Saturday, 8 October 2011



At the end of Castaway, Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) stands at a crossroads. 
The start of the film had shown him in a good place in life, everything seemed to be just how he wanted. After an hour of movie you realise that his life has changed dramatically. With nothing more than the volley ball Wilson to motivate him, Chuck makes his way back to civilisation, only to find life there has moved on and left him. His one final spur, is to deliver the last package he had saved to from the crashed FedEx flight. Because the house at the address is empty, he leaves the package at the door with a note saying that the package had saved his life. The final scene, standing at the crossroads. A woman passing by in a pickup truck stops to explain where each road leads. As she drives away, Chuck notices the emblem on her trucks tailgate is the one on the parcel. Looking down each road the camera focuses on his face, as he looks toward the departing truck.

Life has a habit of presenting us with choices, some good some bad. Sometimes like Chuck we are dealt a hand we wouldn't choose or even wish upon another. But that's how life goes. The test is not in what we have to endure, but rather in how we face it.

In Mid August I shared a post "Hope is sometimes all we have", it was about my Mum, who had spent time in Manchester Royal Infirmary and then been moved to The Christie after a diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer. Many of you were kind enough to leave comments of support, which were uplifting and appreciated by both my Dad and I.

Since August I think my Mum has only spent a week at home. The Chemotherapy has not been kind to her sensitive stomach and  each day eating has been a challenge. This as you can imagine has been very stressful for all and really weakened her. 
On Thursday the care team met and have made some decisions based on outcomes and quality of life, these decisions mark the end of trying to fight the cancer. It is felt by the consultants that if anything, the treatment is now doing more harm than good. After discussing options, my mum has decided to go home, perhaps in more ways than one. Time scales are hard to determine, but the medical team assure us that without the conflict caused by the chemotherapy on the painkillers, they will be able to make her much more comfortable than she has been, for the next few weeks, possibly months.

So the connection between my family life and the opening film? Choices, you can always make them. If you are not free to choose what life deals out, you are always free to choose how you respond. Am I upset, yes. As a guy that cant recall spilling many tears in his adult life I have driven a few miles with wet cheeks this last few days. Am I bitter, no. Hope still springs eternal, there may not be much of mortality left for us to share, but I can make it count. I am blessed to have a faith that tells me this is not all there is, but that may be the subject of a sadder post in weeks to come. 

I wonder why I am writing this, its therapeutic to form your thoughts into the written word.  Its these events in life that make us what we are, they are not to be hidden, even if writing them is more cowardly than speaking them.

So what choices do we make today?  Mine are to live for today, act on promptings and don't put off a good deed until tomorrow.

I have made some choices already, regarding blogging, I have more things to share than I currently do. Some of my un-blogged thoughts are of a more spiritual nature, which is not what everyone reads blogs to see. So I have created a shiny new blog. It will relate to an evening class I teach about the Book of Mormon but will be my thoughts, rather than those of the class. This makes my blog portfolio more simple. So now you can choose which part of me you want to share.

Oldham Seminary

Written for my class of 14-18 year old's. Wonderful youth, who are becoming like my second family. The class itself is about the Old Testament, the blog is about the daily lessons, the students and the seminary program of the church in general.


You Are here! RJRDaydreamer is still my main blog, humour, pondering, and daily musing. What blogging is all about !

These Plates

NEW! A strange title, but it relates to a scripture that describes the dividing of historical records into "these" and "those". "These" being defined as of a spiritual nature.

RJR Originals

Not really a blog, but a Blogspot format for my Business website.

So they you have it, my life divided and put into orderly compartments, thank you for reading this. As always a blogger without a reader is nothing. You are welcome to follow one or all of the above, whatever your own background. 

Family Friendly Blog Included in the Family Friendly Blogger listing ... Click logo for details.


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear that your Mom had to make such a hard choice. I have been following your Dads blog so I knew she was struggling. I hope she finds peace at home and comfort and I wish the same for you and your Dad. Make every day count.

Lisa said...

John, me darling dad had to make the same difficult choice last March. I will hold the memories we made for eternity. Sending love and prayers your way. Hang on to what you know to be true and He will always be with you.

Anne-Marie said...

My Dad was given this same choice, last year....we had 12 days at home with him....he felt comforted and surrounded by love, and had no fear of what lay beyond - his Catholic faith strengthened him, and gave him peace....and we, his loved ones, were blessed by this.
Spend as much time with your Mum as you'll be glad you did.
Your whole family will be in our prayers and fasting.

RJR said...

Delores, thank you for your continued support, interest and concern.

Lisa and Anne-Marie thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts.

Middle-aged Mormon Man said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Having already lost both of my parents, it brings back memories of those challenging times.

Cathy said...

What a difficult time for you and your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Thank you for such a thoughtful post.

Jenny said...

Your whole family is in our prayers, John. I know I'm an ocean away physically, but I'm always here to listen and care. Thanks for sharing your heart with all of us. Hugs and Blessings.

RJR said...

MMM, Cathy and Jenny thank you for taking the time to comment. Your kind words and thoughts are appreciated. I am always unsure when writing an "open heart" post but it helped me to do so and your comments help too.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

RJR, I am so sorry to hear the latest news about your mother. I'm sure you will be making the next few months count. Prayers for your family as you deal with this time in your life.

1 Angry Man said...

Obviously I am not too far away, John and always eager to help if anything is needed. We have had a few of these difficult times the last year or so in the family. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Diane said...

So sorry to hear about your Mom. We too had to make the tough decisions for my Mom several years ago. I am so grateful for my faith and understanding. I know where she is now. And I know what she is doing. I have felt her presence. Especially this week as I have been writing from her journals on my blog. Praying for your family at this time!

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