Tag Archives: honesty


Honesty-4I start my vacation on Monday and as usual, I am analyzing this to the last nucleotide…it’s my way. I am anticipating this vacation as if I were back in 3rd grade at the school year’s end. It made me think. Why was I so excited for the upcoming 2 weeks? I’ve had vacation before. Over 30 years’ worth of vacations from work but this one harkens back to childhood for enthusiastic anticipation.

The truth is painful. Truth usually is. The truth, the bare bones honesty? This will be the first vacation in over 5 years that will not be fraught with worry. Vacation came, over the past half-decade, and we would go away, usually camping. The time was shadowed by worry for my parents. My father was very ill; he had leukemia and blood transfusions were causing him illness. His organs were suffering. He was in constant pain. Then Daddy passed away and Mom was alone. She grieved and she grieved heavily. She was also unwell. COPD, blood issues and she was unstable on her feet, prone to bouts of unexpected dizziness. The house was too big and too dangerous for her. She came to live with us and I worried. I worried when I was at work. I worried when I went shopping and when vacation came around, we stayed home. Except for last year, Mom went to visit her brother in another city and we went camping. I worried. She was in good hands but I worried none the less.

That’s the ticket. I have no one to worry over this year. It is a harsh, life reality. My parents are gone. They aren’t coming back and are now beyond worry. What a horrible thing – to be relieved that there is no more of this kind of all-encompassing worry. It is frank honesty and an honesty with which I am not, at all, comfortable.

I’ll find myself thinking something is wrong and when I look within? I realize, that the gut pinching nervous-worry thing is gone. This is what it feels like to be relaxed. Mom knew, all along. She kept telling me to stop worrying, even if we were just watching television together. She would tell me to stop worrying about her. I didn’t see it or feel it but it was there. I guess it showed.

I find myself going for a walk with the dog and not constantly running over medications in my mind or ways to ensure medications were taken. I am not running over the design of the house, wondering how to make it safer. I am not running through the week and reviewing doctors’ appointments, blood tests and hospital visits in my mind. I’m not wondering how to find nutritious and appealing foods. I’m not worried about absentmindedness and pots on the burner. Future potentials of constant medical care.

And it is all a bit too much, this lack of worry. I would give up this relaxed state of mind, for all the worry, if I could have them back. Oh, I’ll work this all out. I’ll deal with the grief, the loss and this strange sense of relaxation. It has only been 2 ½ months since Mom passed away. It will be assimilated into life experience. The pain will ease and I’ll be able to accept the lack of over-active brain function but it’s tough going for now.

How bizarre is this! To question not being anxious. To analyze relaxation? I can see Mom’s face now, shaking her head and rolling her eyes at me. I’ll get it, Mom. I will. It will just take me a bit of time.

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Billy Ray Harris

billy ray harrisMeet Billy Ray Harris, a homeless man who returned an engagement ring worth thousands after a woman accidentally dropped it into his change cup. The owner of the ring was Sarah Darling. Ms. Darling and her fiancée set up a fundraising page to thank him. With the $180,000 raised from public donations, Mr. Harris has been able to buy a house and get a job.

I am, and I freely admit it, a total cynic when it comes to human behaviour but this? This gives me some hope for our future as a viable addition to the universe, at large.

Now for a public service message: I don’t like the registered charities, I don’t like the various research donation corporations. I don’t like them, I don’t trust them and I would rather give $20 to a homeless guy on Montreal’s streets than give it to “registered” charities/fundraisers. I’ve seen the salaries paid to the higher management staff of these endeavors.

My late, great father-in-law had it right; he would put aside money during the year and through a charity, obtain the name of a family in need. Come the holidays, he would go out and buy food, clothing, toys (when appropriate) and anything else a family or less fortunate person would require. No administrators driving expensive cars, no huge offices to furnish, no posh restaurant dinners, just one man doing what we could all do to help, without operating costs, administrator salaries and perks.

A local pet supply store provides free food/supplies to people who have found themselves in financial need and have companion animals. No big hoo-ha, no huge fundraising dinners with the glitterati, just one small business doing what it can to help out.

This is the most effective bang for your charity buck. Do it on your own. Keep away from the money munching big charities. The needs are out there, find someone or something that would be best served by your buck. If we all do our part, big charities and their huge salaries would find themselves accountable for the misuse and abuse of public money.

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