Sunday, June 24, 2018

Moms Health Problems Get Worse

Moms health continues to deteriorate, we will have to admit her to a long term care dementia facility of some kind. Spent the last 3 nights and days taking care of mom full time, there were multiple ambulance calls-visits and a hospital visit. She is very confused and constantly demands medicines and calls to 911 for an ambulance.

I have to start working night security again soon, will try to get mom admitted into hospital today (the last attempt failed). Am working on the necessary steps to get mom the proper help at a long term care facility where she can have 24 hour nurses.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Art Acquisition Rejection 2018

Got a another rejection email from the Art Foundation of Alberta today. This reject was for the 5 new colour images form the 2018 trip to the dump in Thailand. I guess they did not like the story of the lives of "Families of the Dump"
Thank you for your application to the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Art Acquisition by Application Program. There were a total of 670 works submitted for consideration, received from 165 artists across the province.

Your submission has been assessed by an expert panel, comprised of members from the Alberta art community. I regret to inform you that the work you submitted for this deadline was not selected for acquisition. It is disappointing to be rejected yet again, I could have raised awareness of the lives of the families and made a bit of money (greatly needed) as well. Here is the rejection email.

Update* I might try the Japan subway "KODOKU" (solitude) pictures next year.

We appreciate your interest in the programs offered by the AFA and encourage you to apply at the next available deadline, which is April 1st, 2019.

You can find the most recent Expert Panel feedback in the guidelines of the Art Acquisition by Application funding opportunity, under the drop down section "Helpful resources". Alternatively, you can find this information for all project opportunities on our Expert Panel feedback archive page.

If you have any questions regarding your application, please contact Elizabeth Capak at 780.638.2850. If required, a toll-free connection is available by first dialing 310.0000.

Yours sincerely,

E--- M------

Manager, Art Collections


Here is a link to the rejected photographs. The best I can do, the best I have ever done, of the most important worthwhile subject I have ever photographed and it is still not good enough for the AFA jury.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Email: Moms Dementia?

Yesterday was most difficult day of my life and of course much much more difficult for mom. My wonderful mother has what might be an early form of dementia. I am not sure if that is the diagnosis but that seems like it might be the case. Here is part of an email I wrote to my uncle and aunt, my mothers older brother and sister in law.

For the first time in my life I was the caregiver to mom. Never before have I not did everything she asked, but now it seems she does not understand any longer and I must make some choices for her. Starting to tear up again, best to just paste the email and try to sleep some more before I go back to visit mom and check on her progress. Need a bit more sleep now, was up for around 26 straight hours yesterday after around a 4 hour sleep the night before.

What my mother is going through is likely going to be much worse than dads 13 month fight with pancreatic cancer. I am going to need to help mom as much as I can, to make her next journey a tiny bit easier. If anyone deserves to be taken care of it is my mother. She always put every ones well being ahead of her own. Mom took care of my grand mother for many years as her health slowly deteriorated,  she took care of my father when he got sick with cancer (mom would not let him go to a dying hospital, she cared for him at the home he loved till he died) and she took care my sister when she had her many family troubles over the years. Mom has always been so caring and loving to me as well, always worried about my travels, always hugging and kissing, always wanting what was best for me

Here is the email to my uncle and aunt about what happened last night.

Uncle F-----Aunt J----

I was with mom in the R---- A---- (hospital) emergency until 255am, around 10-11 hours. The doctor decided to admit mom because she has a urine (bladder) infection, they want to give her and IV to fight the infection. She will stay in the hospital a minimum of 2 days, possibly longer. When I left she was getting the IV injection and after that she was going to be taken up to the ward to sleep. 

Today was a terrible day for mom. I am now pretty much convinced she cannot live alone any longer unless there is improvement on a very large scale. She was very confused, asking me the same questions over and over again. Some questions I answered upwards of 50 times. Sometimes 1 minute (or less) after I answered the question she would ask it again, and then 40 seconds after that ask it a 3rd time again. If I did not answer it quick enough mom would try to go to the nurses counter to ask in person (even thou she had asked them 5 or 6 times already).

Things got really bad with mom at the end where she could not stop pacing (after midnight) and kept asking the nurses for nausea medication. Even after they gave her some she almost immediately forgot they had given her anything, within about 3 minutes she had forgotten and was asking for more. And then I needed to tell her 20 or so times that she had taken the medication. And explain 40 or so times when the doctor was coming, what was taking so long, what the next steps were in her care etc. She asked to go home maybe 25 times, said she wanted to die 2 times. The whole evening was so difficult for her. Before tonight I kept thinking she would get better, but now I think the illness is in her mind and there will be no magic cures, this is probably forever. Mom kept asking for a pill that would make her better, it broke your heart. She kept saying "Gerald take me home, I want to sleep. Gerald I feel so nauseous, I feel like throwing up. Gerald why can't they give something to help me, make me feel better."

Being in emergency was very stress full her. What I found was the best way to calm her down was to hold her hand when she walked, and walk slowly while talking to her of something from the past, something she remembered well. Before I had been walking beside her but holding her hand and talking was much better. Then I would ask her to sit down, and I sat directly across from her holding both hands and moving them up and down a little bit, up and down. Then I would ask her stories about Baba and Gido (Grandmother-Grandfather) or Uncle F---- and Uncle M---- and she would relax some. Instead of jumping up and walking again after 30 seconds or maybe 1 minute I could hold her in her chair using this method for up to 10 minutes. Then we would walk, hold hands and talk, then sit with 2 hand holds and talk, then walk etc...did that maybe 7-10 times before the doctor came and told us what I was happening and I finally got her to lie down in the bed and relax a bit.
Thanks for listening Uncle F---- and Aunt J----, it helps me to write these notes.....Gerald

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Quote: Joseph Goebells

"Make the lie big, keep it simple, keeping saying it and eventually they will believe it."

Monday, June 18, 2018

Links: Learning Tagalog

I have started to learn Tagalog for my anticipated 2019 trip to the Philippines (my first trip). Here are some links I have been using to study, just in case you all want to learn with me. Things are coming along slowly after 10 months or so of intensive effort I might be able to speak in simple ways directly to the Filipino people, more importantly I can hear what they are telling me. Only after listening and learning from them can a bit of understanding happen.

Good YouTube Video Tagalog Teaching Source
Online Google Dictionary With Audio, English To Tagalog

Sunday, June 17, 2018

FACEBOOK Post Update With Link

Hey all, since my return to Canada II have not really done much facebooking. Felt I sort of overdid it a bit in Asia. Now I am chilling in Canada, getting healthy, and doing post photo work in the darkroom and on the computer. Am also taking care of my mother whose health has deteriated. She is doing a bit better now, so feel good about that.

Am reading the life story of a Irish priest in the Philippines. A fascinating tale of a mans fight for the rights of the poor. Father Shay has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 4 times. If any of you are interested below is a blog link with the book title etc. I contacted Father Shay who kindly invited me to visit him in the Philippines at his aid organization PREDA. He also wrote me an incredibly nice and inspiring email related to the dump "Families" work in Mae Sot. 

Because of this new book and the important work being done there I have decided that I need to go to the Philippines next trip (Thai and the dump also). To that end I have started to learn Tagalog (Filipino). My head hurts!!!! Learning a language at 54 is daunting. I think Tagalog can be learned thou, all it requires is enough determination and effort. Still it hurts my itty bitty mind! I keep forgetting and getting the words mixed up but it is coming slowly, slow and steady.

I think that means, "I am learning to speak Tagalog". Need some Filipino friends to practise with. Hopefully I can go to the Philippines next year to make photographs and visit Father Shay and PREDA. I also want to photograph and meet families living in Manilas graveyards and in the imfamous Tondo slum. Never been to Phil so it all is a bit iffy, a bit dangerous, but you got to try to do new stuff, chase new opportunities, enter new lives, make new friends and photographs. At one time going to the dump in Mae Sot seemed iffy, dangerous and difficult. Now not so much! Now the dump is filled with friends, some very close. Here is the link to the book.
Hope your all well...IBIG (love) Gerry 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Wrote Fr. Shay

I wrote Father Shay a few days back, thanked him and told him about the work being done in the Mae Sot dump. We have exchanged a few emails since then then. What a generous good hearted man. His note is extremely encouraging and inspiring especially after all the recent grant and gallery rejections.

Here is the email. Please if you can donate to his organization which helps the Filipino people, PREDA. If I visit the Philippines I plan on visiting Preda and Fr. Shay. Might try to go there for the first time next year.

Letters like this from a good man who sacrifices to help others berfore himself are so uplifting. I thought I would share the email with you all.

Note* Fr Shay has been nominated for the Nobel Peace prize 4 times.

Dear Gerry,

I say congratulations on your great  charity work ,fundraising , and leading a life worth living  helping others and documenting and advocating for the  poor.  The photos are  excellent and well done.  If you are ever you can visiting the Philippines you are very welcome to visit me here in Preda ,at Olongapo City.  Keep up the good work and your photography  you are a great example to others too and inspiring many people with your good works. Well done !!    Every  success in finishing the book ,where did you find it ?
Every blessing and happiness   


"Passion And Power" By Fr. Shay Cullen

A few days back I started to read a book written by Father Shay Cullen who is an Irish catholic priest living and working in the Philippines. He has been living with the poorest of the poor and helping those in need for over 30 years now. Father Shay's book is a difficult but very important read. It deals with his life in the Philippines and the fight against the exploitation of children and young women working the sex bars of the Philippines. Father Shay's work with the poor, corruption in the country, many beautiful and sad stories are covered. It is a book of heart and caring. I recommend it to everyone out there. Please take the time to buy and read it.

Passion and Power by Father Shay Cullen

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Quote: Will Rogers

"Don't let yesterday take up to much of today."

Quote: Dalai Lama

"Our prime purpose in life is to help others. And if you can't help them at least don't hurt them."