Monday, September 26, 2011

Tear Drenched Chalupas

The XXL chalupa. I eat the smaller regular pictured at the end.

This morning I had some errands to do in the city. I wanted to get them done with plenty of time to finish preparations and nap before the radio show I will do again tonight. Our eldest son, Adam came with me, while J. stayed home this time. We finished all we could do pretty rapidly and stopped for lunch at Taco Bell. Suddenly, the song below played at the restaurant. All at once I was taken by surprize as I remembered as if it were yesterday, riding in the car with Daniel, heading over the mountains, listening to this song. Flashes of Daniel and I riding in the car with the windows open and laughing at the beautiful day and the sky above came back to me. I knew as I listened, at the time Daniel and I spent together was very special, yet I had not remembered that particular day until the song reminded me. All at once big wet tears fell from my eyes at the restaurant in a way they haven't fallen for ages. The unexpected burn and emptiness of Daniel being gone from this time on. and from this space on Earth overtook me. Adam was clearly embarassed and also probably doesn't like these unexpected reminders very much. My chalupa was salty as I continued eating, as much for distraction as anything else. My gosh, how much we have lost, and somehow I still go on. As I listened to the song, I felt broken, and sick. We have to go on, but at that snapshot of a moment, I was not sure how.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Notes from Nova Scotia


My husband stuck on a rock when the tide came in quickly.

Photographs Copyright 2011

I had promised to talk about our holiday to Nova Scotia a little bit when I got a chance. The trip to Nova Scotia was not a simple vacation. It was clearly a multi-purpose trip. We needed to go there first to protect a business interest of ours, and also for a much needed holiday. While we were there we found the most glorious place within walking distance to a lighthouse, with a cemetery overlooking the ocean where we are considering placing a granite stone monument to my father, who loved the sea, and at one point in his retirement actually gave tours through lighthouses. Part of me thinks that Daniel would also like his ashes scattered there, but then, he loved the farm. In dreams, this is not a concern for either of them. It is only a concern for me, which explains why almost three years after their passings, I have still not scattered their ashes.
Nova Scotia is a beautiful place. My paternal grandmother's family lived in Nova Scotia when some of our ancestors went there from Scotland when the British were colonizing. There are abundant waterfalls, oceans and lakes everywhere, and lots of places to visit for those who love the natural world. We did spend some time in Halifax, which is a lovely city, but I did not see much evidence of a night life. So, if you are like me, and love natural beauty, nice restaurants, peace, romance, and nice people, then it is a wonderful place to have a reasonably priced vacation. It is subject to the same difficult immigration laws which cover all of Canada. It is a great place to visit, but a difficult place to emigrate, probably in part because there are not many jobs there. It is however, a beautiful and mystical place.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Brief Visits

The last days have been busy and rushed. The animals have not been sleeping well due to the six or seven continuing post earthquake aftershocks we have been experiencing, and this means the human beings are not sleeping well either. The day before yesterday, after my husband went to work, I fell back to sleep in the morning. I dreamt that Daniel came to check on me as I was sleeping. He looked very much as I remember him, only taller, and somehow healthier. In the dream, I looked up and said, "You're still HERE ?" He said, "Of course I am. Where else would I be ?" With that, he put a DVD in the machine in the master bedroom, and sat on the end of bed to watch it. I turned over and went back to sleep. When I woke up I felt much happier. You can believe I had a lovely dream. I will believe he made a quick visit home.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Almost Three Years, Daniel

I can almost make it through most days now. Even standing on the edge of what might be an early autumn, significant because this is when I first lost my Dad, and then before I even knew what was happening, lost you suddenly and unexpectedly as well. As you know, I have not been able to return to teaching college. I honestly don't believe that I could stand up there, and go back to what I did when you were still on the Earth. I don't believe that I could stand up there talking about cardiac conduction disorders and the like, knowing that what I described so well, just two weeks before your passing, in my last class before the break, was what is likely to have called you from us. How good could I be at what I do ? I never suspected that you had any kind of a heart rhythm disturbance. I never saw anything.No one did. Almost three years later, I still find the entire thing hard to believe. I wish you had simply been borrowed for your superior intellect and problem solving creativity by a secret governmental agency, or a superior race, leaving us to believe for just a time, that you have passed. Oh how I wish that your "Celebration of Life" (funeral) had been a sham. Yes, I know. You are laughing at me telling me I still watch too much science fiction, and I do. I do it because you are not here to.
I am trying to live and use my life well as both you and my Dad have told me to do in dreams many times, since your passings. Oh, and this week I saw my mom in dreams too, but you likely already know that. I am trying my hand as a radio program host. Your Dad jokes that it should be easy for me because I talk in my sleep, and it should be effortless for me. Yet it's not. It's the acceptance that you are not coming back while I am on Earth, and the acceptance that I must do something to move ahead and earn money, when of course, some days I would rather evaporate and find you. I will do my best with this new venture. Please don't think that because I have a job now that I don't need to hear from you and Dad just as much as I have been. I still need both of you in my life whatever way you find that you can send messages. The support of both of you is invaluable and is priceless. The song below reduces me to the crying little girl I sometimes am. Love you both......wider than the oceans and deeper than all the seas.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Staggering Cardiac Arrest Numbers

Matthew and Daniel,with Daniel on the right, opening gifts on Christmas 2007, the last Christmas Daniel was able to spend with us.

We know that having an AED and delivering CPR rapidly following the arrest, are the best chances we have to prevent a sudden death once a child or teen is IN cardiac arrest. However, I have included this article because the numbers of annual spontaneous arrests are staggering, and because some people don't make it, even with immediate CPR, just as Daniel did not.


Sudden cardiac death: Lessons from a study halted by the feds in Portland, nine other cities
Published: Thursday, September 01, 2011, 6:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday, September 06, 2011, 2:44 PM
By Joe Rojas-Burke, The Oregonian The Oregonian

Sudden cardiac arrest kills more than 180,000 people each year in the U.S. Despite years of research, refinements in resuscitation and widespread placement of automated defibrillators, 90 percent of those struck by cardiac arrest never regain consciousness. Since 2008, four large-scale clinical trials of potential new treatments for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest have failed to show improvement in survival.

The New England Journal of Medicine has now published details on the latest study, carried out in Portland and nine other cities. Among patients who had an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, researchers found no difference in the outcomes with an extended round of chest compressions, compared with a brief period, before use of an electric deibrillator by medics. A device meant to boost blood flow during CPR also made no significant difference in survival.

Federal officials ordered an early halt to the study in 2009 because preliminary results showed none of the treatments improved survival. The study, the largest of its type ever attempted, enrolled more than 11,000 people felled by sudden cardiac arrest, and researchers hoped it would define a way to save more patients.

In cardiac arrest, the heart's rhythmic beat lapses into disorganized chaos. Survival hinges on rapid resuscitation and an electrical jolt from a defibrillator to restore a normal heart rhythm. How long to continue CPR chest compressions became a controversial question after studies suggested that continuing chest compressions for three minutes might help to prime the heart for pumping so that a defibrillator shock is more likely to restore a normal heartbeat. For many years, doctors assumed it was best to move quickly to defibrillation after about 30 seconds of chest compressions.

Dr. Mohamud Daya, an emergency medicine specialist at Oregon Health & Science University, in an interview with The Oregonian in 2009, said the clinical trials have a lesson to teach: Don't rely on hitting a technological home run. To boost overall survival, he said, communities must find ways to improve the basic practice of CPR and speed the use of defibrillators that jolt stopped hearts back to life.

"The focus has been on magic bullets, but in reality what matters is good quality CPR and timely defibrillation," Daya said.

Randomized, controlled trials may not be the best strategy for reducing deaths caused by sudden cardiac arrest, asserts Dr. Arthur B. Sanders at the University of Arizona's Sarver Heart Center in Tucson. Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, Sanders says:

An alternative strategy is to use a continuous-quality-improvement model. An example of this model is the approach that has been taken in Arizona. After a statewide database of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests was developed, systemic changes that deviated from the standard guidelines were implemented, including an unconventional EMS protocol and layperson-administered compression-only CPR. As a result, the rate of survival nearly tripled, and bystander-administered CPR increased. This model has also been used in rural Wisconsin with similar improvements in the rate of survival.

Some researchers say prevention of cardiac arrest should be a top research priority. As long as the medical response remains limited to desperate resuscitation measures, "We're never going to have full success. But if you go after the causes, the triggers, then you can talk about making a major attack on this problem," Dr. Mickey Eisenberg told The Oregonian last year. Eisenberg is a medical professor at the University of Washington and director of emergency medical services for King County, renowned for its cardiac arrest survival rate.

On the prevention front, Portland residents are among the most closely watched populations in the world. Since 2002, researchers have gathered every relevant detail they can find on every case of sudden cardiac death that occurs in Multnomah County. The years of effort are starting to pay off with tantalizing clues in the search for strategies to prevent sudden cardiac arrest.

– Joe Rojas-Burke


Earthquakes and Aftershocks

We received a glancing blow from Virginia's 5.8-5.9 earthquake depending upon whom you ask, but we did not receive the brunt of the damage which occured within the county of the epicenter, which is Louisa County, Virginia. Louisa County has thus far received 82.2 million dollars worth of damage to homes, schools, and roads, and this does not include the damage which occurred afterwards in aftershocks of 2.1-4.2 for weeks afterward. The true costs cannot yet be known, although we are all very grateful for no deaths having occured as a result of this seismic activity. Several wells locally have been destroyed. Most people do not have a separate earthquake rider on their insurance because earthquakes are not commonly felt to be a hazard here. There is a house just a few miles from here that was a lovely two story brick home. It now has multiple cracks in the brick all around the house, and the owners have not been permitted to enter in the event that the building itself collapses.
We are lucky that we lost canned and jarred food that smashed when the pantry threw its contents across the room, and lost glassware, and cloisonne. Our well water was muddy for a few days following the quake. However, our inconvenience and losses are nothing compared to many of those nearby. Please pray for those who are being challenged by this earthquake and also for those who continue to try to forge a life following the Great Eastern Earthquake of Japan.Stay safe everyone.

Friday, September 9, 2011

What Would Daniel Look Like at Fifteen ?

Perhaps Daniel would look something like this.

Some time ago I told you about a remarkable business in the US, where alterations and adjustments in photographs can be made. has a host of remarkable services. Adopted children who have no baby pictures, can have baby pictures made, based on pictures of them as older children now. Families whose children have been abducted and lost to them, can have age progressed pictures of their children made for use by the police. I have chosen twice to have an age progressed picture of Daniel made. Daniel was called to leave us at 12 and a half, and would now be 15 years of age. The above photograph is based on a variety of photos we provided to Phojoe of both Daniel and his siblings. This is how they believe Daniel might look if he had remained here on Earth. I get an odd sort of comfort having these pictures.
Phojoe does an excellent job and is kind and respectful to families in bereavement.

Daniel, I miss you so, but I have come to believe that you are safe, and occupied, but that you do know what we are doing and that you look on us with love and compassion. You have been and continue to be one of my life's greatest joys, and I suspect that you always will be.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Reminders of My Father

These photographs were taken in early September 2011 in Shelburne County, at the southernmost tip of Nova Scotia. Copyright 2011 Krehbiel Ind.

My father was a world explorer and seafarer from the 1940s onward. He tried hard to stay on land and be a "regular husband and father" while I was growing up, but the sea always called him, as it did his Nova Scotian and his Scottish ancestors. Eventually, as I readied for college, he returned to the sea as a head ship's radio-electronics officer, where he enjoyed his work, for the most part, until long past most people's retirement.
I suppose it is natural that following a trip to Nova Scotia, that I would dream of him. Last night I dreamt that my father was fine and was pleased about our trip. Daniel was not with him, but this somehow did not feel strange. This morning as I search for a message in the dream, all I really get is that although he is gone from Earth, his consciousness lives, and knows what we do.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Nova Scotia Memories

The view from the sea vessel "The Mar" as we enjoyed a jaunt in Halifax Harbour.
We highly recommend a cruise of Halifax Harbour anytime. The crew was professional and the cruise was not only fascinating and restful, but also a fabulous value.
Copyright 2011 Krehbiel Ind.

"The Silva", Halifax Harbour, September 1,2011
Copyright Krehbiel Ind. 2011

My husband photographing the ocean waves after Hurricane Irene
Copyright Krehbiel Ind. 2011

Baccaro Point, Nova Scotia, Canada
Copyright Krehbiel Ind. 2011

Despite the continuing aftershocks, and the Hurricane Irene, my husband and I completed a combination personal business and vacation trip to Nova Scotia. The experience is too much for one blog post, but we highly recommend Nova Scotia for a peaceful vacation, at any time of the year. We had an exceptional time photographing all the boats and ships in Halifax Harbour when we rented a boat with a number of others. We also spent time in Barrington Passage,Shelburne, and Bridgewater.
Our grown children and J. did well back at the farm, even as aftershocks continued, and they weathered Hurricane Irene well. Hurricane Irene was disruptive to our two connecting flights to Nova Scotia, even just in the outer bands, but we did arrive without too much disruption. Nova Scotia is indeed a beautiful and spiritual place. More about the different aspects of our trip, another time.
Mom and Dad finally got away on a trip. Daniel would have loved this place, and somehow, I think he and my Dad have already been here, and are smiling at our finally seeing it.

The crew of "The Mar" played an Adele disc during our cruise.