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I Want to Live Until I Die

24 Sep

Death and dying.  I faced this particular bogeyman a long time ago; my medical condition didn’t give me any choice.  Not expected to live past the age of 30, I came to philosophical grips with the grim reaper before the age of 20 about what I believe happens after death.

Today it is far less likely that my medical condition is going to cause sudden death from asphyxiation, and I have begun to think about the act of dying itself.  One the one hand, you have fear mongers spreading unsubstantiated rumors about “death panels” that are likely to result from health care reform, and on the other hand, you have people like John Kitzhaber and the story of his parents, Annabel and Albert Kitzhaber, both of whom died peacefully at home.  Not, however, with assistance from Medicare.

Now Medicare would have happily coughed up big chunks of change for his parents to spend the last months or even years of their lives being pumped full of awful chemicals and being subjected to painful and humiliating tests in a cold, sterile (well, somewhat sterile) hospital run by (somewhat competent but surely overworked) nurses and physicians intent upon sustaining and extending their lives.  So they could do what?  Lay in their uncomfortable hospital beds alone at night, or watching vapid daytime television among strangers?  What about quality of life?

How do I want to die?

I, like the Kitzhabers, want to die at home, in my own bed, with my friends, family and dogs around me.  I’m sure the (somewhat sterile) hospital isn’t going to let my dogs sleep with me in my uncomfortable hospital bed as my (undesirable and to be avoided for as long as possible at any cost) death approaches.  And I want my health insurance to pay to have someone do the things for me that I might not be able to do, and to have someone to help guide my spirit through the veil to the Summerland, if I decide I need such a guide.  It will be a hell of a lot cheaper than Medicare’s current modus operandi, to say nothing of the escape from humiliating gowns that don’t close in the back, tortures like catheterization and intubation, being endlessly wheeled from one part of the hospital to another for tests and left in the hallway like a discarded lunch tray, and suffering from the side effects of “beneficial” drugs actually designed to kill you.

I’m not afraid of death or dying.  I believe in reincarnation.  I believe I will see this world again; see everyone I know and love again.  I believe in the cycle of birth, death and rebirth.  Given the proper amount and type of drugs, the actual death of my body poses no problem; if death is sudden, I’ll have no time to suffer.  If I were Christian, Jewish or Muslim, wouldn’t I be happy and anticipating my entrance into Heaven and joining my God?

I, too, am tired of aging and death being treated like diseases.  I’ve fully embraced the Crone in my life, since I never had the chance to be a Mother and I’m just too old to be the Maiden any longer.  Age brings wisdom and repose, a delightful sense of nuttiness that erases old boundaries, new insight and better inner sight.  All in all, it ain’t too shabby!

What is so bad about dying that it must be fought to the very death?

I don’t want to spend my last days fighting to live.  I want to spend my last days living.


Why I Support Gun Control

27 Oct

When it comes to the right to bear arms, I tend towards the conservative side.  I believe in the right to bear arms, even though I don’t own one myself and never intend to own one.  But when we get to the issue of dealing with frivolous disrespect for, or abuse of, the power of those arms (i.e., gun control), Charleton Heston, the NRA and I part ways and never meet again.  And this sweet, adorable face is just another reason why.

Meet Christopher Bizilj of Ashford, CT.  He shot himself in the head yesterday with an Uzi submachine gun and died.  He was in the third grade and only eight years old, but his father and a certified instructor didn’t see that as a problem.  Neither did the Westfield Sportman’s Club, which holds an annual machine gun show and boasts:  “No age limit or licenses required to shoot machine guns, handguns, rifles or shotguns!!!”  In fact, kids under 16 are admitted free.

This is what gives me heartburn about gun ownership–irresponsibility.  The type of people who are fascinated or want to own/shoot automated weapons, like Uzis, are exactly the type of people I personally find too stupid to have them, or to be out-right criminally-minded and insane.  There is nothing “sportsman-like” about them.  Automated weapons should be confined to military/police use and definitely should never be placed into the hands of eight year old children.  They might shoot their heads off.

Click here to read the entire Boston Herald story.  Thanks, Gary.


Phone Numbers Everyone Needs to Keep Handy

6 Feb

Copy and distribute freely:

National Runaway Switchboard
1-800-Runaway |
A national number for runaways and youth in crisis as well as their families; they can even help you get home if you want.

National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3244 (TTY) |
National Toll free hotline for domestic violence problems – confidential, available 24 hours; translators available.

RAINN – Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network
1-800-656-HOPE (4673) |
Toll free, 24 hour confidential hotline for people in abusive situations. RAINN transfers your call to your local rape crisis center or DV shelter, and picks up the tab for it. You will not get long distance charges, the call will not show up on your phone bill, and it’s also free from a payphone.

National Center for Victims of Crime and National Stalking Resource Center
1-800- FYI-CALL (1-800-394-2255) |
A resource to help you understand and address stalking and harassment. Available M-F, 8:30 am- 8:30 pm EST

Darkness To Light Hotline
1-866-FOR-LIGHT (367-5444) |
Toll free, confidential, 24 hour hotline for victims of child sexual abuse

Childhelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline
1-800-4- A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) |
Toll free, confidential, 24 hr hotline for advice, information and to clarify options. It is not the same as reporting the abuse. You don’t need to give your name or name of the abuser to talk.

NCMEC – National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) |
They run an alternate database for runaway youth and can help.

Stop It Now!
1-888-PREVENT |
A national helpline for adults who are concerned about inappropriate sexualized behavior in themselves or people they know. Toll free, confidential M-F 9am-6pm ET.

National Center on Elder Abuse
1 (800) 677-1116 |
Eldercare Locator- is not a helpline, but rather will direct you to the state hotline number. They can help you find the right place to report elder abuse.

Women’s Law Initiative
State-by-state legal information on domestic violence and orders of protection

American Domestic Violence Crisis Line
From within the USA, dial 1-866-USWOMEN.
From overseas, contact your local AT&T operator and ask to be connected to 866-USWOMEN
If you have a safe email, email them anytime at
International toll free domestic violence crisis line for American women and children living abroad from 10:00pm to 6:00am, Pacific Standard Time, Monday night through Friday morning and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00am to 1:00pm. All communication is confidential.

International Directory of Resources
International inventory of hotlines, shelters, refuges, crisis centers and women’s organizations, searchable by country, plus index of domestic violence resources in over 70 languages.

National Suicide Hotline
1-800-SUICIDE |
national hotline for people dealing with depression and suicide, their friends and family

Thx Starra – The Faerie Queen


“Kohl’s Cares for Kids” Program Benefits SBS Throughout the US

6 Feb

Yesterday I blogged a post about Kohl’s program in Wisconsin that offers to sell Dr. Seuss books and toys for $5 each. Kohl’s then donates 100% of the net profits to children’s health and education initiatives, including SBS.

Well, happy day dear readers, because this Kohl’s program is countrywide! You can even participate on-line.

Click here to visit their website, where you can learn more about their program, see the toys currently being offered, learn about their hospital partnerships, read about associates and volunteers, find out about other fund raising efforts, and locate a Kohl’s near you.

I tried the Store Locator search engine and it didn’t work, so if it fails on you, too, not to worry. Click “About Kohl’s” in the upper left-hand corner, then click “Our Locations” and you will find a tidy list of all the states in which Kohl’s 930 stores are located. Click on the state and you will be whisked away to a page where you can use a pull down menu to see all the cities in that state where a Kohl’s is located. Select your city and the next page will provide you with (1) address and phone, (2) hours of operation, (3) a link to driving directions, and (4) today advertisements! The page will also list the next closest stores by driving distance. Very impressive.

Bendithion and happy shopping!


‘Kohl’s Cares for Kids’ Program Benefits SBS Prevention in Wisconsin

5 Feb

According to the Wausau Daily Herald, as of today Central Wisconsin Kohl’s stores once again are selling books and plush toys to support the Kohl’s Cares For Kids initiative. The current line includes books by Dr. Seuss, along with matching toys. All items sell for $5 each. Kohl’s donates 100% of the net profits to children’s health and education initiatives.

Sales of items at the Rib Mountain and Plover Kohl’s stores benefit programs at Aspirus Wausau Hospital aimed at improving safe sleep for babies, preventing shaken baby syndrome and improving child passenger safety and bike helmet use. Since July 2006, more than $74,000 has been raised.

If you live in Central Wisconsin, Rib Mountain or Plover, get thee to a Kohl’s and spend ye money — and be sure to tell them it’s in memory of baby London Marie Sherwood.

UPDATE: For the rest of us, click here to find a Kohl’s near you; yes, we can participate, too!


Biggest Heart Award

4 Feb


I’ve just received my first blog award, from my lovely, warm and furry Canadian feline friend Catz. Thanks, Catz!

I dedicate this award to the memory of baby London Marie Sherwood, who most surely has the biggest heart of us all for bringing out the best in the hearts of so many.


Why I Blog About SBS

23 Jan

I received this email response today from a woman who did not understand or appreciate my reply to a comment she left on my blog. I’ll not reply to her by email because she’s patently refused to engage in polite discussion regarding our differences of opinion, but I feel that there are some issues (see the brackets) that, irregardless, need to be addressed.

WOW, for someone who isn’t “pulling any punches with me” you certainly did a good job. Perhaps I may have come off a bit harsh…but the reality of it is people die everyday[7a]…babies, children, adults, geriatrics etc…I have a child myself and would be completely devastated if anything were to happen to her, while I can’t possibly understand what that family must be going through…i CAN certainly imagine.

My post was not in any way, shape, or form directed towards that family…and I’m pretty sure the family isn’t reading your site[1]… because if they were you wouldn’t have had to go digging[2] for facts. That’s my point though isn’t it? That people like you[7d] waste valuable time and energy with concerning yourselves with other peoples affairs[3]. This is one reason if not THE reason why people who want to be informed about current events around the world can’t get any decent coverage from the main stream media[4] because you people[7d] have created such a demand for real life soap operas[7e] that it is now being broadcast by what is supposed to be the NEWS…And don’t even think about responding to me that stories like this are news…because f*** off[7c], no it isn’t…it’s [7a]bloody LIFE…people are born….people die…some have good lives…some have horrible lives[7f] etc..etc.. so on and so forth.

While I still have compassion towards others… and believe it or not I do …I know that I need to worry about my family…not every other family down the street[5][7b]…and PART of taking care of MY FAMILY is knowing what is going on in the world around me so that perhaps I can make the best informed decisions possible[6].

You are sadly mistaken when you ASSUME[7] you know i have “deep wells of hurt and anger”. I’m pissed off, yes….but I’m not hurt. I’m pissed off at the ignorance of people such as yourself[7d] who help create a market for things such as reality tv and celebrities in the news[4] etc…

If you want to care about something…try caring about our economy[6] (assuming you are american)…or the war in Iraq[6] and the potential war with Iran[6]…etc…these things will effect you personally or perhaps are effecting you personally…I dunno…nor do I care[7]…..Just wake up[8]…if you wanna make a difference…posting other peoples tragedy on your own website isn’t doing a damn thing except helping to create further distractions for sheep[7e]. baaaaah![7e]

p.s. no need to reply…as I will not read anymore of your foolishness[7e].

  1. The family is reading my blog and appreciate the manner with which I have dealt with this topic, which she would have known if she’d bothered to read all of the posts. I am in email contact, but I choose not to bother the family during their period of mourning and I allow them to contact me as they see fit.
  2. This implies that the information I have presented on my blog was buried and difficult to find. It has all been a matter of public record and easily accessible. There is no dirt under my fingernails at all.
  3. I am not “concerning myself with other people’s affairs.” I am educating the public about a very real problem: child abuse and one of its more deadly forms, Shaken Baby Syndrome. Although one family’s tragedy was the impetus for my campaign to institute reforms in this area, I continue to monitor what happens to the family because it is important for people to know the consequences of SBS. Of course, if she had read all of my posts or even looked at their titles, this would have become quite self-evident.
  4. I know for a fact that I don’t have that much power and influence. I wish that I did, because I would have already gotten the Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Act of 2007 passed into LAW! Also, I don’t watch TV; in fact, my friends know this and have to call me when there are hurricane and tornado warnings so I can prepare my home. I will confess that I am an addict to classic movies and even new releases from NetFlix, and sometimes friends will convince me to put a TV series in my queue, like the Dresden Files, because I won’t have to watch commercials. Reality TV, soap operas, celebrity news? Nope, not me.
  5. I completely disagree. We need to start worrying about the family next door and the family down the street. Americans (yes, I’m an American, with a capital A) are becoming more and more isolated and insular and this is psychologically unhealthy. The “me and mine only” behavior this woman is espousing is that of a sociometric isolate. Psychologically healthy individuals engage in sociometric interconnectedness, and the ones that spend time having substantial encounters with others are the most successful, happy and healthy.
  6. She makes the mistake here, as she made the mistake previously, that no one who reads my blog cares about what is going on in the world. I read and research a great deal about current events and I have many contacts in all of the military services, various branches of the Federal service, and several CEOs of leading military industrial companies as a result of my 25+ years as a negotiator for the United States Navy. So just because I do not choose to blog about my opinions with respect to current events because they may be flavored by privileged information, never make the assumption that I do not have any. Having held a Top Secret security clearance during the whole of my career, I tend not to share information of this type and I keep my opinions to myself.
  7. I never assume anything. I carefully read what is written and then I used empathy to place myself in the writer’s state of mind. She can deny it all she wants, but based on [a] her callous attitude towards the deaths of other human beings, [b] her desire for isolation, [c] her foul language, [d] her rabid need to fix blame for societal ills on individuals, [e] her resort to childish cliches, and [f] her nihilistic pre-determination that human lives are “good” or “horrible” with no indication that she would willingly lift a finger to change someone’s “horrible” life, that’s not just anger. Someone somewhere treated this woman in a way that destroyed her trust and belief in humanity, and that is Hurt, wicked, cruel and deep. Too bad she is so willing to perpetuate it, just like the abused become abusers.
  8. I’m not Sleeping Beauty, I’m very much awake. I will jest and say that I hope she is just a bad dream.

Just as when you don’t like what’s on TV, turn the channel or turn it off; if you don’t like the way I run my blog or the things I write about, close your browser, go somewhere else, or write your own blog. I’m not flavored to everyone’s taste and you’re welcome to spit me out, but you are not welcome to chew me up first. I don’t bite, but I do talk back.


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