As 2020 closed, many of us were glad to see the backside of it, though we're still mired in the pandemic. Keep diligent, stay home, and when you do go out, wear a mask. STAY SAFE!!!
I, like many others, struggle through the holiday season. We as a society must show compassion and understanding for those people, our brothers, our sisters, our neighbours, our friends, our coworkers. Mental health has no boundaries.
I lost a son two years ago to suicide and it haunts me every day—particularly during the "holiday time," as he died Dec. 31, 2018. One finds oneself walking, pacing, unaware that you're doing it. Throughout this tragedy, I was encouraged to write—my thoughts, emotions—even to write a letter to my beloved son.....BUT write what?
At two in the morning the other night I felt compelled to express my sorrow by writing a poem.
I share this with you as part of my healing and also with hopes that if another person reads this, they can get a little comfort knowing they are not alone in grief.
Hang in there, everyone! Let us hope that with each day we get a little closer to a stable, kinder, COVID-free world.
(ANOTHER) DEAD OF NIGHT
John R Hewson MD
Two Christmas nights, plus five nights more,
My firstborn crossed the line.
His inner pain had scarred his core:
He chose to cut the twine.
And since my loss—now broken man,
Though never one to quit--
I feel each step more tough to span,
That I’m no longer “fit.”
I’ve always lived a simple code:
“I am my brother’s keeper.”
In ICUs I trod that road
No matter steep or steeper.
But now I’m old, I’m on the shelf--
No longer at the fore.
Now pacing nights, a useless self,
With son who died before.
I think of all the lives I’ve saved,
And then to God I wail:
“How could You let me manage THAT,
And yet, my own son—fail?”
I watch as dawn announces day,
And birds begin to tweet.
And every morn, again, I pray
I’ll once more find my feet.
Be with me, God!
I need You—NOW—and evermore!
Thanks to all the supporters of local businesses!!! We need to support them and they in turn support local artists, authors and entrepreneurs. Community taking care of community.
I want to give a big THANK-YOU to several local businesses for helping to promote my novel, Corbett's Daughter.
If you're walking through Dundas, you may see "Corbett's Daughter" and the 'SUPPORT LOCAL' contest in some shops. Try the newly reopened Domestique Coffee Shoppe. Kendra and Chris are welcoming, engaging, and they make a wicked Cappuccino and Mocha!!! . . . Definitely a destination!
Across the street and down a little, you'll find Cruikshank's. Our thanks go to Gord Cruickshank for supporting and promoting the contest. If you need a special gift for the man or woman in your life, Cruikshank's will definitely be able to help!
STAY SAFE, everyone!!!
And PLEASE!!!—SOCIALLY-DISTANCE AND WEAR A MASK—SOMEONE ELSE'S LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!
Today we remember what has been given by many. Our freedom was not easily won.
Our veterans met their obligations.
Honour their memory by looking out for your neighbour, for your community, for your fellow man--
as they looked out for us!
How dare anyone feel they don't have a responsibility to keep others safe?
To not wear a mask in a pandemic is immoral!
People are always screaming about their rights!
Rights come with obligations!
It's not about you, or about me--
It's about us—all of us!!!
Civilization is about getting from ME to WE!
WE ARE OUR BROTHERS' KEEPER!
I wish you that inner peace that comes--NOT from TAKING—but from GIVING!
Until next week,
Blog for November 2, 2020
November 2, 2020
WOW! More than two-and-a-half-years since my last blog! How on earth did we end up here, in a crazy 2020 that finds all of us at least mildly changed from 2017? One way or another, we’ve made it through and find ourselves rediscovering who we are, what we’re made of, and what we plan on doing in response to knowing more about ourselves.
Some of us have enjoyed success and celebrations. Others have suffered hardship, and some have endured pain and loss—as I have: Suddenly, tragically, I lost my beloved elder son, Marc—a very esteemed professor and successful scholar—who suffered with mental illness. A large hole has been left in my heart and in our whole family. . . . But—dammit-all—I’ve survived! . . . May we all successfully struggle through these difficult times—together.
By following a simple credo:
“I AM MY BROTHERS’ KEEPER.”
I managed to keep my focus on helping others rather than wallowing in self-paralyzing grief. That’s the gist of my message today—GIVE, AND YOU’LL “MAKE IT THROUGH!!!” And when I say “give,” I DON’T mean just to family members!
GIVE—TO THE WORLD
And I’m not talking about money!!!
“Giving” constitutes the first of my four strategies for living a fulfilling life. . . . I’m back again, still hanging on,
still hanging in! . . . And yes, I do my best to practice what I preach!!!
Until next time, a few days from now,
Peace and love,
February 17, 2018
Reflections on Life
I believe life is meaningless—and I can't live with that any more than you can! How do you cope? Me, I define the meaning of my life—in a way that makes me contented, relatively satisfied with myself. No, not smug! Not in the least! Perhaps it would be clearer to state that I'm satisfied with the values and goals I have set for myself. I'll face death at peace, content to be able to say that I tried. Sure, I screwed up! Sure, I didn't always succeed! But dammit, I TRIED!
I realize now that I have developed four strategies which taken together have enabled me to lead a hectically joyous and fulfilling life. And that's as good as it gets, as far as I'm concerned!
1. Give—help non-family (family is just about your own genes!).
You'll feel good about yourself.
2. Be creative (music, art, writing, carpentry, etc.)
You'll develop friendships, fight loneliness, and connect with others.
3. Associate with younger people.
You'll stay "younger" and feel "relevant."
4. "Write about it!" (to clarify your problems)
Come to terms with issues that have kept you awake. When you write, you have
to pick words. That forces you to clarify your thoughts.
I'll get into a discusion of each of these, one by one, over the next few weeks. —kind of busy right now, in rehearsal for three different productions.
September 28, 2018
Life, in practice
It's been seven months since I last blogged here—I've been practicing the four "strategies" I use to make my life meaningful. They sure work for me: I'm less than four months shy of my 78th birthday and my feet still barely touch the ground. I've been in five plays so far this year and had the lead role in what will likely be called "The Man in the Three-Piece Suit" (one of two full-length movies I was in this summer). We hope to have "The Man" edited in time for submission to next year's TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival). My novel "Corbett's Daughter" has found its way down to the Patagonia Public Library in Arizona! . . . I expect to publish another novel, "Flint's Last War," within the next six months or so. . . . I still do all the other things—mentoring, tutoring adult literacy, and sitting on three public-sector advisory board. . . . Bottom line: I'm no spring chicken but I feel like one! I attribute this to utilizing all four "strategies" together—my life has meaning (to me, at least!) so I'm happy and healthy.
Help others and you help yourself! Now there's a win/win situation!
Be kind. Be happy.
See you soon! (Yes, before April!)