What a question to ask, the answer to which is the goal of most people. How do we separate what is important in life from the other stuff? How do we go about our daily life and not remain oblivious to what is going on around us? Paying attention to the lives of others. Achieving a stream of consciousness that will hold us up in times of adversity supporting our resolve for a better life.

Spirituality is the single most important component of the answer. Our society has a quiet rebellion at the word religion which conjures up images of child and native abuse, control, extreme riches while the poor remain hungry all around, wars and extreme prejudices fought in its name. We are unable to separate religion in many of its current forms from the purity of the original teachings.

There are also a number of questions arising as the the accuracy of the holly works since these were translated and transcribed by humans who are prone to so many errors. Assurances of the purity of the works as protected by the Manifestations of God or God himself are of no avail. No one really believes that is a possibility. Studies of the Bible particularly have highlighted the number of errors that have crept into the works that we are reading today. The first Bible was published 1000 years after the crucifixion of Christ.

The subject of spirituality itself is fraught with issues. Is it possible to have spirituality without religion? Is not the basis of spirituality the same as that of religion that we take for granted now as good vs bad rules. Thou shalt not kill was introduced by religion and has become assimilated in society. Could that rule have evolved naturally or would we continue to believe that killing is a natural process of mankind. The wild west of the 19th Century in the U.S. would support the issue that killing was considered a normal part of life for many years, in spite of religion or spirituality.

Defining the latter is effusive at best and left to the individual. Spirituality appears to live in people’s lives according to their set of principles and guidelines. I would surmise though, that all aspects of it engender some sort of feelings of good will to all men. The prospect of doing good as opposed to evil, to advance society to the next level of accomplishment. Defining good and evil, accomplishments and the like opens its own set of issues and definitions that become very personal very quickly in any discussion. To make matters worse, there are few answers.

I would add two additional principles to spirituality. The Baha’i Faith goes to great lengths espousing the benefits of detachment and moderation. I have mentioned these in the past. I am coming to the conclusion that these three could easily form the bastion of human consciousness. All are difficult to achieve, nearing on the impossible. Mainly because we tend to attempt to define things in black and white. Where it only so. All definitions defie tight descriptions of any kind. Matters are made worse by advancing age as we see ambiguity all around us.

Detachment is the process of detaching yourself from material goods. I say this as I sit in a house full of beautiful art collected over the years. I always considered detachment also meant not having material goods, shying away from purchasing them. As time has gone by, I have come to the conclusion that far not acquiring material goods, the art of detachment includes the process of acquiring stuff but recognising the transient nature f what we acquire. The accumulation of wealth for the sake of it has never seemed like a good idea, or even a recommended path to happiness. On the other hand, you have a Warren Buffet who makes a fortune and gives most of away to benefit mankind. That is certainly a level of detachment. For the record, he gave away $35 billion of his $40 billion fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Detachment is hard to achieve since it is hard to define accurately, and again means different things to different people. At its most fundamental, I believe it includes the appreciation of one’s belongings without being unduly attached to them. Would I miss my art if it were stolen? Or burned in a fire? Undoubtedly. Life goes on at that point. We can always start purchasing again. Maybe go in a new direction. The silver lining that allows us to chart new ways as a direct result of the loss we have suffered.

Moderation is equally complicated. At first glance, it would appear that moderation encourages us to tow the middle line. How boring that would be. No excesses. On the other hand, would moderation allow the occasional excess as long as it is tempered afterwards? I am sure it does. We would not know what moderation was if we are always being moderate. That brings us to the mind bender of moderation within moderation.

Can the boundaries of moderation be moved? The answer is an obvious yes. A person participating in Xtreme sports will have different upper and lower boundaries associated with their level of activities. Their state of moderation, or what they would consider to be moderate would a totally different of values than mine. Same would apply to such mundae tasks as driving a car where we set different standards for ourselves.

We drove from Germany to Iran in 1962. My father had purchased a brand new Opel Caravan. The laws regarding importing foreign new vehicles into Iran had relaxed and my father decided to take advantage of the situation. He went to the Automobile Association in Germany to get a map and an idea of what route to take. It was an interesting drive of which I remember parts. He was told there two routes, easy and hard. Easy meant two weeks, hard was ten days over the grueling mountains of Yugoslavia and Turkey. We had lived in Ethiopia for ten years negotiating its mountainous terrain, mountains appeared to not be a problem for my father.

My father’s idea of a trip was to get from point A to point B with the minimum number of interventions. Bathroom breaks were non-existent. Leaving at 7:00AM meant just that. Be in there or incur his wrath. We made the trip to Iran in seven days much tot he shock of the Automobile Association Iran when we reported in. My dad’s idea of moderation while driving while slightly askew with the rest of the people in the car.

We are all very fast fast drivers in my family. Moderation means driving over the speed limit, not at the limit.

Moderation also applies to other aspects of life. Baha’is are told to take every opportunity to teach the Faith. Mention the name of our Manifestation of God, Baha’u'llah. Extol his teachings and so on. Even that has to be done in moderation. I have a cousin who is very active in the faith, in my opinion past the point of moderation by a large margin regardless of what upper and lower boundaries are set. She is in France right now, gone to spend time with her daughter. Her daughter works which means my cousin will have some free time on her hands. She will be organising some sort of Baha’i do there During her vacation.

I pointed out to her that this would no longer be a vacation. She should take some time out from teaching the Faith and become a tourist. I am not good at that, she says. Of course not. That requires practice.  You need to try it sometime. Go to the Museums, not the Louvre necessarily, but the Musee D’Orsay is fabulous and worth the visit. Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Being a tourist requires you to practice being one to enjoy the process. In the meantime, go have a cup of coffee and talk to people. Incredible what you will learn from them. Recharge your batteries. It will make you a more effective teacher when you return. Moderation applies to everything we do.

If you are bored by how moderate you have become, move the boundaries. Being moderate does not mean boring.

Spirituality, detachment, moderation form the three pillars on which most lives can be lived fruitfully.

None can be achieved however, without first becoming conscious of what you are doing and how you are living you life. Stream of consciousness is vital. We are seeing this term appear more and more in all sorts of literature. Become aware. Consciousness allows you to heal yourself from some conditions. There are those who argue that I could heal my liver if only I was more conscious of its activities. Rewrite the genes that control it. It is possible. It has been proven with the new theories of Neuro Plasticity in which have rewired their brains to get rid of certain debilitating conditions including depression.

Another life long goal to be achieved. All of these are done simultaneously. It is not like you do one, than proceed to another. Every pillar is a support helping the others make sense out of everything.

Consciousness allows to become aware that the problem or issue you are labouring over is important or not. Helps balance  things out. Can you live like that every day of your life. I doubt it.

I am beginning to dissect and analyse what people say. This is fun and very educational. I have another post coming out on it. For now, I will mention one of them. Live every day like it is your last. Or take everything one day at a time. Both impossible to do. You have no idea when your last day is. And anyways, you will be dead on your last day. Not sure you want to live that way.

Given the prognosis that I have two months to live has creates a volcano of thoughts and feelings. None of which helps decide how to live every day like it is my last. Don’t have the energy for it. What if I want to sit and do nothing tomorrow? Is that a bad thing? Have I betrayed my last day objective? Would I not want to do something different? Not necessarily anything dramatic. Have dinner with my wife. Just the two of us. Hardly a last day activity people envision when they make the comment. You can have dinner anytime. Go do something else. But what?

The answer to your question, Iggy, is as old as the mountains we tread on. Achieving the balance that is required to live a full life, aware of the repercussions of one’s actions. I can tell you from my own experience over this journey, that the road to that awareness is long, will take unexpected twists and turns for which you are never totally prepared. It is worth taking the time every day to meditate. Probably toward the end of the day, on what actions you have taken, how this has affected you and your loved ones. How things can be fixed. The quicker you apply the fix the better. What the next steps are.

Baha’is have to say their prayers every day. A prayer consists of three equal parts. The first is reading the prayer, aloud or to yourself, the second is to meditate on what you have read, and the this is to take some action as a result of the prayer. Reading the prayer is the easy part. The rest require a stream of consciousness.

I hope this helps you in some way, Iggy. This has been a very difficult write. I would to hear not only your comments, but those of others. Please do not be shy, every comment carries a gem in it whether you think so or not. A lot of you write me eMails instead of commenting. I wish I could post those as comments. They are full of insight that you may not think are valuable, or downplay as simplistic. This blog has proven that there is no such thing. I have written posts that I have looked at later and thought I treated the subject too lightly, yet the comments make a liar out of me. Or the posts leave enough room for others to say something.

This is an important post tome. Please comment. Every word has value.

My health is deteriorating rather too fast for my own taste. The steroids keep me from running out of breath, but I still find myself breathing hard too often. I am trying to figure out how much of this psychological, and how much physical. I am leaning toward the latter though would prefer the former.

Today has been very difficult. We started the day by going to the funeral home to make our arrangements. We have chosen the coffin and paid for everything. We then went to sign the power of attorney papers effectively giving Janet control of my life. Not that she has not had that unofficially for years, this was a mere formality. Finally, went to the cemetery and chose the plot.

The cemetery is located downtown. We were surprised to find that they still had space. The place was opened in 1830 and is almost full. It is near our house. You get to it by taking a circuitous route, so it is not always in view. Janet can walk to it quite easily. All the lands around it used to belong to the Lamb family. They gave a lot of it away and developed a whole other section. The cemetery is part of those lands, as is a small children’s farm called Riverdale Farm. I will be in good company with the cows, horses, and goats. There is a park in front of the farm in which there is the weekly organic farmers market. Seems somehow ironic.

Lots of traffic, which is a good thing.

Everyone is a bit surprised that we are making our own arrangements. Specially me. A lot of people make the arrangements expecting to die further down the road. To make arrangements with a couple of months left seems to have perplexed everyone.

It is surreal to walk into a funeral home and get a tour. Gee, that is the table I will be lying on. You guys will be sitting in those chairs. Don’t forget to wave. I may have a bit of difficulty waving back, but assume that I have at the very least, attempted to do so. We discussed the casket. Is there special music you want? Any other special needs? Will that be cash or charge? Done.

We had lunch, then made our way to the cemetery. Got a tour of the grounds. These are the plots that are available. You like? We have the location indicated in the above picture by the little yellow flag you can barely see. That is where the feet go.

Are you weirded out yet? We are having these discussions like it is normal. Something we do every day. We have now started working on the program. Who will be the MC? Say prayers? Eulogy? Do you invite people to say something at your own funeral? Do people get up and say what they want? Is there a protocol to all this? Does the protocol change when you are making your own arrangements?

I have chosen the pallbearers and am about to send out the eMails. I don’t even know if the people I have chosen are planning to go to the cemetery or not. I guess I am about to find out. You have to make sure the heights of everyone is close to being the same. I don’t want to fall out or anything because one person is too tall. Maybe I will choose 8 women. Hah! Still have a sense of humour, macabre as it is.

Baha’is believe in life after death. It comes with its own set of responsibilities. We believe that the body is a vessel for the soul. Effectively a bucket that contains your soul. Once the bucket is full, you kick the bucket, as it were. Different people, different size buckets. This is not a competition to see who can fill up their bucket first. It also helps explain the death of people at different ages.

Baha’is are not allowed to be cremated. We end life by returning to the earth, completing the circle. Our ceremonies are short, except for this one prayer for the dead. It consists of 19 verses that are recited 19 times. Though not considered a holly number, the numbers 9 and 19 appear frequently in the Baha’i faith.

We are exhorted to be detached from all material things. They have such little intrinsic value that we should put our efforts in improving our spirituality as opposed to massing huge amounts of wealths and possessions. Is that Van Gogh really worth millions?

Another virtue we are told to exercise is that of moderation. We are told to use moderation in all things. Including moderation in using moderation. There is a mind bender. There is an issue at this point. Maybe that Van Gogh is worth the millions as opposed to something else I have in my art collection. A moderate price indeed.

I was back in hospital last Wednesday evening with a temperature of 38.5. My temperature was down to normal by the time we got to the emergency room. I knew the answer to the question about whether I was there to see a doctor or not, this time around. I think I also looked a bit sicker than last time we went in. The emergency room was quite busy. I was eventually ushered in. Blood tests were done, cultures raised. I was held in the unit all night. They had to draw more blood at three in the morning for more cultures. All to prove that I was the picture of health, except for the amazing number of metastasized tumours in my lungs.

And therein lies the issue. The lungs are being infected at an alarming rate, with the tumours frolicking hither and tither having the time of their life. I was sent home from the hospital and told to control my temperature fluctuations with Tylenols. Not much the system can do for me at this point.

The trials had failed. I was referred back to Dr. Hedley who is on sick leave waiting for his knee to heal. EMails were sent and an appointment was made to see Dr Hedley on Friday afternoon. Decision time.

I was optimistic. I had assumed that the inflamed liver was due to it fighting the tumours and winning the battle. The hospital visit appeared to make a mockery of that thought, but I held on to my optimism. Dr. Hedley came in on Friday afternoon specially to see me. He gave Janet and I a gigantic hug and we went into a consulting room. Shahnaz, my wonderful nurse was there, as was a student nurse. We had a 90 minute consultation. The decision to be made was the following:

1. Do more Chemo. This is the FULLFOX treatment. Side effects include numbness of the fingers and toes, extreme sensitivity to cold, to the point where you cannot open the fridge door. Ideal for a climate such as Canada’s. There would be a 30% chance of success, which in my case would mean slowing down the growth rate. We would know within three months if it was working and would have to stop the treatments in six months. We would then be back to where we are now.

2. Do nothing and let nature take its course.

The obvious question that came up is what does the status quo mean. How much time do we have. I had to ask since that was the only way we could come to some decision. The answer was quick and shocking. I have two months.

Dr. Hedley was quicker to add that the number is not written in stone, specially given my record. Regardless of its accuracy, the amount of time left is counted in months. What were we expecting. A year, Janet and I said. He shook his head sadly.

There it stands, two to four months.

We are numb. What is there to say. My sense of humour fails me. I have nothing to say. Janet says she does not accept the verdict. She is defiant. But there is little left to say.

I have spent the last few days letting people know. Tears have flooded involuntarily. We are all sad, living in a surreal existence trying to make sense of this. Two months is such a short time. This is October, then November, then December and the end. Maybe. Still too close for any level of comfort.

We are about to start doing the practical stuff. Transfer all the accounts to Janet’s name. Complete a power of attorney.  Put together a living will? Make sure we have people to look after the house for Janet. The furnace repair man, the contractor, the computer technicians. We are making a list tomorrow. Janet is taking time off work so we can spend more time together. It is all so mundane, and yet I feel fortunate that we have the time to do these things.

I have stopped day dreaming. Seems little point to it after all. What will my kitchen look like? My garden?  The thoughts are barely in my head before the streaming stops. Almost as if my computer has frozen requiring a reboot. I have trouble sleeping at night. I lay awake often to two in the morning until exhaustion takes its toll. Is that becomes dreams are now harder to come by? What is there to dream about? I have no idea what the after life looks like.

Will I see my parents again? Will there be a welcoming committee? Bunch of girls in hula dresses dancing and draping flowers around my neck? OK, so I watch too many movies. Will I see old friends, like Judy Elder? I imagine the after life as a continuum into eternity. A progression of the soul as it moves through the ether. The evil ones start lower while the saintly ones have the advantage o starting on a higher plane. I figure I am somewhere in the middle. I will be happy as long as I can Gandhi and not Hitler.

We have also started planning for the final days. We have an appointment with palliative for November 9. An appointment with the funeral home on Tuesday. The strangest part of all this is that I am basically healthy and sound in great spirits. I called the funeral home. Has the person died yet? No, I am working on it. Everyone is amazed that I am still laughing and joking. I figure these are my final days. I would like people to remember me with joy on my face rather than sadness.

My mother spent the last three weeks of her life in hospital. She was not in very good shape. I spent a couple of hours with her on what turned out to be her last night. We had always been very close, except during her cancer period. She turned to Fetneh to look after her. The last night was very precious to me. I showed up at hospital around midnight. Those were the days of lax security. We talked a lot. She had made sure that no one would be allowed to see her in the last three weeks. She said the way she looks is not the way she wanted to be remembered. She died the next morning. I remember looking art her body lying in peace, finally and thinking she is indeed dead. The soul has left.  That last memory has remained with me for the past 31 years. She was right. Remember us with the passion we had when were in good shape, not as we lie in pain in hospital.

We are going to Atlanta next weekend. Leaving on Friday, returning on Monday. It has to be short. We cannot take the chance of something going wrong while in the U.S..  We have been told that things could go from right to wrong in seconds. I believe it. I wake up sometimes, not feeling quite up to snuff. I return to bed to recover my strength. This morning was one of those mornings. I seem to be fine now. Nothing like a bunch of steroids and Tylenols to perk you up. The steroids open the lung channels, and the Tylenol deals with the pain. Miracle workers between them.

We are staying in a hotel in Atlanta. More privacy. Devin is coming down from New York, and Fetneh is joining us from Montreal. My family is planning on spending a lot of time with me over the next little while. Fo’ad has cleared his schedule and intends on coming up to Toronto to spend a week at my place. Our hotel is opening its doors again.

The whole situation is surreal. I will keep saying that. There is not other way of looking at it. You talk about your own imminent death. What kind of conversation is that to have? Defies sanity. Everyone keeps asking what they can do for me. The only thing left is to enjoy each other’s company. Talk, laugh, have a good time. Nothing else matters.

I am planning to have a plain casket, made from pine. I am told that these are available. I would like a stamp placed on top that says: Property of God. The style will be along the type that was used in raiders of the Lost Ark. I am not going to have a guest book. We will instead have markers of different colours available so people can sign the casket. I can have your names with me for the next part of my journey. That will also save Janet from having to send thank you notes to everyone. Consider yourselves thanked.

This has been a very difficult entry to make.  We received the news last Friday. I have had this open on my computer for a week now trying to find the right words and cadence.

I thank you for being there. For listening, crying and laughing. Hopefully more of the latter.

The level of confusion, for want of a better word is amazing. On the one hand, it is good news. Let the chemicals run through their routine and exit the system.

Take a couple of months off to reassess the situation.

Ponder the meaning of life.

Start working on all my projects.

Keep away from the routine of the hospital.

Janet was talking the other day about this situation. You start on this adventure in a bit of a daze. You ask a bunch of questions. According to Janet I was asking my fair share of questions. Except that I was repeating my questions. I was getting answers and repeating the same questions. As I said, in a bit of a daze.

You acquiesce to the advice given by the doctors. Specially if you like them. They seem to know what they are doing. Dr. Heldey has a huge collection of articles to his credit. Surely, he knows a lot of stuff about colon cancer and its metastasized state. He is very reassuring. All we can do is follow his advice.

There is a lot of talk of alternatives to the traditional medicines. There are no proofs, just a lot of information. It is very hard to sift through all the information. We have discovered that you tend to make sense of the information as time goes by, as the need arises to make sense of things. So much of the information is anecdotal. We have no idea if people are responding to the medication, the alternative choices, or not.

I have always maintained that I will not live just for the sake of living. I will not go through a regime that seems to be more work than it is worth. What price is life worth living for? All this work and you live an extra two years. Is it worth it? Probably to the people around you, but not for the person going through the chronic condition. At least not to this one. I keep reading about people going through all sorts of programs to live longer. Why the compulsion to live at any cost?

The health network has looked after me for the past year. Diagnosis, operation, Chemo. Everyone looking after the chronic. With a smile, a laugh and a hug. You, the chronic are being looked after by all these people. The chronic is not doing anything, while things are done to him. We are a bit powerless. Go to the hospital, give blood, get Chemo. Make sure you have taken your drugs before the Chemo. Go home, sleep, rest, make the best of the situation.

We have to move now from having things done to us to deciding what we need to do for ourselves. We have to follow through with some of the stuff we have been reading about. Make sense of all the messages we are getting. Again, sift through everything and make decisions.

I find the situation very confusing. Again not sure if that is the right word. I have a lot of projects to work through, a lot of time to figure things out.

Janet and I will be married for 30 years this coming August.

Life has not been without its ups and downs. No marriage is without, let alone one that has lasted this many years.

Good times are followed by bad, arguments, fights, misunderstandings, compromise resulting in better times. All along you wonder why you are still together. You take each other for granted, get caught up in life’s foibles. Wake up and find each other all over again.

Theories abound that women choose their mates. Men may do the proposal on bended knee. That is just submitting to the inevitable. Women appear to see something in their mate that he is ignorant to. It appears in fact that men are ignorant to a whole bunch of stuff and stay that way for what seems like forever.

Men see the house of their dreams only to be set straight by their wives. Lovely house, kitchen too small. Oh right. How about this house, beauty eh? Living room is the wrong size. Oh yeah. How about this? Do you think this is right?  The seeds of doubt have been established. Or have they. Is this not just reality setting in? I am not being a cynic. Women make most of the important decisions.

The husband sees the house. Small kitchen? Nah. Just an opportunity to renovate. Rip out the old one and put in new cupboards. What fun. The ripping out is fun, only to realise that the rebuilding skills may be lacking, just slightly. IKEA may have to come to the rescue. She waits patiently for the project to finish. The power of the woman is that she has already seen the future and stalled the project before it had a chance to forge ahead and lead to further problems.

Contractors hate to finish projects started by others, even when the other is the husband.

We are going to celebrate our anniversary in New York this year. Devin is moving to New York to pursue a Masters degree at the New School. Subject is Change Management. Don’s ask. Still trying to figure it out. Seems like the new buzz word. Everything is changing. We someone with skills to manage these changes. He will have fun in New York. We have lots of friends and family there, all of whom have volunteered space and help and assistance of all kinds. He will not be sleeping in the streets any time soon. Devin had to borrow money from the bank to pay for all this. Loans co-signed by Janet. I would have gladly co-signed. The bank was being fussy about longevity of life and revenue sources.

I am tickled pink for him. To say nothing of how tickled pink he is for himself. Another expression with dubious sources. Why are we tickled pink? Why is that a good thing? He will be moving on August 21. We are all flying down with him, probably spending the week there which will include our anniversary on August 24.

I am not sure if I have written about our wedding. It was a wonderful affair set in the scenic resort of Esterelle in Quebec. We were young and broke and decided to plan the whole thing by ourselves. Fetneh assisted whenever she was allowed. The L’Esterelle resort is about an hour from Montreal.

It was a very rainy summer. Rained virtually every weekend. The weekend of our weekend was sunny, only to rain the weekend after. Lucky us. The banquet hall we had rented was built over the lake. Very scenic and beautiful. Made for great photo ops, which Fo’ad was more than happy to oblige us with. He mentioned later that he would never do that again. Could not enjoy the wedding and take pictures at the same time. Fo’ad is a great photographer. I have no idea where his collection of pictures and slides are these days.

We had booked another banquet hall, but they rented it out to someone else three weeks before our wedding. We were not fast enough with our deposit cheque. We scrambled like mad to find the resort which turned to be much better and nicer.

Invitations were sent out. About 75 people attended. My father came home from Nigeria where he was working. It was a surprise since he had shown no motivation to come. The Baha’i Faith requires us to obtain the permission of our parents before we get married. My father gave his consent, as did my mother-in-law, Maryse. My father-in-law, Morris was more reticent. Could we not live together first to see how things work out? Surely that would be more prudent. We persevered and eventually received his consent.

The Baha’i marriage ceremony was not accepted by the Quebec government in those days. We had a civil marriage at City Hall in the morning. We were quite giddy, had not slept in days. It was a short and uneventful ceremony except for our occasional giggles and fits of laughter. We went out for breakfast with our witnesses and friends, Ginny and Bryan. They are still together as well, and have moved to Toronto.

The civil and Baha’i weddings had to take place within the same day. The Baha’i day starts at 6:00PM. There was not much time to waste even though 6:00PM seemed like an eternity away. We had spent some time the previous day putting out signs along the byroads of leading to L’Esterelle pointing drivers in the right direction. The storm that followed blew away the signs.

We finally made it up to L’Esterelle around 2PM. Some people had already arrived just to make sure they were not going to get lost. Others got lost along the way, including my mother in law who was the DJ. She had a DJ company at the time called the Pink Ladies. She was quite good at it. I dressed very quickly and went out to make sure one of us to greet the guests. Janet was making herself all the prettier. Fetneh was doing the make up and hair primping.

I stood in the banquet hall greeting guests. The room had been set up with a head table. No, no, no. No head table. We are an egalitarian democratic bunch. The table was quickly removed by the very accommodating staff and the room re-arranged a bit. The flowers arrived late and were quickly set on the tables. Marys finally showed up and set up her equipment. I was in a bit of a daze. Janet had not shown up yet.

The Maitre D shows up at my elbow. This would be a good time to server hors d’oeuvres, no? I look at him in a daze and nod. Sure. It is now about 4:00PM. The hors d’oeuvres make their rounds. About half an hour later, the familiar whisper of the Maitre D appears in my ear. Good time to serve drinks, no? Sure, why not. I had no idea what was keeping Janet. 6:00PM was around the corner. I did not dare leave the room as the guests were milling about talking. Everyone seemed happy. No one was asking any questions about, what was to me, the obvious delays in getting thing going.

Janet showed up at 5:30 and the ceremony started. Lucky for us, the Baha’i ceremony is short. We can make it longer by adding our own words. The ceremony was complete before 6:00PM. Oh, joy, oh bliss.

Diana sang a couple of songs for us, others said some things. Don’t remember any more. It was time to eat.

We had a buffet dinner. All set up for the bride and groom to proceed. We arrived at the table to find all kinds of stuff we had nor ordered. Seafood galore, to say nothing of the magnificent ice sculpture that adorned the center of the table. Janet and I looked at each other. We can’t afford this. We never ordered any of this. The whisper comes to my ear, don’t worry, there was a wedding upstairs, these are their left overs, no sense in letting go to waste.

We ate first and used the rest of the dinner time to move around the room, greeting everyone making sure all was good. We danced the night away and finally crashed. I do not know what others do on their wedding night, we slept the sleep of the dead, grateful it was all over.

We stayed at L’Esterelle for a couple of days. Much needed rest and sleep.

The best part of the whole event was how impressed people were with the organization of the whole thing. It all went so smoothly. I have to thank the banquet whisperer for that.

Here we are thirty years later. Still together with a magnificent son who lights up our lives every day. Things are looking up in spite of the obvious.

Metaphors explain everything making things clearer. Such is this entry looking at our life as if hanging over the edge of a precipice, a hole waiting to claim our bodies while releasing the soul.

I took public transit to the hospital. Janet and Devin are both working. This is really a non-issue. The streetcar is almost at our door. Very convenient. Arrived a bit early, taken in on time and released right on schedule. Another new nurse. Again, very official. Name, number and date of birth, over and over [...]

The full import of the situation is slowly settling in. Hard to avoid the issue now that you have a shit-bag connected to your stomach. The word useless asshole has taken on a whole new meaning. A colostomy bag is front and centre on my stomach, a sure sign of a changed way of life. [...]

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