Preparing for My End

Hi Jim, I was intrigued by your post as I too have been giving consideration to what happens to me when I die.

My daughter has “power of attorney” which will allow her to decide what is to become of me if I cannot make any sensible decisions on my own. Such as the notion of frolicking naked in a field of daffodils.

But I decided that the cost of a funeral is as high here as anywhere. So I came across a company who will take charge of my body when I die and, after I am cremated, will return my ashes to my kids.

I don’t want any church service; I gave up on church adherence some time ago. In my life, my kids are the most important people to me. I have suggested to them that once they have my ashes, they can organise a celebration of my life down in the shed in my backyard. One of the reasons for doing this is that my children all have mortgages and young families. I don’t want them burdened with paying for a funeral for me. I pay an amount of money each month to the funeral company, and hopefully, I live long enough to finish the payments before the big day arrives.

As for a eulogy, I think my kids can make that up, or not. I have a close relationship with each of them, I know they will miss me as I do a lot for each of them. They are all aware of my will and seem happy with my wishes to look after their brother, who has a disability.

I was amused by your making up a music list and playing it at your funeral. Having spent most of my life with children telling me how poor my musical taste it I’d consider such a task as tortuous for them. I’ll let them organise such entertainment.

I’d like to think my kids will remember me as a father who stood up for them, who was there for them when another was not.

I’m not planning on dying soon, I have a car and a funeral to pay off. The time is drawing close, for all of us. All my kids know my wishes, grief is personal, no matter how prepared it hits us once our loved one passes away.

Good post Jim, best wishes for the new year.

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Wordle #293 – In the Mirror.

Mirror, toss/tossing, troubled, clock, dawn, after, willing, unceasing, stairs, brow, turning, creaking

I tossed a casual glance at the mirror.

I was troubled. I found it troubling.

The clock behind me reminded me that time moves on

The dawn will emerge from the darkness

Day will dawn and after many hours

Willing time to slow down

I realise it’s unceasing plodding on.

I rush up the stairs to rescue my childhood,

The sweat on my brow drips down my face

And turning to look back I hear a creaking on the stairs

It frightens me; my past catching up with me.

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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #200 – Carson’s Pond

The stories about Carson’s Pond had been around for years. It was stinky, dangerous and harboured evil creatures that if they caught you would eat out your eyes.

It was all part of the myth of the pond. Crazy Colin had fallen in as a child and was never the same again.

It was a shame that over the years people showed their contempt by throwing things into the pond. It was thought the bottom of the pond was a treasure in itself.

Despite its foreboding reputation, it was a place we liked to picnic at. There was never anyone there. It was very relaxing even though at times there would be the odd burst of bubbles from its depths, followed by a curious bit distinct burp and a more than audible “excuse me.”

We would munch our sandwiches and pretend we hadn’t heard anything.

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Crimson’s Creative Challenge – #199 – Boat Parking

There was a rumour going around that a killer tide was coming in.

So everyone at the marina moved their boats to higher ground.

No one knew what a killer tide actually was, but the rumour was laced with enough hysteria to urge every boat owner to action.

First, one shifted his boat, said it was a precaution as his boat was worth a quid or two and he wasn’t taking any chances. Pretty soon no one was taking chances, and the wharf became a boat parking lot.

High tide was predicted that night. Sailors near and far waited in expectation.

The following morning the sea spread before them in its usual calm self. Hardly a ripple. A school of dolphins rose and fell.

The boat owners looked at each other, a feeling of inner embarrassment.

‘You can never be too sure, can you,’ said one to the other.

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Photo Challenge #429 – My Hope

This is me some days,

Not on the inside trying to get out

But on the outside wanting to get in.

It’s getting harder

Opportunity is still a distant goal.

Nature is having its say,

Whether or not to fight on

Suffer the pain to achieve the gain.

There’s a light shining though

It’s my hope,

That if I keep my eyes forward

I can take that next step

And who knows where it will lead me?

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Truthful Tuesday – 2nd August

Birth Control – Yes or No

I was brought up in a Catholic family in a very Catholic world.

We were taught that basically as Monty Python said, that every little sperm counts.

However, when I was married and babies seemed to turn up as an annual event I engaged in many arguments with my then-wife. Whose responsibility was it?

Obviously, we were very fertile. She thought pregnancy and it happened.

By the time we reached our 6th it was time to take action. Poverty was staring us in the face; her body was reaching to end of its tether (so her dr said).

I had a vasectomy and that ended our reproductive lives. Despite that, she argued that I had removed her RIGHT to have children. I still think her argument was non-sensical at the time.

I was happy with the choice I made.

In terms of society, I think it is a woman’s right to decide what to do with her body. There are too many unwanted children in this world. There are too many unhappy mothers, unhappy fathers and families.

I think it is wrong for society to impose on the rights of women.

Too many ‘well-meaning’ ignorant people are more than happy to use religion to hide their prejudices behind.

In my case it took a long time for me to figure it all out, haunted as I was by the teachings I was brought up on.

But I saw in practice what happened to women forced to raise a child they are not capable of caring for.

Birth control should be a woman’s or family’s decision.

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Photo Challenge #425 – Tosca (the dog not the Opera).

Tosca, the dog, not the opera, stood staunchly guarding her domain.

Standing on the back veranda she surveyed her kingdom with a quiet reserve ready to strike at any moment should her world be invaded.

Her owners were loving folk, who cared deeply for her and provided her with as many social experiences as possible as well as a treat every so often.

On this day her human mother had hung the washing out fearing it might rain and Tosca was making sure that if such an occurrence happened she would be ready to raise her doggy alarm.

As it was the day had been interrupted by the postman, the baker and a curious old lady selling buttons for “Dog-Friendly Day”. Tosca didn’t quite understand what that meant for as far as she was concerned every day was dog-friendly day, so long as you were, in fact, a friend.

She stood alert, looking at the sky, scratching herself and every so often giving her hindquarters a good healthy sniff and lick.

Like so many days time was about alertness, wakefulness and best of all snoringness.

She heard a rustling at the end of the yard. Someone was at the back fence. She stood to attention, sensing the change in the atmosphere, capturing a familiar scent, she knew this smell, it was the nosy neighbour, probably wanting to pinch a lemon or two or even have the audacity to dig up one of her master’s prize lettuces.

Tosca let loose with her best warning bark. A long and continuous sound ending with a crescendo of doggy warning.

The nosy neighbour called out her name, said in his usual friendly manner causing Tosca to run down the back steps to greet him, give him a loving lick and receive an affectionate pat on her head.

Having carried out her duties, Tosca retired to the veranda while the nosy neighbour helped himself to a prized lettuce.

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What Do You See #145 – 1st August – Barry

Image credit; Marti Alonso @ Unsplash

His name was Barry and he lived not far from me in an old house that seemed to be sinking into the ground.

He was for the most part a poor miserable soul. Any time you inquired as to his health you received a litany of ailments you regretted asking him about.

He had always appeared old to me. He couldn’t have been that old when I first met him. He was one of those men who appeared old; he probably did so from birth.

He was a bit of an artist. He liked to sit by the lagoon, his easel set up against the backdrop of the willows that lined the lagoon. This was where he was content. This was where he died.

They found him late in the day, slumped over his paints, his nose resting in the fire-engine red he had mixed. It was a fitting end.

Mum had always said Barry was a bit different. In his house, they found very little of note. There was one thing that grabbed me, a mural on his lounge room wall: WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.

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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #194 – Time

There’s the thing about time. It keeps on, you can’t replay the past.

I find it irritating that it ticks away oblivious to how I feel and what effect it is having on me.

It is the joke of the universe. Time moves in one direction only and you either keep up or you fall behind and that has dire consequences.

I saw a joke the other day where God announces that he has created equal parts of light and dark. The angel at his side asks, “What are you going to do now?” God says: Call it a day.

On the one hand, it is irritating but also time is there to amuse us.

Its racing past us, as we age we begin to realise how quickly it passes us. It creates a reality for us where the signs of its effect are visible to us, staring us in the face, so to speak.

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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #182 – Self-Isolation

I’m locked inside at the moment. It’s called self-isolation as I have tested positive for Covid.

Last week I was in Tasmania on a touring holiday with two friends. This week I’m holed up at home.

It was a wonderful trip, so many beautiful places to see and enjoy. We did visit Port Arthur wherein the colonial days it was a convict prison. A terrible place, people lived in appalling conditions. Then in 1996 a fellow went there one Sunday and shot 35 people.

Our history is what it is but it is a moving place when you consider what once happened there.

Apart from that place the rest of the state is magnificent. Sweeping coastlines to intriguing temperate rainforests. It was my second visit and as enjoyable as the first.

My isolation is allowing me to ponder how lucky I am living in Australia.

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