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shanegreen

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Feb 17, 2018
147
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Here is something personal you guys might appreciate. It was a poem passed on by my dad who is someone I talk to almost daily. He sent it to me a few years ago, and still sometimes mentions it. Dad has had cancer over a decade now, and beat stage 4 melanoma unconventionally. He has autoimmune, has flatlined for ten minutes and come back. Shortly after he flat lined he sent me this poem. The few doctors he has known call him the miracle man. There is a lot of things I could share about how he deals with his medical conditions, but if you want to discuss that them pm me, but I don't want this to turn into a stampede. Mainly this is about his spirit, and this poem, or passage by Shawnee Chief Tecumseh says a lot by him.
"So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.

Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and

Demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life,

Beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and

Its purpose in the service of your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend,

Even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and

Bow to none. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and

For the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks,

The fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and nothing,

For abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.
When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts

Are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes

They weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again

In a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home."

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
19,193
3,037
Outer Space
Ten years, wow, I'm sorry that you guys have had to deal with that, but it probably has made his spirit stronger. Go not gently... rage, rage...

My adopted father went with a slow lingering disease that curled his spine up into a fetal position. I was in college at the time, and living selfishly for myself mostly. I did set with him quietly on some weekends, with unspoken energy passing between us. Even though he could not speak, nor inhale, I would hold a cigarette for him in the final few times we hung out, and he would at least get a taste. When sadness and frustration would overcome me, I'd just drive back to college, and keep going. Then the call came, and I just kept going. We buried him, and I just kept going. It's weird how we all grieve and let go in different ways.
I love poetry. But, I have to admit that I am not the best at it or fully understanding it. But, it is great that you have that bit of artwords or wisdom to hang onto. When I inherited by dad's jewelry tools, I also inherited the last batch of rings he was working on. Perfectly aligned settings, perfect prongs. It's my poetry of sorts, a testament to his ethics and skills in his last days, when his chin was in his chest, it took him ten times as long to do his work, but he made sure everything he did was perfect, up until he just couldn't do it anymore. On those cold evenings alone in the studio, i will pull one of those rings out, and just remember...
Thanks for sharing. May you both be strong, and fight the good fight.

 

shanegreen

Member
Feb 17, 2018
147
0
Micheal It's not easy for either of us, but I don't think we would be as close as we are without it. Dad is one tough cowboy, and I only hope my spurs would have the same clank as his, but doubt it. We used to fish together a lot when I was a kid. We would go overnight on the boat fishing for walleye, and often shore fished anywhere and everywhere we could. I got to be that selfish age also, and let my hormones do my thinking for me when I traded all night fishing adventures to chase girls. One of the best times we had fishing was when we were going after salmon from the shore one rainy night. We were casting spoons, sitting on our buckets, getting skunked and drenched. Not a single bite, but we were laughing and having a good time. It is both of our favorite fishing adventures, more than either of us having our biggest fish on. We were able to fish last year for an hour. It was the first time in years, and was sad for me in a way because I just knew those days were gone. However, it was poetry watching the old man cast, because he could cast so far the reel probably almost ran out of line.
The poetry is in the things we see and the things we do. While many writers capture things well, most of the experience digresses as soon as it passes.
I like that you have a skill passed on by your dad. I think that often is the best compliment a son can give a father. From what I have seen you have a true talent. It's nice to have things made by a father. My dad made some carvings for me, and I like to look for him in those carvings and think about how he dedicated his time to the craft despite his sickness.

 

shanegreen

Member
Feb 17, 2018
147
0
Thanks Javan. I appreciate it. I pass this on to give tribute to my dad before he goes, and to let others know should they ever get cancer or any other sickness is not to be afraid of it. My dad always says he is not afraid of it, and doesn't let it worry him. I remember when I was in jr high dad told me "the fear of the beating is worse than the beating itself"when I had to go fight the school bully. I cannot get much into the methods that he has combatted his illness much, but the path he has taken is brave and requires a great deal of faith. We just try to do the best we can. When he flatlined for ten minutes and came back with what the doctors called a 4% chance I rushed down to Fl where he was to pray over him and do what I needed to do. He was heavily drugged for a while, with double pneumonia and everything else. As hard as it was I smiled the whole time I was with him. A nurse commented that dad and I appeared to be having a full conversation with our eyes, and I told her we were. He made a miraculous recovery by the end of the week and had the respirator taken out. He later commented that in his drugged up haze he remembered seeing my smiling face. Overall, I consider myself lucky to have had the experiences and lessons that I have had.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
27,639
3,663
What a fine father, and what a brave person. I don't blame people who fold up with illness. You can't know what another person experiences completely. But I've been close to several people who kept on far past all expectations. Pass along my respectful regards to your dad.

 

bluegrasspipe

Preferred Member
Jan 13, 2017
612
20
The part of life where we start to lose our elders is for me the most difficult. "Not everyone is lucky enough to go with their boots on", like my grandfather used to say (He later died of cancer). Hang in there and appreciate every moment. Thank you for the inspiring piece of writing.

 

ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
14,518
829
Maryland
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My father recently passed, at 98 and those lyrics captured his life quite well and hit close to home by my experience. He had no regrets and was ready to meet his maker. He was blessed for sure, but also made the most out of the life given to him. We should all be so lucky, right? Thanks for sharing that, it made me smile.

 

shanegreen

Member
Feb 17, 2018
147
0
Al I am glad to hear that your father lived such a good, long life and that this piece reminded you of him. I have read this many times, and never get sick of it. I can only hope to be as brave when my health starts to fail.
Bluegrass you are right that it does get harder when some people in our life get older. I am grateful that I have had the three years with him so far after he flatlined. At the time I was in tears when the infection had cleared up and the pneumonia was gone. I didn't know how much more time to anticipate he would have left, but am happy with the years that have passed. I try not to take the time for granted. Also, to show what a softy I am, I just realized my greyhound is 11 when I thought she was 10. I know her time is running out, but as long as I see her running around and begging me for treats I know she is doing well.

 

bluegrasspipe

Preferred Member
Jan 13, 2017
612
20
Shanegreen, don't get me started on dogs, time goes way too fast. There's nothing like a sweet old dog.

 

indianafrank

Preferred Member
Oct 15, 2014
950
0
shanegreen thanks for sharing. Sorry to hear about the difficulties. And I'm sure he's very proud of you.

 

shanegreen

Member
Feb 17, 2018
147
0
Thanks Indy! I hope he's proud. We all fail from time to time, but that is a part of being human.
I probably should let you guys know that the 3rd anniversary just passed of his life/ death experience earlier in the month. This is the first year in a couple that I have not been able to visit him down there for a while since I am working on property. His phone gets no reception where he is, so I have a harder time getting a hold of him. I sent him this thread and let him know since I can't talk to him as much, he can at least see that I am talking about him. He said he was humbled to see the things written about him.
I also have to ad that our relationship has been improved and enriched by this experience. We have been witnesses to miraculous recoveries and give thanks to God daily for the blessing we have in our relationship, and the gift of his life extension. He has a hard time physically, but his spirit is sound. I have had a harder time worrying when something starts looking wrong, but I am growing stronger. I don't know who I will be for a while when he is gone though. Dad and I have differences but in a lot of ways we are alike. One thing I always know is the old man will give it to me straight, and he'll be right about 75 percent of the time.

 
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