Let Me Die in My Footsteps

Ongoing  Saga from  Olivija, AKA 'Future Corpse'

Every Grain of Sand

All my past Life is mine no more
        The flying hours are gone;
     Like transitory Dreams giv'n o're,
     Whose Images are kept in store,
           By Memory alone.

 John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester (1647-80)

It's All Right !


Subject:  Re: [COPD] Exercise
       Date:  Sat, 1 Jan 2000 13:12:00 -0500
      From:  Freddie Holder <fredro@NCTC.COM>

Before being a COPDer,  I am a people, and not just any people, I am me.
It is very important to me and very important to you, that this is the way it works.
Sometimes I find it hard to keep what is happening to me in its right perspective.
Especially if breathing is my primary goal for the day.
You know what I'm talking about?  Because you've been there? Or maybe you're fighting not to be there.
If you have realized your handicap early enough, you have a good chance of never being there. Unless,
you're still smoking and the smoking really means more to you, than the air you breathe.
But this letter is not about smoking or how bad or good our health is, or is not,  at this time.
It makes a difference to me that I can no longer do all the things I used to do.
If I spoke differently I would be lying.  But, I am still the person who used to do them.
Why am I saying all of this?  Because Emily was a ballerina, before she was on oxygen.
And Emily chooses to be a ballerina now.  We should applaud Emily and ourselves
for not resting too long or tarrying too long on woes or grief.
Before I was a COPDer, I was me. And as much of me that can, will always be.

freddie, on a golden day
Forever Young

Ron Rose passed on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2000. 
He got his wish, which was to be a tax deduction this year. 

Sam Pollard Passed on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2000

Ed Motter Passed on Friday, Jan. 7, 2000


Subject: DREAMS and Videos
        Date: Sat, 8 Jan 2000 09:37:02 -0500
       From: Boo-mistress <o2@OLIVIJA.COM>

Dear Members,

Last night as I drifted off to sleep after saying my prayers for members on the list and others, my last waking thought was
of an elephant sitting on a cyberfriend's chest.  Well, I had a dream of a "maybe cure" for people that this happens to.
Maybe after you hear the idea some of you could give me some feedback on what you think of my "simple idea."

Ok!, here is the idea..... everyone knows that when you take a great big yawn you get a good breath of air as you push out
the co2 and intake the o2.  Well we also know that yawns are infectious.  If you see someone else yawn, you also will yawn.
 You cannot keep from yawning.  You don't have any choice in the matter.  It is an instinct we are born with.  Like babies are
born sucking and ducks are born swimmers.  So my idea is to get a video tape made of different people yawning, and
whenever we get visited by chest-sitting elephants, we can play a video of people yawning and we can really get some
good air exchange during length of video.  What do you think?  and how do I get someone to shoot such a video?

Just another tangled web unraveled in the cobwebs of my mind at 2 am in the morning.

Your friend in Pa.
The Boo Mistress,
Blowing in the Wind
Subject: Re:  DREAMS and Videos
   Date:  Sat, 8 Jan 2000 09:47:48 -0000
   From: Ron Peterson <ronpete@PRIMARY.NET>

This is a super idea and I will volunteer to do the editing of tapes of people that they shoot and are sent to me and put something out to whoever will volunteer to do the distribution.   Email Ron for address where to mail tapes to by us mail only please. UPS can't deliver    Sincerely, Ron

My Back Pages

Sunday, Jan. 9, 2000
Here it is 6:00 am and the time of morning I can get lots accomplished before anyone wakes up and disturbs my train of thought.  Because sometimes my thoughts are like a run-away train on a fast track to somewhere and I
forget how to get back. 
Lets get caught up on this thought train on just what i can remember about what I could not write about in December since I had a broke computer, which is the same as no computer.
I had a wonderful Christmas.  My baby daughter came home with her husband and my two grandsons ages
7 and 8.  My mom at age 82 is in better health than I am.  Still pretty sharp mentally.  She is a lucky lady.
She had a complete physical before she made this trip and the doctor told her he couldn't find a thing
wrong with her and he tried to. LOL
She is still living alone and said that she would never live with anyone else. Said she was too set in her ways.
I sure will vouch for that.
Santa not only brought me a new computer.  He brought me a digital waccom tablet and pen and also a 
cordless mouse.  Lots of new toys.  I want to have some time to learn how to do some great art work with this tablet.  It will do water color, pen and ink, pencil, felt tip markers, acrylic or oil look paintings, either opec 
or translucent.  It is 12x18 so it is pretty amazing  the color tablet and the paper selections are fantastic.
You get the same results as if you did it with whatever medium you want.
I really was thankful for this Christmas.  I did so want to see the turn of the century and do a time capsule 
I have some newspapers and I have the new  5 quarters from 5 states and the last liberty half dollar of the 
century and some family photos from 1917 forward and some old costume jewelry, stamps and letters.
I also have several floppies of my Web Site and more personal stuff.
New Year's resolution is to try to do more around the house and for myself to lighten the load on my caregiver/husband. Another New Years Resolution is to answer more personal emails to people seeking help
on the COPD list.  There are so many more people out there seeking help and there just aren't enough 
people to give them the help they need.  They are mostly overwhelmed and do not have answers as doctors give you no answers to your questions.
Another new Years resolution is to write in my journal more so look for it more in the future.
I will close for now with a welcome aboard for the ride through the year 2000.  Hopefully we all are 
going to come out on the other side.
Lone Pilgrim
"To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world."
 Going to church does not make you a Christian anymore than going to MacDonald's makes you a hamburger." 
"Real friends are those who, when you've made a fool of yourself, don't feel you've done a permanent job." 
A coincidence is when God performs a miracle, and decides to remain anonymous."
 "Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side."
 "I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to." 
"Lead your life so you won't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip."
 "People gather bundles of sticks to build bridges they never cross."
 "Life is 10% of what happens to you, and 90% of how you respond to it."
 "Did it ever occur to you that nothing occurs to God?"
"Life is like an onion; you peel off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep."
 "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." 
"There are two things I've learned: There is a God. And, I'm not Him."
 "Following the path of least resistance is what makes rivers and men crooked."
 "Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace. And your best days are
never so good that you are beyond the need of God's grace."
"When it comes time to die...make sure all you got to do is die."

Not Dark Yet

Barbara Nelson Passed on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2000

Precious Memories

Saturday, Jan. 15, 2000
Your visitation to my site is always appreciated.  I sometimes wonder what is going on in the head of those who drop in to read of my life with COPD.  Are you checking up on how long it will take to finish me off?  I suppose I will never know your true motives any more than you will ever know what it really feels like to live with a disease that you know is killing you.  Sometimes I even think I can feel my life seeping out of me, drip by drip.  The life forces slowly seeping away day by day a little less life force remains.  A little less lung function is present. A little more shortness of breath is present.  A more concerned effort to exercise harder.  Eat healthier.  Research harder for new information that something new has been discovered or invented to rejuvenate lung tissue or prolong the  life of someone with lung disease.  Anything could have happened while I napped, I think (or hope)  but, that is just a dream from some drugs they have me on.
No matter what I do or how I try to become involved in other activities, it always comes back to this.  This is the ax that hangs
above my head, waiting to drop like a guilotine blade to separate my life from me.  Even today, 14 years after first being diagnosed, I want so badly to be able to scream and shout and protest that this can't be happening to me.  I have to much to do, to much to give, to much to take.  With a normal lifetime and normal lifespan there would not have been enough days to spend my energies.  I'm too full of it.  Too full of life.  Too in love with it.  So enthralled with it.  I can still feel it out there calling to me.  I can even smell it in my nostrils, or is it only the memory of the smell and feel of it.  Well, no matter if it is real or only my memory of what was, it is all I have left in what's left of my world.  I guess even after 14 years I am still stuck in anger.  I know I passed denial because the realities of the disease jump up and asault my withering body constantly.  I can't even enjoy the luxury of a good cry as I become so short of breath that it is indescribable.  It is not a pretty picture.
And if it wasn't bad enough for me, let me tell you what it is like for some of my family.  My mother and my brother who live out of state are so glad that I have a wonderful husband who has stood by me and is my caregiver.  As that frees them up from having the responsibility.  Once a year at Christmas, Mom comes to visit for a week and cleans linen closets and China cabinets and  things that the weekly cleaning crew doesn't do.  My brother I never hear from unless I call him.  He is a very private person. I have always felt I was stolen by gypsies and babies switched or something.  I have nothing in common with my mom and my brother.
My only son, born in 1960.  I do not know where he is today.  The last I knew he was in Nashville and doing drugs.
My oldest daughter is in the military and stationed in Germany.  She will not be back in the USA until mid 2001.  My baby daughter is married with a 7 and an 8 year old boys.  They live in Louisville, Ky.  We stay in contact and she will come if I need her and she has stayed here in the past to help.  She needs to be with her husband and her own life.  My husband Donald is a saint.  I am not alone when I say this.  Everyone says this about him.  I hate what he is loosing by being saddled with me.  Remember this is me saying this, not him. He goes to work, calls me throughout the day to check and see if I am ok.  Makes my lunch for me before he leaves, fixes our breakfast before he goes to work.  Comes home and makes dinner for us.  Does daily housecleaning.  We have a cleaning lady that comes half a day, once a week.  Don helps me with my baths and up until this week shampooed my hair until I found someone who will come to the house and do it for me.
Recently the company Donald works for ok'ed him working at home.  They put one of their CAD stations hooked to their company hookup here at home.  We turned my dressing room into an office for him, which was ok as I just moved all my clothes into closets and dressers in the exercise room.  Now Don is at home with me all the time except he still has to go in about 10 hours a week at couple of hours at a time for meetings with people in different labs.  Most of the meetings he just conferences with on computer at home.  I feel like not only do I not have a life anymore, I am condemning Donald to the same existence I have to live.  Why should he be stuck living like this.  He still has a life and he still has a strong healthy body.  And that makes me so sad when I think of all he is missing by being here with me.  He is so strong emotionally and every way. Why should he have to suffer also?
O LORD PLEASE HELP ME LEARN THIS LESSON YOU HAVE GIVEN ME.  I know there is a reason for all that happens in our life. Please god, give me the insight before all my mental capacities are lost with the oxygen depravation that I experience.
Thank You Lord for another beautiful day. (even though the temperature has been around 0 for days.)

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

Elena Dinallo Passed on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2000

Lay Down Your Weary Tune

Glenda Jones Passed on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2000

Poem written by Glenda Jones

You gave me the sunshine that has smiled down on my face so many many days
 You let me see the beautiful blue oceans with its' great waves
 You let me hear the birds singing at my door
 And let me see the beautiful mountains so high and so much more
 Lord I owe you for every time I smile and I will till the end of my time,
 you've been such a friend
 Now I wonder where I'll be before my flowers will bloom again.

 Sometimes when I prayed Dear Lord, I didn't even know if I was saying
 the right words to you
 I just knelt and prayed and said what was in my heart hoping that would do.
 You pulled me through my darkest nights, you helped me to realize
 Just how to find courage and the strength to overcome my fears over the past few years.
 But this time my darkest burdens are easier to find
 I just wonder if my flowers will bloom for me one more time.

 I want to thank you for all the Angels you had down here for me, to pick
 me up when I was down
 They taught me to cherish my each and every day, I could feel them all around
 Without faith we have nothing, with it things are possible
 A journey might can be made with a single step
 But a journey is always best started with the Good Lord's help.
 Never give up on your hopes and dreams
 Miracles happen every day I'll always be helping others the way others
 have helped me every way
 With each raising of the sun think that your life has just begun in you mind
 I wonder if my flowers will bloom for me one more time.

 Don't feel sorry for me even though my situation may not look as great
 as I had planned
 But I'll be down here rejoicing with you or up there some where holding
 on to my Good Lord's Hand.
 If you turn your heart over to him he'll be your best friend
 He does not make you follow him, he invites you in
 By following the Good Lord's path, you will have pathways of gentleness
 and love within
 Trusting him will be your strength, please keep that in mind
 I wonder if my flowers will bloom for me one more time.

 He knows our every thoughts and our every dreams
 I come to you Dear Lord filled with joy, gratitude and love
 I want you to know today if I could I would pick a beautiful bouquet of flowers
 And with this caring heart you gave to me, I would pick them and give them away.
 I know all is praying for me to keep getting those extra breaths that I need
 So my dear Angels, please keep praying, keep those smiles and prayers in hand
 We will all be together in the end
 I just wonder where I'll be before my flowers will bloom again.

 So always remember to take it one day at a time
 The Good Lord will always be there for you every time you close your eyes
 Tomorrow is gone but the Good Lord has given me another day, even if I can only say
 Thank You Dear Lord.
 I will always open my heart and let my Dear Lord in
I wonder where I'll be when my flowers will bloom again.
Written by: Glenda Jones
 November 1, 1999

I Shall be Released

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2000
Here I sit in the early morning hours genteelly typing away at this keyboard like I really had something important to say. Whether or not it is important has little
to do with the fact that it is good cheap therapy to keep me from going off the deep end. (If you know what I mean, Jelly Bean) I feel so up some days and really enjoy just sitting here at my keyboard typing away or practicing on my graphics tablet.  Trying to become proficient as a computerized graphics artist.
Also, there are so many novels and interesting things to read that I can never read all I want to read.  There are so many projects like finishing my embroidered tapestry that is about 3/4 done.  It is large enough for a queen size bed.  I also have purchased material to cover a bed/couch in the exercise room that I have
ne idea when I will get around to finish it.  I guess I will have to live at least another 5 to 10 years to finish all these projects.  I also would like to get back to some water and acrylic painting, that I have not had time to do in a long time.  A peek at my Artist Page if you want to look. Projects like this and all the other creative things I want to do, keep my spirits up and make staying at home all the time not so bad.
I do like going outside though and I just despise winter time. It is 20 something degrees F outside tonight and they say we will have snow on the ground when we wake up in the morning.  This is not good news to me.  I am a warm bloodied animal and I hate the cold.  So I have to stay inside most of the winter months.  This is when depression, cabin fever or panic sets in.  Doesn't matter what you call it, it is not a pretty picture, and it all has the same result.
A real bummer to deal with.  One of the things that no one usually talks about or they just skim over is what does it feel like to be dying.  To live with a disease and watch it age you faster than others around you are aging.  To watch your energy level drain right out of you.  To know you even have trouble standing
up washing dishes.  To know you have to have someone else wash your hair for you and you have to have help more often than not with your bath.
Very, Very often I get into my pity parties and think how sad it is that such a sweet, charming, witty, talented and beautiful person like myself (tee hee) could
be laid to waste by this gosh-awful disease of COPD.
But I find my salvation of feeling sorry for myself in looking at things from a different perspective.  I have to look at things from the cup is still half full rather than it is half empty.  I have so much to be thankful for.  I cannot afford the luxury of weeping over what I do not have.  I must find reason to rejoice in all I do have.
I know that there is a reason for all that happens in a persons life.  It is up to me to try to find out why my life is as it is.  In some low points in my pity parties, from the past I can remember thinking "what did I ever do to deserve this?"  Then I had to stop in mid thought and rethink that thought.  How could I ask that question without asking the same thing about all the wonderful things that have happened in my life that are too numerous to mention here. I have had more
wonderful things happen to me I know than I could ever deserve.  So deserve is not a word that applies in either the good or the bad that have happened to us in our life.  Things just happen and it is up to us to figure out our own life and how to live it with the cards that are dealt us.
Another point that has been on my mind a lot lately is people treating others unkind.  It is happening to me now and has been for a while.  I do not know if the person is even aware that they hurt my feelings.  I understand that others have had their feelings hurt also, by this person.  I really would like to believe that they
were oblivious to their unkind handling of other people, rather than think it was intentional or non caring.  Anyway I have just been ignoring the problem, because I did not want to upset myself by confronting the person or getting into a confrontation with them.  I suppose avoidance is the answer for now.
I will wait and see if any of my faithful followers have a solution for me on this one.  Mail your ideas on how to handle this problem to here to me..
I want all who read this that I do not know how anyone could live with this without a belief system that is strong enough to sustain them.  A desire to keep

living, and a reason to live.  For all of you out there who are recently getting diagnosed with COPD/Emphysema, let me tell you this.  You have lots of good years ahead of you if you do a few basic things to insure it.  You must stop smoking immediately.  Exercise, exercise exercise.  They can't bury you if you are moving.  Get a good pulmonary doctor.  Not a GP.  But a pulmonary specialist.  Read all you can about your disease and all related items.  Learn all you can about your disease so YOU can co-manage your disease with your doctor.  Know about your disease and your meds and your body so you can discuss your health on an equal basis with your doctor.  We know you don't have a medical degree, but you have something the doctor does not have.  You live in that COPD/Emphysema body and you have that knowledge that no degree can give you.  You must learn how to communicate with your doctor to get the best health care possible and you can only do that if you are knowledgeable about this disease.  There is knowledge of this disease out there.  It is up to you to dig it up.  Start here on
Olivija's COPD Research page, then move on to Bookmarks and related sites.
Here is a page of Search Engines to  help in Medical research.  Get busy learning to live with it, or the alternative is to die of it.

He was a Friend of Mine

Mickey with Mother, Grandmother and child.  He was a soul brother of mine. 
Later, Dude
Michael "Mick" Wagner Passed on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2000
Subject: [COPD] Need your help
       Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 15:44:51 -0600
      From: Michael Wagner-TX <migwa@WCC.NET>
 References:  1

I am in the hospital with pneumonia and an infection called Empedobacter F.) brevis and this is
what I want to find about. the same antibiotic is taking care of both but this  seems to be rare 
or I just can't find it.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Mickey Wagner

Shooting Star

Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2000
 Today, when I awoke, I suddenly realized that this is the best day of the rest of my life!  There were times I wondered if I would make it this
  far; but I did!  And because I did I'm going to celebrate!  Today, I'm going to celebrate what an unbelievable life I have had so far: the accomplishments, the many blessings, and, yes, even the hardships because they have served to make me stronger.  I will go through this day with my head held high, and a happy heart. I will marvel at God's seemingly simple gifts: the morning dew, the sun, the clouds, the trees, the
  flowers, the birds. Truly, they are not simplistic, they are in reality miraculous marvels, They are surely miracles. Today, none of these miraculous creations will escape my notice.  Today, I will share my excitement for life with others. I'll make someone smile. I'll go out of my way to perform an unexpected act of kindness for someone I don't even know. Today, I'll give a sincere compliment to someone who seems down. I'll tell a child how special he is, and I'll tell someone I love just how deeply I care for them and how much they means to me.
       Today is the day I quit worrying about what I don't have and start being grateful for all the wonderful things God has already given me. I'll remember that to worry is just a waste of time because my faith in God and his Divine Plan ensures everything will be just fine.  And tonight, before I go to bed, I'll raise my eyes to the heavens. I will stand in awe at the beauty of the stars and the moon, and I will praise God for
  these magnificent treasures. Like all the other many, many treasures he has put into my worked.  As the day ends and I lay my head down on my pillow, I will thank God for the best day of my life. And I will sleep the sleep of a contented child, excited with expectation because I know tomorrow is going to be the best day of my life!
It is not every day that I feel this way, but it is on most days.  And every day I try to feel this way.  I work at feeling this way.  It is the only
healthy way to deal with adversity.  Let your thoughts be lifted.  let them soar.  Get new views and new perspectives on everything. As we all know things are never as they seem.  Not time nor space .  I feel somehow that more than one thing can exist in the same space.  I do not
know how this is possible but I believe it is true.  I believe that time past and present and future can and do co-exist.  This too I cannot explain,
but I believe it.  I believe also in reincarnation.  We keep returning, and given chance after chance to get it right as our God does love us and doesn't want any of us to fail.  I guess by most people's standards I might be considered a 'nut case.'  but, I am harmless and I will not judge you because you do not think like I do. Tolerance of others and their beliefs should always be respected, even if they are not our ways.
I do not want others to judge me, therefore I don't judge them.  Who am I, to think I am better than someone else?  Who am I to think I should be someone else's judge.  God is so good and so gracious, but, somewhere in the back of my mind There just might come a day we would wish
we  had not judged someone else such-and-such.

Highway 61 revisited

Some People are important to you, Some people are unimportant to you as they cross your life, touch it with love or carelessness and move on.
There are people who leave you and you breathe a sign of relief and wonder why you ever came into contact with them. There are people who leave you and you breathe a sigh of remorse and wonder why they had to go away and leave such a gaping hole.
Children leave parents; friends leave friends. Acquaintances move on. People change homes. People grow apart. Enemies hate and move on. Friends love and move on.
You think on the many who have moved into your hazy memory. You look on those present and wonder. You find you are made up of bits and pieces of all who ever touched your life, and you are more because of it, and you would be less if they had not touched you. All of them.


Living through the pressures of life can be compared to walking through fire. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah believed that if you have faith in God, you can walk through fire and not be burned. He didn't promise that you won't feel the heat, just that you won't be burned.

     To Find out How to walk through life's Hot Spots ...... Visit:     http://FireWalk2000.com/    :-)

    * Keep on walking. A surefire way to get burned is to stop walking. When you are afraid, or under extreme stress, or hurting --
keep going. You will get through if you keep dealing with the everyday tasks at hand to the best of your ability.  Persevere !!!

    * Remember that this difficult time will pass. It may feel that you are in a repeating time warp, but realize pain is time-limited. All problems have a beginning and an end. * !!! Be Patient !!!

    * Make rough times work for you. Not everything is good, but the Bible reminds us that everything can be used for good if you submit your will to God. Look for ways to learn, grow, or cope in your pain or stress. * !!! Have Courage !!!

    * Take "what is" and make the most of it. Make lemonade from your lemons. You are not called upon to create perfection from every situation, only to make the most of it. Don't waste your time on ceaseless complaining, but look for meaning and joy in all situations. * !!!    Be Content !!!

    * Clean up your own trash. Stand on your own feet and don't try to blame others for your problems. You are not a victim. Choose to live the rest of your life with a controlled response to what is happening. * !!! Take Responsibility !!!

    * Be true to you. You will have more strength for dealing with ordeals in life if you have the courage to be true to your own values. Hypocrisy destroys internal energy. * !!! Model Integrity !!!

    * Be gladder than madder. Expressions of gratitude calm the soul and clear the mind. * !!! Show Gratitude !!!

    * Have as much fun as you can. Anticipation of fun raises the level of your energy. Learn to laugh through your
trials. * !!! Display Humor !!!

    * Determine what is within your control You cannot control what happens to you, but you can choose the frame
you put around your experiences. You can choose how you will deal with all situations. * !!! Exhibit Internal Control !!!

    * Be enthusiastic. Enthusiasm literally means, "God in us." If He is in you, let your life so shine. Learn to love life. *
!!! Show Your Passion !!!

Shot of Love

Mountain Wind

Exploring Health, Self-Knowledge, Consciousness & Self-Transformation Through Natural Breathing, Taoism, Chi Kung, and the Ideas & Practices of G. I. Gurdjieff    http://www.breath.org/

Introductory Audio Clip on the Miracle of Breathing http://www.breath.org/real-media/miracle.ram

Deep Breathing Stress-Buster Audio Clip http://www.breath.org/real-media/stress.ram

Breathing Meditation Audio Cliphttp://www.breath.org/real-media/meditation.ram

This is really a help on breathing and panic/Anxiety Attacks.


Though this practice can be done any time of the day or night, it is especially beneficial in the morning, just before you get out of bed. This practice will help detoxify your inner organs. It will help center and energize you for the day ahead. Over a period of time, it will begin to transform your breathing, making it deeper and more harmonious.
1.  Lying on your back with your feet flat on the bed and your knees bent (pointing upward), follow your breathing for a minute or two. See if you can sense which parts of your body your breath touches.
2.  Now rub your hands together until they are warm.
3.  Put your hands (one on top of the other) on your belly, and watch how your breathing responds.
4.  You may notice your belly wants to expand as you inhale and retract as you exhale. Let this happen, but do not try to force it.
5.  If your belly seems tight, rub your hands together again until they are warm and then massage your belly for a couple of minutes, especially right around the outside edge of your belly button. Notice how your belly begins to soften and relax.
6.  Now put your hands on your belly again and just watch how this influences your breath. Do not try to do anything. Simply watch and enjoy as your belly begins to come to life, expanding as you inhale and retracting as you exhale.
7.  When you are ready to stop, sense your entire abdominal area, noting any special sensations of warmth or energy. Let these sensations spread into all the cells of your belly all the way back to your spine.  This simple practice can have many benefits,
especially if you do it on a regular basis. Remember that you can try this practice at any time of the day or night, sitting, standing,
lying down, whatever is most practical for you. It is also an excellent practice to work with whenever you are anxious or tense,
since it will help relax you and center your energy.
I definitely would recommend this practice to all  as an "urge fighter" to combat desire for a cigarette.  Instead of giving into your
urges and 'lighting up' do this breathing exercise.

Silver Thunderbird
(Marc Cohn)

Watched him comin' up Winslow
Down South Park Boulevard
Lookin' good from tail to hood
Great big fins and painted steel
Man, it looked just like the Batmobile
With my old man behind the wheel
Well, you could hardly even see him
In all of that chrome
The man with a plan and a pocket comb
But every night it carried him home
And I could hear him sayin'

Don't you give me no Buick
Girl, you must take my word
If there's a God up in Heaven
He's got a silver Thunderbird
You can keep your El Dorado
Man, the foreign car's absurd
Me, I wanna go down
In a silver Thunderbird

He got up every morning
While I was still asleep
I remember the sound
Of him shufflin' around
Right before the crack of dawn
Is when I heard him turn
His motor on
And when I got up they were gone
Down the road in the rain and snow
The man and his machine would go
Oh, the secrets that old car would know
Sometimes I hear him sayin'

Don't you give me no Buick
Girl, you must take my word
If there's a God up in Heaven
He's got a silver Thunderbird
You can keep your El Dorado
Man, the foreign car's absurd
Me, I wanna go down
In a silver Thunderbird

Down the road in the rain and snow
The man and his machine would go
Oh, the secrets that old car would know
Sometimes I hear him sayin'

Don't you give me no Buick
Girl, you must take my word
If there's a God up in Heaven
He's got a silver Thunderbird
You can keep your El Dorado
Man, the foreign car's absurd
Me, I wanna go down
In a silver Thunderbird

Oh, Me I wanna go down
In a silver Thunderbird

Paul,  I know you and your good buddy, Claude, are breathing easy
now and cruisin' in a "Silver Thunderbird".............Dusty Oliver

Bill Poplett, Claude Baril, Richard Heering and Paul Marks

Founder of the COPD on line support Groups - Paul Marks

Where Teardrops Fall

Paul Marks Passed on Wednesday, February 2, 2000

Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency Site

       Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 22:31:57 -0800
      From: Paul Marks <pmarks@speakeasy.org>
        To: Olivija Gwynne <olivija@home.com>
 References:  1 , 2
`At 10:23 PM 1/15/00 , you wrote
... I have been reading some of her post that I have in a file, remembering her and  thinking sad thoughts of how little time there is, and so much to do.  I am very sad these days. I am in a decline health wise and it frustrates me.

It is so, isn't it.  I too have been fighting the fight a bit. Mine is just an annoyance and a reminder at this point - but a reminder none the less.  My wife is away this weekend so my son and I spent the evening playing a little cards and working on a picture puzzle.  Very simple things, mutually enjoyed.  It was quite lovely.  And this is what we have, isn't it.  An occasional lovely respite from the axe that hangs above our heads.  Let us enjoy whatever small respites that we might find.

And remember our dear friend Barbara.

Peace, my friend.

John Dixon Passed on Friday, February 4, 2000

What Was it you Wanted?

Subject:  John Dixon
   Date:  Fri, 04 Feb 2000 18:08:41 +0800
   From:  John Dixon <golfnut@omen.net.au>
     To:   o2@olivija.com

Dear Olivija
I am sad to have to report that my dad, John Dixon, passed away at 1045am
(Western Australia time) on Friday 4 February 2000. He was taken into Royal
Perth Hospital in the early hours of January 1 2000 with a collapsed lung.
The doctors hoped that the condition would heal itself, but after a month
tried a talc insertion treatment that didn't work. After a family
discussion Dad decided he wished to end things and so he was fitted with a
self-injecting morphine pack.

I am sorry to have to bring you this sad news, but he asked me to get in
contact with all his friends that he has made over the years. He was
particularly fond of you.

We will be having a non-religious cremation in the next few days and
arrange for his ashes to be interred with his parents at the family plot in
Frinton-on-Sea, England.

Chris Dixon
Perth W Au

John's Web Site
Royal Air Force Halton


Today is Monday, February 7, 2000
My server or a trunk line or something is down again and I can't get my email or access the web.  So now is a good time to get caught up on my journal here.  I thought you might today want to know some of the things I think about with this disease.  Which does not mean that all the people with this disease think about the same things I do.  I can't tell you about them and what they think of, I can only tell you about me and my thoughts and my life.  My life is pretty lonely.  Everything in my life is different  from everyone else's.
Am I the only one affected by all the death of our friends who are leaving us in greater and greater numbers?  I hear of the passing of
a friend and a great feeling of emptiness overcomes me. A larger and larger void grows .  This void can be described as akin to the Grand Canyon.  It's not as if I haven't considered my own mortality for a long time, but now it is all consuming and it sickens me for many reasons.  I can't help wondering what it will be like for me at the end. But, at the same time I hate the fact I can not tear myself from this morose obsession I have with my own mortality.  I tell myself to 'get a life' Yet I know that any life as others know it,
and as I use to know it are gone from me forever.  That fact in itself runs the gamete of emotions in me from anger to fear, from sadness to psychosis.  I have to consider the possibility that 'everything happens for a reason and  there surely has to mean there is 'reason for this happening to me.'  That it is up to me to figure out what that reason is that my life has taken this direction and not just to figure it out but to act on it.  I dig into my very soul for these answers. I search feverishly, wanting to measure up, and knowing all along there is no way I ever can or will measure up to what we all know in our heart of hearts.  Thank god for his wonderful Grace that will and does save us all. And provides my sanity in the face of this insane disease.  In the face of the shortness of breath I experience I ask myself is this any worse than Jesus' shortness of breath when his pierced hands were all that was holding him to that wooden cross and exerting all his energies to prevent oxygen to reaching his lungs.  What I am experiencing and what others are experiencing with this or any earthly hardship is truly a lesson for us to try to measure up to.  We will never completely measure up because we are human.  But, we can give it our best shot.  And we can always provide hope and encouragement for those who come after us.  Because there will be many, many more to follow us looking for hope and help in this disease.  Treat all you come in contact with as a brother or a sister.  Treat them as you would like to be treated.
Take the time along your path in life to morn and remember those that touched you upon that path.  Remember them for the goodness that they shared with you and forgive them if they had hurt you.  Who knows one day you may ask forgiveness of someone, somewhere???  My heart remains heavy from so many recent losses, even though we know we are the sufferers now, not they/
They are in a far, far better place.  At peace at last and with not a thought of breath either good or bad.  It is just not in the equation
of peaceful rest at last.  "Just my thoughts" as I try to figure out "What now?"

Are you interested in YOUR MORTALITY RATE?

Elizabeth "Elly" Norat Passed on Wednesday February 2, 2000
Elly had just celebrated her 40th birthday on January 30th. Elly had the lung transplant done on February 2, 1999.

In Loving Memory of Elizabeth "Elly" Norat  (elnori@aol.com)

God saw that you were getting tired,
And a cure was not to be,
So he put his arms around you,
And whispered, "come with me."
With tearful eyes we watched you,
And saw you pass away.
Although we loved you dearly,
We could not make you stay.
A golden heart stopped beating,
Hard working hands at rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us,
That he only takes the best.

(her beloved Fiancee)


Friday February 18, 2000
Well it is 11 PM and Don has gone to bed and Boo is curled up with her stuffed baby duck and I'm sitting here typing away at this computer like I have something real important to tell the world.  Guess what world, I don't have any pearls of wisdom today.
All I have is lots of weird thoughts now. I want to share a short story with you on friendship.  14 years ago I lived inWichita, Ks.
and was Diagnosed with severe Emphysema after a miraculous recovery from Pneumonia I am sitting here thinking about my friends I left back there in Wichita, when we moved here.  I have not made many friends since we have been here as I don't get out and go much.  I would like to tell you about my best friend though.  Her name is Anne.  I met her as she just moved next door to me in the apartment we lived in in Wichita.  I went over to talk to her husband who was on the patio reweaving some damaged lawn chairs.  She must have heard some ladies voice talking to him so she came out and we met and it was friendship right away.  She and Leroy and Don and I.  We were all good neighbors.
We played on the lake together.  Cookouts on the patio.  Out to dinner at different restaurants around town. I went through what most go through with friends lost because I couldn't keep up.  But, I had a neighbor who would come get me and drag me to the garage sales with her as she knew I loved them.  If I didn't feel like dressing me, she would start dressing me.  She kept me going and doing and we went on the lake everyday and floated around on inflated rafts.  I really exercised those arms.  Then four years later the company my husband worked for, moved the division my husband was in, to Philadelphia and told my husband to head
'um up and move 'um out.  God I hated to leave my close friend that stood by me, when the rest fell by the way.
She gave me a wonderful going away party. We still write and call each other and they have been able to come visit once since.  Besides Garage sales and the lake, we did things like Estate sales and thrift store sales, and stuff like that.  After I moved she made friends with a lady who volunteered her time in one of those thrift stores named Norma.  Seems Norma had COPD also, and no
family and no friends anymore either. My friend Anne, became friends with Norma and took care of her, when Norma could no
longer go into work. Anne would take her meals, and shop for her, and got someone
to come in when
she couldn't come herself.  She was always there for Norma.  This went on for about 6 years until Norma died.  Norma didn't
fight.  Norma kept smoking and Anne would call me and cry that she couldn't get her to fight and quit smoking like I did.  Anne,
and I use to hold prayer meetings over the phone for Norma.  Anne helped Norma because I wasn't there for her to help.  Aren't I
so very lucky to have a wonderful friend like Ann Fenwick in Wichita, Ks.  Just think "To love a friend enough to help someone else through a disease like COPD"
I really miss my friend and hope we get to see each other again.  But, we talk often and we think of each
other and we remember.......
Just thought I would share some thoughts of Love

Tell Me

Hiding in the Shadows 

In life sometimes we lose our place, 
   And in our hearts we are left with just an empty space. 
We only concentrate on the loneliness and pain, 
   And a glimpse of our reflection reveals a person ordinary and plain.

We forget about all the people's lives we have touched, 
   And instead think that our own life doesn't amount to much. 
But it's amazing what the mind hides when the soul is lost, 
   And how many excuses to avoid achievement that we can exhaust. 

For a person such as you harbors so much potential, 
   But in order for it to flourish self confidence is essential. 
You possess charisma and compassion that is shared so freely, 
   And a radiant beauty that only you can not see. 
And when the time comes and you finally appreciate who you are, 
   This will be the day the world inherits it's most brilliant star. 

So my friend never lose yourself in another's shadow, 
   Let your own talents and abilities allow you to grow, 
      And that empty space in your heart will overflow

Tuesday, February 22, 2000
Have you ever had the thought that you were getting smaller, and smaller, and smaller, and smaller, and smaller, and smaller, 
and smaller, and pretty soon you would be so small you would not be here at all?  Like "The Incredible Shrinking Man/Woman?"  Do you think that thought could be akin to the thought of every infection we get brings our breathing capacity and or lung function down?  It slows us down and each infection slows us down that much more.  And we get slower and slower and slower and slower and slower and slower and slower with each new infection and pretty soon will we be so slow that we do not/can not move at all.
Is that the way the world ends? In a Wasteland?   Like T. S. Elliot says "Not with a Bang, but, a whimper."

A fool such as I

Friday, February 25, 2000
I am a caregiver for my Mom.  She had lung cancer 12 years ago, and survived with surgery only, no chemo, no
radiation.  She didn't quit smoking!  Now, she has emphysema, chronic bronchitis, etc.  She just took a serious downturn
in November and is on oxygen 24 x 7.  Still hasn't quit smoking.  I'm doing what I can for her.  We are making the rounds of
the doctors in an attempt to find out if this is just the natural progression of her diseases or if there is something else going on
that we can maybe fix.

But, that's just background about me.

If you're having a down day, I really wanted to tell you about my grandpa.
Grandpa was born in 1899.  He was diagnosed with emphysema around 1940.  He quite smoking immediately.  He will
be 101 years old on February 28.  He lives alone, functions just fine, although he can't see very well.  They told him he
needed a cornea transplant when he was in his seventies, he said, no, he wasn't going to live much longer anyway.  He has
bad days when the humidity is high (goes with the territory).  But, there is life after emphysema, grandpa is living proof!

Leanne Carter

Bruce Crane Passed on Sunday February 27, 2000

Monday, February 28, 2000

The downsides of obstructive lung disease are apparent.  Shortness of breath, progressive limitation of physical activity,
reduction of appetite, and the slow loss of one's independence and eventual life.  These are tough topics to contemplate and
face without fear and apprehension.  It's almost impossible not to be worried and have mixed or complex feelings.

Janet proved that there can be quality years beyond the natural course of the disease.  A transplant can restore so many wonderful abilities, but the results are varied.  For many different reasons, some genetic, some related to age or sex or weight
or whatever, some related to previous medical history throughout life, some related to donor quality, and some just plain ol'
random luck.... for all these reasons, some transplants go well and some do not go well.  About a third do very well, a third
do poorly, and a third are in the middle.   The average lifespan after transplant is approaching about 4 or 5 years, half of the patients reaching that milestone and the others do not.

The medicines are extremely powerful and patients with a good experience will have to take a reduced amount.  Patients
with a failing transplant may have to take extra drugs which can damage the kidneys, the immune system, cause diabetes,
allow the proliferation of certain cancers, and leave the patient susceptible to life threatening infections.  It's a tough road,
but so is the natural course of obstructive lung disease.  So which is the best path to choose?  My personal feeling is that
there is no "best" path, but both routes require strength, support, courage, and compassion.

Because of my science background, I have been able to understand much of the medical information that I have reviewed
during the last seven years.  After my diagnosis, I began searching out every piece of expert information about my illness,
it's treatment, it's natural course, and the prospect of transplant.  I continue to spend many hours each month researching
medical papers and discussing issues with physicians and researchers.  I have observed that many patients have either a
positive or negative image about lung transplant.  I prefer to hold a middle ground opinion about transplant.
It is no better nor worse than just life, which has it's ups and down.

What Janet and I talked about in some detail is the eventual failure of the organ graft due to chronic rejection.  I had
wondered how devastating that emotional roller coaster might have been.  She was very disappointed with the prospect of returning to wear oxygen... she dreaded it.  But I gained a strong feeling that she felt the freedom from the transplant was
worth all the risks, all the side effects, and all the personal costs.  Janet spoke to me like no other patient has ever.... she
really knew the score and she knew I could handle the truth, so her remarkable candor allowed me to speak freely and
discuss some tough things.  It was such a relief to just talk about death and various topics that people normally want to
hide or shield everyone from.

I know your decision with transplant is complex and evolving.  If you ever want to really "talk" about any of these things, I'm open to that.  With a little planning and scheduling a neb, I can call and we could chat anytime you want.  I'm often running around (actually shuffling around) busy with my hobbies or my writing.  We can trade numbers and try to schedule something
convenient.  No pressure, it's up to you and at your convenience.  I wish you much strength and wellness.

Stephen & Luba Trost
Hollister, CA

A Hard rain's A-Gonna Fall

True friendship is seen through the heart not through the eyes ...................Unknown

Friends are God's way of taking care of us. ............................Unknown

A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.

Vicki Mannion-Barnes Passed on Sunday February 27, 2000


"Those only are happy who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness. On the happiness of others;
on the improvement of mankind; even on some art of pursuit. Not as a means, but as itself an ideal end. Aiming thus at
something else, they find happiness by the way."  - - - - John Stewart Mill, 1806-1873.

A few years ago, at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting
line for the 100-yard dash. At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and 
win. All, that is, except one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times, and began to cry.  The other eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down and looked back. Then they all turned around and went back. Every one of them. 
One girl with Down's Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said: "This will make it better." Then all nine linked arms and
walked together to the finish line.  Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes.  People who
were there are still telling the story. Why?  Because deep down we know this one thing: What matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What matters most in this life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.

A Satisfied Mind

Tuesday 'Leap year,' February 29, 2000
Well, Here it is that one day that happens every four years.  It certainly makes me ask myself the question, will I be here the next time the. 29th rolls around?  I know that I obscess to much about my condition.  That I am to hung up on "my condition."  I just feel I do not know enough about it.  I have to keep reading about it, and studying and searching because every day new discoveries are made and new meds are discovered.  I do not want to miss something that could save or prolong my life, if it happens. I want to be informed.  At the same time I want to be able to do other things and I do some other things, but they are things that require a minimal amount of energy, since that is all I have.  I know it is gonna be like this for the rest of my life also.  No matter how many years ahead I may have, they all will be limited in what I will be able to do.  They still will be very valuable to me and I will take as much time as given me, regardless of the restrictions that go with them.  I know my time is very limited, so i must do a lot of cramming of whatever I can still do that I still do.  I can't even forget about the realization for a little while, because I am constantly aware of not being able to draw an easy breath.  I search for every intake of breath that enters my body so that is a constant reminder of my impending demise.  I have rejected (for now) transplant by putting myself on the inactive list with HUP.  which means I am not moving up on the list.  I am in Limbo.  The list moves on, just skipping over my name, like life is skipping over me.  My reasoning being, the price for transplant for me is too dear a price.  That I cannot pay at this time.  My body cannot tolerate living after the transplant with the quantify of the toxic meds that I would be required to maintain a transplanted organ.  Surviving the operation is not all there is to a transplant.  maintenance thereafter is a chemical nightmare for most, and for people who have problems with normal meds
would have a real problem with rejection drugs and all drugs associated with the transplant
So, until some miracle comes upon the horizon I am in transplant limbo and will just try to live my life doing the best I can with the
hand I am holding.  I enjoy a few passions still and I have so many people on the Internet that I have met and become friends with.
They are just unending.  And there are so many new people every day who are freshly diagnosed with this hideous disease.  The
American Lung Association says that 30 million Americans suffer from emphysema and that it is the No. 3 killer in the US.  All these
new people need someone to talk to and tell them there is still hope.  Most think they have been handed a death sentence.  They
need someone like me to tell them (since most doctors don't or won't tell them) that it is not over.  They have plenty of years to live if they do the right things now when first diagnosed.  They didn't tell me anything.  I like most learned everything about this disease on my own.  And for me I had already made a lot of mistakes that I would not have if someone had told me how to avoid them.  I'm here on the web to see that information is here for those who want to prolong the decline as long as possible.  i really resent that doctors do not share more.  I have found though that the more you educate yourself about your disease and your condition, the better chance you have to take an active part in your treatment plan with your doctor.  I feel that we should be informed or what is available for us but we need to have choices in our treatments.  Of course you have to understand what all is involved in COP D/Emphysema
so educate yourself by reading all you can about the disease.  The test that go along with it.  The medicines available.
In Real Estate it is LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.  In preservation of your life it is EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION.   Well that's enough ranting on this rare date.  Life..... It's a good thing!!!

A boy and his dog were walking along a road.  The boy was enjoying the walk, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead!  He remembered dying and that his dog had died with him.  After a while, they came to a high, white marble wall along one side of the road.

At the top of a long hill, the wall was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.  In the arch was a magnificent mother-of-pearl gate, and the street that led to the gate shone like gold.  The boy walked up, and as he got closer, he saw an attendant at a desk to one side.  He called out, "Excuse me, do you have any water?"

"This is heaven, son," the attendant answered.  "And of course we have water.  Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up." The attendant gestured, and the gate swung open.

"Can my friend come in, too?" the boy asked, gesturing toward his dog.

"Oh I'm sorry, son, but we don't accept pets."

The boy thought a moment, and then turned back toward the road, continuing the way he had been going with his dog.  After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road which
led through an open farm gate.  As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside leaning against a tree and reading a book.

"Excuse me!" he called to the man.  "Do you have any water?"

"Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there."  The man pointed to a place that couldn't be seen from outside the gate. "Come on in."

"How about my friend here?" the boy gestured to the dog.

"There should be a bowl by the pump."

They went through the gate, and there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.  The boy filled the bowl and put it down for the dog. While the dog was drinking, he took a long drink directly from the pump. When they were full, they walked back toward the man standing by the tree waiting for them.

"It's very nice here.  What do you call this place?" the boy asked.

"This is heaven," was the answer.

"Well, that's confusing," the boy said.  "The man down the road said that was heaven, too."

"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates?  Nope.  That's really hell."

"Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?" the boy asked.

"No.  I can see how you might think it's wrong, but it helps them screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind."

Wednesday March 8, 2000
Well, today was my 4 month visit to HUP in Philadelphia, I had a discussion with my doctor regarding the telephone conversation where I told him I wanted to be put on the inactive list.  We just discussed where I would remain on the list and how I had to
retain staying on the list inactively.  I am glad I have that over with. It was bothering me that I was not being completely honest with them sooner. I just did not know how to let them know.  Just as I don't always know how to relate to feelings.  As I seem to spend more and more time dealing with my feelings. Here is another beautiful poem by Glenda Jones who left us on Saturday the 15th of  Jan. this year.


Dear Lord what has happened to me I can't change
There's a sadness in my heart I can't lay to rest
I need one of your brightest stars to shine down on me if you can arrange
It seems like my faith, hope, and love is being put to a test
Right now I need all the strength, courage, and love you can give me
Please light my world and keep me a candle burning so I can see
I don't want any more pain, sadness and sorrow
I need my faith, hopes, dreams and a tomorrow
Sometimes my heart beats like thunder because I'm so scared
This sadness I can't lay to rest is always near
I cherish every breath Dear Lord you give me
Please take this sadness from me so I can rest
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray Dear Lord my soul to keep
Helping others, my faith and Love I have for others is what I know the best.

Reading her poems seems to calm me down and still my pulsing heart.  Do any of you others out there ever want to sneak off some where, anywhere, where no one else is around and let out an ear piercing loud scream even if it took your last breath.  Well I would just love to but I have found that I can't even have a good cry as I get so choked up that I can't breath. I go into spasms and respiratory distress. Bummer!!!  What I wouldn't give for one good loud, long winded out - of - sight scream!!!!  That's what happens when you spend the past 10 or so years of and on things that could go wrong.  Building a good 'ol case of panic attack. I am
always talking about attitude adjustments with others who make excuses why they can't exercise.  So I give them my little pep talk and let them know we all go through this at one time or another and we just have to be strong and do the thing regardless.  It's not a matter of "I can't!"  It is a matter of "How can I?"  Just To know I have succeeded getting someone to exercise and to quit smoking is something  that gives me a great sense of satisfaction.  To know I had any influence at all in changing someone's life for the better  To
let me know that I was a part of helping someone cope with this disease makes all this work I have done on the web, and all the research so worth while.  You know what it ain't easy having this damn disease COPD.  It is a real Pain in the Lungs. (mostly)
Do you know it would be very easy for me to not do anything.  Just sit back on my behind and become a couch potato. But I know there are so many newly diagnosed COPDers and so many more expected to be diagnosed.  There has to be people like me out here to give them the information when they start looking. That's about enough for today.  I will write more when the" swallows return to caperistraino."  That will be on March 19th.  The day I become 59 years old.  God, if I had known I was gonna live this long I sure would have taken better care of myself.  LOL

Dare Reitz Passed on Wednesday, March 8, 2000
Audrey Murphy Passed on Wednesday, March 8, 2000
Renee Phillips Passed on Thursday, March 9th, 2000
Pat (txnana) Koehler Passed on Tuesday, March 14th, 2000

Sunday March 19, 2000
It's after midnight here now and this is what I have to say about this day in history!!!

 10:00 am - 5:00 pm...........Return of the Swallows Festival
Fiesta to celebrate the annual return of the swallows to Capistrano,

Today the swallows returned to Capistrano, by the thousands.  The Story of San Juan Capistrano's Mission Swallows
The miracle of the "Swallows" of Capistrano takes place each year at the Mission San Juan Capistano, on March 19th,
St. Joseph's Day.
As the little birds wing their way back to the most famous Mission in California, the village of San Juan Capistrano takes on a
fiesta air and the visitors from all parts of the world, and all walks of life, gather in great numbers to witness the "miracle" of the
return of the swallows.
Each year the "Scout Swallows" precede the main flock by a few days and it seems to be their chief duty to clear the way for the main flock to arrive at the "Old Mission" of Capistrano.
With the arrival of early dawn on St. Joseph's Day, the little birds begin to arrive and begin rebuilding their mud nests, which are clinging to the ruins of the old stone church of San Juan Capistrano. The arches of the two story, high vaulted Chapel were left
bare and exposed, as the roof collapsed during the earthquake of 1812.
This Chapel, said to be the largest and most ornate in any of the missions, now has a more humble destiny--that of housing the
birds that St. Francis loved so well.
After the summer spent within the sheltered walls of the Old Mission in San Juan Capistrano, the swallows take flight again, and
on the Day of San Juan, October 23, they leave after circling the Mission bidding farewell to the "JEWEL OF ALL MISSIONS"
San Juan Capistrano,
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Now for another great event of march 19th, today is also my birthday!!! My 59th birthday as a matter of fact.  I made it through to another year. A great achievement and time for celebration for me, my husband and for Boo.  But,  I realize it is important only to us.  But, hey, I thought it might have been remembered by some of my (cyberfriends,) on at least some of the many list I belong to. Especially since I have designed and had a birthday page that people could exchange birthdates and check on whose birthday it is for each day of the year.  Even if I am older than dirt. It evidently did not mean very much to others, as not one, No, not even one of my cyberfriends remembered my birthday. Well, I'm really feeling sorry for myself. A real pity-party.  In the grand scheme of things not getting cards or birthday greetings from people you thought you knew, doesn't rate too high on the scale of dreaded occurrences.  I just have to sit back and put things in their proper perspective, and rearrange my priorities.  I will be giving this much thought in the days and weeks ahead.  Then I will rearrange my priorities.  It really is interesting (not funny) that when I first was diagnosed with COPD I was already in "severe state of COPD," as it really hit in a bad case of pneumonia where I was not expected to live.  As I got out of the hospital and tried to get back to a state of health that was functional that I watched as most of my 'friends and acquaintances,' one by one fell away.  Seems they could not find the time to wait for me because it took me longer and longer to do things.  They did not have time to take it slow and wait for me to catch up when walking around the mall or going sight-seeing or bowling or hiking or creative art endeavors.  Friends (?) just did not have time to wait for me to keep up with them.  It also begin to really dawn on them that this was a progressive disease and they are going to be forced to watch me deteriorate right before their eyes if they hang around.  So they decide the best thing to do is become scarce.  And one by one,  my friends disappeared into the mist.  It wasn't bad enough that I had this damn disease, and was eventually gonna loose my life, and I had already lost doing lots of things I enjoyed doing, and was still loosing capabilities of doing more and more.  I also found myself  watching friends fall away one by one.  I didn't have energy to go out and meet new friends.  I was at home most of the time now because I was too tired to be any where else.  Well thank God I have Boo, she doesn't care if I am a dope on a rope.  This o2 hose doesn't deter her loyalty at all.
Thank God for my Husband and best friend Don.  What ever did I do to deserve such a wonderful husband?
The point here being:  I find I don't even have Cyber friends.  This really has my full attention as I have to evaluate this and decide what to do about it as I do not like how it has affected me.  It is akin to open heart surgery.  I only have a few things to say at this point about it.  LIKE:  Put yourself in my shoes and look at the situation.  It is not a pretty picture, is it?  Hell no it isn't.  I'm sad and I'm going to bed and cry myself to sleep and get short of breath from crying and go into an asthma attack and have to do another Asthma treatment and pursed lip breathing and etc., etc., etc.

 Fern Archambeault Passed on  Wednesday, March 22, 2000
   Jim Watson Passed on  Sunday, March 26, 2000
Nancy Ferguson Passed on  Sunday, March 26, 2000
"I haven't been writing on the list much, but it's not because I'm terribly down.  Not sure what it is, but the last 6 months or
so have been very different inside for me.  The waiting has been harder, and I think I'm beginning to really understand what "end-stage" means.  I've been more contemplative and definitely less chatty.  I kind of feel like I'm tired of talking about 
transplant - I want to get on with it, come what may.  You know?"
part of a post Nancy sent to a friend in February.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Sunday March 26
I woke up this morning knowing I could enjoy my morning because in the afternoon it was going to be clean and perge time in
preparation for the event tomorrow morning.  "A Colonoscopy"  Mary Jo who usually comes on Monday afternoon to do my
hair came this morning because I would be out of commission on Monday.  So that took up most of Sunday morning.  Then
I had chicken broth and apricot jello for lunch. I had some hot apple juice for breakfast.  At 1 PM I had one and a half ounces
of pepcid and 4 ounces of apple juice.  Then water, gator-aide, apple juice,  and cranapple juice. all afternoon until 7 PM.
Then I started all over again with one and a half ounces of pepcid and 4 ounces of apple juice.  Then water, gator-aide,
apple juice,  and cranapple juice.
On top of this Don's son and his wife who Don has not seen since they were married 10 years ago had this stopover planned to
see dad and to meet me.  Well between meeting them and my frequent trips to the bathroom, it was a real pleasant visit.  Don's
son has really changed and looks so much like dad that they could pass for brothers.  His wife seems like a very nice person and
both of them are very intelligent people.
They will now be living right outside of D.C. and promise to come back soon for a week-end visit.  They will be bringing
George their 6 ft. Iguana and I told them he can not come upstairs.  He has to live in the basement.  I told Don (when they left)
that he will have to wash everything down where george was when they leave, because they spread certain germs.  I believe that
is what Mickey died from.  (Yes the Mickey mentioned above on this page.) I need to go to the archives to look up the fungus he wrote about contacting the week he died. Will close with just the last fleeting thoughts as I last closed my eyes around midnight
were: "I hope that is the last trip to the bathroom tonight."
so, it goes........untill we meet again.

When the Ship comes in

        Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2000 11:50:12 -0500
Hello World,
I just returned from the hospital where at 9:30 AM they did a Colonoscopy on yours truly, so I need not mention what my
Sunday was like, 'cause you all know about the cleansing process prior to!!!!!!
Well they didn't get to finish the procedure, because they came upon a polyp and removed that one and the pain was so
intense that when it was removed they stopped and sent me to recovery.  I believe my blood pressure was way up by this time.
My doctor said to come to his office in a week and he would have biopsy of the removed polyp by then and decide what to do
about viewing further up the tunnel.
All in all I feel like an old horse that has been rode hard and put up wet. Do you think there are any young people out there who would believe me if I told them, "If I had know it would have been like this, I would have certainly taken better care of the equipment." But do remember this:  "I'm still moving and not buried yet."
And so it goes.

Tonight I'll be Staying Here With You


Friday March 31, 2000
Today I am grateful that I have this wonderful 'Boo Gwynne' to keep me company while Don has to go in to work this morning.
Don will be back by noon but I want to Thank you so much Lord for blessing me by bringing Donald into my life and thereby
enriching my life.
there is a subject that I have been wanting to check out for sometime now and I think I am going to do some real in-depth investigation into "KARMA."  I really believe it could answer a lot of questions as to the "Why" we all are searching for in our
life.  You know the "reap what you sew" theory.  Another thing I want to do is start a grateful Journal.  That will be another
page by itself, and probably want be of any interest to anyone but myself and the idly curious.  But, I think that in itself  is
really important to a person to help keep them positive and grateful for even small blessings.  If you spend your energies in staying positive and being grateful, how will you have time for being negative and downcast about anything?  Since I consider myself a 'work in progress' who has wonderful, charitable, understanding and forgiving days, most of the time.  I would like to find ways
to have more of these type days.  In fact I don't ever want to have any other kind of days.  I sincerely want the rest of my life to count for something positive for others. I believe that studying more about Karma will help me along those lines.  I also believe
that keeping a daily journal of  "Things I am grateful for" will help achieve that goal.
About my colonoscope results:  I have an appointment with my doctor on the fifth of April to let me know if it was cancerous or
not and what they want to do about the possibility of more polys being further in. I certainly do not want to repeat this process
ever again in my life.  Very unpleasant even under normal conditions, but more so than most when you cannot pe put under very much as your respiration will not allow it.  My lungs might collapse and I would wake up on a respirator (if I was lucky)
Well I guess this is something else not to worry about, just put it all in God's hands and he will take care of all events in my life.
Whatever may arise, it is not a problem.  It is a lesson I have been given to learn.  It is the result or a better word would be the
cause  of some effect put into play by myself either by deed or (conscious or unconscious) thought. see?  Life is a study to improve
ourselves to not jut do good,  or think good but, by become a part of good.  I think the more I study on this the more I will see
how to accomplish this.
The seasons are changing, it is changing from winter to spring and the pressures and the atmosphere is changing.  Along with
it my breathing is affected dramatically.  I get really short of breath along about sundown and very full of mucus.  I wake up
in the mornings full of mucus, and nose dripping profusely.  Naturally all this plugged up air passages makes it hard for oxygen to
get in through the cannula.  This is depressed somewhat with sudafed and allegra all spring and summer and into the fall past the growing season.  Other that that and complete shortness of breath.  I am completely all right.
Don is working at home and only has to go into the office two or three times a week for about 4 hours at a time.  Other than
that and running errands for us he is with me all the time.  He is the angel that God sent to me to help me through this most difficult disease.  I could ask myself a million times what I ever did to deserve getting such a insidious disease.  I also could ask myself
what I ever did to deserve the love and devotion of a wonderful faithful loving and caring husband.  The answer to both questions
is the same.

"I will put my laws in their mind, and write them into their hearts." - Hebrews 8: 10 

The Times they are A-Changing

Saturday, April 1, 2000
Today I am grateful for my wonderful Husband, my best friend, my chief cook and bottle washer, my benefactor, my advisory and
my caregiver.  Thank you dear Lord for Donald Gwynne, the love of my life.  who deserved better than a sick wife.
Today has been an extremely difficult day for me trying to breath.  I seem to be producing an enormous amount of mucus. I am able after much difficulty to eliminate the mucus.  It is just exhausting to get the job completed thought.  Tonight as I sit here and type I am thinking of my friend Fred who is on his way to Europe with his granddaughter.  They will make a stop in Paris to put his wife,
Heidi's ashes to rest.  Then he and his granddaughter will sightsee and enjoy paris in the Spring.  I am so envious, and also happy that he can make the trip.
I also am thinking today of my sweet Boo Gwynne  who is a very old lady doggie.  She is 14 years old and has already had one
knee replacement.  You can see in her eyes sometimes how tired she is.  At other times she frolics and rolls around all over Don
and I  loving on us.  I think our loving her and spoiling her so much has keep her alive for so long.  She still is our sweet baby
and will be spoiled forever.  I hope that Boo dies before I do as I know she could not make it with out me.  She will start shaking all over if she knows I am going to leave the house.  She is one devoted little pup and we have even considered getting a pup sitter when we do have to both be away from her.
My daughter is scheduled next week for a colon scope.  The same thing I went through with last week when they removed a polyp.
She has been having problems for a while and now they have decided to do this.  I would ask for all of you who would to pray for my daughter Aleshia who is 31 and the mother of a 7 and 8 year old sons.  They are my grandsons and they live in Louisville, ky
and their name is Ian and Daevid Please pray for my daughter who is about to go through through what I went through last week.
Just goes to show you that neither of us is a perfect "butthole." Not funny though. Please pray for her through her ordeal.
I had to do something on Tuesday that I hated to have to doI have a lady come once a week to clean the heavy stuff that I cannot do and Don does not have time to do.  Well she has been halfway doing the job and when I have tried to tell her how to do it
correctly, she just argues that she does it her way and she gets it clean.  Well it may be cleaned to her standards, but it was not cleaned to my standards and since I am paying she has to do it to my standards.  She never could understand that so I fired her and she freaked out.  I hated to have to do it.  I hate to confront anyone about anything and I hate for others to put me in the position
to have to confront someone.  She even went to Don to get him to do something.  (That, I could not believe.)  Don told her it was
between her and I and it was I she had to please since I was the one who hired her.  Man we are talking here about a person who is so self centered that nothing I could say would apease her. She just said that she doesn't think I will find anyone who will clean to please me.  I just wish I had thought at the time to tell her that it was not her problem what i found or did not find.  I am just very
glad that chapter in my life is over and I now have someone in that I believe will do the job for me and I will not have to stand over this lady's shoulder to see that she does it right. This new lady I believe can really see dust and dirt and not have to be told where and what to clean.  I sure hope this one works out as I do not want to go through firing any one ever again.  it is an unpleasant event for all concerned.  Well good-night to all and sweet dreams of breathing easy.  And so it goes....................

Tomorrow is a Long Time

When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember well, the polished, old case fastened to
the wall and shiny receiver on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother
used to talk to it. Then I discovered  somewhere that inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person and her name was "Information Please" and there was nothing she did not know. "Information Please" could supply anybody's number and the correct time.

My first personal experience with this genie-in-the-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement. I whacked my finger with a hammer. The pain was terrible, but there didn't seem to be any reason in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy. I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The
telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and
held it to my ear.

"Information Please,"

I said into the mouthpiece just above my head. A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.


"I hurt my finger" I wailed into the phone. The tears came readily enough now that I had an audience.

"Isn't your mother home?" came the question.

"Nobody's home but me," I blubbered.

"Are you bleeding?" the voice asked.

"No," I replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts."

"Can you open your icebox?" she asked. I said I could. "Then chip off a little piece of ice and hold it to your finger," 
said the voice.

After that, I called "Information Please" for everything. I asked her for help with my geography and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math.  She told me my pet chipmunk, that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.  Then,
there was the time Petey, our pet canary died. I called "Information Please" and told her the sad story. She listened, then said the usual things grown ups say to soothe a child.  But I was un-consoled. I asked her, "Why is it that birds should sing so  beautifully and bring joy to all 
families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?"

She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, "Paul, remember that there are other worlds to sing in."  Somehow I felt better. Another day I was on the telephone. "Information Please."

"Information," said the now familiar voice.

"How do you spell fix?" I asked.

All this took place in a small town in the Pacific northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved across the country
to Boston. I missed my friend very much. "Information Please" belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the tall, shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me. Often, in moments of  doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.

A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in  Seattle I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15  minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now.  Then, without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said,  "Information, please." Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I 
knew so well.


I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, "Could you please tell me how to spell fix?"

There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, "I guess our finger must have healed by now."

I laughed, "So it's really still you," I said. "I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time."

"I wonder," she said, "if you know how much your calls meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls."

I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.

"Please do," she said. "Just ask for Sally."

Three months later I was back in Seattle. A different voice answered, "Information."

I asked for Sally. "Are you a friend?" she said.

Yes, a very old friend," I answered.

"I'm sorry to have to tell you this," she said. "Sally had been working part time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago."

Before I could hang up she said, "Wait a minute. Did you say your name was Paul?"


"Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. Let me read it to you." The note said, "Tell him I still say there are other worlds to sing in." He'll know what I mean.

I thanked her and hung up. I know what Sally meant.

Never underestimate the impression you may make on others. Whose life have you touched today? Why not pass this on, I just did.

Monday April 3, 2000
I spend just a whole lot of time thinking about my life ad the years i have used up and there are more used up than there are in front of me.  Like it is all down hill now and how there just isn't anything I can do about it.  It is all downhill from here on out.  But I'm not the only one who is aware of the swinging pendiumn.  Here's what Steve Potts has to say on the subject.

Pottsy's Hope
Terminal but hopeful

In thinking about the span of life and the time that I will spend on this earth, I have come to the conclusion that the condition of all men is terminal. There are two distinct times in life that we have no control over that bring me to this decision. The first is the day of our birth and the second is the day of our death, over both of these we can exercise no human control. We may think that we can cheat death or bargain with it or prolong our days but the fact of the matter is we cannot ultimately get out of paying the piper ,so to speak. This being the case, the condition of man from birth is a terminal one for which modern science has found no cure. I myself, being an optimist and also a realist I set forth the proposition that neither the day of birth or the day of death should be our main
concern, but the days that span between those two are the ones that we should cherish. Furthermore not one of us was promised tomorrow, ( we in faith believe that we shall see it), so we must make the most of the day that it is called today. This is a hard thing to hear for most people because the majority of us have lost loved ones to death. Some of us are facing death due to disease or conditions that are beyond our control and the rest are just not sure and do not want to face the inevitable. With this being the condition of man it may seem to you a hopeless cause as some do loose hope when faced with their own mortality. But I see it as
an opportunity for hope to flourish and grow.
Hope is a strange thing that causes you to believe in things beyond the seen and look to the things that you cannot see. The future is a creation of mans hope, for a man will put his trust in the future even though he does not know what it will bring. As we realistically know there is no concrete, cast in stone, future that presents itself to us. But there is the hope that we have in our heart of hearts that it will bring happiness and prosperity. So therefore let us bring the condition of man up one step to terminal but hopeful. For without hope there remains only the possibility of a bleak existence from which one can draw no comfort. so lets hope against hope in this lottery we call life and look for the best in all situations. Because even though we are terminal we still can have hope. That being said we come to the real question which is what do we put our hope and trust in.
As we come to this season of easter and passover the answer becomes apparent to me as one who believes in God. Not only do I believe in God but I also believe in the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ who was sacrificed for the forgiveness of our sins on the cross of Calvary. Not only that but he rose again from the dead on the third day and ascended to the heavens and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. This then is a cause for real hope. Jesus himself said," Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Fathers house there are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go and prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, that where I am you may be also". In saying this to his disciples, Jesus was giving us the ultimate hope of attaining the resurrection from the dead and ascension into heaven. For in doing this himself Jesus opened the way for us who believe in him and in the power of his resurrection. Easter is therefore a time for mankind to reflect upon life, death and the power of God to raise from the dead.
Jesus said to her," I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? She said to him," Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
he who is coming into the world." This was part of the conversation that Jesus had with Martha the sister of Lasers, whom Jesus raised from the dead and thus showing the power of the Son of God to conquer death. There are many other things that Jesus said and did to show his power and authority to us who will believe and come to salvation. It all in my opinion breaks down to the one verse of scripture. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him, He who believes in him is not condemned; he who dose not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." We must believe in Jesus the only Son of God and act upon that belief and come to the father by Him. For it is said that if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighiousness. Also, as far as the east is from the west so far does he remove our sins from us. So therefore let us draw close to him in prayer and become the true children of God that we are meant to be.

There is only one thing more I could add to what Pottsy said here and that is that today I am grateful that I live in a world where there are still people like Pottsy who are ready to tell us about their faith and beliefs, and the fact that he knows and is willing to also spread hope in the face of illness.  Hope forever for a better tomorrow. Hope is the answer to keep us all moving toward a better tomorrow.  Thank you Pottsy.
Wednesday April 5, 2000
Well today I am thankful that the removed polyp was benign (not cancerous) The doctor says some more of my bad genetics are the fact than I have an intestine track that is malformed.  It curves in and out on itself and he could only do 45% of the colonoscope.  He now has me scheduled in two weeks for a barium enema where they take x-rays of my intestinal track and pray they find no more polyps there as he says he doesn't know what to do then.  I guess he would conference with my pulmonary doctor to see what to do .  They don't want me to get put under and the colonoscope will go no further because of the twist and turns my track takes.   Another case od stand by to stand by.
I would like to let you read a letter from a lady (with her permission) in the on-line COPD support group I belong to. She like all of us has good days and bad days.  What I want you to know is someone else's words occasionally.  Not always mine.
But none-the-less someone else who suffers with this damnable disease. Below is connie's letter.

Subject:  [COPD] Pity Party
   Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2000 09:03:19 -0400
   From: Connie Ryder <ConnieRyder@WEBTV.NET>

Karen said "...want to be left alone to dwell in my own self pity."  I think this is something we all do, even more than we like to admit to it,
but, when you think of what your life used to be like  and how it is now, with all the hindrances and drawbacks, it makes us think.  It makes
us realize how much we took for granted the lifestyle we had, and it made us realize how precious life is.  How many of us, before we came down with this illness, ever thought we would be so debilitated, so helpless (at times), so at the mercy of medications and breathing machines, life sustaining oxygen, etç., etc....
Yet, life does go on and we have learned to accept this as something we cannot change, we have gained the knowledge of being able to control it and live with it.  As someone on tv said, "I am not dying with this disease, I am living with it."  And we also have learned that we are not alone; there are thousands of people with this illness and thousands or millions of people with other debilitating illnesses that are doing just what we are - living with it.  So I just go on at night asking Jehovah God to watch over me during the night and if it is his will, to let me see the morning light." I start my routine by getting into the living room and getting on the nebulizer to  get my lungs in shape enough to get on with the rest of the routine.

Sorry if I have bored you all, but Karen, keep on keepin' on and keep on posting to the group - they all know what you are going through - remember Life - It's a good thing!

Another brother who died at 52 waiting on a lung transplant that never came.  Too many people - not enough parts!!!

James Waymire Passed on Thursday, April 6, 2000

Sunday, April 9, 2000
Good Morning World. - Yesterday I played in the yard, I enjoyed my blooming tulips, lilly of the valley, hycacine, crocus and numerous wild flowers.  My magnolia, weeping cherry, rhoderdindrums, and azayalas.  All my trees are flowering and blooming and I felt like maybe I wanted
to continue living.  The temperature was in the upper 70's.  My favorite temperature.  All was well in Muddvill 'yesterday.'  Today I awoke to
about 2 inches of wet snow on EVERYTHING.  It is still snowing.  Snowflakes everywhere and a crazy wind, blowing wildly at 45 MPH. Big
heavy wet  Flakes loading down the branches that were newly grown.  All the branches are so heavy laden.  It is suppose to get up to 4 inches today.  Things are just too crazy!!!!
Snow on Palm Sunday !  Snow in April !  I feel like Jack Skeleton in "The nightmare before Christmas."  When he discovered Christmas and
snow.  He was running around everywhere touching the snow and saying over and over.  "What is this?" "What is this?" As he kept touching and examining the different drifts of snow. All my beautiful flowers are at this moment screaming in their last throes of death. I can hear them screaming and can't do anything to save them.  I am crying and Donald and Boo are eating breakfast and reading the funnies.  We all have different agendas. People are a kaleidoscope of different colors.  Life and weather is still a crapshoot !  And so it goes.............

Terry Glenn Passed on Sunday, April 9, 2000

Monday, April 10, 2000
We know that death is impending and each day it creeps closer and closer, those around me do not know how to react as neither of us know
exactly when that will happen.  I only know of my feelings and my health.  I just feel it is much closer than I would like.  I have been thinking more and more of what the other side must be like.  I feel that even after death there is a consciousness that lives on and we transcend from this level to
the next level.  There is a connection between this material world and the one we will know at death.  As I get closer and closer to that door that leads to death, I wonder will it bring me nothingness or new unheard of horizons????  What did it bring to those who went before me.  Of those I have been very close with, who have passed before me, I have had dreams of them trying to call me on the phone and the call never being completed.  A connection could never be made.  They say at death your mind is filled with specters that have no reality. WHAT IF:  Maybe there is as much oblivion about the last hours as there is about the first hours of birth.  I have a feeling that death is not as ordinarily pictured, with a black mask and hood, or as a skeleton, or like father time with a sickle.  Instead, he is fair, rose-cheeked, robust and he has a pair of scissors or shears.  You have to look at the feet or hands to watch them take shape. Death at first glance is not an easily recognizable figure.  Death is not what we would think it to be.  It is not the awful thing we often see pictured.  It is just a change from one shape to another. From one place to another.
 The shears or scissors are indeed the implements most representative of life and death.  These indeed unite by dividing and divide by uniting.
You have heard of the silver cord that unites us with life and at death is severed by the hands (shears) of death.  The cord does not, as usual
thought, extend from the center - but is broken from the head, the forehead - that soft portion we see pulsating in the infant.  So we see old
people, unbeknowing to themselves, gain strength from youth from kissing there: and youth gains wisdom by such kisses.  Indeed the vibrations
may be raised to such an extent as to rekindle or re-connect the cord, even as the master did with the widow of Naid.  For he did not take him by the hand (which was the custom of the day), But rather stroked him on the head - and the body took life of life itself! So, you see, the silver cord may be broken - but vibration...........For the earth is only an atom in the universe of worlds!........And with error entered that which we call death....which is only a transition - or through God's other door---- into that realm where the enity has builder, in their knowledge and activity
respecting the law of the universal influence.  Death in the material plane is passing through the outer door into a consciousness in the material activities that partake of what the enity, or soul, has done with its spiritual truth in its manifestations in the outer sphere.  Just after death there is a period of unconsciousness which may aptly be likened to a dream state from which there is a gradual awakening.  The duration of this period is governed by the development of the individual......For thoughts are deeds.  What one thinks continually, they become; what one cherishes in their heart, and mind they make a part of the pulsation of their heart, through their own blood cells, and build in their own physical, that which its spirit and soul must feed upon, and that which it will be possessed, when you pass into that other realm where you will use what you learned here.  When we pass through that door called death we take on the form of whatever we have created for ourselves in the existence we have passed.  As our imagination in the earth plane pictures to ourselves, Through our carnal relations, that condition to which we think to ourselves.  We will possess the ability to assume the relative position to that merited condition in its existence.
As the soul and spirit entity takes its form in the spiritual plane, it is subject to the spiritual plane to those immutable laws of the spirit plane.  The spiritual enity of the individual is composed then of the spirit, the soul, as the body is prepared for the enity in the spiritual plane, and goes through
it's development in the spirit plane, until ready again to manifest in the material plane, and sow that degree of development toward perfection that would make us as entirely perfect as one could become.  This is the cycle of development, or condition of people in the material world and the spirit plane. Our oppurnity to be strive for a christ conscienceless. And since we have a Loving heavenly father who wants all his children, we are given numerous oppurnities to learn our lessons. (As I see it)  Today I am thankful for this wonderful precious life that I still possess, if only by fringes.
 No matter how thin and frail the threads may be they are better than the alternative.  Life is sweet, Life is good, but most of all life is fleeing too fast.
And so it goes............

Can there truly be such a thing as a "good death"? If the patient's wishes are honored,
the experts say, yes, there can be grace in saying good-bye to one's own life

Nowhere is it written that life will be fair, and it seldom happens that each player gets dealt the same hand.
The differences lie in how we play the cards we're dealt.

I, too, have times when I pity myself because I can't do all I planned, but I can, when I wish to think
constructively, remember that right here, on this mail list, I have made some two thousand friends I would,
otherwise never known. These folks have made my life richer and easier and, at times, given me reason to
get out of bed in the morning.

For each of my losses, there is at least one gain.

Bill Horden

Keri John Passed on  Tuesday, April 11, 2000

Veneta Joyce Clarida passed on Wednesday, April 12, 2000 

Thursday, April 13, 2000
Today I am so very thankful for all the days of my life.  I do have regrets that I wish I had used them more wisely.  That I had used all those days to help others in ways I did not.  I do not like looking back in retrospect, though/  It is always better to look forward and know that I will do what I can do in whatever time I am allowed to remain here in the material world.  There are so many that need help.  There are so many that are lost with this disease and just do not know how to cope at all.  Perhaps all I have researched and gathered together on my pages will help inform them of how to take care of themselves and prolong the effects of this disease.  I know of no other disease where nothing is being done to help find a cure.  It just is so hard to believe, but true.  A disease that is recorded by the American Lung Association to be the number four killer.  But, if the true numbers were recorded, it would be at least the number three killer and maybe even higher.  I have had a very hard time living with this disease as all of us do who have the disease, have the same problem living with it.  I have written often of the disappointments and loss of friends and the solitary, lonely life.  The lack of energy, drive, appetite, desire.  I would give almost anything to have a good long , breakdown, cry.  If I really let go and let the damn break, and the tears flow then I would get so short of breath. I would probably choke to death.   As I go along this downhill road I am on,
I cannot help but wonder how much further the road is till I get to the end of the road and to 'that other door.'  In 1986 I was told I would not last 5 more years.  Well I did so much research and did all the things I thought would help prolong and I am still here and I am sure because of my efforts
I have slowed that progression.  I have not stopped it or cured myself.  But only because there is no cure.  I can honestly say I have tried like hell to cure myself.  I think it is so important to stay positive all the time.  And that is so very hard to do at times.  If we are busy doing for others than it is easier to keep your mind off of your own pain and concentrate on helping others.  This helping of others is also a very good cheap therapy that will keep one from wallowing in their own sorrow.  It hurts also to see the hurt that you know your husband is feeling and knowing that he knows there is nothing that can be done and he is also a victim of this disease.  All my family and loved ones are victims of this disease.  I guess you notice as you scroll down my page to read my journal all the names of friends who have passed on because of this disease. It is just such a damn waste of human resources.  When I think of all the hugs and kisses from grandchildren I will miss, all the dreams I will never see materialize.  The retirement plans Don and I had. I sometimes (like now) have to remind myself that the glass is still have full, not half empty.  Live in the day. Enjoy it to the fullest you can, and thank God he gave it to you.  It was a beautiful day and it allowed you oppurnities to say a kind word to lift someone from a low to a higher plane.  What more could anyone want than to serve and help.  Thank you God and Please help me remember this as I so easily slip back to my own little pity parties.
And so it goes...........

Tryin' to get to Heaven

From a friend:  Evelyn Higley

Suppose one morning you never wake up, do all your friends know you love them?  I was thinking...I
could die today, tomorrow or next week and I wondered if I had any wounds needing to be healed,
 friendships that needed rekindling or three words needing to be said. Sometimes, "I love you" can heal & bless.  Let everyone of your friends know you love them.  Even if you think they don't love you back, you would be amazed at what those three little words and a smile can do.  Remember....I LOVE YA!!!
 If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.
 If  He had a wallet, your photo would be in it.
 He sends you flowers every spring.
 He sends you a sunrise every morning.
 Whenever you want to talk, He listens.
 He can live anywhere in the universe, yet He chooses your heart.

Ken Fejii Passed on  Saturday, April 15, 2000

Subject:  [COPD] definately off topic
        Date:  Sat, 15 Apr 2000 23:31:37 -0400
       From:  Olivija Gwynne <o2@OLIVIJA.COM>
 Organization:  @Home Network

Once upon a time, not so very many years ago I remember that I could come to my computer in the middle of the night when the air was nowhere to be found.  I could type my little heart out here and pretend that there wasn't a damn thing wrong with me.  I could sit here type my little heart out while I nebulized.  Pretty soon someone else would email me and say "hey Olivija, I'm awake also and can't sleep. Do you want to chat?"  Well, many an evening, and early morning hours, I have seen this email as busy in the night time as the day time.  But the more I go around the more I realize that nothing stays the same.
It's not the same list it use to be.
It's not the same people it use to be.
It's not even the same me, that it use to be.
The only thing remotely the same is the fact I am sitting here with a nebulizer in my mouth and a lack of oxygen in my lungs and a mind that won't stop and let me get off for even a microsecond tonight.
Now let me think????? what can I do now to amuse myself?????
I also am sick of looking at the beating we have taken on the stock market. There is little comfort in the fact that I am not alone.
The fact that my loses pale in comparison to Bill Gates loss of 11 Billion.  I refuse to admit defeat over a few cruddy loosing stocks.  I'm hanging ten and ridding it out. I'm in it for the long haul (if I'm not around to collect Don will need it.  Boo wanted to sell months ago and put the cash into T-bones.)
Anybody want to chat.  My ICQ # is 7562716.  I'll sit here and wait as I am to short of breath to go anywhere.
They can't bury you if you are moving and My fingers can still dance on this keyboard. LOL
Your friend in Pa..........The Boo Mistress.............Olivija

Today I am thankful for the flowers that are springing up everywhere to remind me of God's cycle of life.
"For everything there is a season"
You Can See The Future With A Vision

    Study your present situation thoroughly.  Go over in your imagination the various courses of action
    possible to you. Visualize the consequences which can follow from each course.  Pick out the course which gives you the most promise and go ahead.

    Many successful people use this skill of mental visualization. They mentally run through important events before they happen.

    Picture yourself in your minds eye as already having achieved your goal.  See yourself doing the
things you'll be doing when you've reached your goal.  You can put your subconscious to work
    toward making your mental pictures come true.  Go over your day in your imagination before
you begin it.  You can begin acting successfully at any moment.

    See the things you want as already yours.  Think of them as yours, as already in your 
possession.  What you can see in your mind, you can get.

Thoughts are deeds!
Your friend in Pa,

 Julie Patterson Passed on Thursday, April 20, 2000

Subject: [COPD] I AM "WIFE"
        Date:  Fri, 21 Apr 2000 17:21:47 -0400
       From:  Olivija Gwynne <o2@OLIVIJA.COM>
 Organization:  @Home Network

Hi friends and members,
Way back a long time ago when I started doing webpages at the very beginning of cybertime for me........
One of the first pages I did was one in the list of some of the things in life that I am.
And that is "A wife"  http://www.olivija.com/wife/
Almost at the bottom of that page is my recipe for a happy marriage.  It has worked for us and this page is really a tribute
to an outstanding friend, companion, caregiver, husband, lover and better half.  This page is for Donald Gwynne "My
Hero" in a world with not many hero's left.
Today I got a call from the local S. P. C. A. A lady brought her little dog in.  She couldn't take care of it anymore with three
children, a job and living in an apartment and the dog has anxiety and potties on things while alone and destroys things when
left alone.  But, when the lady got to the S. P. C. A. she found she just couldn't leave the pup there as she did not know what
would happen to it. So the S. P. C. A. person told her to call me and I would help her find the right home for it as I have time
to do such????  She called and described her problem to me and I told her to bring over the 5 year old dog.
Well Ms. Boo is 11 lbs and you all know how much I love her, Well let me tell you what came through my doors today.  A little
5 year old girl that looks almost exactly like Ms. Boo, but is a miniture replica of her.  She weighs 6 lbs. and her name is Snowball
and it was love at first sight, on my part and Don's.  Boo is showing all the expected signs of jealousy and alpha dominance.
But she will come around in good time when she sees we haven't stopped loving her also.  So now it is Boo and Snowball.  You
will have to watch the website in upcoming weeks for pictures and articles about the newest arrival in our "Magic Forrest" in Pa
We have a picture of Snowbalol up now on Boo's website.  Go to http://www.olivija.com/writer/....and click on Card 7 which
is titled Snowball. Keep watching that site for updated picts of Snowball and her royal Booness!!!!

Beth Helmert Passed on Saturday, April 22, 2000


Easter Sunday, April 23, 2000
This was a wonderful Easter day.  Don's sister Ginny and her family came over and spend the afternoon with us.  Ginny brought Dinner and we 
had a wonderful Easter dinner here. I don't have the energy to prepare food for myself, much less for others. Of course they all fell in love with Snowball. We had a very good dinner.  We visited and found out that John Robert will take some time off from Drew University.  He has two
years in and it was getting to him.  He needs a rest. Janet is still in high school and enjoying that.  She is staying busy betweet school, dancing, 
singing and productions she is in. John Robert spent some time taking pictures of Snowball with his new digital camera and we spent some time on the web looking at digital cameras that I might be interested in buying.  I don't know if that is the wise thing to do as I am getting weaker and weaker all the time and I sort of hate spending anything anymore as I don't know from day to day if I even have the energy to use it.  The desire is most definately there to still do and create.  It is just I do not have the energy to put all these ideas in my head into the reality of the real world.
I am down to where I am only alone on very short periods when Don has to go into work for half a day and I get all panicey over that.  Life is so 
scarrey for someone in a situation like I am in.  I can see it like I am looking in from the outside and I feel like an idiot with this anxiety.  But,
Living and breathing it for real is another story.
Speaking of living with this condition.  I was in line at the k-mart counter this past week (where they are short of help and the wait is long) and
while in line I notice two small children eying my nose hose and pack Just as I had eyed their cigarette flicking mom out in the parking lot.  So I being bored and just know the kids want to know what all this is. I say hi to them and ask them how old they are.  They tell me 5 and 6 years old and then (I knew it was coming, if I broke the ice.) they ask what is that? pointing to the contraption.  I told them it is an oxygen supply system to give me air to breath since I smoked and ruined my lungs they can't breath any more and I have to use this.  I asked them if they smoked and they laughed and said no they were too little. and I said well maybe you will not mant to ware one of these and you want smoke.  We had a good long conversation standing there waiting and mama hearing every word and not saying a thing. (guess she really knew I was right.)  I told the kids bye when I left and I enjoyed talking to people who still were smart enough to have good lungs and not smoke.  You could tell the little guys liked being talked to the way I talked to them.  It was like they were having a grown up conversation. Hopefully a seed was planted.

Sunday, April 30, 2000
Sidney Is my cousin, A year older than me.  He is the cousin I dedicatet my vet page to.  If you go there you will see why.
The page is located at http://www.olivija.com/vet/. IThere is a poem there that he wrote also. Anyone needing info on vets
or the Purple Heart Administration can get in touch with him by visiting his page.
Sidney and his wife Edith stopped by after their Purple Heart Convention in New York, on their way back to Tennessee.  I 
had not seen them in about ten years and they looked about the same.  I know that the way I looked shocked them a lot.
We had a really good visit.  They arrived early afternoon and stayed until around 10 P.M.  He wanted to drive at night.
Don had fixed a pot roast and salad and we had good meal and a really good visit.  They said they would try to make it up
here late this summer.  That would be nice as I have not seen much of my family since I moved north with Donald in 1980.
That was a hard move for me to make as I was already in serious End Stage at that date and did not get out to make new friends any more. Life was very lonesome after my move here to Pennsylvania.


Friday May 5, 2000
As Spring turns once again to summer I find my winter funk falling by the wayside.  My feelings of wanting to go and do are ever present, in spite of the fact I am so limited in any activity.  My energy level is such that eating a full meal exaust me completely.  I would like to share some fragmented thoughts here for what they mean to me mainly.  Is Positive Thinking The key to Good Heal?  People with positive attitudes generally enjoy life more, but are they healthier?  The answer is often yes.  Optimism is a resource for healing.  Optimists are more likely to overcome pain and adversity in their efforts to improve their medical treatment outcomes.  For example, optimistic coronary bypass patients generally recover more quickly and have fewer postoperative complications than people who are less hopeful.  On the other hand, Pessimism seems to aggravate ill health.  One long-term
study showed that people who were pessimistic in college had significantly higher rates of illness through age 60.  We seem to develop a tendency toward either optimism or pessimism at an early age.  However, even if your outlook on life tends to be gloomy, you can enjoy phychosomatic wellness by using your brain to support your immune system.  But How Do I Boosting
My Immune System??? (You May Ask)  Your immune system responds to your thoughts, emotions and actions.  In addition to staying fit, eating right, and managin stress, the following strategies will help your immune system funtion better. Create positive expectations for health and healing.  Mental and emotional expectations can influence medical outcomes.  Open yourself to humor, friendship, and love. Positive emotions strengthen the immune system.  Fortunately, almost anything that makes you feel good about yourself helps you stay healthy.  Appeal to the Spirit.  If you believe in a higher power, ask for support in your pursuit of healing and health.  Your sense of spiritual wellness can help you overcome personal trials and things you cannot change.
Consider the Following.........................YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK
A simple but very accurate statement. What we say, what we do, what we feel -- all have their origin in the mind. The energy of the human mind is thought. It is possibly one of the greatest, but least understood energy resources of the universe.  Thought is like a seed, each thought producing its own distinctive flower and fruit. In other words, thoughts can be creative or destructive, loving or spiteful, depressed or happy. When we understand and harness this energy of the mind, then we can master our life producing those "fruits" which give us the most happiness and contentment. Understanding, cooperation and compatibility are prerequisites for any true friendship. How I see myself and how I use my mind are the beginnings of a good relationship both with myself and others.  The aim of each of us is to look inside ourselves and understand ourselves and through this to bring improvement in our life. We will also gain experiences and learn methods which we can use to be more positive at home, at work and in our relationships. But First we have to look deeply and lovingly and help ourselves see all the good there that is going to waste. Bring it out and use it to take control of all future life experiences, developing positive self esteem, creating your own healthy reality and making daily living a positive experience.  Positive Thinking Boosts Health............Nostradamus made a name for himself by forecasting deluges, wars and other catastrophes. Safe predictions, considering that such things are bound to happen eventually. But when it comes to your health, predicting nothing
but the worst can actually make things worse, a new study suggests.
Douglas A. Drossman, MD, of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, tracked the health of 200 women being treated at a clinic for gastrointestinal problems.  Over the course of one year, he found that measurements of health, including pain and number of doctor visits, were considerably poorer in women who exhibited a coping style called catastrophizing.  "Catastrophizing describes a profound sense of pessimism and hopelessness," explains Dr. Drossman. A catastrophizer sees herself as a victim of her illness, with no control of the situation. In the study, the catastrophizers had 60% more doctors' visits and nearly twice as much pain, compared with women with other coping styles
How do you avert catastrophic thinking? "Keep a positive frame of mind,"  Dr. Drossman says."Remind yourself that you're really in control. You can do something about your illness."  Simple things like rating your discomfort on a 1-to-10 scale, or finding activities to distract you from your illness, can put things in perspective and help you feel in control.

Chuck Ford passed on Sunday, May 7, 2000 

Cathy Foreman passed on Sunday, May 14, 2000 

Sandy Scarboro Passed on Wednesday, May 17, 2000

 Newsweek, May 22, 2000
 About a year ago a friend called, asking what she could do for an elderly  neighbor. The neighbor suffered from severe heart failure. Shortness of breath kept him even from walking to a toilet. One day his heart stopped, and his wife called in paramedics. They resuscitated him, took him to the hospital. His mind was sharp, and he pleaded to go home and die. Ignoring his wishes, doctors inserted a pacemaker so his heart wouldn't stop. Over the next week he worsened and was given kidney dialysis and a heart-assist pump.  Finally he was placed on a ventilator. When I visited, I found him too weak to move in bed. He responded to questions by groaning and stared through us to the ceiling. The family asked to have the ventilator stopped and the pacemaker turned off. The doctors refused; they wondered what their patient wanted. He lapsed into a coma, but continued to grimace when moved and
frequently tried to cough out the tube down his windpipe. After four weeks of this, he finally died.  Most of us will face some form
of high-tech dying, and we need to be ready for it. About three quarters of Americans die in hospitals or medical facilities where overly aggressive treatment is common, less than half who request "do not resuscitate" orders get them, a majority of dying patients
experience severe, undertreated pain and nearly 40 percent spend at least 10 days in an intensive-care unit. We all want to live as
long as is reasonable, but avoiding the extremes of modern dying requires serious forethought.
 Despite the dismal statistics, there are steps you can take to avoid an artificially prolonged death. First, issue an advance directive, witnessed or notarized according to the law of your state. You can order state-specific advance-directive documents from Choice
in Dying (800-989-9455), or download them free at choices.org. Give copies to your physicians and family members.  If you lose consciousness, or the ability to make medical decisions for yourself, what your family says will weigh more heavily than your advance
directives. If even one family member tells the doctors to keep treating, you may not get your way. While healthy, make sure they understand your wishes.
 Most people's first wish is to avoid desperate, do-everything-possible treatments when a cure is no longer possible. If you have a plan in place for stopping all treatment when your illness is terminal †and your family concurs †the doctors cannot legally defy you. But avoiding futile treatment is only half the battle. By rejecting such measures you may also deprive yourself of treatments that can ease the pain of dying. Patients and families are often unaware that pain-killing narcotics are legally available (you can learn more about them by looking at Web sites for "pain control" or "death and dying"). And many physicians assume, wrongly, that they'll be censured or prosecuted for giving people controlled substances. Assisted suicide is indeed illegal in all states except Oregon. But as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor noted in a 1997 opinion, "a patient who is suffering from a terminal illness and who is experiencing great pain has no legal barriers to obtaining medication, from qualified physicians... even to the point of
causing unconsciousness and hastening death."
 Signing up for hospice care is probably the best way to achieve optimal comfort care. But with or without a hospice, if you want everything possible to ease your pain, even if it might shorten your life, be sure your desires are noted in your medical record. The Supreme Court has cited two legal methods for bringing peace to dying patients when usual methods of pain management fail. The
first is the "morphine drip" †a continuous administration of morphine at a dose that will abolish pain. If that's not effective, a physician can also legally prescribe "terminal sedation": barbiturates or other drugs providing continuous anesthesia. In the absence
of feeding, death comes quickly.
 Recently I met another patient, Agnes, who was 82 years old when diagnosed with incurable cancer. She told her doctor and her family, "I want to live at least four more months to do a painting for my granddaughter's school." Her physician arranged for low-dose chemotherapy that did not cause much discomfort, and Agnes had a remission. Shortly after she completed the painting, her symptoms returned with evidence of spread of the cancer. Now, she said, she was ready to die. She received excellent comfort care, lived three more good months and had continuous morphine for the last week of her life, with virtually no pain or discomfort. She was alert almost to the end, and she and her family said loving goodbyes. Agnes did it right. So can you. With Albert W. Preston

 Preston is Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington. His book
"Final Victory: Preparing for the Best Possible Death" (Prima Publishing)
comes out in September. Albert W. Preston, the author's twin brother, is with
the Philadelphia law firm Woodcock Washburn.

 By Thomas A. Preston, M.D.

What can I do for You?



Betty Ackhart passed on Wednesday May 31, 2000
In Memory of Betty Ackhart

A fog horn blows desolately in the night.
A train whistle carries mournfully across the prairie.
The coyote's call echoes down the empty valley.
Teardrops rain down hard against my heart.
A cold wind numbs my thoughts and
Anguish beats against my soul.
We have lost another friend today, and
though she has gone to a kinder, gentler place
memories of her are still here, playing their tunes
of joy and love, of caring and support.
Memories, washing down a window of pain.

Storm (a friend)

What Good Am I?

With God on Our Side

Flowing right along with my case of "Severe Emphysema" You would now need to click on "Corpse 6"
and you will be able to read the rest of my story.

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