#WATWB August 2020 – Hope In End of Life Care

If I, or a loved one, were dying from Corona virus, aka, COVID 19, I’d like someone such as Dr Kate Gregorevic on the palliative care team.

Picture: ABC Life accessed 30 August 2020 9.43pm

Before going further, I say that as part of the latest series of #WATWB We Are The World Blogfest Posts. The co-hosts for this month are:

Lizbeth Hartz , Roshan RadhakrishnanShilpa GargPeter Nena and Sylvia Stein. Please hop on over to their pages and any others with the #WATWB that you care to read.

ABC Life, from ABC News Australia, featured Dr Gregorevic recently. She works in palliative care here in Australia. You can read the fuller story. But here are some samples.

Looking after patients at the end of their life can be incredibly rewarding especially being able to bear witness to the joy and love they have created in their life as their family hold vigil to mark their last days.

Dr Gregorevic describes some of her experience.

My work constantly reminds me that life is fragile, precious and finite, and to appreciate all the small, beautiful moments that make a life. Part of what makes the challenges of work manageable is knowing I provided the best care I could at such an important time.

She has a sense of the mutual benefit between the families and her team.

The families I speak to show the most incredible empathy and generosity, expressing sympathy for the work I am doing, saying thank you for the work I am doing. And I cannot express how much this helps me through these days.

It is good to know that medical staff like Dr Gregorevic and her team are helping treat people with COVID-19. Clearly they see the person. They also see the patient’s loved ones. That makes all the difference.

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#WATWB February 2020 A Fridge for Firies!

Welcome to #WATWB We Are The World Blogfest for February-ish 2020.  Our co-hosts this month are:

Sylvia McGrath,
Peter Nena,
Shilpa Garg,
Eric Lahti,
and Belinda Witzenhausen.

Please hop on over to check out their pages and any others with the #WATWB.

I’m late! And… I can’t blame the short month.  Meanwhile, did you….

hear about a fridge for firies?

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Sourced from The Canberra Times – National Museum of Australia curator Craig Middleton, left, inspects the Bungendore roadside fridge with owners Scott and Claire Hooper. The fridge has been donated to the national collection. Picture: George Serras, National Museum of Australia.

The Canberra times reports it was the fridge by the roadside that stood as a symbol of community spirit through a harsh, dry summer, harbouring icy poles, drinks and snacks for the firefighters trekking back and forth along the Kings Highway.

At first, Claire Hooper was not convinced at the idea of her husband to put a fridge out the front of their house.  It was intended for refreshing passing fire fighters.  Scott convinced her and the adventure began as the Canberra Times continues the story.

Firefighters left memorabilia – helmets, masks and brigade badges – with the Hooper family, thanking them. People kept coming from far and wide came to keep the fridge full.

“The New Zealand guys were here – they were here for a seven-day stretch – and they stopped in to say thank you.

“We’re trying to take photos of them, and they’re making us stand next to the fridge; they’re trying to take photos of us. And we were like, ‘Guys, no. Come on’,” Mrs Hooper said. “It’s just been unreal.”

For many weeks fires raged across Australia.  Much of our forests in the Eastern States were destroyed.  Smoky haze covered our cities and towns.  Some folk on the South Coast were evacuated and returned to their homes multiple times. In the midst of all the horror local stories emerged. It is truly wonderful to be able to tell this local one.

A local radio station MIX 106.3 even organised a convoy to celebrate the fridge and the Coopers generosity in donating it.

It truly is a sight to see people doing such down-to-earth things to make a difference in dark times.  Cheers to all who contributed!

 

 

 

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#WATWB October Late Entry – Horticulture Program

A week late I’ve sneaked a post in our latest #WATWB Edition.  Our generous co-hosts for this month are:

Sylvia McGrath,
Lizbeth Hartz,
Shilpa Garg,
Mary Giese,
and Belinda Witzenhausen.

 

 

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Source: Picture from ABC News Australia.

In a story from Australia’s ABC News “Good News” link I read:

Twice a week, Grace takes a break from her life in the lockup and is able to feel as though she is at home again.

She is one of dozens of female prisoners involved in a horticulture program at the Alice Springs Correctional Centre, which started earlier this year.

The program, situated in the relatively green and leafy yards beside the prison, aims to equip prisoners with practical skills and build up their confidence in the process.

 

Among the key points in the story there’s….

  • Participants report that spending time in the garden and the bush has boosted their mood and taught them a lot.
  • The program manager reports that no task is too much for participants and that the program has given them valuable skills for reintegrating into the workforce when they leave prison.

Originally started for men, this program is now in place for woman.  Alice Springs is in the Red Centre of Australia and very significant for Indigenous Australians.  This program is sure to be win for these women and the environment as well.

Please check out other #WATWB post on online and share the good news with others.


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#WATWB May – From a Person of Hate to a New Person

We’re back! #WATWB is here for another month of good news stories.  Our co-hosts in this line-up are:

Damyanti Biswas,
Simon Falk,
Shilpa Garg,
Mary J. Giese ,
and Dan Antion.

Please hop on over to their pages and check out their posts.

On a recent cold day I was putting away some clothes that had been drying by the heater. Listening to a TEDTalk podcast I was stopped by the story. A skinhead who had changed. Although the story was not new, this TEDTalk bundle was. And…. it was, is, good news.

You can view Christian Picciolini’s TEDTalk ‘Mile High’ here 

A look at Christian’s website reveals:

 After leaving the hate movement he helped create during his youth in the 1980s and 90s, he began the painstaking process of making amends and rebuilding his life. Christian went on to earn a degree in international relations from DePaul University and launched Goldmill Group, a counter‑extremism consulting and digital media firm. In 2016, he won an Emmy Award for producing an anti‑hate advertising campaign aimed at helping people disengage from extremism.

You can check it out for yourselves.

In times where we hear that trolling online, and ‘hate speech’ online or offline, can grow to worse measures, a story like Christian Picciolini’s is a heartening one.

 

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#WATWB February 2019 – Animals and Autism

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PHOTO: Jim Brownlie manages the farm south of Perth. (ABC Radio Perth: Kate Leaver)

Welcome to #WATWB for February 2019.  Please visit the posts of our valiant co-hosts
Sylvia McGrath,
Peter Nena,
Shilpa Garg,
Inderpreet Uppal,
and Belinda Witzenhausen.

As with other months, we are here to bring some good news on the final Friday of each month.

So… what about baby animals and autism?  Enter the good news tab that the Australian ABC News network now carries on their website.  There you will find stories like….

Miniature farm animals are being used to provide respite and support to children and teenagers with autism.

INKA respite farm stay at Lake Clifton, 110 kilometres south of Perth, is home to the fun-size animals including pigs, sheep, goats and horses.

Groups of children and teenagers with autism bunk at the homestead and work together to care for each other and the animals.

Let’s also hear from the Farm Manager, Jim Brownlie.

Mr Brownlie said some of the guests were highly autistic and did not cope well in high-pressure environments.

“When we see signs [of difficulty], we try to get them outside, and as soon as we get them down beside the animals, it just seems to calm them down,” he said.

He added that

there had been a high demand for the pigs as pets in recent years and saw them as a suitable alternative to a domestic dog or cat.

“They’re intelligent, they have the IQ of a three-year-old, and they’re very easy to train.

So, you say, what about hearing from a visitor to the farm?

Twenty-year old Tom Lean is autistic and said the farm had become a second home.

“I love it because I’m out of the city,” he said.

“My family has farms so I’ve always been a farm person — I feel more relaxed, I don’t get annoyed as much.

You can read more in the article and watch a short video here.  INKA Respite Farm have their own website and blog too.

 

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PHOTO: A newborn mini-pig at INKA Respite in Lake Clifton, which are sold to make money for the centre. (ABC South West: Michael Black) 

Now, a little from verse about a special animal that floats and soars by Mary Oliver

The Swan: by Mary Oliver

Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river?
Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air –
An armful of white blossoms,
A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned
into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies,
Biting the air with its black beak?
Did you hear it, fluting and whistling
A shrill dark music – like the rain pelting the trees – like a waterfall
Knifing down the black ledges?

More of the poem here.  Many thanks to the late Mary Oliver  (1935-2019).


Please follow other blogs and social media posts with the #WATWB.  For more information visit this link.

#WATWB January Helping A Family In Need

Welcome to the first We Are the World Blogfest #WATWB post for 2019.  On the last Friday of each month we share good news stories on social media. Our co-hosts for this month are Sylvia SteinInderpreet UppalShilpa GargDamyanti Biswas and yours truly – Simon Falk.  Please do check out their posts and other bloggers who use the #WATWB.

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A young family in Canberra, Australia, receive overwhelming support.  As reported by ABC News.

For Canberra resident Elizabeth Pickworth, a cancer diagnosis and a notice to move out of her rental property coincided.

New to town, she reached out to the Canberra Notice Board Group on Facebook to ask for advice about finding an affordable removalist.

She wrote that it was important to keep costs down because doctors had recently found a tumour near her heart and her treatment would mean time away from work.

While she was being paid for time off, her husband was not, and the costs associated with treatment were adding up.

The response she received was “overwhelming”.

Overwhelming  it was. People offered to bring them dinner, help with the move or do babysitting.  What good news.  There is more on the ABC News link.

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Elizabeth with her husband and daughter. Image: ABC News Australia.

As Elizabeth and her family had to move home here’s an excerpt from a poem about ‘home’ courtesy of the Poetry Foundation:

Home Again, Home Again

The children are back, the children are back—
They’ve come to take refuge, exhale and unpack;
The marriage has faltered, the job has gone bad,
Come open the door for them, Mother and Dad.
The city apartment is leaky and cold,
The landlord lascivious, greedy and old—
The mattress is lumpy, the oven’s encrusted,
The freezer, the fan, and the toilet have rusted.
The entire poem can be found here

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#WATWB. 

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#WATWB August Refreshing Relief in Drought

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Above:  Sir George Hubert Wilkins (from Australian Dictionary of Biography, originally, Ohio State University).

It has been said of the explorer and adventurer, George Hubert Wilkins, that, as a child in rural South Australia, he was puzzled by the then drought.  He heard that, to understand climate, one needs to explore the polar extremities of the earth. So that is what he endeavoured to do.

Sadly, many nations of our world are afflicted by natural disasters.  In my own country of Australia we are in drought. It is not new for us. But it is always a challenge. What follows are a set of some news items about how people show support in time of drought.

A convoy of helpers travel from Sydney with supplies for rural NSW.  A drought relief concert lifts the spirits some some in NSW .  Then there is….

The Burrumbuttock Hay Runners

Previous generations of my Mother’s family lived on livestock and farming lands in the Walbundrie District of NSW. Near there is the town of Burrumbuttock. There, the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners do their good thing.  Here is a sample from their website

THE BHR STORY

In 2014 Brendan ‘Bumpa’ Farrell heard about a farmer in Bourke (NSW) that was struggling in the drought. He contacted the farmer and offered to bring him a truck load of hay to help him out. From that the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners was born. Since that date in 2014 they have completed 11 successful hay runs to help drought affected farmers all over NSW & QLD.

You can also follow the Hay Runners on Facebook.

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Image: from the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners website.

Our co-hosts for this month are:

Simon Falk, Andrea Michaels, Shilpa Garg, Sylvia Stein and Belinda Witzenhausen . Please go and visit their posts as well.

My poem this time is a Drought pingback from one I wrote when I was 11 years old.


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#WATWB February – Girl Giving a Heart Away

Welcome to the We Are The World #WATWB Blogfest for February 2018.  Please visit our generous co-hosts.  They are Shilpa Garg, Peter Nena, Eric Lahti, Roshan Radhakrishnan and Inderpreet Kaur Uppal.

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Alisha with her parents. Source: SBS news.

Due to a rare disease, little Alisha Kapoor needs a heart lung transplant. In the process her heart is healthy and she is willing to donate it to save another persons life. As SBS News reports

Alisha Kapoor knows little outside the walls of the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, in Sydney’s west. 

She turns five in a few weeks but has spent the majority of her life living at the hospital, away from her parents and two siblings in Blacktown, 13km away. 

“I think we have two houses, one here, and one there,” her father Raj Kapoor told SBS News. 

“This is my second house. My wife, she stayed almost one and half years, or more, in the hospital, 24/7.”

This is all because

Alisha has an incredibly rare genetic disorder; surfactant protein C deficiency, which affects less than 10 children in Australia. It means she struggles to breathe and is permanently on a ventilator.

But while Alisha needs a lung transplant, Dr Pandit says it is safer to transplant a new heart at the same time. 

“Technically it is very difficult for the cardiothoracic surgeons to separate the lungs from the heart,” Dr Pandit said. “As a result, in her case, it will have to be the heart and lung together. Technically it is much better to do it as a block transplant, rather than separating just the lungs.”

Here is the part that is so, literally, heart-warming

Among this comes a positive. While Alisha will become the youngest heart-lung transplant recipient in Australia, her heart is perfectly healthy. It means she can donate it, and save another young life in the process. 

“We feel very good [about it],” Mr Kapoor said.

“Someone will save my kid, and my kid will save someone else. Everyone should be a donor, it’s a precious gift of life.” 

Mr Kapoor is urging everyone to think about organ donation and the lives that could be saved.

It is touching to read that someone so needy is willing to give, to share, for the sake of another’s life.  It reminds us of the inter-dependence of our lives.

The rest of the article and video can be found here.

Alisha Karpoor and her father, Raj.

Alisha with her father. Source: SBS News.

Here are some verses to close a story on the kindness people show to one another.

     The kindness of others
     is all they ever wanted,
     the laughter of neighbors
     prospering in the blue light of summer.
   
      The generosity of others
     whose spirits, like their long-legged
     children blossoming into a progeny
     of orchards and fields, flourish.
Two stanzas from ‘The Kindness of Others’ by Cathy Song. Source: Poetry Foundation.

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Want to know more about this blogfest?  Read on.

Once again, here are the guidelines for #WATWB:

1. Keep your post to Below 500 words, as much as possible.

2. Link to a human news story on your blogone that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Paste in an excerpt and tell us why it touched you. The Link is important, because it actually makes us look through news to find the positive ones to post.

3. No story is too big or small, as long as it Goes Beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.

4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD badge or banner on your Post and your Sidebar. Some of you have already done so, this is just a gentle reminder for the others.

5. Help us spread the word on social media. Feel free to tweet, share using the #WATWB hastag to help us trend! 

Tweets, Facebook shares, Pins, Instagram, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. We’ll try and follow and share all those who post on the #WATWB hashtag, and we encourage you to do the same.Just click Here to enter their link and join us! Bigger the #WATWB group each month, more the joy!

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#WATWB November Serving after Service

Photo: Canberra Times.

Welcome to We Are The World #WATWB for November. Our generous co-hosts are Andrea Michaels, Damyanti Biswas, Inderpreet Uppal, Shilpa Garg, Susan Scott and Sylvia Stein. Please visit their blogs too.

 

We all know people who have served our respective countries in Military Service. My post for this month is about how some of them continue with their life after serving. A Veterans Employment Program, started in 2016, is helping former Military personnel to thrive in civilian life.

By following the link you will get to meet Drew Twigg.

Snowy Hydro Murray region area manager Drew Twigg left the military about 10 years ago to pursue a corporate career. He interviewed for the job via satellite phone from his post in Afghanistan, where he was part of the elite Special Air Services team.

He now lives with his young family in Khancoban, a small town about four hours south-west of Canberra. It’s a place he describes as a safe environment in the hills he loves.

As part of the Veterans Employment Coalition, Snowy Hydro is helping veterans make that transition. Mr Twigg is assisting with the technicalities.

“I now have this unique position that I can translate a lot of the military acronyms,” he said.

There is also a story about Kelly Walter. As the Canberra Times continues:

It can be quite daunting to figure out what you want to be in the real world, Mornington Peninsula mother-of-two Kelly Walter says.

After spending 13 years in the navy as a maritime logistics officer, it was during her second pregnancy that Kelly decided to transition into something else to spend more time at home with her children.

In 2014 she started her own small business selling a range of planning boards, initially something she needed in her own home to keep track of her family’s busy schedule. The business name, Daily Orders, a nod to her time in the military.

Kelly says any assistance transitioning out of Defence would be gratefully received by people like her.

“To be able to recognise that a veteran is nowadays not just a man you might meet at the RSL who served in the Vietnam War.

“It’s people like me, women in their mid-30s who are mothers, fathers in their 20s. It’s a whole range.”

There are more stories in the article.

Photo: Canberra Times

This post features those who, having acquired trade skills or university degrees in the Military, are able to transition into civilian career paths. We also remember those who have served, but did not receive a trade or degree, and we hope that they find a new life after Military service.

As November is a month of remembrance I have chosen a poem more suitable to such a cause. Whilst it refers to England, many other peoples have found solace in its verses.

“For the Fallen” by Laurence Binyon

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children
England mourns for her dead across the sea,
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow,
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again,
They sit no more at familiar tables of home,
They have no lot in our labour of the daytime,
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires and hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the night.

As the stars shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Laurence Binyon

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Would you like to join this #WATWB Blogfest?

Once again, here are the guidelines for #WATWB:

1. Keep your post to Below 500 words, as much as possible.

2. Link to a human news story on your blog, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Paste in an excerpt and tell us why it touched you. The Link is important, because it actually makes us look through news to find the positive ones to post.

3. No story is too big or small, as long as it Goes Beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.

4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD badge or banner on your Post and your Sidebar. Some of you have already done so, this is just a gentle reminder for the others.

5. Help us spread the word on social media. Feel free to tweet, share using the #WATWB hastag to help us trend!

Tweets, Facebook shares, Pins, Instagram, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. We’ll try and follow and share all those who post on the #WATWB hashtag, and we encourage you to do the same.Have your followers click Here to enter their link and join us! Bigger the #WATWB group each month, more the joy!

Missing, Lost and Found #WATWB September

Welcome to We Are the World #WATWB for September.  Our dedicated co-hosts for this month are: Michelle Wallace, Peter Nena, Emerald Barnes, Andrea Michaels and Shilpa Garg.  We are grateful for their generosity. Please visit their blogs too!

Missing

We witness days where acts of terror occur. We view reports of extreme natural disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes and floods.  In some of these, people are missing and loved ones long to know where they are.

Australian current affairs program, Insight, recently featured the stories of some people, such as  Sevak Simonian, on an episode covering the tragedy of missing persons. It is wrenching to lose a loved one.  When new evidence surfaces, glimmers of hope shed light on the darkness of unknowing and grief.

Burst Daily has posted on people who have been found.

Many bloggers connected to our pages are interested in literature that weaves around a narrative.  Some of those narratives tell of mysteries to be unlocked.  I found this story about a writer whose writing opened a closed case and begun to solve a mystery.

Melissa Pouliot’s cousin, Ursula Barwick,  was found after a 30 year search. She was buried under another name!  Melissa wrote her novel, Write About Me, to honour Ursula’s memory, the Canberra Times reports.  There are still facts to sifted, but at least the family now know that she has a place of rest and could celebrate a memorial service. This gives them the impetus to resume their search with renewed vigour.  It is heartening to hear of people getting some answers to the struggles of their lives.

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Missing… Lost… So Long

You were there

Now

You are gone.

Gone

For so long

And

We had said

“So long”

to you.

But

Were we through?

The searching

For a trace

In the hope of

An embrace

With you.

We search

And wait

Anticipate

Reunion

Too.

Simon C.J. Falk 27 September 2017


Looking for some stories of hope!
Why not SIGN UP for WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST in the linky list below:
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Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.

All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Something like this news, about a man who only fosters terminally ill children.

Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.

Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.

We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.

To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List here.

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