Mar 2, 2012

Is it fair to expect your partner to live without sex?

If you’ve been happily married for ten or more years, and your life is suddenly disrupted as a result of an accident or illness where you will spend most of your time in a wheelchair or bed, what do you do if it hurts the other person to have sex? What if it’s awkward and painful and the person does not feel like it? Do you expect it? Do you force it? Do you live without it? Should your partner have sex outside the home? Or have sex with a stranger with your permission? What is the protocol?

Going to the heart of the matter

There is nothing that can replace intimacy between a couple who has been in love for years. Intimacy is not the same as sex although it is a combination of understanding and love. When you have understanding and compassion, when you love a person and feel and want the best for them, and are used to your quiet moments where it is just the two of you, there is a lot one can do if one is genuinely concerned. Sex is not only about the body; it is to a large extent, the brain, intimate conversation, a loving touch, and yes, doing what you can to bring your partner to a climax.

The brain is the real sex organ. It is where lovemaking begins, in the head. You do not suddenly stop loving someone because he or she has had an accident – unless you had no intention of having a lasting relationship. Here are some things you can do.

·                    Always smell nice. Don’t stop wearing your favorite perfume. Be fresh and squeaky clean even though you are in bed.
·                    Wear nice clothes in the house and get rid of that old cardigan that you wear when you feel sorry for yourself.
·                    If you are a kisser, this is the time to get creative. You know what your partner wants.
·                    Play your favorite music and go down memory lane.
·                    Hold hands whenever you can to let your partner know that things have not changed.
·                    Tell him you love him when he least expects it.
·                    If you are ill, but still able to walk, do as much as you can in the house.
·                    Discuss the possibility of trying new techniques you are comfortable with.

Fun activities the whole family can enjoy

Family fun works at its best when there is something in it for everyone. Whether it is winter or summer, there are the museums to visit and the dinosaurs; you are getting fresh air traveling back and forth, but spending time indoors as well as outdoors. It is beneficial for some of your activities to take into account spending time outdoors and getting some Vitamin D protection; also good for fresh air to get into the lungs. If there are three kids who all have their own ideas, sit down with mom and dad at the table to decide where to go.

Outdoor activities with benefits

·                    The zoo is always good as kids love animals and parents are curious and have fun too. Do not feed the animals as they will overfeed; they might also lash out at you through the metal bars. It is a good activity as you walk around to the different pens and get exercise and fresh air. Bonus for parents? Yes, the kids will be tired when they get home and will have a good night’s sleep.
·                    Another outdoor activity if there is fresh snow is to put on your all-weather jacket and build a snowman together. Mom and dad can participate. You can throw snow balls at one another.
·                    The family can go together to the skating rink and have fun. They will meet their friends on the frozen rink and have time to spend some time together as most times during snowy weather people stay indoors.
·                    If the weather is cold, but not snowing yet, the family can also go for a walk. Stay away from frozen-over lakes where there are iffy patches and you might crack the surface of the ice and fall in.
·                    Go surfing down the hill if there is enough snow and your parents allow it.

Indoor activities with benefits

There are enough indoor activities the whole family can enjoy and ones you probably have already incorporated into your life:

1                    Do you have a movie night where the children can pick the movie and the kids help you make the popcorn? If you haven’t done this already, select a night where you will regularly turn up and watch a film the whole family can enjoy.
2                    Play a computer game or a board game everyone can participate in. To avoid your kids playing too many computer games, set a time limit of one or two hours, and then switch it off.
3                    Pack a great picnic lunch with roast chicken and salad and have a treat eating in the park. Don’t throw the chicken bones around; some dog will snatch it up and the bones might get stuck in his throat.
4                    Go for rides at the local fair in summer and choose rides which are safe for kids your age. Accompany your kids on these rides.
5                    Throw a Frisbee in the park and let the dog be part of it.
6                    Go together to church; a family who prays together stay together.

Tribute to a friend

When death interrupts life

Are we ever ready for death? Has anyone ever said to the Angel of Death, “take me, take me, I am ready to go?” We are not ready for the diagnosis, and we are not ready to accept the inevitable until it happens. And so it came about on February 29th, a leap year, a warm and wonderful day when the flowers were in bloom, the birds were chirring, and death visited the family after three in the afternoon. Everyone was shocked. Muhamad was in his fifties. He was young still. He had lots to live for. How could it be? 

The machinations of a Muslim funeral

When someone dies in the Muslim community, special machinery springs into action. The message of death is relayed faster than the internet and within an hour everyone has heard the news – Muslim radio and other means – and dropping everything they are busy with to get into their robes and scarves to make their way over to the family of the deceased. The kafan – white linen death robe and planks – must be bought and the necessary burial permit has to be obtained. The body has to be washed by male toekamandies who has to prepare the deceased for death. Within an hour of the announcement of Mohamed’s passing, the house and grounds were packed with almost four hundred people. They had all come to pay their last respects to a dear friend; people who were neighbors, family, friends, workers, colleagues. 

Wonderful friend

Muhamad died late in the afternoon. According to Muslim custom he had to be buried on the same day. We dropped what we were doing and headed over to the house where the cars were already starting to line up. There is an old Muslim saying that you can tell whether a man had any friends by the number of people who came to his funeral. The scene on Rosmead Avenue was akin to walking in the streets of Mecca; black robes were everywhere. Muhamad had indeed had many friends.

It is eye-opening to watch up close the speed and dignity afforded to the deceased at the time of death. That afternoon he had been Mohamed; now he was referred to as the mayyit or the deceased. It had all happened so fast. And so fast it will be for all of us. We will be here one minute, and then we will be gone. Fare well my friend, we will meet again with the Will of God.