Some Poignancy And Smartass Musings

Considerations by Gary Hambley

Category Archives: Life

Memory’s Rusty Springs

Memory’s Rusty Springs

I was reading through my news feeds this morning when a story came up in my scroll about Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson retiring.

I was reading through the comments and one individual stated about Mr. Simpson, “Best columnist the Globe ever had.”.

I responded to the comment that yes Simpson has some good stuff but I was more partial to “Richard Needham”. On the wiki for Richard Needham you’ll find this line, “Despite his cranky print persona, he was a kindly man who enjoyed the company of teenage misfits with intellectual pretensions.“.

I said this as well in my comment, “Some even a year or two shy of their teens. I don’t recall being pretentious but I did have a bit of a full of myself streak preteen.

I can tell you first person personal that Richard Needham was indeed all those things. I can tell you I got to go a few places with Richard. He believed youth should have experiences and adventures rent free. That would be rent free as in free of their parents. When you’re the age I was, you just appreciated being free and didn’t see the genius.

Now at my semi advanced age, I very much see the wisdom of Richard’s view and views. Just like the plants need the sunshine and water to grow, youngsters need adventures to encourage their growth.

I recall being in Kitchener for a book signing and winding up with the worst haircut of my life! That one in Kitchener is still the worst ever and this includes a haircut from a few years ago where I got left looking like a muffin head! I really could of done without those two misadventures!

There were chaperones. I recall two very sweet university girls while being on adventure in Montreal. The girls on the trip bunked with the Chaperones while the 6 boys had their own big room.

You know how this is gonna go right?

I learned a couple things in Montreal I forgot I’d learned and no I’m not telling you what they were. I recall meeting Richard the next morning at the Radio Station where an interview with him and his entourage was taking place. I do recall Richard looking at the boys who’d been out the night before, smiling and shaking his head because it was him they called. Relax, it only involved Montreal’s Subway Security and not police.

In my search I found some quotes by Richard. One of them is in the moment poignant with a Canada Post strike looming on the horizon, “The ghastly thing about postal strikes is that after they are over, the service returns to normal.“.

Richard wrote some books, wrote some columns, did some speaking, all on how he saw things. A real decent guy too. You gotta like and admire all that!

needhams_inferno_jacket

As I head off in to the sunshine to do a little observing of my own that may or my not get written, I wonder what Richard would think of me now.

G.R. Hambley – July 03, 2016
All rights reserved

Medical Assisted Dying Bill C-14

Bill-C-14-LinkImageHead-Fini

Medical Assisted Dying Bill C-14

June 09, 2016

If you are so inclined, you can email your MP.

I have dealt with chronic pain for more than 27 years. For the most part I have done so well.  What I have is degenerative so it only gets worse.

The Bill was rejected by our Senate and sent back to the sitting Liberal Government amended. My only comment on the process has been, “Get it right”. Getting it right has not happened. Government getting it right involves making decision on who is eligible while avoiding legislation on who can and are to be executed. Not an easy task to perform while negotiating a slippery slope.

There are many of honourable intent that weighed in. I’m certain there are a few of those with less than honourable intent that also contributed to the process.

This is not preaching and is reality. This is consideration that the able of mind and body have to give credence to. If you haven’t dealt with chronic pain be it physical or mental you do not know what it’s like. You cannot fully understand the condition. You cannot be sympathetic because you haven’t lived with it. By living with it I include the families of those who get involved with the direct care of a stricken family member. You can be empathetic and that is appreciated.

This is about me. I shall be as clear as I can so that everyone understands what I think and believe are the differences between expressing, “Just shoot me” on a really bad day and declaring, “It is time to go”.

I had a, “Just shoot me” day yesterday. The weather turned fast. It got cold and damp and I felt it big time! I’ve had days like those before and I’ll have them again. Days like that go with the territory. I don’t just understand the condition. I know the condition because I live it. Every damn day physically and emotionally, I live it.

I’ve had the odd night where I have felt that if I didn’t wake up, that’s okay.

Through all these years I’ve worked with my Doctors. Sometimes my Doctors have thought I’ve been too rigid in the choices I make for myself. There have been times I’ve thought the Doctor wasn’t listening to me.

I have a history that is documented and verifiable. I’ve rejected and accepted the possible and proposed. I’ve tried things and then rejected them. I’ve tried things that have worked, do not interfere with the parameters I’ve defined and continue to make use of. I make the choices for myself and always have. No one else gets a vote.

At some point, if I don’t die first, I will have to make a choice as to when enough is finally enough. I already know what the parameters and conditions are that will trigger the action to terminate my life. Of course I hope that is a decision I never have to make. The choice to terminate your own existence cannot ever be easy or the will to live that humans have would not exist.

I have a set of parameters I’ve created that signal, “It’s time to go”. No one will have to make a decision for me as to whether or not the time has come to go. Someone may have to push that plunger for me, that person, or any person will not have to make a decision on whether or not the time has come.

There are others that have created their own definitive as well so determination to terminate is not left to another person.

Giving the choice to terminate your life to someone else or burdening someone else with that choice is abhorrent to me. This includes legislating Doctors to assist.

Do I believe Doctors should be involved to give statement to an individual’s physical and mental state? Yes I absolutely do. That doesn’t mean a Doctor should be forced by legislation to pull your life plug.

In the moment there is much rhetoric regarding those who are suffering now. I understand and appreciate that fact. Rushing something through to satisfy the Court or those who believe there is immediate need to alleviate the suffering of some is to my mind the wrong thing to do.

Yes the “Assisted Dying” or “Right To Terminate” matter has taken a long time to resolve. Foot dragging also must be discouraged and I believe that was part of the intention of the SoC when they gave a June 6, 2016 date for the legislation to be done.

It’s taken a long time to get this done and it is partly out of fear. Fear of making a mistake.  Fear of being responsible for a wrongful death. I believe to some degree, fear of God in Heaven too. All the things we’ve been taught from our religious and secular belief systems playing a part. No one wants to screw up just in case. I’m just not seeing a problem with those fears and hesitancies as it quite wonderfully displays our humanity.

The Senate removed the, “Near Death Requirement” in the Bill as it was sent to the Upper House. The, “Near Death” requirement was both unconscionable and conscionable at the same time. How’s that for duality! You can read the Senate’s explanation here.

This is a chance to get the Bill all the way right or as close to right as such a Law can be. The SoC could possibly be petitioned for extension.

If a temporary measure needs put in place, do it.

I’ve got myself and my mind right.

For myself and others I demand, even if it takes a bit more time that Government get it right!

If you’re having a hard time getting it right and you obviously are, you let me know and we’ll talk!

G.R. Hambley
all rights reserved

ADDENDUM:

I asked for help to read/proof this story before posting. I’m lucky to have real good help.

If you care to know the root cause of my chronic pain just use the link.

I was asked for my thoughts. Even my thoughts are more question than answer.

I’d have to go deeper in to the Bill as it sits. There was/is serious consideration that assistance be part of a Doctor’s mandate. I see it the same way as a doctor refusing to perform abortion, a matter of personal ethics. My view of Doctor assistance stops at the carrying out of the act.

There are moments when I think if someone shows up and says they choose to opt out you just let them do it. I come by that through experience.

There is a young man, well young by my standards who visits a coffee spot. His name is XXXXXX. He can walk and when he does he needs support and the motion is all herky jerky. XXXXXX has serious speech problems as well. I do not know what the affliction is but I’ve sat with him on occasion and XXXXXX mentally is all there. XXXXXX likes the girls too.  ;-}

People like XXXXXX who may not be able to communicate exactly what they want are the ones we have to protect.

For me, I can take a lot on the physical side and cope very well with the mechanical problems. I don’t know what my physical threshold is. No one does until they hit it. If I lose the cognitive, it’s time to go, period end of story.