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Reply by oldbat
22 Apr 2015, 11:17 PM

Xenia you are truly a remarkable woman!  I am bowled over by your energy, tenacity and strength.  This is indeed a worthy, actually noble, cause.  I have one minor quibble:  do we really know that Harper is human?  With parents?  I've always thought of him as some kind of cyber-toad dropped on us by an alien, and obviously angry, race in space!  Just can't imagine him actually being able to love and look after his parents.  This is a man who shakes his children's hands when he drops them off at school.

Whatever!  You go girl Cool

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Reply by AdoptedSon
22 Apr 2015, 11:25 PM

Dear Xenia

I applaud your efforts, and am wondering, have you, and others here, thought of using the social media boom to further the need to draw attention to the total lack of support from all levels of government?

By twitter and facebook, given how this is indeed an election year, I am wondering if some tweeting and facebooking to not just our local MPs, our political party leaders, MLAs, but also the news media that constantly trolls those media outlets.

Perhaps even having a twitter page/facebook page for others to tweet too, regarding the lack of any real support by our Government, might further push the topic into the forefront, or at least get it some attention?  You know, those hashmark tags where people voice their support or objection to some topic?

Just a thought, and I also wonder, anyone here doing any blogging as well?  Have a personal blog, where one can vent and comment on the inability of government to support our elderly?

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Reply by Xenia
23 Apr 2015, 6:05 PM

Good Morning All:

Ian and Old bat thanks for the support.

Ian, I am elderly, like 3/4 year away from 80 and Twitter to me is still the birds outside my cond.  Facebook is something I see in the mirror.  As you can see I am not computer knowledgeable.

I really appreciate your information and would like to try to do this, however, I do not know how to go about this.  Will it take time to set up, does one have to have a webpage, etc. etc.  I have a son in law who probably knows what to do so until I figure this out I shall continue writing and sending out information to as many MPs , MLAs, etc until I get more information on this.

Yes, indeed the media needs to be made aware as they are continually reporting the dimensions of the aging and how they, yes, they...use the medical funding.  Guess they do not add in all the others.

Waiting to get out shortly so will sign off.  Will be in contact again. Soon.

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Reply by Xenia
28 Apr 2015, 8:09 PM

Greetings to All:

After two months of having contacted my MP who forwarded my letter to our Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose, I received an emailed letter pontificating all the funding provided by the government.

Of course, as I stated before the answer will be that Provinces deal with the financing of pallitve care and other health care.  The government stated inone sentence they allocated $3 Million dollars to the provinces to be used to train, doctors, nurses, health care workers, pharmacists etc. in dealing with palliative care.

$3 Million among 10 provinces and 3 territories, you do the math.  Of course there were a lot of figures and such and web pages of the government I was to refer to in regard to Palliative care.

It will take me a few days to digest the letter and read the info on the web pages, however, I thought I would pass this information on and let you know I did get an answer from our Minister of Health.

Raining to-day, cooler as well so it is a good day to sit down and read a good novel...ie the web pages from the government.  Wonder who did it?  No butler there.


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Reply by Xenia
09 May 2015, 4:40 AM

Dear Freinds on CVH:

I miss you all, time has taken a toll on many of us going through different phases.

Old Bat how are you doing?  How is Karl and are you doing okay, I just asked that but I am having a real hard day.  

Jimmie and Adopted Son - Ian is all going well or is it that we are tired, tired of being alone, tired of sharing .  I know that I have been away from this message board for a number of weeks and wonder where everyone is.   The song "Am I losing you" keeps going through my mind and I wonder if I am losing contact with all.

I am so very sad to-day, can;t stop the tears.  Sunday is Mother's day, my daughter;s birthday, 4 months since John died, a get together at my daughter's home to celebrate these and our grandson's 29th birthday a week or so later.  We do it all at once.

I have been sitting on the patio, the fountans splashing in the koi pond, lights going on as dusk sets in and I miss John very much as we used to sit outside, watch the ducks, geesse and neighbours sitting on their patios, we used our patio more than the neighbours, used to sit on the rocking bench and talk.  I used to sing for him, yes, I did, not that I have a good voice but we always had a laugh.  I put on a concert for him asking if there were any requests.  Sure there were, old tunes I remembered, 2nd WW songs and such.  Oh how I miss John. Worst thing is that all I had to hear was a word and I would pick up on a song.  Just like Oh How I miss John would come out as a cowboy song "Oh How I miss you tonight" and such.

Enough of my self pity.  I have written and sent out a number, quite a few letters to the MPs, so far Rona Ambrose replied and gave me a bunch of stats.  Have to go to the mail box in the a.m. and see if anyone else replied.  

Well good friends, I have to sign off now and want to wish all the mother's on CVH a Happy mothers; day and best wishes to all.

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Reply by AdoptedSon
09 May 2015, 7:35 AM

Hi Xenia

I am glad you wrote, I have been sort of missing my stop ins here.  Mother's day is a tough one for me, as it brings back so many memories, some painful, simply knowing that there are no more Mothers Day for me.  Nor birthdays, as May 12 was Mom's birthday which is so close to Mothers Day, that we used to celebrate them together.

I still remember Dad sneaking out of the house, early those Sunday mornings, to go and get Mom a birthday card and Mothers day one, then find some place open that had Carnations, Mom's favorite.  

It was a running joke with them, that he always remembered, at the last possible moment, though it was all just a routine between them. Dad always knew when it was, and it never did seem to take him long to head out, and return with that Carnation and two cards.

It is those little things, that make the tears well up, but then somehow my clouded memory clears, and I can see her face beaming, Dad's smiling down at her, as he handed her the carnation, that change the tears from being ones of loss, to tears of happy rememberance. It is like one second you feel like your world is filled with nothing but darkness, as the sorrow tries to gain hold, but it is those memories that hold it back, that push it away and suddenly you can breath again, feel the warmth of her hand on my cheek, see the love sparkle between her and dad, even after 61 years.

I am rambling a bit, but then that is just how it is. I can see her face now, see Dad's eyes, and yes, I can feel their love for each other, even though Dad has been gone 11 years now. I could see it in her face, each time she would turn to say goodnight to the picture of him, by her bed, and I can feel it in my own heart, as I look across at their picture to the right of my desk.

As hard as it is, I can honestly say that I can still feel their love around me, and I think, in time, those of us lucky enough to have known honest love amongst our partners, our parents, our offspring, come to realize, it is indeed the unbreakable univeral bond, that still surrounds us.

Their physical being is gone, but once the shock wears down a bit, I think we come to know, that they are not really gone. Everywhere I turn, I can feel her, see her eyes twinkle, hear her exclaming over something as simple as enjoying a single raspberry from our own bush. I can hear her lips smacking, as she bites into a freshly picked strawberry from our own plant.

She isn't here to celebrate Sunday, and yet, she really is.  If that makes any sense. The pain of not seeing her physcial presence still hurts, aches almost beyond endurance, and yet it passes, as I feel her presence, feel her and Dad's spirit wrapping around me, letting me feel their love, just as I remember seeing it. 

Dont be sad, just close your eyes and you will find, your loved one is still there, still waiting for his song, so he can bask in the love that you both shared, still share. The body may be gone, but the love, is enduring. Nothing can ever take that away, so let the tears roll, not of grief, but of joy for having that love to comfort you, as you need it.

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Reply by Jimmie
09 May 2015, 5:43 PM

Dear Xenia, Ian, Everyone:

I have been away for a while.  Our grandaughter had another medical emergency and spent the last two weeks crfitically ill and in isolation.  I flew up to be with my daughter and family and lend a hand where I could.  I just got back this morning after little Maud was finally discharged.  She made it through this emergency though her underlying, untreatable illness remains of course. Each one of these critical periods leaves my daughter and son-in-law absolutely exhausted  and less and less hopeful.  They are numb.  Everytime she makes it through a particular crisis, they know that the next one is only a simple cold, or flu, or infection away.  There is no reprieve from the anxiety of tomorrow.  

I just came back from the nursing home and my morning visit with Sarah.  I will go back again in an hour and get her supper and ready for bed.  The trees are still bare here and there's still snow sulking about the base of the evergreens.  The Strait is finally empty of ice though the wind off the water remains irritatingly cold.  It will stay like this until the end of May and then we'll complain about the heat.

Xenia, I have no intention of abandoning you. The next time you hear "Am I Losing You?" playing on your internal/infernal (in my case) radio please shift the dial to another station. Perhaps, in keeping with your comments about singing WW11 songs (and Ian's lovely comments about his mother), you could hum a few bars of "We'll Meet Again" instead.  My Mom used to sing that song.  On the last Remembrance Day during her final year of lucidity, my sisters took her down to a concert being performed by the RCN concert band in Halifax.  Mom had entertained the troops during the war as a singer and loved the songs and the music associated with that period in her life.  Unknown to her, my sisters had been approached by the military leader of the event who had heard of Mom's youthful career.  At a certain point in the concert, the MC came down off the stage and handed a microphone to my thoroughly surprised Mom as she sat in her seat. The band played the opening bars of "We'll Meet Again", and Mom - voice faltering with emotion - sang the song through to the concert band's accompaniment, and the delight of the thousand or so audience members.  It was a magnificant gesture on the band's part, and an exquisitely poignant moment in the life of our family.

I would encourage you to sing, Xenia - though it hurts to do so.  I would encourage you to retain that familiar ritual which was so much a part of your married life.  I would encourage you to treasure that aspect of your life. It is a way of giving "voice" to your grief - as well as your joy.  You have a right to mourn, and a need to mourn (It is NOT self-pity!!)).  Some people dance their mourning, some people drink their mourning, some people assault their mourning, some people sing their mourning.  Sing your grief, sing your loneliness, sing your memories, sing your love, sing your family. The earth itself, it seems to me, accompanies us in grief and joy at such times.

Our oldest grandson loved to sing when he was younger and not self-conscious.  Given Mom's repetoire, he learned - more or less - a number of war songs in his infancy.  The one he would sing to me when I visited or over the phone was "It's a Long Way To Tickle Mary".  Of course he had the lyrics somewhat incorrect, but I loved to hear him sing it his way, and can no longer sing the correct words myself. I prefer his version now.  It's a sweet mistake from the heart of an innocent who has no knowledge of the tragedies that song evokes.  My Mom would be proud of him and would have laughed with delight at his somewhat provocative alterations.

Don't ever stop singing, Xenia, in grief and in joy, as a favour to me and the rest of us. Thank you for your letter, and thank you Ian for reminding me of my own mother, and an iconic moment in her life.

I shall go over to see Sarah now, and I shall sing to her, and think of the both of you as I do so.  I shall sing "You Are My Sunshine" a favourite song of our grandaughter's, and a favourite song of hers.

Take care -

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Reply by Xenia
09 May 2015, 7:39 PM

Dear Jimmie and Ian and All:

Jimmie, so sorry to hear about your granddaughter.  I will keep her in my talks with my higher power.  I wish her better health and know that you must bring her some sunshine in her painful and trying days.

Ian, what a loverly letter and tribute to your mother.  You must have made her very proud having a son like you.

Having read both of your messages I started to hear: Ode to Joy in my head and even though it is a protest song I could really get the vibes going into my brain and almost felt like a child who marches when they feel good.  Also, I heard Nessun dorma. Looked up the translated words and the words are so great: " Vanish into the night, Fade You star, At Dawn I will win, I will win." 

The words are so appropriate for we (or is it us) who are greiving, are caring for a loved one and feel that some days we just cannot win.  However, as the song says "At Dawn I will Win, I will Win."  We do win as that is another day we have had challenging us and we won another day and look forward to better days with our loved ones.

Speaking of sneaking around for cards for Mother's Day, John used to keep the old one handy then add the new year on it.  He always signed it love John with his work number on it.  Just became part of our laughs. 

Speaking of how some people grieve: Drinking, dancing, laughing or some other means.  I just might try the drinking.  My friend just came back from Kelowna, B.C, that is our france of Canada where we have many vineyards and wineries.  She brought me a bottle of Black Cherry Pinot Noir which was brewed a few weeks ago, maybe couple of days, so I think I could have a sip or two and pretend it is some Pinot Blanc or something fancy like that.  It was especially bottled for the two friends to pick up on their way back from their Medicine Hat, Alberta road trip.  The lable is typically theirs:
" If you're taking a road trip, remember it's not the destination, but the journey that drives you nuts." As you can see this bottle of wine is of the finest vinetage and what better than to have a sip of this and remember John and celebrate Mother;s Day, Daughters birthday and Grandson;s upcoming birthday.  

Jimmie, when you sing "You Are My Sunshine" to Sarah I hope you are doing it so the others can hear you as well.  Having worked in a care home many years ago singing, good, bad or otherwise brought joy and smiles to the other patients.

Hate to bring this up again, but I have to get outside and read a bit.  A friend across the Koi pond emailed me asking me if I had put on sun screen.  Not moi, I am a greek goddess and need to bronze up.  Saturday and it is quiet on the home front, most everyone is out shopping and that makes for another quiet day.  Sunday usually is a day families visit and you can tell by the parking spaces everyone is having visitors.

Hugs to All, extra hug for Sarah.  Hugs to Ian and Old Bat I am coming to Brantford sometime later in the fall and will be thinking of you.  Then off to Windsor to visit John's sister, his only remaining family member.  Jimmie, if I win the lottery I will come to visit you as well.  

Take care.

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Reply by Nouce
10 May 2015, 8:59 PM

Greetings, dear friends,

Reading all your notes makes me both sad and feeling less alone. Pablo asked me to go down to the farmers market yesterday and buy some flowers from him to me for Mother's Day. I got some beautiful tulips. It was sad because he can't do anything anymore, but good because he remembered. So I got another bouquet for my next door neighbor since she has been a good friend.

We spent the day with our daughters and their families. Always hard for me because I am their step mother. One of them loves me and the other wishes I weren't around. But the granddaughters are kind and thoughtful.

But what is a mother? If it is one who nurtures,mstands by us, andnholds us when there is no answer for loneliness and hurt, then you are all mothers to me and I thank you.

I think of you in the early mornings when I light my lamp with gratitude!

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Reply by Xenia
11 May 2015, 2:30 PM

Good Morning All:

Rain this morning after a beautiful Mother's Day yesterday.  Went to my daughter's home and we had a bbq in her back yard.  All the family present and had a great time.  Missed John not being there, however, we managed to get through that.

VE day reminded me of when I was about 9 years old and VE day was announced.  My sister and I and a couple of brothers ran down our small town street, needing to tell someone and no one was around and then we spotted our elderly neighbor, his name was Joseph but everyone called him Yohan and we ran down his steps into his yard calling Mr. Yohan the war is over, the war is over, he wiped his eyes and crossed himself then handed us a bucket and asked us to get him a bucket of water.  Of course we did and as usual we speak of this.  Mr. Yohan was German and this was his first name and we always called him Mr. Yohan.  What memories we have of the war time as I am sure many of you do especially in the East Coast where so many of our soldiers went to war on the ships that left Halifaxt.  As kids we watched the troop trains going down the tracks, full of soldiers, the Canadian flag, the old one, on both sides of the cow catchers (remember them on the engine) flying high from the movement of the train.   

John was in the army during peace time and wasn't a great soldier, had his own way of thinking and as such could express himself in ways that were not appreciated by the senior officers.  He made a handsome soldier, in his pictures, strong chin, piercing eyes and chisled chin but all this did not help when he was released or discharged out of the arm ...we laugh as his dischrge papers stated "services no longer required".  At least he didn;t get a dishonourble discharge.  

John was a very disiplined man in the ways he handled himself.  Had the patience of Job that used to drive us crazy.  Case in point, the cheap bamboo shades that have strings to hold up and open.  One broke and he spent an hour or so fixing it.  Our son in law who has no patience told him. John, I would have pitched it into the garbage and bought a new one for all the time it took to save a piece of cheap bamboo.  John smiled and just shrugged.  I guess that is why he could spend hours doing puzzles and fit them together with patience, spend hours laying track on his model trains and also building towns. making paper mache mountains and all that took time and patience to bring about the towns and mountains he would have his trains pass through.  Now we have 2 trunks full of trains, tracks, towns and all the makings of a minuature town.
Guess our grandchildern may want these, who knows. 

Nounce, so pleased you were able to find some solace in our postings.  Children can make anyone happy and it is troubling that your one step daughter is so distant, perhaps in time she will change.

Off to the ortho surgeon to-day.  My shoulders have been out of service for a long time and finally got an appointment.  Waiting is part of the medical system so I waited patiently and wouldn't you know it..today they don't feel too bad but bet your bottom dollar to-morrow or this evening they will once again remind me that they are there doing their best to keep me in pain.

All for now.  Take care and keep posting.

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