Saturday Posts . . .

Also, I have some updates.

First, the experiment of my reconnecting with my family has failed. My parents do not want to deal with anything that has happened in the past. My father repeatedly told me that “you just have to let go of it” while my mother was quite different. She denies everything, including events that I was personally there to witness or took part in. For my own personal integrity I was forced to return to the total disconnect I had previously been enforcing.

Second, I have recently been watching a show called “Dr. G: Medical Examiner” which has me a bit riled up. The first problem I have with the show is that it seems that some states have laws which require an autopsy on nearly every death that happens within their jurisdiction – something Dr. G seems to revel in because she loves to “solve puzzles”. My problem with this is – what gives her the right to solve a puzzle about me if I do not care to have it solved? Another problem is that she seems to view ALL medical problems as preventable, and is particularly judgemental about any and all suicides. Has she never heard of “death with dignity”? If someone already knows that they are dying, do they not have a right to choose to end their own suffering early? Dr. G does not seem to believe this is an option. Since she currently works out of the Orlando, Florida, USA, medical examiner’s office, that is one jurisdiction I will not be visiting anytime soon.

Finally, I have recently gotten approval through the VA’s community care program to begin receiving chiropractic care at a local wellness center. I’m really impressed with the size and scope of the facility, but I’m not so impressed with the results I’m getting. To me, the first red flag was their focus on longevity – like they just can’t believe anyone wouldn’t want to live to be 115 years old. Sorry, but that was never a major consideration of mine. I’ll take every day I can get – but only if it comes with a good quality of life. So far, I’m not really seeing any improvement, and after getting acupuncture yesterday morning I had a very stiff neck and headache that lasted well into the evening.

Saturday Posts . . .

We’ve had a lot happening here over the last couple of weeks. I learned that my dad’s home, which he’s owned for over 30 years, is about to be condemned because raccoons have invaded the attic and are destroying the house from the top down. My youngest full-blooded brother is going through a divorce, and is coming up here to see what we as a family can do to help dad.

But, there was one thing I found to be both refreshing and encouraging. About 21 years ago I bought a brass Zippo lighter, which I’ve used almost constantly ever since. Zippo advertises that they offer a lifetime warranty. A couple of weeks ago my lighter got stuck – the striker wheel that scrapes the flint wouldn’t move. So, I looked up the information for the repair center for Zippo, and after filling out a form and paying a $5.00 USD fee for “processing” – I sent in the lighter for repair. Yesterday they called me back to say they’d received the lighter, and I should have it back within a month.

Here is something I bought for my wife shortly after we became a couple, and it has hung on our bedroom wall ever since. In case you have trouble reading it, the text says, “I Love You More Today than Yesterday, and only half as much as Tomorrow.”

Saturday Posts . . .

First off – congratulations to my wonderful wife – who on Tuesday morning will be awarded a special prize for her excellence as a librarian. I can’t really say any more than that before the ceremony, because it’s supposed to be a secret. I’m comfortable saying that because I don’t believe any of her coworkers reads my blog.

Secondly, some bad news. A couple of weeks ago I learned that my dad’s home, which he bought for cash with a disability settlement about the same time I was getting out of the US Army, is on the verge of being condemned. His attic is infested with raccoons, and they are destroying the house from the top down. I have a younger brother who is coming to help us work as a family to deal with the situation, and I have an idea that most of the plans are already in place, but we’re going to be getting together as a family (probably Tuesday afternoon) to finalize everything. The main idea is to get everything Dad wants to keep out of the house, knock down the house, and bring a mobile home in for him to live in at the same location.

Good News . . .

In our postal mail delivery yesterday, I received a report that I feel overjoyed to share.

Last week I had a scheduled visit to the VA clinic that I usually go to. My primary care provider had asked me if I’d agree to get a Carotid Ultrasound – as a routine procedure because I’m almost 60 years old. I told her that it wouldn’t change any of my decisions in the Advanced Directive or Living Will, but that there didn’t seem to be any harm in knowing what it may reveal.

The letter that I got about the results stated the following:

“Mild atherosclerosis with normal flow all velocities bilaterally and no evidence of significant stenosis.

Carotid Ultrasound results were normal no significant carotid artery disease.”

So, it looks like my wife is going to have to put up with my jokes a while longer! LOL!

Perhaps, and I can’t be certain either way, part of the reason for this outcome is that I’ve been mostly a vegetarian since January 1st of this year. I say mostly because living in this area limits the options for eating vegetarian when I travel – even the relatively short distance to the VA clinic. Also, I’m terrible about using supplements – and almost everything I’ve read or watched has said that Vitamin B-12 is impossible to get without eating meat. So, I’m mostly vegetarian, occasionally eating meats to get my B-12 fix.

Communicating final decisions . . .

I’ve written several times in the past about the importance of making an Advanced Directive or a Living Will, or both, for the purpose of controlling your last life decisions. Ever since the USA case of Teri Schiavo, (my apologies if I misspelled her name) it has been obvious that clearly communicating your plan for the end of your life is of paramount importance.

I already have a legally binding Living Will, and another legally binding Advanced Directive. But, I’m choosing to take the entire matter one step farther. I’m getting a tattoo in the center of my chest that will read “NHM – see medical alert bracelet”. The medical alert bracelet has digital copies of both the Living Will and the Advanced Directive on a flash drive contained within it, and the NHM stands for “No Heroic Measures”. As far as I can tell, this is the final step in making absolutely certain that ALL first responders will know exactly what my wishes are.

The whole point of this is to prevent the first responders (EMT’s, paramedics, Law Enforcement personnel, and other people who might initiate life-saving actions) from taking actions that may result in bankrupting my wife if I’m involved in a catastrophic event of any kind.

Yes, I want to live – but not so much that I want to live with the assistance of expensive equipment that can’t guarantee my chance of recovery. My wife’s future is more important than my survival.

False Advertising . . .

Lately I’ve been watching a lot of shows on a Playstation app called tubi. There is one advertiser on tubi that I have a very hard time watching commercials for.

The name of the advertiser is ” eHarmony ” and the reason I have trouble watching their ads is that they claim to “get to know you better, to match you better.”

From actual experience it isn’t true. My first wife turned to eHarmony to meet her 2nd husband. Since I am still friends with my first wife, and we have a daughter together, I knew her while she was married to her 2nd husband.

He was a major, abusive, bastard. He physically abused my first wife, and emotionally abused our daughter. If he is an example of getting “to know you better, to match you better” then NOBODY should ever use eHarmony to search for love.

Personal Integrity… update

Last week I posted a blog where I questioned what the difference was between personal integrity and trying to get along with my family when I knew things they wouldn’t or couldn’t acknowledge. I continued to question that for several days after posting that blog.

Last Friday evening I had a light-bulb moment, which was quickly confirmed by an email I found that Anita had sent shortly after my blog posted.

Basically, there isn’t just one truth. There are different truths for every person walking the planet. Personal integrity is all about YOU remaining true to your own view of the truth. But, it does not mean that everyone else isn’t also doing their own best to do the same thing – remaining true to THEIR own view of the truth. Every person on the planet wants nothing more than to be right – which is why peer pressure is such an effective means of social control. How many times in your life have you done something you thought was crazy or silly just because “everyone else is doing it”?

Where we venture into the realm of social peace and global stability is when we acknowledge these truths and grant others their own point of view without trying to force ours on them. We can all be right, even when we disagree.

The Price of Personal Integrity . . .

After my post yesterday, Anita sent me an email with a graphic she valued as almost a personal mantra. What she shared was that a two word phrase was the key to defusing conflicts. That phrase was “You’re Right”. Supposedly, my saying that to my family would be the end to our troubles, but only if I not only said it to them, but actually mean it when I say it.

The problem is, I have done the research, and in the cases of trouble within our family I have lived through the incidents. I know that historical evidence proves they are NOT right. To say “you’re right” to any member of my family, and actually mean it, is to deny FACTS. I fully understand why it is important to acknowledge another person’s point of view, but to deny documented facts goes against everything I’ve ever been taught to believe – even what my parents taught me.

So, the question becomes, “at what point is family harmony worth more than the truth?”

As it is right now, I can’t sacrifice my own integrity to restore harmony in my biological family. It would kill me as a spiritual being who is striving to reach the next level of enlightenment. I feel that I must honor what my own experience says is true, even if it leaves them behind.

Saturday Posts . . .

I have been feeling very disingenuous about my relationship with my parents. Ever since I reached out to my mother to try to rebuild the relationship that was broken more than 20 years ago, I’ve been questioning myself as to why.

The last couple of times I talked to each of them, it has become CRYSTAL CLEAR.

I have the highest IQ in my family. My dad’s IQ is only 1 point lower than mine, but I have specialized training in areas none of them have ever studied, like the fact that I was a US Army basic field medic who was being fast-tracked to Physician Assistant school. In addition to that, when I took the exam at the Armed Forces Entrance Examination Center back in 1979, I was offered the chance to choose whatever job I wanted by ALL 5 branches of the US military. I have the learning capacity to be fully capable in ANY skill I choose to study.

Despite those facts, NOBODY in my family respects my opinion about anything. I vividly remember a confrontation between my mother and myself more than 30 years ago that occurred in HER HOME where I tried to tell her the truth about the origin of the Christian Bible. She called me a liar – so I pulled her own Encyclopedia Britannica off of her shelf and opened it to the article that discussed the exact event I was telling her about. I showed her how HER OWN ENCYCLOPEDIA confirmed in black and white that I was telling the truth. Rather than admit I was right, she said the encyclopedia was lying!

Every blood relative I have has always responded to everything out of my mouth exactly the same way mom handled that event. They are all STILL doing it.

I can’t fake this anymore. I’d rather live honestly without them than grin through my hat at them. We’re done. My relationship with that family can’t be saved unless they are willing to bend. Pretending they don’t remember the events of the past isn’t enough.

Happy Valentine’s Day. . .

And a Happy Anniversary to my wife – we’ve been together for 23 years now!

I also owe an apology to the Biden Administration for my post about our taxes. My wife spent a good chunk of her free time this weekend going back over all of our tax paperwork, and found a small item that was listed wrong in the paperwork. It made a huge difference in our return – and it was the tax prep person who classed it wrong. We just got back from filing an amended return – and between Federal and State we’re getting a bit over $1200 BACK. Much more like normal.