wsdante: (Default)
I know.
I haven't posted properly for weeks.

It's been busy.

I noticed the Writers Block topic about which animal best represents your 'inner spirit' and the first creature that leapt (figuratively) into my head was sloth.

The M.E. beasty clinging to my back must have put on a lot of weight over Yule as I've been going through a very 'schlumpy' period, energy-wise.

As for news, it's coming up to the anniversary of Dad dying (22nd Feb)and I've arranged to head up to see Mum from 21st-24th. She's still in hospital after her fall in December, bless her, but I thought I should be around in the flesh, so to speak.

It's also an opportunity to see The Mouser, which is always a major bonus.
wsdante: (Dumb)

So, wassup with me?

Went with C and Nats to see Chuckle-Bunny in her school production of The Wriggly Nativity.Fantastic! Crowded & Uncomfortable on the tiny benches but bloody fantastic, nonetheless. She stood there and delivered her lines calmly and clearly and did not 'blench' one bit. Bless her cotton socks. The camels we hilarious, too.

The Mouser is coming down today, so really looking forward to that. I so miss my lad when we're apart. With luck, we'll get him for gaming tomorrow eve.

Had a doc's appointment yesterday which resulted in me being booked in for more blood-taking. Looking at the sheet, it could be a good couple of arms-full this time. On top of that, got new pills to take. I'm so crap at taking pills, but these have the days of the week on the blister packs and I only require one per day, so even I should manage that.

Took the first last night and, oh boy, VERY weird effects. Felt like my skin had been taken off, put in the fridge for a couple of hours and put back on again. Cold but very shudderingly touch-sensitive, (Not in any pleasant way, tho'). That, and a bit of motion sickness, had me in bed by about 8pm. Mercifully, I don't remember my head hitting the pillow and got a lie in (by recent standards) till nearly 5am.
Touch wood, these are just initial wearing-in effects and things should level out in a couple of days.

Update: Second tab today. A bit spaced out, but nowhere near as bad as last night. *phew!

wsdante: (Default)

I could do a long post detailing the long and revealing chat I had with Mum but the revelations were more final confirmations than anything else. These being:

Yes, it seems that the family consensus is that I fired up Dad's cancer by daring to stand up to him.

No, his apology wasn't genuine – he just didn't want to continue discussing the subject.

I had to take some time to work out how I really felt about that.






Not really. Maybe.

Anger is pointless at this stage and I've been through Bitter and out the other side - also pointless, now.

A little sad, perhaps.

Sad at the waste of otherwise 'ok' human beings if they could only take time for some honest self-reflection.

Frustration comes from failure to achieve the unachievable. So, not frustration, either.

I guess I'm just disappointed. But it's only the disappointment you get from having not achieved a goal that was unrealistic to start with – like a kid wanting to be Spiderman when he grows up.

Well, I grew up. I can deal with that.

On a side note, during a brief visit, Sibling #2 came out with some strikingly venomous, Daily-Mail-Reader diatribe about homosexuals and the abhorrent way they give each other bowel cancer - among other things. Apparently, an A&E nurse friend of his is appalled at having to treat the terrible damage they inflict on each other with their unnatural acts. And, worse still, the rules say that he/she must still 'affirm' (said with a sneer) their life-choices.
It's all because of this 'tolerance' and 'equality' nonsense infecting our society, apparently.

My lad and I were a little gobsmacked to be honest. We accept that Sib #2 makes Oliver Cromwell look like a namby-pamby liberal, but how does one even begin to address such an arrogant, judgmental and, let's face it, Prideful attitude?

I said I might have to check the extraordinary facts and figures he was quoting and we kind of agreed to disagree for now.

Pointless really. When it comes down to it, when has hard statistical evidence ever swayed such people from their 'righteous' indignation. After all, they're only following God's instructions, right?

On the up side, I got to spend time with 'me boy', which was great. We had some good and, I hope, helpful, chats about Life, The Universe, etc.

Despite the rest of it, I feel strangely fine. It's not like I didn't know the family creed anyway. In a way, it's a liberating thing.

Mum said at one point that I sounded so bitter. I replied that I had felt extremely bitter in the past, and with very good reason, but now I feel vindicated and, with that comes the freedom to let go of all the crap I'll never be able to change and just get on with my own life.

wsdante: (Default)
Heading up to see mum today. I'll get to spend a day with my son, too, while I'm there.

I still get twitchy at the prospect of entering the family homeland, though. There's always the chance of family politics rearing its ugly head. 

I'm going to visit mum because I want/choose to spend time with her. My own set of values also tell me that checking in on my mum is the right thing to do.
To say that I'm visiting so as to check that she's ok and see if there is anything I can help with is true to an extent, except that she has two other sons (and their partners) in the neighbourhood who, I'm sure, take care of the practical things more easily than I can from 350 miles away.

Maybe that's the thing.

Maybe it's also that there's a good chance that I'll find myself having to do the superficial 'social' thing with my siblings. I really don't have anything to say to them anymore - nor they to me. Yet, for mum's sake, I suppose we play the 'we're all family together' game in front of her. But I'm not interested in their news anymore than they are interested in mine.

I get to see my lad, though. On balance, that, alone, makes the trip worth it.


Oct. 18th, 2009 02:37 pm
wsdante: (Default)
Last few posts are just a 'blart' to get some thoughts and notes into one place. The topic re-emerged recently with a friend and I promised to put some stuff up for them to check out if they felt like it.

This isn't by any means all the material from over a year ago now, but, like I said, I just needed to 'blart'. I may post more up at a later date.

(Whatever 'blart' means... :o)
wsdante: (Default)

2004 Childrens Act) which took effect in early January which limits this form of punishment to mild smacking, but any hitting or smacking which results in lasting bruises, cuts, scratches, or
swellings can now face up to 5 years in jail for child abuse.

From 2004 Childrens Act:

58 Reasonable punishment (1) In relation to any offence specified in subsection (2), battery of a child cannot be justified on the ground that it constituted reasonable punishment.
(2) The offences referred to in subsection (1) are—
(a) an offence under section 18 or 20 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 (c. 100) (wounding and causing grievous bodily harm);
(b) an offence under section 47 of that Act (assault occasioning actual bodily harm);
(c) an offence under section 1 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 (c. 12) (cruelty to persons under 16).
(3) Battery of a child causing actual bodily harm to the child cannot be justified in any civil proceedings on the ground that it constituted reasonable punishment.
(4) For the purposes of subsection (3) “actual bodily harm” has the same meaning as it has for the purposes of section 47 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861.

Published: 2005/01/15 17:23:17 GMT

New smacking law comes into force

Parents in England and Wales who smack children so hard it leaves a mark will face up to five years in jail under new laws in force from Saturday.
Mild smacking is allowed under a "reasonable chastisement" defence against common assault.

But any punishment which causes visible bruising, grazes, scratches, minor swellings or cuts can face action.

The law is flawed and there should be a total ban on smacking, according to child protection charity the NSPCC.

It said the new law will only confuse parents and leave children still at risk of abuse.

" It should be as wrong to hit a child as an adult"
Mary Marsh

NSPCC boss Mary Marsh said: "There is a risk parents may choose to hit children on parts of their body where injury is less visible, such as the head, which can cause serious harm.

"Defining acceptable ways to hit children should become a thing of the past.

"It should be just as wrong to hit a child as it is to hit an adult."

The measures were passed in the Children Act last November, when the government suffered a rebellion by 47 Labour MPs who wanted a total ban on smacking.

A similar law is already in operation in Scotland.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Education and Skills said the new laws were a "common sense" decision to balance child protection with parents' autonomy.

She added: "Abuse is abuse and should be prosecuted. We are not going to tolerate criminal violence against children."

Supporters of smacking say it is an essential part of parents being able to discipline their children.

The head teacher of the Christian Fellowship School in Liverpool, Phil Williamson, said the new rules would be impossible to police.

"The law doesn't say how big the mark has to be, how long the mark has to last for.

"It also ignores totally black children who don't mark and don't go red. It's just a ridiculous law," he said.


On 15 June 2007, the Government launched a narrowly-focused consultation to review the "practical consequences" of the current law allowing parents and others to justify common assault of children as "reasonable punishment" (section 58 of the Children Act 2004).

The practical consequences of section 58 are clear: parental confusion, professional uncertainty, legal ambiguity and policy inconsistency.

However, most importantly, section 58 is unjust and fails to satisfy human rights obligations under United Nations and European agreements.

The Alliance is disappointed that these human rights and equality considerations are not centre-stage in the Government’s review, but will continue to press this principled case in the review process and all other arenas.

Sir William Utting, spokesperson for the Alliance, said: "We do not need a review of the current law to know that it is unjust and unequal. However, we welcome any opportunity to show that the UK should satisfy human rights obligations by modernising the law on assault to give children the same protection as adults."

Colette Marshall, UK Director of Save the Children, said: "Hitting children, like hitting anyone else, is unacceptable. Save the Children welcomes the opportunity for the UK government to meet its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child by modernising this law."


Coping with Post-Trauma Stress
by Frank Parkinson
ISBN 0-85969-843-2

Assertiveness, Step by Step
by Dr Windy Dryden & Daniel Constantinou
ISBN 0-85969-925-0

How to be a Great Dad
by Ian Bruce
ISBN 0-572-03134-3

Difficult Conversations
by Anne Dickson
ISBN 0-7499-2675-9

Toxic Parents
Dr Susan Forward
ISBN 0-553-05700-6


Oct. 18th, 2009 02:31 pm
wsdante: (Default)

"So many people toss the word "love" around without the slightest idea of what it means or how it's supposed to feel. Love is behavior. It's the way you treat someone and nourish their emotional and spiritual well being. Loving behavior doesn't grind you down, keep you off-balance or diminish your confidence and dignity. When someone truly loves you feel accepted, cared for, valued and respected. You feel safe."

(Dr Susan Forward Ph.D)
wsdante: (Default)
I wish I could see the stars as poets do,
But I see indifferent chemical reactions.
My father claims he created me,
Yet, in the same breath, denies it.
wsdante: (Default)

There was once a hard working carpenter who had four sons. The eldest was bright and clever and wished to expand his horizons through Further Education. This pleased the carpenter very much and, as his beloved first son prepared to leave, he came to his son and said, "You make me so proud. Take this prime timber and the best tools from my shed and build yourself a cart that you can travel faster and in greater safety as you make your way in the world."

And so, well equipped and supplied, the eldest son travelled far and learned many Facts, eventually making a Fairly Good Life for Himself in Foreign Parts Thank you Very Much.

The second son was more introspective and often baffled and frustrated the carpenter by Questioning Established Thinking. Occasionally, the poor carpenter was forced to beat him just to stop him being so uncertain about things. Eventually, this son decided that he wished to continue his apprenticeship with a neighbouring carpenter whose Philosophies Matched His Own. Although disappointed, the carpenter finally realised that there was no dissuading him and sent him on his way saying, "You'll probably not need this, but here is some passable lumber from the store shed that you can take with you and please take what tools you need from what your older brother left behind to get you started."

And so, the second son made his way to the neighbouring village and, after some setbacks, did passably well for himself (despite some minor health issues).

The third son was more Challenging than even the second son. Although very bright, he expressed very little interest in carpentry, especially considering the third-rate quality of the timber left in the store shed. His restless spirit yearned to experience the Good and Bad in the World Outside. Discouraged and Disappointed, the carpenter was impelled to beat him regularly to Keep Him On The Right Path. But this, strangely, seemed only to encourage the third son's Negative Behaviour.

Unfortunately, the saddened carpenter didn't know what else he could do.

When the time came for the third son to make his way into the world, all he found was a Message nailed to the tool shed door. It read: "Son, you are almost as intelligent as your oldest brother and know more of the Good and Bad in the World Outside than my second son (...mostly, I fear, through Direct Experience). I've tried to beat you back onto the Right Path, but you have still Disappointed Us All. I really don't know where You Went Wrong. However, Let It Not Be Said that I didn't give my offspring the same opportunities. Take these tools and make your way in the world."

The third son took up the blunt saw and the loose-headed hammer he had been bequeathed and, with a resigned shrug and a brief hopeful backward glance, he wandered off.

Fortunately, by the time the fourth son came to age, the carpenter (having now fewer expenses) had restocked his timber and tools. The carpenter had also grown more mellow as time had passed. Once in a while his Conscience would try to get his attention about something or other, (but his Pride soon sorted that nonsense out).

Nevertheless, the youngest son came to know a gentler, more thoughtful and generous father than certain of his siblings had. Indeed, the carpenter did his best to ensure that his remaining son did not want for Love and Support. Suffice to say, he never strayed far from home for long.

So, time passed. The eldest son, continued to do well for himself and would, every so often, grace his Family Home with the honour of a quick visit. The carpenter would clasp his clever and noble son to his breast and they would discuss serious matters together in a manly and knowledgeable fashion until the early hours.

The Second son conducted a quiet and humdrum existence in the neighbouring village and tried not to involve himself too much. He spent his time immersed in his own particular brand of carpentry so that the outside world couldn't intrude too much.

The third son didn't have such a great time of things. With the inadequate tools at his disposal, he made rather a hash of things. A number of times, he returned to his father and bemoaned the sorry tool kit he had been given. His father would frown and, tutting at the lack of gratitude from his son (It's not like his other sons caused him so much inconvenience), would hand over another blunt saw blade and some string to hold the hammer together.

The third son began to feel that perhaps he had had a rather poor deal overall, but felt reluctant to say anything to his family. His siblings obviously had been brought up by the same man and they were Doing Fine For Themselves weren't they?. Hadn't his father always helped him when his tools broke? He felt Guilty for being so Ungrateful and Saddened that he was such a Burden to Them All.

He resolved to be less of a Burden and tried his best to fashion his own tools. With a little advice here and some trial and error there, he began to do a little better.

However, around his father and brothers, he felt like he had let them all down for having made such a hash of things.

"Oh look," his brothers would say to each other, "Here he comes again probably expecting father to fix his tools for him. So typical. You don't see us bothering father with things like that."

But the third son would sometimes overhear and feel worse than ever - even though he tried hard to rely on his own hard won tool kit now. He realised that the family would always view him as the complaining one who never took responsibility for his tools.

Once or twice he got up the courage to voice his feelings but they didn't seem to want to understand. Once or twice he stormed off intending never to return but soon found out just how inadequate his cobbled-together tool kit was. He would return, shame-faced to the shaking heads and the sighs of his family. And so, in a subdued fashion, he would try to fit in again.

It is the way of things, that it takes only one small, and seemingly everyday thing, to cause catastrophic effects (this is especially true of camels for some reason). The third son had mistakenly exercised his right to something which ended up upsetting one of his brothers. For the purposes of this tale, it actually doesn't matter what it was. The carpenter berated the third son for hurting his brother's feelings and told the third son that he was tactless and insensitive.

The third son became angry and finally determined to raise his Concerns with his father and made it known that that was what he would do.

Well, almost immediately, the greatest furore erupted. His audacity astounded them all and the family turned on the third son berating him for his insensitivity, his malice, his ingratitude, his troublemaking and, well, just about anything else they thought might fit.


The third son was deeply saddened by the response - but hardly surprised. Nevertheless, he said what he had to say to his father. He had hoped for so many years that things would improve by themselves one day. He realised his folly.

It would be nice to finish this tale by saying that everyone realised the error of their ways and they all had a group hug and lived happily ever after but, well, that sort of the thing only happens in the more saccharin-laden animated movies, doesn't it. The truth is, people don't want their well-rationalised world to be challenged by inconvenient truths, especially when they are spouted by envious minorities, do they, children?

In reality, the third son realised fairly quickly the way the wind was blowing, sadly gave up on any further vain hope and left for good to do the best he could with his cobbled together tool-kit. This time he didn't look back. As time passed, he made good enough tools of his own and finally cast aside the old inferior ones.

The rest of the family, sighing, tutting and shaking their heads at the third son's folly, went back to their normal lives with minimum fuss. Occasionally, when the topic arose, one of them would mutter, "Ah, well, He's the one who walked away from his family, wasn't he? It's not like it's the first time he's gone off in a strop is it?. He'll be back with his tail between his legs, you'll see. Ungrateful bugger.

The old carpenter would nod silently as he watched the embers dying in the grate.


The End


wsdante: (Default)
The M.E. fairy has been visiting a lot recently. Not just visiting but practically kicking the front door in and laying into me with a riot stick and a taser. Hence a recent decline in my usual bon vivacity; my all's-well-with-the-world 'happy-go-lucky-ness'.

I'm not someone who is prone to a great deal of profound introspection.
Actually, that's not entirely true. To be more precise: I'm not one to admit to indulging in a great deal of profound introspection. Shallow introspection, yes. But I avoid the profound stuff. Truth be told, and after some tentative and, maybe, ankle-deep pondering, I think I am slightly worried about what I might find down there in the bowels of my soul (my apologies for that image, btw).

I've done one or two pretty appalling things in my life. I've been a nasty piece of work and been driven by some questionable motives at times. On a number of occasions, I've been downright despicable and displayed an alarming lack of self-control. I'm not kidding. 
This may come as a shock to some but, even now, I can still be impulsive, lazy, self-serving, reckless, spiteful, curmudgeonly and bloody intolerant. (If I've missed anything, please feel free to add).
(Reading that back, it seems a little tongue in cheek, but I am actually trying to be brutally honest about myself).

Almost from birth, we learn from our environment. We take cues from the significant people around us and significant experiences in our lives and from these cues we formulate a set of personal rules. These rules govern how we think and act. With time and enough reinforcement, these rules become hardwired into that part of us that governs our behaviour.

ie. If I do x, then y is likely to occur; if I do z, then y won't occur, which is a more comfortable/beneficial outcome for me. Therefore, when presented with an x or z choice, I'm going to go for z in future.
I know this is a great oversimplification of a complex process but, it captures the basics, I think.

Now I've forgotten where I was going with this... Introspection. That was it.

One of my 'rules' is that focussing on yourself is wrong. It is selfish to think of your own needs when there are so many others who far worse off that you and whose needs are greater than your own petty concerns. Another is that x = expressing my upset/anger, y = getting 'A Good Hiding' and z = Erosion of self-worth, but a less violent immediate future.

Once set down, these rules are hard to change and, naturally, inform our adult dealings with the world.

Even writing this now, I feel an unease because the family I was raised in would accuse me of using 'pop-psychology' to indulge in self-pity and trying to blame others for my 'problems'.

Then, sometimes, the rules kick in and part of me feels they are right. I feel ashamed for focussing on my painful upbringing and the interpersonal dynamics of it when I should really be apologising for being such a 'problem' child and giving them so much grief.

One or two readers might remember all this stuff from a year or two ago when I finally got up the courage to challenge The Family Creed. Shortly after that, my father was diagnosed with cancer and died just over a year later. I know certain members of the family want (need?) to link my 'rebellion' to dad's illness. In a letter, my dad even managed a subtle side-swipe to that effect. He mentioned that the many stresses of the year preceding his diagnosis were bound to lower his immune responses, after all.

My rules are such that, faced with a verbal argument, I tend to clam up and seethe rather than respond. The rules tell me that fighting my corner leads to far more painful consequences than just shutting up and taking the blows. I can always compose a cutting response later, yes?

I've shot off on a strange and uncomfortable tangent here. I think I'll take a break and maybe carry on with this later.








wsdante: (Default)

I feel I should have made an entry on the day but it's slipped by now.

F Day was 'different' this year - the obvious reason, naturally, has some bearing on it.

J & D were v sweet and generous and my suggestion of finally purchasing a sat nav was accepted happily as a jointly useful gift by my beautiful spouse-unit.
Had Nat over for dinner and an overall jolly time was had.

Tried to ring Mum a couple of times and got no reply, (discovered later that she was out all day).

Throughout the day I must have had a lot of 'Dad' stuff stewing and bubbling away in the subconscious and I became increasingly tetchy and irritable. Finally, I had enough of watching myself being snippy to everyone and took myself off and crashed out for a couple of hours.
I regained a bit of self control after that (not mention perspective) and the rest of the day went by quietly.

It's obvious that I still have a lot of Dad stuff to deal with - not to mention the associated family stuff.  I'm sure that, once I've sorted the Dad stuff the rest will be a walk in the park. 

Ho Hum.

wsdante: (Default)


Preparations for days like these are challenging, especially given the numbness that descends in the surreal atmosphere of the days immediately following the death of a loved one.
It is a blessing, I suppose, that there is such a daunting list of things to be done.
Well, we got here relatively smoothly, and the fact that it went so smoothly is, I think, a credit to dad's example to his family.
His sons, faced with an intimidating task, focussed instead on what was practical and important: saying our personal farewells to dad, arranging todays ceremonies and ensuring that mum was, and will continue to be, supported.


Unfortunately for me, the email obituary we composed between us now contains a number of the phrases I had originally planned to use today. Surely, though, in a life as rich and unceasingly industrious as dad's, there is a bottomless well of subject matter.


But, how do you write a eulogy? It's not as if, fates willing, we get to practice very regularly.

What do you mention? What do you omit?

How long do you monopolise the podium for..............................?


Given that eulogies are, by their nature, subjective, do all the sterling qualities or amusing anecdotes we cite have to be strictly accurate and verifiable? Indeed, does the government have a committee for 'Eulogical' Veracity yet?

...sorry, just checking for cameras...


Indeed, how appropriate are amusing anecdotes and jokes?


I recall, for instance, being, as any child would be, in awe of my dad's consummate skills as a handyman. I picture him even now, manfully rubbing down a second floor window frame, his ladder, in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work act of... 1874, was firmly planted on the somewhat damp and slightly algae covered flagstones of our backyard in New Longton. To this ten year old child, he was the very Michaelangelo of the Mortar; the Picasso of Putty, the Cezanne of Sanding Down.
I eventually pulled myself away and stepped indoors.
Shortly after, we were startled by the sound of aluminium clattering against unyielding york stone accompanied by a muted curse.
We rushed out to find that dad's modest Sistine Chapel had ungratefully rejected his scaffolding.
We found him sitting, for the most part, on the now horizontal, and neatly folded, ladder.

He had, we learned soon after, broken his leg in the fall, but with a strangely puzzled frown reminiscent of the best Clint Eastwood movies, he spat out the now empty filter of his Senator cigar, and growled “Anyone seen me glasses?”
He was one tough cookie, our dad.


The departure of ones we cared for will always give us pause for recollection and reflection not just on their lives but on how our own lives were affected by having crossed theirs.

I think I can say, without fear of contradiction, that for many of us here today, having this man's presence in our lives has, in one way or another, made us better people in our own.
He was, to me, a man with his own unwavering code of duty, courage, faith and personal values.

Dad, you never were much of a one for lie-ins but, along with the rewards your beliefs promise you, I wish you peace now and a well-deserved rest.


wsdante: (Default)

Fairly 'urgent' call from Bro #1 last Friday had me seeking car hire and organising my absence with Candia then heading up north to see dad on the Sunday.

I got there about 15.30hrs to be greeted by Bro #1 who suggested I 'brace myself'. Not to put too fine a point on it, dad was visibly - and audibly - in his last hours. I held his limp hand for a while and tried to see recognisable features in the gaunt face before me.  It was difficult, but I managed. I then kissed his brow and went to join the others.

I had hugs with mum and got up to speed with the list of things that needed doing/organising for mum then said farewell to #1 (who needed to catch his flight back to Deutschland). As I had just done nearly 6hrs driving, I went for a snooze while Bro #2 attended mum and dad.
Almost immediately - actually 45mins later - #2 woke me with the news that dad had only just passed away.

I went in to dad and sat for some time waiting to feel something. Beneath the numbness, there was something like relief. Relief that this once tough, vibrant, powerful presence in my life no longer had to endure the frustration at the increasing impotence brought about by the condition that slowly claimed him cell by cell.   

As I write this, there have still been no tears to speak of. I know I could make myself cry if I wanted to, but I think I want to be sure that I know what I'm crying for before I let them come.  

#4 was informed but didn't want to come over, preferring, I guess, to remember dad alive. 

The rest of the day consisted of phone calls and doctors and the rest. The regular nurses came over and laid dad out nicely - he even seemed to have a slight, but peaceful smile on his face when they had finished.

Mum was worried that people would think her wierd because she wanted to spend one more night by his side. #2 and I assured her that there was nothing wrong with that at all. The two of them had had barely a handful of nights apart in the 49 years they had been married. If it helped mum adjust, we would support it. Even the nurses agreed.

I picked up a chinese takeaway that evening and mum ate well. After #2 left, I saw mum to bed and went and crashed in the spare room.  
I slept v badly. At about 5.30, I gave up and made a start on the spreadsheet #4 had set up to list contact numbers of friends and relatives to be informed.
Mum slept in till 9am. I had to wake her up with a cuppa. I suppose it was the first night in quite a while that she hadn't ben woken to tend to dad.

I got back home on Wednesday. The remaining days up north were spent making myself useful with all the practical and necessary stuff. 
There are differences in religious standpoints between #4 and #3 which have 'problem' potential, but so far, preparations for the service and cremation on 6th March are going ok, I think. 

I have a 'slot' during the cremation service to say a few words and I think this might challenge my wordsmithing skill. I had a rough draft a few days ago but I poached off it to do the first draft of the obituary.

It might be good to start afresh anyway.

We'll see, I suppose.      


Sin Eater

Feb. 14th, 2009 12:36 am
wsdante: (Default)


What if I wasn't here?

The broad shadow I cast

By the light of your moral indignation

Hides a myriad of truths

You would have to face alone.


What would you all do then?

Would you seek another

Of your own number to carry your disdain?

I would carry it still,

Your elected sin eater.


Do you all need me so?

Are my sins magnified,

Unforgiven and paraded before me

To keep me in my place,

Or to elevate yourselves?


Yours, the moral high ground!

Rampart of select truths.

Armour, self righteous, gleams under your own sun.

Your shields, unmoving, hide

Your lonely, secret terror


What purpose defences?

The one you declare foe

Exists but to support your fragile world view.

The man behind the myth

Lives at peace with his kin


So, what of tomorrow?

Your hollow tribal creed

So carefully composed to deny your flaws

Rings in empty chapels

While the real world continues.


What is it you fear most?

The truth reflects both ways

Better to leave the heretic in the jail

Than face that which we loathe:

The accused with a mirror.

If... Only

Feb. 9th, 2009 06:32 pm
wsdante: (Default)

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

by Rudyard the Wise

Just returned from Southport last night, (where I have been since Thurs), to change cars, organise the next week with Candia, hug the kids and try to recoup some strength, physical and spiritual, before heading back up tomorrow.

Had Nat for company with me in the car there and back. I can't ever express how much I appreciated that. 

It has been a very difficult and exhausting few days, made no more endurable by the revelation that, despite (or perhaps because of) the resolution Dad and I had achieved over a year ago, I am still held in poor regard by my siblings. In fact, I seem to be viewed with even greater contempt than before although it is all carefully avoided as a subject in our day to day dealings.

Anyway, that nonesense can be dealt with at a better time, I think. It hurts, yes, but I've been hurt before and got over it.

Suffice it to say, I'm there to be of as much practical help to Mum & Dad as I can at this difficult time. The time for dealing with my siblings' issues might come later - if I even think it's worth the effort. 

Dad is now in his last days. He is morphined to the eyeballs and slips from moment to moment from sleep to hallucination to moments of lucidity. He is only on fluids and so weak that it is a great effort for him even to speak.

When I left yesterday, I took his hand and  told him I loved him and he looked at me for a moment and pulled me to him for a hug.

The hire car just arrived so, time to pack again. 




wsdante: (Default)

December 2011

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