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Reply by AdoptedSon
09 Jul 2015, 6:51 PM

Just a FYI, I have not had any issues with receiving email notices of new messages, and so far, knock on wood, my replies do get posted after I hit submit.

Xenia I am no techie, but as to email notices, check your spam/trash folder to see if any get thrown in there, if so you might have to set up a filter in your email program to whitelist the url, or to not discard such messages.  Depending on what anti virus program you are using, you may need to adjust the outgoing settings, which might be causing a delay between your hitting submit and the message actually being sent.

'Puter problems aside, I am glad you are still swinging with both arms, and yeah the weather does suck, but supposedly we are due for a few mm of rain this weekend on the Island.  But then the weather network doesn't quite seem to get it right all that often lately.

Dear VJ

How you doing? It isnt an easy time, and I hope you are managing to just let loose with all the pent up feelings, and that you know, everyone here is here, if you need a shoulder to cry on.

Hugs to All
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Reply by Xenia
09 Jul 2015, 7:54 PM

Hi Colleen:

No, I did not get your messages and I did use the submit but all that came up was the icon showing wait, the sand thing.  I waited, waited, then turned off the computer, twice, then logged in at the other site and voila my messages showed up that I didn't know they went through.

Thanks for your help.

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Reply by frustrated
09 Jul 2015, 11:47 PM

Hello everyone,

Thank you for your concern. It is good to have all of you there. We have held a "Celebration of  Life" and it went better than I expected. There has been so much negative for so long that as a family we had forgotten to look at the positives in his life and to remember who he was and what he meant to so many. At the service everyone expressed all the p[ositive things and it was good.

He was a dedicated teacher for more thatn 40 years. But he was more than a teacher, he cared about his students and fellow teachers and always listened and counseled. A lot of his former students and parents were at the service and commented on how he changed their lives. So it was a very positive experience. It was what we as a family need to remember. So that has been my advice to the rest of the family, remember who and what he was.

I to live in western BC and the heat exhaustes me, add that to the mental, physical and emotion exhaustion and I have had to force myself to keep moving. The last couple of days I have been dealing with the stacks of paper work and filings and calls tht have had to be made.

Tomorrow one of my daugther's is taking me up to the Mt. to go for a hike and I am looking forward to that.

I have gone back and reread and I continue to read everyones comments. I agree you are all like another family and we all share our common burdens.


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Reply by Xenia
10 Jul 2015, 8:07 PM

Dear VJ:

Reading your message I share your grief and trust you had a geat hike up the mountain.  It is good that many positive experiences were shared at your husband's memories,

I was going through some of my bits of paper that I collect with many sayings and words of wisdom and found these that I would like to share with you and all on this message board and others.  They helped me through the later days of grieving over John as I was in shock the first month or so then reality set in and tears began to fall with memories of John and our lives together.

"Maybe every now and thewn he simply wept.  Not in pain or sadness.  The tears were just overwhelming memories, rendered into water, sweeping out." And the other" I can't believe she's gone.  Loss was like that, he knew.  You didn't just lose a loved one.  You lost your heart, your memories, your laughter, your brain and it even took your bones.  Eventually it all came back, but different.  Rearranged."

I felt that this was what I was experienceing and as I reread these words I now understand what loss is and how it does rearrange one.  While we were two I shared everything with John or tried to, now I am one and I keep and share moments with myself and his memory.

I send you best wishes and hugs to help you through this time and know you will find support with family and your Canadian Virtual Society family and friends.


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Reply by Xenia
11 Jul 2015, 1:35 AM

Greetings All:

To-day, tonite is a cool and soft wind day and I am enjoying this cool air in stead of the hot and smoky air we have had for the past while.

My nurse and our friend have gone to Port Hary and the island including Victoria, etc. and I have time to sit down and forward you the information I received from The President of the Canadian Medical Association (Not to impress you just that I am like a dog with a bone and I am now receiving (trickling) responses from politicans and others regarding palliative care, spousal definitions, reviews on care, etc.

From the President of Canadian Medical Association , Christopher S. Simpson, MD FRCPC,FACC,FHRS sent me an executive summary of a report on palliative care by CMA Past Prsident Dr. Lois Francesuttie-"Palliative Care - Canadian Medical Association's National Call to Action" Examples of innovation care delivery models, training opportunities and plysician leaders in palliative care.  The report in its entirety is available at https://www.cma.ca/Assets/ assets-library/document/en/advocay/palliative-care-report-online-e.pdf. 

The other replies came from:  Peter Julian-MP NDP Burnaby-New Westminster

Irene Mathyssen - MP - London-Fanshawe- NDP

Enclosed were reports provided and Motions on the National Strategy on Aging by Tom Mulcair.  NDP

Rona Ambrose Minister of Health wrote about the $3 Million Dollars her government has provided for 10 provinces and 3 Territories to be shared to do palliative training for doctors, nurses and others.

The letter that really surprised me was from the Office of the Seniors Advocate - British Columbia and was very good and if I knew how to scan letters I would do so and I was impressed by her report on line and new reports will be forthcoming.  She is the only Seniors Advocate in Canada so lets hope other provinces are taking note.

Her closing remarks in the letter, I don't know if she was sincere, however, I will quote it to you.

Opening remarks were:  Thank you so much for sharing your concerns with my office and the time and obvious deep thought you have put into these critical issues.

As for your specific concerns around palliative care, I have heard of other situations where palliative supports are insufficient, so I certainly share your concers.  My office will continue to advocate on this critical issue.

"I know this work does not mitigatge the persoanl turmoil you have gone through, but I hope it serves as some comfort that significant work is being done by the office to address these critical concerns.  I will defintely be keeping your letter on file as it provided very useful detail and background for the work we are continuing to do.

Signed: Isobel Mackenzie - Seniors Advocate.

www.seniorsadvocatebc.ca  Mail Address: 1st Floor, 1515 Blanshard Street, PO Box 9651 STN PROV GOVT   VICTORIA  BC V8W 9P4

That is my report for now.  Will keep you informed of any further correspondence and would ask all those who can to please go to the demandaplan.ca website and make your concerns known of what you had to go through caring for a dying loved one and this may help bring awareness about the great need for palliative care and provide the much needed help and not have to go through the pain we have gone through caring for a loved one, mother, father, child, husband or wife.

Take care.

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Reply by NatR
11 Jul 2015, 1:47 AM

Dear Xenia,

WOW...look at you go girl!
You are rocking!
That is wonderful stuff.  You are hitting them all with the realities..  I do interact with some of those people on Twitter - and encourage change and attention to these end of life, community care and family support issues.  Thats super great.

I also heard that Ontario is canvassing for a Patient Ombudsman in Ontario Hospitals.  I think they need to do this.  And it is way overdue.

So there is interest in helping patients and families in hospitals - and interest is being churned up for end of life, home support for spouses, caregivers and patients.

Its all really great stuff.
I have a feeling Xenia that you will feel better to reach out and engage those who are listening.  I am proud of you.
I wish you a good weekend and hope that you are feeling a lot stronger, and better.
You have my vote if you wish to run for office;)
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Reply by Xenia
20 Jul 2015, 11:21 PM

Hello Everyone:

A day I have spent looking over and shredding papers, memories and articles I have saved for the past years.

I shredded papers that John had kept from his Army days, papers showing he had an insurance policy with a company who had informed his mother that her son had put her on the policy as beneficiary.  He was insured anywhere in the world except during war time measures.  I had a laugh as the typing on the letter and policy reminded me of the typewriters we used to practise on in school when we were learning to type and become secretaries.  How times have changed.

The days are still hot however we have had some cool evenings and I have ventured out on the patio with a book.  I am reading but I am looking out over the koi pond and see the gulls and ducks and a heron watching for a gold fish.  All the things John and I used to sit and watch in the evenings.  It is somewhat easier these past few days as my friend accompanies me on the patio and it is not so lonesome.  I wonder when the memories will be easier to deal with as various times are harder to deal with than others.  ie the patio, the birthday party for our son in law this past Friday when we all got together, sitting at our daughters garden laughing and remembering , things like that bring memories rushing to mind and I swallow hard and try to keep laughing along with the family but my mind is on John and how I miss him.

I am going to physio on Friday, have to get this leg of mine moving since we are heading out to the East in October, sure need to be able to walk without my trainer walker.  I use the cane in the condo and use the walker shopping or walking down our long hall to the lobby.  Sure putting my mind to exercise as it is so easy to sit and not move.

Still sending out mail to the politicians and health care departments of our government and have had a few more replies.  Of course, they are not saying much but I expect I will be hearing from various political groups asking for support and donations now that my name is on their contact list.  You never know...lol

Miss you all but will keep in contact as you keep me grounded just by reading the past messages.  Thank you.

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Reply by Jimmie
21 Jul 2015, 11:50 AM

Good morning, Xenia:
Thank you  for writing.  I hope your recovery goes well so that you can enjoy your trip "out East".  I forget where you are going??  I remember being in Edmonton once a few years back visiting with my daughter and seeing a sign posted on a telephone pole.  It was an advertisement for some renowned speaker who was on a "national tour".  When I checked the details, I discovered his tour ended in Ontario - apparently, that's as far, as "the East" goes in the imaginations of some - Mr. harper included.  I am not sure where that leaves the rest of us who wash our mouldy bodies in the waters of the Atlantic each morning. 

The image that came immediately to mind when I read your latest post was a memory of my youth.  In grade eleven, I travelled to Thunder Bay by train as part of a youth exchange program.  I had never been on a train before and had never travelled out of the province.  When I was not falling in love with every female travelling with me, I was staring out the window at the landscape passing by. I particularly enjoyed doing so towards dusk.  Often the route of the train took it right through the middle of small towns.  As it did so, I had the pleasure of catching brief glimpses, candid snapshots of the lives of people living there.  I loved that... a group of kids playing tag, a woman taking clothes from the clothesline, a dog barking and racing in circles as the train rumkbled past, a single, older gentleman in a ballcap waving, a scene through a kitchen window....a collection of lives flitting past me ...strangers one and all with lives to live...hopes and dreams... joys and sorrows. Memories have the same feel for me sometimes.  Moments, glimpses along a journey

WE have a set of photographs downstairs, pictures of distant relatives, names now unknown to us.  There is one shot of a group of individuals in fancy dresses and suits gathered in a field under apple trees. They must be great, great aunts and uncles or perhaps closer reelatives than that. They are having a picnic.  The picture was not posed; they are innocent of the camera.  They are laughing, enjoying the day and each other's company.  They are young.  I wonder what was the cause of their laughter, their delight.  I wonder what they were thinking.  I wonder what became of them and their relationships.  My train rumbles by - I catch a glimpse of their lives for a moment and then they are gone - all but lost in their passing.

I would ask you, though it is not my place to do so, to preserve some of those papers you would shred that others might meet John and you - catch a fleeting glimpse of you - and find themselves warmed by that acquaintance.  They will be treasures.  Save some so that others might come to know you however distantly.

I have to go now. The day is dull, overcast, and cool.  There is a train track a few hundred yards from where I live. It is all but abandoned, but there is one freight train which runs along it heading towards Cape Breton.  That train passes through this town at three in the morning, every morning.  I find I always wake, always, as it does so and seldom fall back to sleep until the sound of its passing is a whisper. Let us pay attention to each other's lives in our passing, bless each other as we move along our journeys, and wave, wave to each other just as that old man in the field did to me years and years ago.  It is only a fleeting glimpse we catch - but that old man knew a secret I am just starting to learn:  no matter how fleeting our meetings might be, they may yet be profound if even for a moment we take the time to "see" each other, to pay attention - and perhaps wave - wave a greeting of companionship, recognition, and affection.

I am waving to you this morning, Xenia.  May your day goe well as you catch up to mine.




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Reply by Xenia
24 Jul 2015, 4:56 PM

Good Morning All:

For some reason your messages are not showing up on my email.  Wonder what is happening since I have a new computer put in place.  Have to check with my computer person, all the rest are coming through, especially junk mail.

So pleased to hear from you Jimmie and enjoyed your trip on the train.  I too travelled a lot by train when I was a teenager, actually about 12 years of age, as my father worked for the CNR and we were entitled to a pass, x number of times a year.  I travelled with my sister to "Windsor by train, all alone, she was 16 and can you imagine that now.  We had our uncle pick us up in Windsor and headed to Detroit where our uncle worked for Ford.  Seems everyone at that time wanted to leave for the promised land of Detroit where one could get a job and live happily ever after.  So many farm boys left after the war and headed out East where the work was in the factories and the car manufacturing.

I too recall the train belching out smoke and the coal dust coming in through an open window and a number of male passengers who were wearing white shirts ended up having soot covered shirts.  The conductor went about at night lighting up the cars with a long handled item and had a piece of something on the tip, lit it and put up to the lamp and voila there was light. We ventured into the dining car and ordered our dinner and waited for strawberrues and whipped cream as the gentleman seated at our table was enjoying his dessert.  We were in shock when we were served, prunes, you guessed it CPR strawberries they were called by travellers.  I was so disappointed but kept quiet, we were robbed.

It always amazed me to see kids running on the side roads of the train tracks as if they wanted to catch the train and get away to some other place.  We used to do that as children as we lived near the tracks, (wrong side of town) and would go to the train crossins and watch the trains go by, the biggest treat was when the engineer would wave to us.  How many times did he wave at the kids hanging around the crossings I wonder now.  We would come home breathless and tell dad, he of course knew many of the engineers as they would be scheduled out of our small town to Winnipeg and return on the return run home.  Being an engineer was the top echelon of the CNR work force.  Then there was the brakeman, etc. etc.  I wonder how many people know of the work crews that used to be called the extra gang who came to fix the tracks, the older men who serviced the train tracks, rain or shine or blizzard or hot hot weather.  Going on a jigger, what is what we called them, sometimes they were a two man jigger other times a one man and we would see them coming down the track to check to make sure the tracks were safe.  Another item I just remembered was the items placed on the tracks that would make a huge band when the train ran over them to make the engineer aware of danger or be aware of something that was going on on the tracks.  Forget what they were called...think it was torpedos.

Yes, Jimmie I did save some of the items from John's and my life.  I shredded appointment books, etc where I had written his health condtion, the need for help, etc. etc.  I still have his ration books and his penny saving account book that we used to use during the war to help the war effort.  MY goodness, who knows about these things.

Yesterday, my friends took me to Harrison Hot Springs in the fRaser Valley.  We sat on the beach watching the kites flying around, had lunch in a pub then went for a long drive around Harrison Lake and viewed all the large houses with their boats, etc in the lake, drove further up the mountain and was awed by all the lakes further up.  What beauty we have here in B.C., trees galoe, mountains and more mountains, lakes all around then heading back we see the valleys and they are still green but the rivers in some places are drying out.  We need rain.

I find that I miss John very much on this kind of trip to the Valley as we often would just pack up the car and take the kids out to the beach or as we were alone, just the two of us we would pack a sandwich, apple and coffee and head out to places unknown.  John loved to drive and off we would go to places he knew of as he travelled the roads when he worked on the carnival.  He left the EAst and made B.C and the west his home.  I will be taking him home in October when I visit his sister in Windsor.  We will be spreading his ashes (part) where he began his life 87 years ago and will give his sister whom he loved very much take part in bringing him home.

I am waving to you as well Jimmie and waving to Old Bat, Ian, Nat, Colleen, Katherine and all on this messag board.  Of course, I should be saying "All Aboard", how we loved to hear that when we began our journey across Canada, all aboard and then the chugging of the steam enginer, the hissing, the clanging of the wheels on the tracks.  What good times we had and remember.

All for now, heading for physio, have to learn how to walk without a cane as a prop, mind you I sure get doors opened for me and offers of help, even though I have a painful chronic condition no one sees that but once I have the cane I get all types of help.  Oh well, I will enjoy this time and help someone else when I get better.

Hugs to all, affectionately your friend


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Reply by KathCull_admin
24 Jul 2015, 5:14 PM

Oh Xenia - your train stories brought back such memories. We lived on a farm near a railway track and a little station - actually just a building - no one worked out of it - called Cadzow. Not sure where the name came from but I remember the thrill of having the engineer wave at me. The jiggers too - haven't hear that word in a long time - quite a fascinating contraption. Then when I was 13 we took the train to 'the mountains' - what an adventure and sitting in the 'dome car'.  

Thank you - your memories have stimulated mine and brightened my day.
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