves and blood. Below are illustrations of some of the pages on my site about how to regain the unlimited, boundless health you were meant to have.”

Full Article on Health Boundaries

Dear World…Peace

Dear Peoples of The World,

The government of the United States does not represent the majority of Americans. To the citizens of Ukraine (and all others damaged by US foreign policy)…We, The People, wish you no harm and I sincerely apologize for the chaos our government interference has caused in your lives…

worldpeas

Related -

US-Directed Regime Change In The Ukraine Guaranteed To Inflame Russia Fury

US-instigated protests destabilizing Ukraine

Colorado Prison Director To Reform Solitary Confinement After Enduring It Himself

Originally posted on A Solitary Torture:

First thing you notice is that it’s anything but quiet. You’re immersed in a drone of garbled noise – other inmates’ blaring TVs, distant conversations, shouted arguments,” he wrote. “I couldn’t make any sense of it, and was left feeling twitchy and paranoid. I kept waiting for the lights to turn off, to signal the end of the day. But the lights did not go off. I began to count the small holes carved in the walls. Tiny grooves made by inmates who’d chipped away at the cell as the cell chipped away at them.”

The Free Thought Project- “Colorado prison inmates who have spent time in solitary confinement should prepare to see their conditions change after the new executive director of the state’s department of corrections said spending 20 hours in isolation has inspired him to reform it.

Rick Raemisch announced his intentions in an…

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Leaking New Mexico Nuclear WIPP Waste Site And Bananas

New Mexico’s Nuclear Waste Pilot Site Releasing Massive Amounts of Banana’s According to Dr. John Nail, at Oklahoma City University.

A Green Road Project – “News channel 4 posted a story called : Could a leak at New Mexico’s nuclear waste site reach the Sooner State? 

They interview Dr. John Nail, at Oklahoma City University chemist. Surely the Oklahoma City University site must have one nuclear professor there that knows what they are talking about.

Why did Ed Doney from KFOR news-channel 4 seek out a chemistry professor named Dr. John Nail, at Oklahoma City University, and why did Dr. Nail demonize and hammer on bananas with a fabricated statement that most people will get more radiation exposure from eating bananas than they ever will from this New Mexico nuclear dump site leak and plume of man made plutonium radiation?

If KFOR news-channel 4 Ed ass Doney bothered to fact check he would know that bananas are not a byproduct of nuclear enrichment. Bananas are not a man made radioactive element —so bananas are a really stupid way to explain radiation exposure, radiation leaks and even nuclear plant melt downs, but that is what they try to do, every time.

If you eat a banana with 12 bq a second decay of potassium 40 in it you off gas or get rid of the exact same amount of potassium 40. Potassium in a banana does not build up in the body, cause cancer or heart attacks as man made radioactive elements like cesium, plutonium, tritium, uranium, and strontium do.

Trying to compare internal radiation exposure from hot particles of plutonium to eating bananas is like trying to compare the moon with cheese you eat. They have almost NOTHING to do with each other.

Meanwhile, the fire is claimed to be from a salt truck, and the radioactive leak that happened several days later, is claimed by them to be completely separate from the truck fire. The only problem is that two different news agencies confirmed that the DOE covered up the radiation release for at least five days. What are they covering up in those five days, or more?

Why would anyone trust anything that the DOE says, after they refuse to warn anyone downwind of a plutonium plume for FIVE DAYS? Of course, this is nothing new either, because no matter how big the nuclear disaster, it is ALWAYS covered up at first, and only when they cannot hide it any more, do they talk about something really minor, nothing to worry about.. Months or years later, the truth starts coming out.. This one looks like it is right on track, with all of the others.”

More info about this?

Radioactive Plutonium Plume Coming Out of New Mexico’s WIPP — Geological Nuclear Radioactive Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

John Butler Trio: Revolution

~♫~ So tell me family now what do you think? 
Watch it all go in the great big sink. 
Watch how the scum it rises to the top. 
Don’t you wonder when it’s all gonna stop? 
Sometimes I wonder how we do sleep, 
serving the dodgy companies we keep. 
All kicking and scrounging for the very first place – dictionary definition of a rat race. 
Pay off those losers we elect to lead, 
stealing from the mouths that we’re meant to feed. Enslaving the very clothes upon my back, 
I feel the sting but I hear no crack, no crack,
I’m saying 

Running through the fire, running through the flame, running through the hatred, pushing through the blame, running through the hopelessness and shame, 
revolution already underway…

Big Heavy Pirates man digging those holes, 
messing with something that they can’t control. Trespassing lands where they don’t belong, 
all I hear is screaming where there once were songs. 
I got my brothers they’re fighting those wars, 
fighting over scraps and scraping their sores. 
Under a blanket of a fire and pride that can’t keep us warm for the cold inside, inside,
I’m saying 

So tell me when you think we’re gonna rise? 
Wake from this slumber wipe the tears from our eyes? Yes from this nightmare yes I must now wake, 
open my fist my destiny I take! 
Good people sick and tired of being pushed around, 
we call them kings but I see no crown. 
Tell me when you think we’ll just stand up? 
Saying enough is enough is enough, enough,
I’m saying

 Take back your feet, take back your hands, 
take back your words, take back your land. 
Take back your heart, take back your pride, 
don’t got to run, don’t got to hide.

♫~ Revolution! ~♫