Losses

 

Elephant costume jewelry
Elephant costume jewelry

Have you ever had a loss?  Losses come in many shapes and sizes, also

Grandmother's wedding ring
Grandma’s wedding ring

emotional and unemotional.  Take for example the loss of a piece of costume jewelry, it is not something that has any great intrinsic value and probably little emotional value. But if it were your grandmothers wedding ring and it were lost or stolen then the value increases greatly both intrinsically and emotionally.  Everything has its own worth, large or small.

 

2008-08-24 12.20.07
Scamp

Almost three years ago, Scamp my miniature Schnauzer, died after a

IMG_E0392
Chloe

severe stroke, and last year we lost Chloe, another schnauzer, to cancer.  We had Scamp for almost 13 years and Chloe for only one.  We were devastated over the loss of both dogs even though we only had Chloe a year, she had become part of the family and burrowed herself deep into our hearts.

'57 Chevy
’57 Chevrolet

Cars are sometimes as big a loss just like the loss of a pet.  According to one insurance company ad on TV we are so close to our cars that we name them and if we have an accident and it is totaled, we are depressed beyond measure, then when the insurance company pays for a car that is newer you break out into your happy dance.  Really, you must kidding.  I have had cars I really liked but never to the point that it was a love affair.

Some people are that way about their houses or the possessions in them.  When we sold our house 11.5 years ago there were some nostalgic feels I had when we left, it is only normal, it is not like losing a pet or a loved one.  Within just a few months we were settled into our new home and had pretty much forgotten about the old house.  but if that loss is the result of a fire or a violent storm would that change how I woud feel? More than likely I would be devastated, the loss of everything that Kathy and I have worked for over these many years and the memories they represent.

But these losses are trivial compared to the loss of someone you love. The physical death of someone is devastating at the monent and the feeling of hurt will last a short time and turn into a mild ache coupled with the memories that will last a lifetime.  What about the loss of a loved one, not by death or divorce, but by an illness.  It is a toughter loss than can be imagined.

2012-07-21 12.32.05
Enjoying a trip to Crater Lake.

My wife, Kathy, has Parkinson’s disease, it is hard to feel the loss when she is right here.  Her walking has slowed, balance is an issue we can overcome with a walker.  Sometines cognitive issues have come up and has caused friction between us, it is not like losing someone to dementia or Alzheimer Disease.  We get irritated with each other, but that is because we are around each other a lot more now that we have entered in that part of life call retirement.  Because of the changes that my wife has gone througth I now do more things around the house, such as grocery shopping, doing laundry, making beds, doing the dishes after meals.  And then there are the doctor’s appointments and since she no longer drives I take her to all of her appointments.  Someone told me not long ago, they having recently lost their loved one, that it was like losing your loved one twice, once to the disease and again when the loved one passes on their rewards.

I had hoped that the two of us would be able to do some traveling and visit places that

New Year Celebration Anywhere
Illumination by fireworks

we had never seen or do again things that we had done in the past, but that is not going to happen.  If I want to see or do something, I have to plan it for the times that I take for respite care.  This does not mean that my wife and I can not go places and take some time to enjoy ourselves, it is just not very often. For example, this July we are going to the Oregon Gardens in Silverton to see the 4th of July celebration. Can you imagine seeing the Gardens lit by the exploding rockets?  It should be spectactular.

Ainsworth UCCLosses like these are what you make of them.  They can be devastating and overwhelming or with a lot of love and support it can be rewarding.  Support comes in many varities, your church (if you have one) can be a great resource, disease related support groups, your city/county may have programs to help with care while you are taking respite time, organizations that you belong to (Masons, Elks, Eagles) might also be able to help.  While on respite ensure that your loved one has plenty of stimulation, lonelyness can turn into depression which can lead into much tougher issues.  Some places, like here in Oregon, have organizations that support particualar diseases or illnesses, ours is Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon

Masonic Square and Compass
The Masons
BPOE_logo
Elks Lodge

And for goodness sake take care of yourself, be involved with activities that will help you relieve the pressures that build up.  If necessary get yourself a therapist, this a great way of blowing off steam without judgment.  Many therapist have tools to help you cope with loved ones suffering from diseases or illnesses that may or may not linger on for years.

 

What are they thinking?

The other day something remarkable happened, it was how it was done and by the person who did it.

A plane going from New York to Texas lost an engine, well not really lost; the damn thing blew up, exploded, went where it was not suppose too.  A large part of the engine was found 60 miles north of Philadelphia, the rest of it came down with the plane.  The plane, an older model Boeing 737, was cruising at 30,000 plus feet when the engine blew apart, it broke a window and opened a gash in the fuselage.

A woman seated next to the window or very near was sucked part way out of the plane, another passenger immediately grabbed her and with the help of a couple of others were able to pull her back into the plane.  According to the reports several other passengers had minor injuries.

ARABIAN GULF (July 31, 2016) – An F/A-18F Super Hornet  prepares to make an arrested landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (Ike) (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class J. Alexander Delgado/Released)

During all this the pilot, a US Navy veteran, had her hands full, you read right I said her, Tammie Jo Shults.  She was the first woman to qualify to fly the F/A18 in the US Navy and qualify as a Top Gun pilot, but being a woman she could not be a Top Gun flyer, but she could be a trainer, because women were not allowed to fly in combat.  She trained our finest Navy aviators.  During  her own training she landed planes on the decks of aircraft carriers pitching and rolling on the sea.  She learned to fly, as they say, by seat of her pants.  The F/A18s were not fly by wire as most planes are today, these lessons came in handy when her Boeing 737 lost its engine.

Older Boeing 737s are not computer controlled as they are today.  So when the engine blew she had to use the yoke to fly her aircraft.  The first thing she had to do was get that plane down from 30,000 feet to 10,000 just to equalize the pressure between the inside and outside of the plane, that took about 10 minutes.  During the next 10 minutes she brought the plane in for a landing with only one engine and she could not use either the flaps in full extension or the reverse thrust on the good engine.  So she was coming in, as they say, hot.  Without the flaps and reverse thrust she landed her plane praying the whole while that the tires would not blow or the brakes overheated and failed.  After landing she went into the cabin and calmly talked with the passengers.  Now that is one remarkable lady.

Now the most remarkable part of this story is how the media told the story, they had it down just like I have above but more graphic.  But it was how they gushed all over her and said how cool and calm she was.  How she must have had nerves of steel.  The only thing they left out was that she, being a woman, she did not get all emotional and hysterical about the whole thing.  She was cool and knew what to do.  Her hormones did not get in the way as the media thought they would.  “No”, she was trained to do this job, hours and hours behind the stick of a military plane, and many more hours training Navy aviators without letting her  hormones get in the way.  This lady is a real professional.

I just hope and pray that our vision of women starts to change, as to allow women the full measure and equality that men have had for generations.  One thing about the military, women and men receive the same pay for the same work, same grade, and time in service.  We talk about equal opportunity in employment but most of it is just talk.  Until we get serious about it, nothing will change.  As long as employers forbid employees to discuss wages and salaries the problem will continue to exist.  The employer is the greatest stumbling block to progress, let us bring this discussion out of the back rooms and into the light.  Women deserve to be treated better than that.