Monday 30 November 2009

Regarding Nadalene No. 2

She is the younger of my two daughters, my second child, and my awakening.

Nadalene is married to someone she loves (the rest of us love Charlton too). Like all of our kids, Nadalene is a total split between me and Wahid. I think she is most like me in her firmness and knowing what she knows.

Do you want to meet Nadalene? I’m sure you do.

She is the younger of my two daughters, my second child, and my awakening. Nadalene thank you for the privilege.

Happy Birthday Nadalene! Love Mom, Dad, Angelique, Nathan, Josephine, and Domenic.

*artwork by Kelly Vivanco

Friday 27 November 2009

Fantasy Friday BLD No. 35

*artwork B by Mike Brown and L by Lisa Falzon

Thursday 26 November 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all the loveliest friends a person could have. Especially to you my dear Heidi.

Let us all be thankful and of good cheer. Let us show compassion and love wherever we go.

*artwork by Matthew Buckingham

Wednesday 25 November 2009

Wednesday's Women No. 37

The pitter-patter of little feet scampering around the upstairs bedroom belonged to none other than the youngest child of Bridget and Emil Swan. She was a precious child was Baby-Chick.

Baby-Chick’s odd behaviour wasn’t something that developed overnight. You see she was always a little off even as a child. Her Nanny thinks she can pinpoint exactly when this occurred (and she would be right). It was during the bedtime reading of ‘The Little Red Hen.’

You see Baby-Chick knew that her family’s last name was Swan and that a swan was a type of bird. Knowing as well that her name was Baby-Chick she just assumed that she would grow up to be some kind of bird. Since ‘The Little Red Hen’ was Baby-Chick’s favourite book, she decided right then and there that she would be nothing in this life if she herself was not a red hen.

When Baby-Chick appeared at the Thanksgiving Day dinner table dressed in her finery her formidable grandmother had had enough and actually slapped her granddaughter across the face. At this time, even Nanny wanted to slap her as she knew that she would be the one held accountable for Baby-Chicks choice of clothing.

Grandmother had it, she was past up to her eyebrows in letting the spoiled youngest daughter of the Swan’s continue this charade of being a red hen.

Baby-Chick was very close to her mother and her father was protective of her. But even they thought the outfit picked out to wear for the evening meal was a tad too much.

Tuesday 24 November 2009

Things In A Head

I want to be oblivious again and I can’t. I have been robbed of my naivety.

Flashbacks From The Month Of November

November 11, 2001

*I do consider myself successful and I believe that if other people were asked if they thought I was successful, they would say yes.

November 15, 2001

*I don’t believe that I judge others. I am very accepting of people. I don’t need a lot of attention from the people in my life. I feel happy and secure if I am by myself.

*I can keep a confidence and can trust Wahid, my kids, and my sisters Jacquie and Colette.

November 17, 2001

*I can be a master of diplomacy. I like looking at pictures and I enjoy listening to music and people speaking.

November 21, 2001

*Today is Wednesday which is the day I do Mom’s laundry, take her for groceries, and then we go wherever she wants. Mom had to get a blood test and x-rays. Then we went back to her house and Dad made breakfast.

*I would like to carry on the tradition of celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve.

*I am closest to my sister Jacquie. We nurture these bonds by doing lots of things together and talking almost every day.

*I do harbor some resentment today but may not tomorrow.

November 5, 2002

*When all else fails, I try something else.

*I regret that I didn’t have a better education. I’m glad I didn’t give up easy. I would never give up on my marriage or my children.

*I would like to know my self more clearly. I would love my parents more dearly. I would follow my soul more nearly.

November 28, 2004

*I can look over what is going on in my life and take action where action is needed to reconnect with myself and be less stressed. Get rid of emotional loose ends.

*Charity begins at home but it doesn’t need to end there.

November 15, 2006

*Dr. Dubroska said there was already a change to the breast and arm. She said it was early to see a change. Said my blood is low, but it is best to hold out for a blood transfusion as long as I can as I get blood from multiple users and therefore I am getting their antibodies.

November 21, 2006

*Blood transfusion.

November 29, 2006

*Bone scan.

*Talked to Father Ron at Holy Family regarding my funeral. I also talked to Father Ron about the ‘Anointing of the Sick.’ I think in the new year I will have this sacrament done. He said I could also have it performed closer to my death as it is basically the ‘Last Rites’ as well.

*I have to contact a funeral home as well and then I will write it all down for my family.

Flash Forward

Life is a real mixed bag.

Josephine and Domenic are all over Mom and she is getting lots and lots of hugs. Mom is laughing and loving it. We go home and Josephine and I are playing in the yard and decide that we will go off on an adventure. So we start marching and singing in the tune of we are the people in your neighbourhood. “We are on an adventure in the neighbourhood, in the neighbourhood……..” We march down the street and see fairy trees and Santas on roofs and snowmen and reindeer and a pink ball in someone’s yard.

Later in the evening I phone my Mom and Shelly says ‘Mom has just gone to the hospital in an ambulance. Shelly picks me up a half hour later. My Mom has COPD and will need to stay in the hospital for a while until she is feeling better.

There are no perfect days any more, just perfect moments.

Monday 23 November 2009

Regarding Wahid

He is my husband and has been since July 5, 1975. I am lucky and he is lucky and we both know it.

The first time I saw Wahid I almost swooned. He was beautiful. He still is gorgeous, but boy-oh-boy he was beautiful. I met him at his brother’s house party where he was wearing white pants and a blue and white polyester shirt. (Yummy)

He asked me to dance (he was and still is a dancing machine) and I said yes. We danced but neither of us spoke.

I told his sister-in-law (I worked with Charlotte) that I thought he was a doll. Next thing you know she invited me over for supper and guess who was there.

Wahid loves to tell the story (all of our memories of our stories are almost completely opposite) of how that evening I was sitting on the couch and he kept looking at me and how I smiled and we talked and then he didn’t really talk but kept staring at me and finally I turned in my seat and looked at him and said ‘Have you got a problem, what are you staring at?’ He loved that I didn’t squirm. As if I would!

We were young and we were happy. Of course, eventually as all young couples tend to do, we grew up, and today after almost 35 years of marriage we are older and still happy. I wonder where the time has gone, why has it sped by so fast, I want so much more of it. I have known Wahid for a long time but it hasn’t been enough.

No matter how things have transpired in my life I can truly say that knowing and sharing my life with Wahid has been one of my greatest joys.

The past is on my right and the present is on my left and the now is smack dab in the middle of my forehead. I haven’t forgotten much of what it has been like to have Wahid by my side.

Wahid was and is the best father a child could ever want. Wahid was 23 years old when Angelique was born, 25 years old when Nadalene was born, and 31 years old when Nathan was born. I have to admit he was over the moon when Nathan was born.

Wahid’s kindness, patience, and genuine understanding have made me kinder, more patient, and more understanding. I love and admire him and he is better than anyone I could ever have hoped for in my dreams.

My relationship with Wahid has gone well because we respect each other. We have a shared history. When I forget, he can speak my memories (his words). Wahid wants for me what I want for him. Wahid and I were talking and I asked him about gratitude. He made me cry because he said he is grateful that he met me. He tells the kids this at least a dozen times a month. I think it is good for them that they have always heard these stories. I always tell them that ‘Yes, Dad is so lucky he met me.’ I even tell him and them that he got a better deal than me; however, I know none of them are buying it.

Wahid has all the character. Wahid has never done a dishonourable thing or said anything dishonourable. He is a man of honour.

I remember when we were younger and went to a party. After the party I mentioned how annoying one of the people was. Wahid was seriously shocked. ‘Renee how could you say that about someone, you were just talking to them and that isn’t very nice.’ I’m like ‘Oh God, whatever.’

As a man Wahid is an incredible individual. He always places his family above all things.

When I was first diagnosed with cancer and was sitting in what I called my coffin on the couch; I was telling Wahid that I didn’t want to die, didn’t want to do chemo, and just fucking didn’t want to die. All Wahid would say was ‘Well Dearest, we have to go through the process.’ To others they may think it isn’t enough but for me it is exactly what I needed. I can talk a lot but I am also silent a lot too, and I don’t want to hear shit talk and Wahid never gives it to me. Also as one of the counselors pointed out in group once ‘It states so much that Wahid uses the word we.’

Wahid never wavers, he is true and loyal and honest and hardworking, and calm, and quiet, and the most intelligent man I have ever met.

Happy Birthday Wahid! Love Renee, Angelique, Nadalene, Nathan, Josephine, and Domenic.

*artwork by Kelly Vivanco

Friday 20 November 2009

Fantasy Friday BLD No. 34

*artwork B by Cherie Zamazing and L by Zdenko Basic and D by my dear friend Kathy Hare

Thursday 19 November 2009

The Miracle

Our true home is in the present moment. To live in the present moment is a miracle. The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.

Peace is all around us, in the world, and in nature, and within us, in our bodies and spirits.

Once we learn to touch this peace, we will be healed and transformed. It is not a matter of faith; it is a matter of practice.

If your cup is small, a little bit of salt will make the water salty. If your heart is small, then a little bit of pain can make you suffer. Your heart must be large.

~~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~~

Wednesday 18 November 2009

Welcome Home

Darling Catherine you said in group a few weeks ago that if you only had five weeks left it would not be enough time but that you could live with the idea of maybe five months.

It wasn’t to be and I am sorry. Sorry for your small son and husband and sorry for you.

Tuesday 17 November 2009

50s Housewife Quiz No. 6

Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first – remember his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

All together gang. ‘I’m all ears.’

This is how it went down in the Khan household.

I hear what Wahid says, but that doesn’t mean I listen to him. When the kids were little and we were running like chickens with our heads cut off after work, Wahid could be talking and you would hear me from any room in the house yelling ‘yeah’ ‘what’ ‘can’t hear you’ etc.

Usually what would happen as soon as I heard the door open I would be talking about what had to be done. Now I sit on the couch with the heating pad behind my back and Wahid opens the door, comes around the corner and says ‘Hi Dearest.’ I say ‘How was work?’ Wahid tells me and I really do listen.

However saying that, if Nathan comes in with Wahid which he usually does as they carpool, I am much more anxious to hear about the kids at school and what they did and if it was fun, etc. Poor Wahid on the backburner again.

If I have something important to tell Wahid believe me he is going to hear it when he gets in the door. That is why it is called ‘important’. It has more import than hearing what the price of eggs is in China.

If I waited for Wahid to talk first I would wait forever. Beyond the initial ‘Hi Dearest’ it is quiet and so instead he listens to me yap and usually smiles and laughs. Wahid’s conversations are rarely more important than mine. Equally as important, yes, but rarely more important.

Listen to him (Failed). You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time (Failed, if I have something important to say it is going to be said). Let him talk first – remember his topics of conversation are more important than yours (Failed because neither of our topics of conversation are usually important).

Monday 16 November 2009

J = Angels And Goddesses

Jaluha hands the cup of oblivion to the souls of sinners. After they drink from the cup of oblivion (I’ll have a sip of that.) they will forget the sinful deeds they performed on earth.

To the sinners who are being judged or purged Jaluha tells them that they ‘may drink therein and forget all the places which their soul has passed through.’

Jurate is the Lithuanian Goddess of the Sea. Jurate lived in a beautiful castle made out of amber at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Jurate cared for and ruled over every creature of the sea and every drop of the water. Even the tiniest worm or smallest fish could not be happier.

One day she learned that a fisherman, Kastytis, was catching her fish and taking them out of the sea. She went to his boat prepared to yell at him, but he was so handsome that she fell in love with him instead.

Falling in love with Kastytis, Jurate needed to see her young fisherman everyday.

Perkunas, the God of Thunder, found out about her love for a mere mortal and flew into a jealous rage. He sent a thunderbolt to shatter Jurate’s castle and had Kastytis chained to a rock at the bottom of the sea, where he drowned.

To this day, when there is thunder over the Baltic Sea and the winds are whipped up by raging storms, you can still hear Kastytis’ cries. When walking along the shore after a storm you may find pieces of Jurate’s broken amber castle in the sand, so look closely.

*artwork of Jurate by Vytautas Ignas

Thursday 12 November 2009

November = 11

Whose house do you go to for Thanksgiving? Here in Canada we have Thanksgiving in October (where it should be har har). We go to Ben’s house or Jacquie’s. This year we went to Jacquie’s but it was hosted by Ben and Chrisy.

What are you thankful for? I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my grandchildren (Josephine and Domenic); my children (Angelique, Nadalene, and Nathan); my son-in-laws (Don and Charlton); and my husband (Wahid). I am thankful for the healthcare system that we have in Canada. I am thankful that my Mom (Daisy) is still here and that I can see her whenever I want (and want I do, it just need some action to get me there).

Do you love stuffing? I love homemade stuffing. I love it how my father makes it with pork sausage and celery and bread and poultry seasoning. This year Chrisy made it and honest to God it was delicious. You would have thought she had made it forever. Chrisy, I have to tell you Grandpa would have loved it.

Any people you love born in November? Oh yes, Wahid and Nadalene are both born in November.

Does November mean Christmas? No, it doesn’t mean Christmas but it does get me in the mood to shop for Christmas. November or the first snow which ever comes first will get me thinking of Christmas. As soon as we would see snow Jacquie and I would be off in her car hightailing it to Winners.

Wednesday 11 November 2009

Lest We Forget No. 2

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada and my father fought in the Second World War. Join me in remembering.

Love you Dad xoxoxo

Tuesday 10 November 2009

A Spoonful Of Dream Honey

My sweet Allegra (Smith) replied to my Soundless Saturday post on ‘truth’ something so amazingly beautiful that I felt that it needed to be shared as a post. I hope that it lifts those of you that need it as much as it did me.

‘I just as well take truth with a spoonful of dream honey, hope sugar and a drop of disbelief.’

‘In my opinion it is best served as tea, with serenity petit fours, cakes of understanding, tolerance liqueur and plenty of disregard napkins.’

‘Depending upon the cook it may be served hot, and then the flavor is bitter or cold and then one doesn’t know what to do with it. Who would have thought that truth could complicate life when coming uninvited and unexpected?’

‘From life to life. Forever.’

Yes dear friend; from life to life, forever. Feel well soon.

Monday 9 November 2009

I = Angels And Goddesses

Israfel in Arabic folklore is the angel of resurrection and song. He is described as four-winged and ‘while his feet are under the 7th earth, his head reaches to the pillars of the divine throne.’

Israfel is said to look three times a day and three times during the night down into Hell and is so convulsed with grief that his tears would inundate the earth if Allah did not stop their flow.

It is said that for three years he served as a companion to Mohammed, whom he initiated in the work of a prophet, and then Gabriel came and took over and dictated the Koran to Mohammed.

Another tradition in Islam speaks of Israfel, Gabriel, Michael and Azrael being sent by Allah to the four corners of the earth to fetch seven handfuls of dust for the creation of Adam. On this mission only Azarel (the angel of death) was successful.

It is stated that Israfel is one of the four angels to be destroyed in the end of the world in which the Koran speaks will occur at the sounding of the third and final blast. There is a strong feeling that God will revive them though.

Israfel is also the angel of music and inspires people to sing, play musical instruments, and to compose music. He also encourages renewal, resurrection and regeneration. Angels speak from the mind and sing from the heart, not as we do through vocal cords.

However it is important to note that the Koran does not mention Israfel by name and so it would be incorrect to identify him as a Koranic angel.

Ixchel is the Mayan Goddess of the moon, water, healing, childbirth, and weaving. Her name means ‘Lady Rainbow.’

The sun was Ixchel’s lover but became jealous of the morning star, who was his brother, accusing the morning star and Ixchel of being lovers. The sun was so jealous that he threw Ixchel out of the heavens and she had to take refuge with the vulture divinity.

The sun followed Ixchel and lured her back home once more, only to become jealous again. Ixchel, tired of the sun’s actions, left him and wandered through the heavens as she wished; becoming invisible if the sun came near her.

Ixchel is most commonly shown as the Old Moon Goddess (called the midwife of creation); in her main form as Mother Goddess and Weaver (who set the Universe in motion); and as the Young Moon Goddess shown with her totem animal the rabbit (the rabbit is a scribe who keeps the lunar calendar).

Friday 6 November 2009

Welcome Home

One of my dear friends Sandy died.

It always seems so strange that you can sit on a chair beside someone and within a week they are dead.

Sandy is from my support group. Last Tuesday when I went to talk to Jacquie’s pharmacist I saw Sandy and went to go sit with her ‘Oh Hello’ she sang to me. We sat outside in the lounge for about ten minutes and her Mom and I and Sandy talked. She told me she was going to see the doctor about radiation.

Sandy told me that she was feeling alright, but that the skin would not heal and that she now had holes over her chest. Holes where the cancer had eaten through the skin. Then she went on to say ‘Enough about me how is Jacquie?’

Sandy had a passion for cats. Sandy took the feral cats from a field by her home and raised them up and got them proper homes. For Sandy, heaven won’t be heaven without some cats.

My dear Donna emailed me the following about Sandy and I want you to hear it too, just so you get a wee picture of a very wee lady with a tiny bun on her head, a wee lady with the biggest heart and the singiest ‘Oh Hello’ you could ever hear.

“I read the email about Sandy, beautiful lady. I saw her last Tuesday sitting in the lobby at Cancer Care waiting to go to radiation for the open sores on her chest. I noticed her right away and knew she was really ill. Her skin was gray and her breathing laboured. First thing I did was give her a kiss on her forehead as I had come up behind her. She looked up a little startled but her eyes lit up when she recognized who kissed her. ‘Oh Hello’ she said. We chatted for a bit. She decided she was going to head for radiation so I went to group. My memory of her will always include her voice. Oh Hello. Just because she sings it when she was happy.”

Goodnight dear friend.

Thursday 5 November 2009

To Live

To live content with small means,
To seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion,
To be worthy, not respectable,
And wealthy, not rich,
To study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly,
To listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart,
To bear all cheerfully, do all bravely,
Await occasions, hurry never,
In a word to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious,
Grow up through the common; this is to be my symphony.

~~ by William Henry Channing ~~

Tuesday 3 November 2009

Times Three No. 13

Every day has been a struggle for dear Jacquie. But she is braver than the bravest and will not fail.

Every day has been a fight to trust that we can get through this. To trust that our love for our families and each other is more important and has more of a call on our hearts than anything else that can try to take us down. Every day I lose that trust many times over.

I made plans and said God willing. Jacquie made plans and said God willing. And then he willed otherwise.

Sheldon got sick and died and we were all affected. We cannot allow ourselves to be dispassionate about each other’s lives. We are all in this together.

When I was first diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer I would sit on my couch (I called it my coffin) and cry. All I could think of was what a loser I was. I lost and everyone else won. My children lost and their children won. I felt less than. I was a diminished person.

Jacquie and I talk about this many times, because now Jacquie feels that she is the loser and it is my turn (just like she did for me) to tell her that she isn’t. “Did you think I was a loser when I was diagnosed?” ‘No.’ “Well, either are you. We’re not losers, we’re just sick.”

And now I understand, but sometimes it is hard to let those thoughts go.

It is a really long road. Once you step on the road marked ‘Cancer’ it is near impossible to get off of it. And if you are like Jacquie, Flo, Sally, Noreen, Daria and I and many others, well then you just don’t get off that road; period.

Jacquie is not well. These past few months have not been easy. The typical textbook of cancer attacks on both your mental and physical health: pain, sickness, loss of appetite, loss of weight, sadness, loss of energy, and mostly loss of hope are all pounding at her daily.

I know that if Jacquie is given enough time that she too will come out the other end. Wondering what hit her, but able to know that she can go on. I have only seen one other person as brave as Jacquie and that was her son Sheldon.

Almost four years is a long time to be sick. A long time to be told that you will be dead in six months and then when you are able to live past those six months, know that you are on borrowed time and the bomb WILL drop and when it does you better be ready.

Jacquie has been sick for almost four months but with her not being able to move you may as well times each of those months by twelve. It is a long time to be sick. Never mind the loss of her dear boy Sheldon.

It is a really long road, it just is. And I know I really know that it gets old for people. Unfortunately for some of us we don’t have the luxury to step off the road or to take that well-needed break. Trudge on, trudge on, and do not give up.

Jacquie and I are different in many respects to our cancer and what we want from people. I never wanted anyone (because I had my family and Jacquie) and Jacquie (always being the nicer sister) wants people. Not only does she want them, she needs them.

Meeting with Jacquie’s oncologist we heard very good news. That the tumor had shrunk remarkably. It is a victory. I am over the moon. Jacquie, Ben, Gil and I are all there, and what Jacquie really wants to know is if she will regain some motion. The doctor feels she will. Another victory, one that makes Jacquie at least feel ‘Well maybe?’

Jacquie started chemo again last Wednesday and is dependent on people (which she never has been in her life). It is a really long road. It just is, and it is very hard to make people appear out of thin air.

In the beginning everyone calls all the time, they have all kinds of offers, they remind you to ‘just give me a call if you need anything.’ They will come over to visit all the time……but after the weeks drag on (after all, all the time is a very long time) its like people get sick of you being sick.

They see your phone number come up and they are just too tired to answer because they know you may actually ‘need anything.’ So what happens is your phone number never comes up because you just know not to call. They are relieved and now can pretend you are getting everything done (the top hat and the rabbit must be in the house), as you are not calling them. After all, they did offer.

Last week I was so tired and coughing my guts up at Jacquie’s and she called me from the bedroom because she needed something, I was like ‘Oh God, I’m so tired; I just want to go home.’ But then I knew that it isn’t Jacquie’s fault and I knew that I would have to get my shit together and go and help her. Jacquie did everything and anything for me. For shit sake she gave me enemas. I tell her and through our tears we laugh our heads off.

It is a really long road, it just is. It is not a road for the faint of heart.

I get sick of not doing anything fun, not seeing anyone, sick of even answering the question ‘How are you feeling?’ Because the truth is no one wants to really know. When you find that person who really does want to know (few and far between); the funny thing is you don’t feel sick of answering the question.

To the many other people who ask the question the usual response is ‘fine’ because to be honest it is easier. You may as well let them off the hook in the first few minutes. Many people don’t know how to react or don’t want to hear it.

I see that Jacquie has learnt this already. I see her get the phone and say ‘good, fine, alright’ even though she is feeling far from all of those things. On the other hand what do you say ("I mean I’m not dead, so I guess I’m fine").

I know that we are all entrenched in our own personalities and lives and loves and tendencies. I know that we sell and buy our own excuses. I know that none of us like change and we all like our comfortable life if we are fortunate enough to have one.

I am thankful that I had Jacquie and my family who took exceptional care of me even when they needed a break, even when it got old, even when they got sick of hearing me say “I feel like shit.”

Jacquie and my family did that for me because they knew I needed them. I needed other people too….

Jacquie was throwing-up and having to go to the bathroom, poor girl. I was helping her and then went home. I too was throwing-up and Nathan called and said ‘Auntie Jacquie needs you, can you go back?’ I was just about to and phoned Gil and all I can say is thank God homecare came, because I was sick and Jacquie was sick and the last thing I wanted to do was go anywhere.

Jacquie just like you did for me, whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, you won’t have to ask me and you won’t have to thank me. And I will always be sick of being sick, but never ever will I be sick of being there for you.

The light shined bright the other night though. There was a Beast, Belle (dressed as Cinderella), a Witch and her Mama, and a Grandma/A.J. all on a crisp Halloween evening laughing and going door to door. I drove up and lunged towards them like Quasimodo because I can barely move my leg and pounced on Grandma/A.J. in the wheelchair and asked if she had fun and she did. I could see it.

Beast (Ben) pushed Grandma/A.J. (Jacquie) while Mama (Angelique) went up to the houses with Belle (Kayla) and a Witch (Josephine). Amongst all of this magic there were many creatures running from door to door, there were even boxes walking around.

But best of all it was a good night where a mother and her other brave son were able to go for a lovely evening stroll.

*artwork by Kelly Vivanco

Monday 2 November 2009

H = Angels And Goddesses

Harahel is the radiant angel who protects libraries, archives, schools and universities. Harahel opens our minds and hearts to new ideas while inspiring us to use our knowledge in life-affirming ways.

Harahel is a guiding spirit who teaches us that knowledge is useless without wisdom. Harahel encourages true wisdom and through that wisdom we are to generate kindness and love. Harahel is an intellectual who is always busy in the great library of Heaven.

Hygieia is the Greek Goddess of health and cleanliness. She is the daughter of Asclepius who is the God of medicine and healing and was a companion of the Goddess Aprhodite. Her sisters were Panakeia (All-Cure) and Iaso (Remedy).

Hygieia is usually shown holding a snake which drinks from a cup that she also holds. The snake is depicted as a symbol of healing and rejuvenation in this case, as the snake sheds its skin, so too can the human body shed disease only to survive it.

Hygieia is the source of the word ‘hygiene.’ Although she is the goddess of physical health she is also a protectress of mental health.

Hygieia became extremely important after the sufferings of the plague had directed special attention to sanitary matters.

*artwork of Harahel by my very dear friend Julie-Ann Bowden

*artwork of Hygieia by Gustav Klimt