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Barack Obama dons a Santa hat and hands out gifts in surprise visit to D.C. children’s hospital – The Washington Post

Columnist for The Reliable Source

Watch out, Santa: Former president Barack Obama is coming for your sleigh.

With a fluffy red cap and a bulging bag slung over his shoulder, Obama delivered presents (and more than a few gasps) to the young patients at Children’s National hospital in Northwest Washington on Wednesday.

First on Obama’s list was a group of patients 4 and up who were making snowflakes in one of the hospital’s playrooms. After the excitement died down, the former president handed out jigsaw puzzles (which were his grandmother’s favorite, he told the crowd), Hot Wheels sets, remote-control cars, and glittery nail polish, among other goodies collected by Obama and his staffers. Hey, the guy knows his audience.

“I know they will be talking about it for years to come,” said Kurt Newman, chief executive and president of Children’s National Health System. “At such a busy time of year, when no one wants to be in the hospital, his natural warmth lifted the spirits of those kids, their parents and of each staff member he met along the way.”


Obama takes a selfie with a patient at a Washington-area children’s hospital. (Courtesy of the Personal Office of President Barack Obama) (Chuck Kennedy)

Obama Claus also dropped by individual patient rooms for one-on-one visits with children and their parents. He gifted one 12-year-old patient who was nervous about heading to high school next year a piece of advice: “Even the cool kids don’t have it all figured out.”

Before leaving, Obama thanked the staff for working during the holidays and recorded a video message to be played on the hospital’s internal TV system for those he wasn’t able to visit during the trip.

Only a handful of the Children’s National staff knew that the president was coming to town, but word spread quickly during the 90-minute visit. By the time he was headed for the door, a crowd had gathered at a nearby nursing station. The group of doctors, residents and nurses cheered for Obama before busting into an impromptu rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”


A crowd greets Obama on his Dec. 19 visit to Children’s National. (Courtesy of the Personal Office of President Barack Obama) (Chuck Kennedy)

Dear parents, you are being lied to. – Violent metaphors

In light of recent outbreaks of measles and other vaccine preventable illnesses, and the refusal of anti-vaccination advocates to acknowledge the problem, I thought it was past time for this post.

Dear parents,

You are being lied to. The people who claim to be acting in the best interests of your children are putting their health and even lives at risk.

They say that measles isn’t a deadly disease.
But it is.

They say that chickenpox isn’t that big of a deal.
But it can be.

They say that the flu isn’t dangerous.
But it is.

They say that whooping cough isn’t so bad for kids to get.
But it is.

They say that vaccines aren’t that effective at preventing disease.
But 3 million children’s lives are saved every year by vaccination, and 2 million die every year from vaccine-preventable illnesses.

They say that “natural infection” is better than vaccination.
But they’re wrong.

They say that vaccines haven’t been rigorously tested for safety.
But vaccines are subjected to a higher level of scrutiny than any other medicine. For example, this study tested the safety and effectiveness of the pneumococcal vaccine in more than 37,868 children.

They will say that doctors won’t admit there are any side effects to vaccines.
But the side effects are well known, and except in very rare cases quite mild.

They say that the MMR vaccine causes autism.
It doesn’t. (The question of whether vaccines cause autism has been investigated in study after study, and they all show overwhelming evidence that they don’t.)

They say that thimerosal in vaccines causes autism.
It doesn’t, and it hasn’t been in most vaccines since 2001 anyway.

They say that the aluminum in vaccines (an adjuvant, or component of the vaccine designed to enhance the body’s immune response) is harmful to children.
But children consume more aluminum in natural breast milk than they do in vaccines, and far higher levels of aluminum are needed to cause harm.

They say that the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (and/or the “vaccine court”) proves that vaccines are harmful.
It doesn’t.

They say that the normal vaccine schedule is too difficult for a child’s immune system to cope with.
It isn’t.

They say that if other people’s children are vaccinated, there’s no need for their children to get vaccinated.

This is one of the most despicable arguments I’ve ever heard. First of all, vaccines aren’t always 100% effective, so it is possible for a vaccinated child to still become infected if exposed to a disease. Worse, there are some people who can’t receive vaccinations, because they are immune deficient, or because they are allergic to some component. Those people depend upon herd immunity to protect them. People who choose not to vaccinate their children against infectious diseases are putting not only their own children at risk, but also other people’s children.

They say that ‘natural’, ‘alternative’ remedies are better than science-based medicine.
They aren’t.

The truth is that vaccines are one of our greatest public health achievements, and one of the most important things you can do to protect your child.

I can predict exactly the sort of response I will be getting from the anti-vaccine activists. Because they can’t argue effectively against the overwhelming scientific evidence about vaccines, they will say that I work for Big Pharma. (I don’t and never have). They will say that I’m not a scientist (I am), and that I’m an “Agent 666” (I don’t know what that is, but I’m pretty sure that I’m not one).

None of these things are true, but they are the reflexive response by the anti-vaccine activists because they have no facts to back up their position. On some level, deep down, they must understand this, and are afraid of the implications, so they attack the messenger.

Why are they lying to you? Some are doing it for profit, trying to sell their alternative remedies by making you afraid of science-based medicine. I’m sure that many others within the anti-vaccine movement have genuinely good intentions, and do honestly believe that vaccines are harmful. But as a certain astrophysicist recently said “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it”. In the case of vaccine truthers, this is not a good thing. Good intentions will not prevent microbes from infecting and harming people, and the message that vaccines are dangerous is having dire consequences. There are outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses now throughout the United States because of unvaccinated children.

In only one respect is my message the same as the anti-vaccine activists: Educate yourself. But while they mean “Read all these websites that support our position”, I suggest you should learn what the scientific community says. Learn how the immune system works. Go read about the history of disease before vaccines, and talk to older people who grew up when polio, measles, and other diseases couldn’t be prevented. Go read about how vaccines are developed, and how they work. Read about Andrew Wakefield, and how his paper that claimed a link between the MMR vaccine and autism has been withdrawn, and his medical license has been revoked. Read the numerous, huge studies that have explicitly examined whether autism is caused by the vaccine…and found nothing. (While you’re at it, read about the ongoing research to determine what IS the cause—or causes —of autism, which is not helped by people continuing to insist that vaccines cause it).

That may seem like a lot of work, and scientific papers can seem intimidating to read. But reading scientific articles is a skill that can be mastered. Here’s a great resource for evaluating medical information on the internet, and I wrote a guide for non-scientists on how to read and understand the scientific literature. You owe it to your children, and to yourself, to thoroughly investigate the issue. Don’t rely on what some stranger on the internet says (not even me!). Read the scientific studies that I linked to in this post for yourself, and talk to your pediatricians. Despite what the anti-vaccine community is telling you, you don’t need to be afraid of the vaccines. You should instead be afraid of what happens without them.

Edited to add: This video is an outstanding summary of many of these issues. I encourage you to watch it.

“Humans try to make sense of the world by seeing patterns. When they see a disease or condition that tends to appear around the time a child is a year or so old, as autism does, and that is also the age that kids get particular shots, they want to put those things together. Parents watch kids more carefully after they get shots. Sometimes they pick up on symptoms then. Just because two things happen at the same time doesn’t mean that one caused the other. This is why we need careful scientific studies.”

Note: For people coming via a direct link, please also feel free to participate in a follow-up discussion
here.

1/13/15: Edited to update broken hyperlinks. If you find any additional broken links, please don’t hesitate to let me know. –JR

4/19/16: Edited again to update more broken hyperlinks. If you find more, keep letting us know and we’ll keep fixing them. –CM

When i lived in Minnesota, the state law literally defined anything you told your kids was practicing medicine without a license. So i’d see kids in T-SHIRTS AND LONG SHORTS (!!!!!) standing at a bus stop for 15 minutes or more in weather that was BELOW ZERO FAHRENHEIT!!!!
If their mother said – dress warmer or you’ll get a cold – practicing medicine without a license.

i am not telling you to not vaccinate you or your kids. i’m saying that there is no proof that it is safe and lots of indications that it isn’t anywhere nearly as effective as you claim, and therefore i choose to not do so – at all – and state emphatically no “authority” has any right to force any vaccinations upon anyone else. That is our human freedom, which cannot be imposed upon by even the Constitution – the SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND – so it doesn’t matter if congress passes mandatory vax legislation. It doesn’t matter if the Prez puts out an Executive Order. It doesn’t matter at all if the Supreme Court Moron-jority makes some stupid ruling saying “govt” can do so. NONE of them have the authority to invalidate the constitution. Period. Such laws are legally null and void from the moment of signing, and the guys who WROTE the constitution and prevented the govt from over-ruling the constitution state that we can disobey those laws. T Jefferson stated it is your DUTY to disobey anti-constitutional laws.

The Geneva convention states that nobody can force ANY medical procedure upon you without YOUR INFORMED CONSENT. Doctors do not give parents informed consent. Try to get a vaccine insert the next time you (foolishly in my opinion) line up for a flu shot to reduce your immune system effectiveness. Go ahead – try to get a vaccine insert from him/her. Watch their hackles raise, their guilt and intimidation (taught in med school in lieu of information regarding ingredients, signs for adverse reactions to look for, how to fill out a VAERS report, etc)

The Nuremberg trials brought out these principles and echo that INFORMED CONSENT before any medical procedure. The UN agrees. The constitution gives NO authority over our health choices to the federal govt at all and in fact denies the fed govt any authority in this arena whatsoever. The State of California Constitution states very clearly in the patient’s rights section that for ANY medical procedure the patient must be provided full medical disclosure (think you have to specify that) and that they get time to read/understand the implications. The next section states that regardless of “how good the procedure is considered to be” that the patient can ALWAYS REFUSE ANY MEDICAL PROCEDURE – at all. So mandatory vax is not legal or more importantly – lawful – and like the fed constitution – the state legislature CANNOT LAWFULLY OVERRULE THE CONSTITUTION, NOR CAN THE COURTS, OR GOVERNOR – but they pretend that they can, and with the big $$$ of drug-pusher psychos and their almost ownership of the press – their story is the only one told.

So take your vaccines. i look at it as being somewhat like Darwinian pruning.i would truly be sorry if you or your children are one of those damaged by the vaccines – which is where most “anti-vaxxers” come from – but again that is your choice.

The people arguing here worship PubMed – and i did link one esteemed doctor who has been censored on PubMed for correcting an article which implied concepts regarding HPV which were erroneous. Ironically, one person most adamant about my using such sources as the only valid information in the world (apparently) stated that “proof” was in the cemeteries of my childhood region regarding all the kids killed with vaccines. Yet in conversations with many who grew up in the same area – very few of us knew anyone who was damaged or killed by the childhood diseases which your generations are trained to fear so vehemently. We never did fear them at all. They were a younger coming of age thing, and i appreciated getting out of school. i wished i could get them every year and was so disappointed….

So how do the cemeteries list measles death? Mumps death? Chicken pox death? Answer – they obviously don’t. It was just a dramatic, emotive, pointless statement. And while he may argue that he was “using logic” in that statement as i was, i fail to see the logic in falsely attributing death to childhood diseases to a level in which he/she practically insisted that my siblings and i DID see deaths and permanent injuries from childhood diseases. So magically he knows more about my life and 7 siblings than i do. Don’t you just love magic? It can do anything.

So here’s the difference btwn that “logic” (makes me see why they have to rely on PubMed with “logic” like that, lol) and what i’m seeing.

You “JABBERS” tell me that vaccines are safe. Yet there are no studies of vaccinated versus unvaccinated people sponsored by industry. Someone provided a link about 3 forevers ago, but i’m a little busy – but the CDC has stated that they have conducted no such study.

You have no study proving that mercury in vaccines is safe. (Don’t bring up Thorsen the felon – you will get shot down – and even the CDC admitted in front of congress the Thorsen studies were not good – then said they stood by “the body of work of the CDC regarding mercury”. Which is the two invalidated studies by Thorsen. Implied that mercury is safe from other, non-existent studies….

Despite the synergistic toxicity proven when other neurotoxins are combined with mercury to increase mercury toxicity by about 1,000 times – you have no studies about how neurotoxic and synergistic aluminum affect things. Or the squalene. Or the neurotoxic MSG. Or neurotoxic Polysorbate 80. These are compounds that people in laboratories have to wear personal protective gear for – to both prevent contamination of ingredients, but also so that they don’t get sick or killed by touching those things.

Then you inject them into your muscles – brilliant. All this toxicity – to make you HEALTHY, lol. Even live diseases sometimes. Then there is the problem of dosage. Say Paul (“Dr”) Offitt is 180 pounds. He gets the same dose as a 9 pound infant – which by body weight would be equivalent to Paulie boy getting 20 shots. If you have a 6 pound infant – that would be like Paul getting THIRTY shots. Then you figure that multiple shots are given…. No wonder he stormed off TV. He officiously stated that an infant could have 10,000 vaccines in one day and be perfectly healthy. Wow – about 5 liters – say half that for combined doses – in the muscles with poisons, toxic metals, adjuvants designed to KILL human cells (that’s why they “work” to make antigens increase,duh) diseases, and of course DNA to cause mutagenesis. All this to be more healthy….right. So here’s an article pointing out how getting infant dosage CORRECT would be virtually impossible. Can’t do it by body weight. Can’t just do it by age. Each individual is going to metabolize things differently and since the stuff in the shots is designed to be eliminated – the infant involved can have multiple times the expected rate of clearance and elimination – if it ever happens. (we know aluminum ends up settling in the brain…) Oh – this is a PDF
vaccineliberationarmy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/DJped-cyp-enzyms.pdf

Then of course there is that neonate intensive care nurse in Redmond who quit because in the ward where she worked they insisted on giving the babies their “2 month shot” regardless of whether the baby came out at 3 months, 6 months, or whenever…

“I’ve sat in a room with our on-call staff of physicians and practitioners (when they say) “Oh wow, this is so embarrassing this 25 weeker never actually required a breathing tube and going on the vent after he was born, he was so strong. But we gave him his two month vaccinations and he got intubated last night ha ha, oops how embarrassing. The step-down units are calling the NICU’s and saying “hey we’re going to go ahead and give these four babies their two month shots today, make sure you have beds ready because we all know they’re going to have increased breathing difficulties, feeding and digestion difficulties, apnea, and bradycardia. This is what goes on.”

“All ELBW [extremely low-birth-weight] infants in the NICU had an increased incidence of sepsis evaluations and increased respiratory support and intubation after routine immunization.”

“The micro preemies can be born as much as four months early; two months they get their vaccines. We see them go off on their feeds, lethargic, fevers and it sets them back…and I don’t want to be a part of that anymore.”

Here’s an article from JAMA which brings out almost all her points…http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2300376?utm_source=silverchair%20information%20systems&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=jamapediatrics:onlinefirst06/01/2015

But it’s lovely for a normal baby.

So you can shoot up all you want. i’ve seen and looked at enough of the “medical system” (disease management, control, and proliferation industry) to know that many of the standards of care are literally damaging. i think vaccines are an extension of that, and possibly a more damaging extension of all the medical arms. Is it as stupid as standing in front of an ionizing radiation machine and getting hit with carcinogenic radiation for a mammogram in the most radioactive sensitive part of human anatomy? Perhaps, perhaps not. Is it as dangerous as taking antacids for heartburn and GERDS.

i hope you and yours – and all the people here – have a good life, but i’m going to work on my fence project – go to town and get the needed fence hinge pins, i’ve already deleted over 40 emails, done an hour’s worth of my on-line Permaculture Design Course, Read from the Self Sufficient Farmstead book an hour or so after getting up and getting some firewood to take the chill off this morning. The other books i am rotating reading are the Anti-Federalist Papers, Mycorrhizal Planet, Test your soil with plants, and usually a “fluffy” book to disengage from the heavy societal stuff we get into here and elsewhere. i also have to wire the ceiling lights where i took out the bearing wall btwn the kitchen/DR so that we can put in more cabinets for needed storage (1943 house) and a pass-through. Already built the cabinets, need to do a couple more steps on the Drywall repairs, build the boxed beam around the lighting i hang over the counters, and of course keep the goats and hogs out of trouble…So i have another busy day in front of me – dammut. Need to turn the Berkely compost pile. A good cubic meter of compost that needs to be turned every two days to make compost in 18 days if you get the ingredients perfect. Mine usually takes a few days longer because there is no consistent nitrogen/carbon ratio on the animal bedding and deep chicken bedding…Gotta adjust on the fly. Plus put in low fence to keep the tiny hogs from going into the road, mow garden sections before i till the top two/three inches…

What the hell am i suffering here for? GO! Have a great day. Think i’m not likely to be back here – the JABBERS have done nothing to convince me that vaccines are good for me or society in general, and i’m not going to change your mind. i’ll take my life experience, permanent immunity (dream on buddy – you ain’t getting any) and generally healthy life into the future and work to help the planet instead of make it more toxic. That’s good for you in a minor way too.

Later.

Woman hides thousands of children in coffins – then she’s arrested and her dark secret emerges

Irena Sendler was born in Warsaw, Poland on February 15, 1910.

Her father taught her many things, but one lesson in particular stayed with her for her entire life: always help the needy.

When Irena was only seven years old, her father died of typhus. But the years she spent with him would come to have an enormous influence on her.

When she grew up, Irena followed in the footsteps of her father, who was a doctor, and became a nurse.

And she later became employed as a social worker in the Warsaw Social Welfare Department, where she helped distribute food and clothing to families in need.

At that time, Jews living in many parts of Europe were being persecuted. But even though Irena was a devout Catholic, she refused to give in to prejudice. She helped several Jewish families, just like she helped everyone else.

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During the Second World War, the Nazis created the Warsaw Ghetto to intern Jewish families.

It was the largest Jewish ghetto established by the Nazis, and at its peak, around 400,000 Jews were imprisoned within its walls.

Life in the ghetto was characterized by overcrowding, hunger, instability, and disease.

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Irena, who was concerned with the appalling living conditions, decided to get involved.

She joined Zegota, an underground resistance organization in German-occupied Poland that worked to save Jews. Irena realized that she needed to do something—even if it that meant risking her own life.

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Together with her colleagues, Irena started secretly helping Jewish children escape from the ghetto.

Irena visited many Jewish homes and families, but many mothers refused to surrender their children to a stranger, even if that stranger was well-intentioned and had a plan to free their children. But staying meant certain death, either by being murdered inside its walls or by deportation to concentration camps.

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Since Nazi surveillance of the ghetto was extensive, Irena was forced to find creative ways to hide the children and smuggle them out.

One method was to pretend that the children were seriously ill and bring them to hospitals outside the ghetto. But as the surveillance increased, Irena had to hide the children in suitcases, garbage bags, and even coffins.

One rescue involved a baby named Eluzina. Irena hid her in a wooden box that was supposed to contain bricks.

The girl, just five months old, was brought to safety. And the only thing she had with her was a small silver spoon that her mother had hidden in her clothes.

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More than 2,500 children were saved in this way. Irena kept a record of all the children she brought to safety, and the list was hidden in cans in a neighbor’s garden.

Irena’s plan went perfectly until one day, everything came crashing down on her. The Nazis discovered what she was doing and arrested her.

Irena was sent to prison, where she was tortured by the Gestapo and had both of her arms broken. But despite the pain and torture, she refused to give up any information about the children or their families.

Eventually, the Nazis sentenced her to death. But fate had other plans for Irena.

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Some of Irena’s aides managed to bribe a soldier in the prison so she could escape.

From that day—until her death many years later—Irena lived under a false identity. But she never stopped helping others.

“My hatred of the German occupiers was stronger than my fear. In addition, my father had taught me that if you see a man drowning, you must try to save him even if you cannot swim. At that time, it was Poland that was drowning,” Irena said in an interview with the Swedish newspaper Sydsvenskan.

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When the war ended, Irena handed over the records of all the children she rescued to a rescue organization that helped reunite Jewish families.

Later in life, Irena got married and had three children. She lived a happy life, knowing that she had done the right thing.

“The reason why I rescued children was because of the way I grew up. I was brought up to believe that a person must be rescued when drowning, regardless of religion and nationality,” says Irena.

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After working so hard to help others throughout her life, Irena died at the age of 98.

In many ways, she was a forgotten hero and few people knew of her amazing work.

In 1964, Irena Sendler received the Israeli honorary title of “Polish Righteous among the Nations,” and in 1997, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The prize, however, went to environmental activist and former vice president of the United States, Al Gore.

Irena didn’t hold a grudge and instead chose to pay tribute to others.

“I did not do it alone. We were about 20 to 25 people,” she explained.

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However, some people have never forgotten her contribution.

“Now both the children and grandchildren of those I rescued come and see me,” Irena said in the interview.

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We must never forget this courageous woman with a heart of gold!

Please share her story with everyone you know on Facebook, so that more people can learn about the amazing work of Irena Sendler.

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What You Learn After Losing A Parent At A Young Age

One year ago today my entire world was shattered with the news that my mother had passed . Something so traumatic completely changes who you are and how you view the world. I was just shy of 21 with two younger sisters, all now motherless, forced to continue experiencing life without the one parent we always had. It has been a year of gut-wrenching pain and heartache; a year I would never want to experience again. But through this experience I have gained many hard learned lessons that I will carry with me for a lifetime.

Many adults that have recently lost their parents will tell you they know what you’re going through, they don’t.

Nothing has made me cringe more than when a full grown adult tells me they completely understand what I’m going through, and that they’re there for me. Your parents were able to see you grow into an adult, watch you get married, or meet your kids. My mother missed my sister’s wedding, my mother won’t see me graduate from college, or help my youngest sister get through high school- never mind watch her graduate it. So please don’t equate the situation, you have no idea what I’m going through. I’ve learned that they say this to show sympathy, and that sympathy is great and all, but the statement carries so much ignorance.Which brings me to my next point…

People that haven’t experienced this yet just don’t get it, and that’s not their fault.

In the beginning, I spent months being bitter because people just didn’t get it; they couldn’t empathize or understand what I was going through, what I felt, what I needed- no matter how hard they tried. But then I realized it wasn’t their fault, and I should be happy they don’t understand – no matter how hard it was for me to accept it. I would never wish this experience on absolutely anyone, and I am grateful that people my age, my sisters ages, have never had to experience this kind of pain.

People really do use those cliché phrases.

In these types of situations everyone always says things like “they’re in a better place”, “they’re watching over you”, etc., and it sucks. It’s the last things you want to hear. Don’t tell me they’re in a better place, because if they were in a better place they’d be here with me and my family. I don’t want you to tell me they’re watching over me, because it’s not the same as having them in front of me and hearing their voice or laugh. I know these people mean well when they say these things, but it just hurts more.

I HATE when people complain about their parents to me, because at least they have them.

I cannot emphasize how much I hate this, how much it makes my stomach turn and my heart ache. I would give anything to have my mom yelling at me, or asking me to borrow a couple bucks. I would give anything for my mom to give me a hard time again, or want to spend time with me instead of having me go out. When people complain to me about their parents, it makes me mad that they can’t appreciate the love and care that their parents are giving them. They aren’t appreciating the fact that they still have parents and have that bond with them. I would give anything to trade places with them, and therefore I can’t EVER sympathize with their complaints.

You learn who’s real.

Despite the people that say or do the wrong things, you learn who really cares about you and who really is there. They say a tragedy always shows you who your real friends are, and this couldn’t be more true in this situation. Many people can’t handle this difficult tragedy, and end up walking away from you. Let them. They aren’t good enough to be there if they can’t find the strength to stay for you and support you. It’s difficult to accept, because it’s at a time when you need all the love and support you can get, but with time you learn to let go and realize it’s for the best.

Holidays and important life events will NEVER be the same.

The holidays can be a difficult time for anyone, but this experience has changed the meaning of them forever. Not only are the traditions you held with your parents gone, but you’re also left with the emptiness that their absence left behind. Now you forever wonder what things would be like if they were there, and you wish that they were. The holidays now carry a gloom, an emptiness that will never be filled. It also causes the memories of the past holidays and traditions to be brought to the surface, opening back up the pain of what used to be. It reminds you that you would do anything to have it back. The people around you are filled with the holiday cheer, unaware that these days bring you and your family so much pain.

It’s okay to not be okay.

I’ve been through my fair share of life obstacles, but I’ve always maintained the mantra that things we’re fine. However, when this earth-shattering experience happened, I couldn’t uphold that feeling anymore. I couldn’t be okay, no matter how hard I tried. I learned to accept that, I learned that it was okay to admit that I was in pain, that I wasn’t okay. I learned how to express this to people, without feeling judged. A lesson that wasn’t easy.

It’s okay to put your needs first.

After experiencing this loss, this pain, you become empty and unable to offer much. You begin to realize that you can’t be as supportive and selfless towards others because you’re using all the energy you have on getting through the day. You have to learn to understand and accept that you have to take care of yourself before you can offer anything to another person.

Sometimes you need a push.

Despite how hard you are trying to get through this, there are going to be bad days that you can’t get through alone. Sometimes you need a friend to motivate you to study for that exam or go to class. Sometimes you need someone to pull you out of bed, and give you the motivation and strength you need to face the day. And that’s fine, appreciate the people in your life that recognize this and do this for you, no matter how much it drives you crazy at the time.

The bonds between loved ones grow stronger.

No one else understands what you’re going through, which means the people that do understand become so much more important. They are the only people in the world that understand what you have lost, and the weight you now have to carry around with you. Not only that, but you now under how easy it could be to lose someone because you already lost someone so important to you. It makes you cherish the people you have more than ever before, and it makes you want to hold onto them stronger. The loss demonstrates how important the people in your life are to you.

You worry about everything, all the time.

Life has now taught you that losing someone can happen in the blink of an eye. This makes you worried and paranoid about all the things that can happen to the people closest to you. When someone is supposed to come over and doesn’t, you worry. When someone doesn’t answer their phone, you worry. You instantly start thinking about worst case scenarios, and everything that could have gone wrong. And the relief you feel when you finally hear from them is unexplainable. You know you worry too much, and deep down you know they’re probably fine, but you still can’t stop yourself. The potential of losing someone else closest to you is too much to bare again, and you know the risk is always there. Your loved ones may get annoyed, or feel like you’re overbearing, but at least they know you care about them.

You become more affectionate and attached.

You don’t want to lose the people that are still in your life, so you become more attached to them. You want to show them how much they mean to you, remind them all the time. I can’t explain the feeling unless you’ve experienced this, but once you do it makes you want to hold on to the people around you tighter, makes you want to show them how important they are to you. It makes you need the affection and love from these people to help you heal from what you have lost, to remind yourself that there are still people in your life that are important and that care about you. That there are still reasons to keep living.

It makes you choose your words more carefully.

You know now how important last words are, whether your last words to your parents were good or bad, you understand the weight it holds and the importance it has. It makes you more aware of how you speak to your loved ones. It makes you say “I love you” before you say goodbye, no matter how angry you are at them. Because if this is the last time you talk to them, you want to make sure they know. You want them to always know how you feel about them and that you love them. You make sure you tell them all the time how much they mean to you and how much you need or appreciate them. Even when you’re angry you’re aware of how far you can or can’t take your words. That small painful reminder is always in the back of your head about how important words are.

You learn to not waste time.

You now understand that life is not forever, how time is always ticking away. This teaches you to not take anything less than you deserve, and to never waste time. It makes you more honest and upfront with people because you understand there’s no point in wasting anyone’s time being anything less. You have lost and overcome something unbelievably important, which means you won’t settle for anything less than you deserve. You now realize how important your time and life is. You won’t waste it on something or someone that doesn’t measure up.

You live life more…

…because you understand how quickly life can disappear. After losing your parent, you sit there and reminisce on all the lost chances and times you could have had with them. You would give anything to have one more road trip, adventure, or even simply a dinner with them. This makes you more apt to agree to doing things with other people because what if you never get another chance. You start to realize how important adventure and time spent with people are. You understand that these are what brings life to, well, your life. You start to seek out anything that will bring meaning to you or that will fill the hole in your chest. You want to experience life for your parent, for everything they are missing out on. You want to make their loss worth it by knowing you gave life everything you had for them.

You learn to let the guilt go.

It takes more time than you would ever thought, and it isn’t one simple task. You have to continuously make the decision to let it go, over and over again. But you do make that decision every time. You learn to let go of the guilt, learn to realize that all the things you could have done differently can’t help you now. You can’t change anything that happened so you learn to accept it, no matter how many times you have to. You learn to move on and learn to live with it: learn to live with the experience of the loss, and live with how things ended. You learn to accept that it wasn’t your fault, you learn to stop hating yourself, no matter how hard that is.

Your world became so negative, and you have to learn to change it.

After losing someone so important to you, you become bitter and resentful towards the world for taking them from you, for robbing you of so much time. You become so pessimistic about life’s outcomes. You have to learn to let go of the bitterness. You have to reteach yourself to think positively, to not always worry and think the worst case scenarios. You have to learn that this experience does not mean you will never be happy again, and that life will never be good again. You realize that your parent would never want you to go through life with this chip on your shoulder, that they would want you to be happy again. So you have to learn to change your outlook on life, again.

You learn that you are strong.

You would have never expected this to happen to you, never mind that you would have to make it through this. Yet here you are, you did it, and you made it. And after overcoming something like this you realize that nothing will ever stop you, because none of life’s obstacles will ever amount to this tragedy. Once you’ve survived this you realize you can survive literally anything life throws at you. You begin to realize your strengths and your assets. You learn to start loving yourself again, instead of blaming yourself. You learn to start realizing and appreciating the good things about yourself and the importance of self-love.

You appreciate your parent now more than ever.

They say that death distorts the memory, because people start to over glorify the ones that have passed. But I disagree, I think the loss erases the bad aspects of a person because you realize that those no longer matter. You realize that what was at their core was what really mattered. You begin to realize the parts about yourself that came from them, you realize what values and ideals they taught you, how they’ve shaped who you’ve become and the life you are leading. You let go of the bad memories, because in the end they hold no value. You just remember the real person they were, the love and support they gave you, and the memories you shared. And at the end of the day they were your parent, and no one in the entire world could ever replace them.

Don’t take anyone for granted.

This is the number one thing I took away. Never take a single person, experience, memory, or moment for granted. Everything you currently have can be lost in an instant, without any warning. You learn to appreciate every little good thing in your life, and disregard the bad because it’s nothing compared to what has been. You have learned what is important in life, and what is not. Your meaning of life has changed forever.

It’s been a year since I lost her, an earth-shattering, core-rattling year. There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t think of her or miss her. This experience has changed me to my core, changed how I view myself, how I see life, and how I interact with other people. I will carry the weight of this tragedy around with me for the rest of my life, and the lessons I have gained because of it.

Smoking In Cars With Children Is Illegal Starting January 30, 2018

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Smoking In Cars With Children Is Illegal Starting January 30, 2018

Saturday February 3 2018 by

The law, that becomes effective on January 30, 2018 is to protect children from secondhand smoking. Violations would result in a fine of up to $100.

#2 Thousands Of Chemicals

According to the Department of Health, when a child breathes in secondhand smoke, they breathe in thousands of chemicals, just like the smoker does. This puts them at risk of serious conditions including cancer, bronchitis, and pneumonia. And it can worsen asthma.

#3 All Private Vehicles

The law applies to any private vehicle that is enclosed wholly or partly by a roof. It still applies if people have the windows or sunroof open, have the air-conditioning on, or if they sit in a parked car with the door open.

#4 All Out Ban?

This comes as the federal agency Housing and Urban Development is rolling out its nationwide ban on smoking in public housing, and just a few years after many states have outlawed smoking in beaches and public parks. This trend raises the question: Are we getting closer to prohibiting tobacco smoking altogether? And would that be such a bad thing?

“In America, it’s very difficult to be simply paternalistic,” Ronald Bayer, co-director of the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. American values of privacy and freedom make it very difficult to prohibit anything as mainstream as tobacco, even if it’s to save the lives of smokers. That old “nanny state” argument rears its head every time.

With millions of people still addicted to cigarettes, there is also the very real fear that a ban would spawn a black market similar to what exists with illegal drugs or what happened with alcohol during Prohibition.

5. What’s Next?

Bayer suggests that one way to help people quit would be by tackling the problem from the supply side. “I think we would do much better to think about reducing the nicotine content, so that the addictive quality of cigarettes wasn’t as severe, and make quitting easier.”

The World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control established a method called MPOWER in 2008 that aims to end the “global tobacco epidemic,” which kills over 7 million people each year. The way to do this is not by banning it all at once, but instead by monitoring use and prevention, protecting citizens from second-hand smoke, offering ways to help people quit, warning people of the dangers of smoking, enforcing bans on advertising, and raising taxes on tobacco products.

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