But as I poured out my thoughts quite by accident it became much more. I wanted to share my reflections with you here, so excuse this indulgence.
Rather happier now I have had the opportunity to say goodbye, as it were, to Nan.
As an Atheist graveyards are strange places for me. I know once we are gone, we are gone. I know there is nothing after, we return to dust and our memory is carried on by our family. Eventually we will return to the stars and become at one at an atomic level with the universe – quite beautiful really.
Life is like energy really, it never really stops it just changes.
When the matriarch of any family passes away a huge whole is left and families can fall in to disarray. I hope my children and grandchildren realise how important family is and make the effort to stay close.To me family has always been important. You realise that when yours is gone and take pains to ensure that your own family treasures their relationship with each other.
I am thankful for my Wife for her loving support, and grateful I have the opportunity to educate my children without the confines, constraints and nonsense that any organized religion imposes. My children question everything, are encouraged to research everything for themselves and are richer for it!
Critical thinking is so lacking in this modern world it is becoming a rarity. Perhaps this is the next form of mental evolution for mankind? Those that have knowledge through research and mental dexterity, and those that choose not to trouble themselves with it and therefore embrace ignorance by blindly believing everything they are told, either from the pulpit or the many forms of filtered media.
It saddens me, which is why I speak out. After a lifetime of controlled blind obedience I feel obligated! I know it is unpleasant for some to hear and see, which is why 5 years ago I had over 600 friends on Facebook and today I have 133!!
For whatever reason, I have very few real friends, but those that I do call close friends I view as my family. They know who they are and know I value their companionship greatly. I confess I am a very lonely person and have a huge whole in my life, not because I have removed ‘God’ from it but because a religion chosen by my family requires them to be totally removed from mine. So all of the friends I ever had and all of the family I was so closely attached to are gone. Their choice killed off a part of me, and left a gaping hole.
Can you even imagine how hard it is to rebuild that?
Can you imagine how hard it is to socialise when you are disabled and wheelchair bound, unable to work any more?
Add in to the equation you have two autistic children who have three siblings. All polite and well behaved children – but looking after 5 kids is daunting.
You also only have a loving and willing father-in-law as the only person you can rely on to look after the children to enable you and your Wife the opportunity to go out and perhaps you begin to see the struggle we have.
BUT, I am not moaning, I don’t think people realise how much Emmajay and I have been through in the relatively short time we have been together, and what we go through on a daily basis.
We almost lost Jacob at 6 weeks. Micah is a very poorly boy with dysfunctional kidneys, he will also face a lifetime of awkwardness from his vitiligo. Autism is an incredibly difficult mental illness and we regularly face meltdowns from both Jacob and Reuben. Imagine a child throwing themselves in to the road or smacking their head on a brick wall because they face a change in routine, a strong smell, a new flavour they haven’t tried etc.
If we were advertising this as a job it would have to come with one hell of a salary and benefits package!
I doubt even then many would cope,
Which makes Emmajay even more amazing.
She does all this AND has to cope with a husband not coping with a recent and permanent disability.
My life is nothing like I envisioned at 18 when I was fed up and bored.
I’d love to have my youth back, and equally I am grateful for the journeys I have taken since then that have shaped me to become the man, husband and father I am today.
There is truth in the saying that life is a journey, just make sure you’re not sat on the bus looking out and watching it pass by! I did that for too long and when I got off at a stop, I found out it was fucking amazing.
Hopefully this will cause a bit of a stir amongst the community and get people talking!
In 1997 Richard Lee Norris (37 yrs) was horrifically injured in a gun accident. He was then treated by 100-strong team of skilled Doctors at the University of Maryland in March 2012. The pictures below show an incredible transformation and are testiment to the skill of the Doctors, and the power of human will to get better. Thank you science and medicine!
These are the incredible before-and-after pictures of 37-year-old Richard Lee Norris who was given the most extensive face transplant ever performed.
|This case is an amazing example of what we can achieve with science and technology.
For 15 years, Mr Norris lived as a recluse in Hillsville, Virginia, hiding behind a mask and only coming out at night time. He can now feel his face and is able to brush his teeth and shave. He’s also regained his sense of smell, which he had lost after the accident. Mr Norris said: ‘I am now able to walk past people and no one even gives me a second look’
When he shot himself in the face, Mr Norris lost his nose, lips and most movement in his mouth. He has had multiple life-saving, reconstructive surgeries which also replaced underlying nerve and muscle tissue from scalp to neck. Motor function is now 80 per cent on the right side of the face and 40 per cent on the left.
‘I am now able to walk past people and no one even gives me a second look. My friends have moved on with their lives, starting families and careers. I can now start working on the new life given back to me,’ he said.
He received his new face from an anonymous donor in March whose organs saved five other patients’ lives on the same day.
Mr Norris opened his eyes on the third day after the surgery with his family around him. ‘He put the mirror down and thanked me and hugged me,’ said Dr Rodriguez. ‘We concealed all the lines so it would give him the most immediate best appearance with minimal touch-ups down the road.’
To ensure Mr Norris would retain maximum function of his facial expressions and movements, doctors gave him a new tongue for proper speech, eating, and chewing, normally aligned teeth, and connected his nerves to allow for smiling.
Norris’s transplant comes on the heels of successful face transplants in Forth Worth, Texas, and Boston, Massachusetts, last year. He is the first full face transplant recipient in the United States to retain his eyesight.
A virtual army of 100 doctors, scientists and other university medical staff ranging from plastic surgeons to craniofacial specialists teamed up for the operation.
The surgery involved ten years of research funded by the Department of Defense’s Office of Naval Research, and will serve as a model for helping war veterans injured by improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan.
Rodriguez saluted the work of the teams around the world that had conducted the 22 face transplants to date, without which, he said, this operation would not have been possible.
The Department of Defense has been funding some face and hand surgeries with the goal of helping wounded soldiers. More than 1,000 troops have lost an arm or leg in Afghanistan or Iraq, and the government estimates that 200 troops might be eligible for face transplants.
The University of Maryland’s research on transplants was funded by a grant from the Office of Naval Research, and doctors said they hope to begin operating soon on military patients. Officials provided little detail on Norris or the circumstances of the accident.
‘This accidental injury just destroyed everything. The rest of his friends and colleagues went on to start getting married, having children, owning homes,’ Dr Rodriguez said.
‘He wants to make up for all of that.’
Clever men and women did this. Not ‘god’ not religion. Nope it was Science, Medicine, and Technology, along with very clever men and women.
All religion did this week was get a 14 year old girl shot because she wanted to learn.
Discuss – Chris
On a recent Monday morning I spent nearly an hour watching a tiny ant carry a feather across the back yard. Several times it was confronted by obstacles in its path (I have five kids, so a ton of crap is always in the garden) and after a momentary pause it would make the necessary detour. At one point the ant had to negotiate a crack in the path about 10-20mm wide. After brief contemplation the ant laid the feather over the crack, walked across it and picked up the feather on the other side then continued on its way.
I was fascinated by the ingenuity of this ant, one of the tiniest creatures on our fair planet. It made me think. Here was a minute insect, lacking in size yet equipped with a brain to reason, explore, discover and overcome. But this ant also shares human failings. After some time the ant finally reached its destination – my flower bed at the end of the paved area and a small hole under a large rock that was the entrance to its underground home. And it was here that the ant finally met its match. How could that large feather possibly fit down that small hole? Of course there was no way! So the ant, after all this trouble and exercising great ingenuity, overcoming problems all along the way, just abandoned the feather and went home.
The ant had not thought the problem through before it began its epic journey and in the end the feather was nothing more than a burden. Isn’t life like that?
We worry about our family, we worry about money or the lack of it, we worry about work, about where we live, about all sorts of things. These are all burdens – the things we pick up along life’s path and lug them around the obstacles and over the crevasses that life will bring, only to find that at the destination they are useless and we can’t take them with us.
Live life to the full, without regrets. Family is more important than all that shit anyway.