I want to start by giving all of you my latest definition of love.
Seems to me, one way to define love is the desire to give others some tender loving care.
So anyone who is trying to give anyone else some kind of tender loving care, that individual is doing what I call loving. Loving in that context is a verb. Except when referring to the desire to help, then I guess love is a noun, describing that desire.
But actions speak louder than words.
Those who actively love, can be called heroes.
As you can see by Itzl's concerned look, this group is for us to check in at, to let people know we are alive, doing OK, and not affected by such things as heat, blizzards, floods, wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, power outages, or other such things that could keep us off Daily Kos. If you're not here, or anywhere else on Daily Kos, and there are adverse conditions in your area (floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, etc.), we are going to check up on you. If you are going to be away from your computer for a day or a week, let us know here. We care!
IAN is a great group to join, and a good place to learn to write diaries. Drop one of us a PM to be added to the Itzl Alert Network anytime! We all share the publishing duties, and we welcome everyone who reads IAN to write diaries for the group! Every member is an editor, so anyone can take a turn when they have something to say, photos and music to share, a cause to promote or news!
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Wednesday: Pam from Calif
Thursday: art ah zen
The little dog is named Itzl.
Next, I will address that word in my title, “all.”
If you can think of anyone who seems to just never give anyone any tender loving care, then such a person is not included in my “all.”
So, any such individual, whether you know them personally, or you just know of them from the news, set them aside for now.
For the rest of us, including most folks who post here at Daily Kos, especially those who post here at the Itzl Alert Network, and anyone you know who gives others some tender loving care, that is who I am calling heroes.
First, I want to give you a link to a nice diary by James Thomas Green, posting here for many years as jtg:
I am still in the heart center as of 1:10 Pacific time,
I just saw my cardiologist. My heart has gotten worse, but not so bad it requires surgery now, but that time is coming.
I’ve been peeing to get rid of excess fluids. I feel a bit better but I am still very weak.
I do not know yet if I’ll see my furbabies tonight.
The diary is very emotional, and the comment thread is full of internet hugs, and pictures of doggie dogs and kitty cats.
Click on the link and go spend a little time at his diary. So many nice comments.
Then come back here.
Because Mister Green posted that diary, I decided to start with him, as an example of a hero.
Some years ago, he was the caregiver for his father, in the final period of time (months?) before his father died.
As a cat and dog person, he is the caregiver for his nice fur babies.
And he is a schoolteacher, teaching in elementary schools, in California.
So, he has spent years giving tender loving care to his students, and his animals, and his father.
And, he has been doing all this with a “boot” on one foot, and with an ostomy bag on his tummy. Meaning he poops out of his tummy.
I have used that kind of medical “boot,” myself.
But I never had to poop out of my tummy.
So, he is a hero, seems to me.
It seems to me that the Florida family is a family of heroes, heroes to each other, and to us here.
When Tonia was having surgery to remove cancer, in 2014, I called FloridaMom, so she could give me some tender loving care, emotional support, on the phone.
After Tonia died, and I failed to check in here one night, she called me again.
aaz has been giving me tender loving care, in many ways. When Tonia was in the late stages of kidney failure (I did not know how close she was to death at that time) and I told Tonia about the failure of aaz’s husband, Bill, his failure to get treated for a lump in his neck (that turned out to be late-stage cancer) Tonia told me to post the comment: “Tonia says Bill is an idiot.”
For a while after Tonia died, I pestered aaz with lots of Kosmail messages. She gave me extra tender loving care, in her replies.
And, aaz is apparently a hero to a nice circle of family and friends, in her face-to-face world.
So, aaz is a hero, seems to me.
Okay, I do not know enough personal details about the rest of you, to say in what ways you are heroes to others. (Of course, you are all heroes to all of us here, who get to read your nice comments.)
I mean, weck and partner are landlords, always working on the rental property, so they are heroes to whoever moves in. I am a renter, and I truly appreciate everything about my apartment that is in good repair, and works well for me. And all of you have seen my home, if you looked at my videos.
And Pam from California is a hero to Maci.
Now, at the risk of getting a big head, I will mention the ways in which I have been a hero, myself.
I was a hero to Pam, my first wife. She was born disabled. I had to spoon feed her, and change her diaper, and put her on the bedpan.
Although, keep in mind, your tax dollars paid a home health aide to take care of Pam while I was at work.
I could have done more for Pam, but I did a lot.
Pam died in 2008.
Then Tonia came and rescued me.
She was my hero. And still is. I still use her advice. Mainly, if I am depressed, I tell myself, in the words of Tonia: “You’re doing great!”
In the last few years she was alive, she was not able to get up and go to the toilet, so we had to give her the same tender loving care I had given Pam. I say we, because Tonia was able to help in her own care. And she could feed herself, when I brought her food to her.
I could have done more for Tonia, but I did a lot.
So, I was a hero for Tonia.
Now, I finally get to the point that stimulated me to write this diary.
Part of my reason for feeling depressed, is that I no longer have a wife to be the hero to, to give tender loving care to.
But wait! (I tell myself.)
I am still a hero.
I am a hero to anyone I interact with.
- Family, on Facebook.
- Family, in person.
- Friends, especially you, my Itzl friends.
I am not a super big hero to my neighbors, just a little bit.
For example, I built a ramp for my neighbor, Jim.
Jim is 83 years old and uses a rollator to get groceries at the nearby Dollar General.
I built him a ramp from scrap lumber I found in the basements of these apartment buildings.
My next-door neighbors, the mom and dad and two children, from Honduras, they invite me to their front yard parties, so I end up interacting with all the family and friends they invite. Anytime they see me, they say “Amigo!”
They are the ones who gave me most of that free food you saw in my videos.
I suppose I am a certain kind of hero to them, the kind of “amigo” who accepts gifts with gratitude, allows them to feel like a hero to me.
I do the most for my in-person family, Terrell and Ratana and their three small children, Isabella, 7, Gabriella, 3, and Olivia Diane, two months.
They were heroes to me, recently, when they took me to Uncle Brian’s funeral. I had so much great interaction with so many cousins. A nice conversation is a lot like a hug, and both parties are heroes to each other. Seems to me.
We only see each other in person about once a month (although for November it was Friday after Thanksgiving, two doctor appointments, and a funeral). That is about how often I usually need a ride to a doctor appointment. When that happens, I buy them gasoline, and sometimes groceries and bottled water. In fact, I made a note to myself to call Ratana tomorrow, to see if she wants me to buy extra groceries for a nice meal at their home at Christmas time (any date near Christmas will do for me). Last year at Christmas time, I paid for us all to eat out. That was often what Tonia and I did. But Ratana cooks meals that are a little better than most restaurants (like she did for the day after Thanksgiving). I will ask her if she wants a break from cooking, by eating out, or extra groceries, for her tasty home cooked meal.
Anyway, bottom line, to avoid depression, I must remind myself that I am still a hero to some folks.
Even if I mainly just give out lots of internet hugs.