For my late wife of more than 60 years, and the many more with incurable disease, fear was, and is, real.
Those who live with chronic illness deal with it daily. It robs you of the joy of your journey, the thrill of tomorrow, the delight of a new day. It steals your contentment, empties you of enjoying the now; replaces wonder with worry.
Having long-term Parkinson's or another chronic disease or illness can make you feel afraid, threatened, hopeless, and more.
We fear losing our ability to talk coherently, to sing, walk and dance. To write, read, garden, paint, or draw. To taste, smell, feed ourselves, prepare or even eat our food. To hold our children, grandchildren or great grandchildren; to hug our spouse.
We fear having to depend on others for help with everyday tasks. We have help thrust upon us, some we can trust, some we fear for their treatment and irritation towards us.
We fear, knowing there will be no cure, that life will become more challenging and difficult, knowing nature must take its course. We long for a time without walkers, wheelchairs or the worry of what's to come.
For many that uncertain end is intolerable and those poor, beaten souls need to have the choice, the ability of death with dignity. I certainly do not want you to suffer as we did, but, unless you have walked in my shoes you will never know the indignities, pain and despair, a tomorrow without end.
We pride ourselves in New Zealand on our treatment of animals. I believe that if my wife had been my pet and I or anyone else had allowed my pet to suffer and end life as she did, there would have been prosecutions for cruelty.
Some who believe they are devout Christians must often bury their heads in the sand of their faith, denying that death is painful, worrying and longed for by many with chronic and terminal illness. Do we not love and care? Surely, illness and death affect us all deeply.
Despite my qualms, I believe everyone should have the right to end life in peace. I sincerely believe the law should be changed to allow others braver than me that right of choice, of death with dignity. Why should we allow the terminally ill to be punished?
So, some of the children at Carlton Primary School were not singing the national anthem.
Why? It reflects badly on the school that it is obvious that they have not been taught. What a shame.
I am sure those who pioneered this country, along with those who fought and even sacrificed their lives, would feel as I do.
It is really a prayer to the Almighty for the protection, peace and prosperity of this beautiful country, and if one reads all five verses why would anyone not want what is contained in them?
May I suggest that the principal bring up on the school computers "Rebecca Nelson, Gallipoli Ceremony 2014" and "Hayley Westenra at NZ War Memorial Ceremony London 2006" and see if that will not inspire some patriotism and pride in her pupils.
The beauty of living in New Zealand is that most things are relatively small-scaled, hence in many cases financially not sustainable. We need to adapt to that statement, any time, anywhere.
It is sad to read that plastics numbered 3, 4, 6 and 7 are not to be accepted any more for recycling. What to do with these? Just dumping them in the landfill, getting them into our precious environment, like water, soil, food, etc?
I think that our council should lobby in Wellington to ban the import of all artificial materials, including plastics, artificial fibres (clothing, utensils, etc) and accept only replacements manufactured from biodegradable material. If no biodegradable available, just allow recyclables.
Even more, we should do a step backwards, adapt to a lifestyle before oil was discovered!
ROMBOUT VAN RIEMSDIJK