With Renata de Dios

Man without a compass

Everyone, every body on this grain of sand in our infinite Universe is at the mercy of a microscopic mystery bug that kills thousands and potentially millions of people.

Everyone on earth, from tradesmen to nurses to movie stars, can become infected. Death is on everyone’s mind. We need courage and a boundless spirit of togetherness and humanity to survive this.

People of a certain age who live alone are the most vulnerable. They face not only the virus but the despair and stress of being alone. They fear being stricken with no one to help them, or even know they are gravely ill. They could be lying on the floor of their house for days before someone might decide to check on them.

This is a desperately lonely dilemma for them. They need someone to look after them, or at least be aware of their existence and look in on them at times like this. But that may never happen. People have their own lives and deaths to worry about.

A man in his seventies recently lost his wife and over the years has lost his son and two brothers. He has no family left. He is one of those people who could collapse with no one in the house to call for help, or anyone, in fact, who might think to check in on him from time to time because he has no friends in his isolated world.

Then, not long ago, a friend of his deceased wife from thirty years ago contacted him with her condolences and they have kept in touch. She says she is a messenger from God. Her very name, Renata de Dios, means “Born again of God.” She came out of the past to help this man of little to no faith.

His wife, being raised Catholic was a believer, and when he held her hand in Intensive Care as she lay dying, that was a consolation to him. And throughout the past thirteen months since her death he has prayed, in his own faltering way, for a sign from her or from her God that she is “somewhere” now and not lost forever in an oblivion of emptiness. But he has never received the slightest sensation of any communion with her or felt even a hint of her presence in his lowly bungalow.

Renata de Dios persevered. During their many telephone conversation she has tried to direct him to the “road to God.” He doesn’t rebuff her or her faith but he doesn’t embrace it. He tells her it’s not like a light switch you can suddenly turn on. You have to feel it in your heart. You have to believe it.

Once, a few weeks back, he actually set out on the road to God, only to lose his way and wander off into another wilderness of despair.

The guy seems like a hopeless case, but Renata de Dios keeps trying. What have you got to lose? she said. Give it another shot, I’m here for you, I’ll guide you.

What will this man do? What would you do? Stay tuned for the next episode of Man Without a Compass.

18 thoughts on “Man without a compass

  1. So so good you made this decision and I admire you for your courage. I’m far from you, I know, but I’m here to read you. Best wishes.

    1. Olga, thank you — and I am so glad you are out there for lost souls like me — except today, for the first time in more than a year, I don’t feel so lost. Lost has been found!

      1. This is really wonderful news. Thank you so much for sharing it, Bill. It is inspiring and helps others to keep trying as hard and painful as it may be.

  2. Billy, Renata could be God’s answer to your prayers, or her presence in your life could have been Susan’s way of doing magic from somewhere. We would never know for sure the reason behind a happening. And the matter that you never sense any message from Susan or a God doesn’t mean they are not being there all the time, accompanying you and blessing you.

    I don’t have a religion, but somehow I believe in the power of prayers. Pray, Billy Boy, keep praying to a God of your own choosing (for me, a Buddhism ‘God’ seems feel more approachable to me). Whatever God/intelligence you feel right for you, pray to it with unconditional faith, trusting that whatever manifest (even those appearing to be ‘bad’ things at first glance) are part of your God’s way of working toward of fulfilling your prayers … We’ve got nothing to lose after all.

    We don’t have to wait for scientific evidence in order to believe in an omnipresent intelligence. The reality that we need a God in everyday life to render us strength and peace is a reason/evidence strong enough for me to believe in one. Or let’s put it this way – we have the power to make ourselves believe in anything we want to believe.

    The first step is stop using our critical thinking to fight with our desperate need for a God. Just surrender, Billy, surrender to the reality that we are powerless, that everything is preordained, that the only thing we could do is nothing but pray. Even if no one answers to our prayers at the moment, we would at least have the moments of peace when we pray.

    You’re right, everyone has their own suffering and potential death to worry about. Think it this way, we are all alone, and everyone will eventually die alone – even if someone is surrounded with family, he/she would still be the one lying alone on his/her deathbed. Don’t be afraid, Billy Boy, we are not alone in this sense, just accept the lonely reality as a fact of life.

    The only way to feel less alone is to cultivate a God/intelligence as our imaginary friend, who is with us all the time, sitting next to you on your breakfast table, bathing with you in your shower stall, staggering with you trying not to fall down to the floor, and certainly will be lying together with you in your last moment … Whenever you feel fearful and lonely, pray to this imaginary friend.

    That’s just the way I see it, and I am sharing it with you, hope you don’t mind. Billy, remember we are all alone yet not alone.

    1. Wow! Dot, there are so many great thoughts and statements in your reply that I could address individually, but this little reply space wouldn’t do justice to your response to my post, which is a post in itself. You’re right: the Catholic God, the Buddha, Imaginary Friend, Whom- or Whatever, is all One with the Universe and we tiny beings need that spiritual companionship — a bodyguard of sorts against the tragedies of life. As you said so well, “The reality that we need a God in everyday life to render us strength and peace is a reason/evidence strong enough…to believe…”
      As for Renata being the answer to my prayers, let me slightly edit a phrase from a popular English poem (loosely drawn from the Bible): “Susan works in mysterious ways.”
      Thank you, Dot, for your words and your insight, you’re a wonderful presence in this our ethereal communion. Billy.

      1. Billy, before I go to bed, I want to share another thought with you: I know when we feel isolated, we crave for physical togetherness with people, but let’s also not forget relationships can be the biggest source of stresses, especially for introverts who need lots of personal space, who are inclined to have stronger critical thinking than no thoughts, who can’t stand pointless chitchat and small talks … Your situation is actually in better shape than many others – you have sharp mind, you have intellectual curiosity, you have creative outlet, you have financial independence, you have a roof over your head … and you are not too old.

        I remember I read somewhere about an old man who started training for his first marathon when he’s 89 years old and ran many marathons ever since until he’s 105. And the former Prime Minister of Malaysia was 92 when he ran for the position for the second time and got elected to serve until he’s 94. And I believe there are many more examples we just don’t know.

        Living alone in old age is not all bad. Having quiet and peace is many people’s dream and not all of them get. Hire help for certain household chores if you can afford. And the most important thing is to make your legs stronger to reduce chances of falling down. Doing squats is the best way to strengthen your legs. Hold on to a chair and start from doing 20 repeats on the first day, then gradually increase the numbers.

        That’s what came to my mind and I thought it might worth sharing … Good night, Billy Boy🦉

      2. Dot, thank you for the compliments, and I will try those leg exercises starting tomorrow — falling is a problem, I fell down the other night, luckily missing the corner of the coffee table.
        Good night to you, wherever you are. B.

      3. Billy, it must be Susan watching over you the other night. She would want you to do the leg exercises starting today, and every day. Also remember to pray pray pray to your imaginary friend, that omnipresent Intelligence, whenever you feel in need of mental strength. Dot 🐞

      4. OK, Dot, at noon today I did 20 leg pushups or whatever they’re called and tomorrow I’ll do 15, maybe 20 — it’s more strenuous than I thought. As for prayer, I’m praying for Susan and myself and I’m praying for what Abe Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature” to prevail over the ugly violence in supermarkets by panicked shoppers. Enjoy SUNday.

      5. Billy, how about you push that coffee table out of the way, so that its corner wouldn’t potentially get in your way again? Also, when you get up in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning, maybe sit on the edge of the bed for a moment before standing up, so you wouldn’t get dizzy … All right, just a thought 🍅

      6. Good idea about the coffee table, I wouldn’t have thought of that. I do sit on the edge of the bed for awhile before standing because I’ve had a couple of vertigo episodes. You know what, Dot, you’re a sweetheart for caring about me. You have a caring heart and a brilliant mind. How lucky I am to have happened upon your website.

      7. I am lucky to get to learn from you too, Billy. I suspected you might have vertigo because you’re the tall skinny type. You have to boost up your appetite and eat more protein – eggs, lean meat, tofu. And you can use more sunlight, vitamin D is essential for bone density. As long as you have sufficient calcium, it wouldn’t be too big a deal even if falling down … Billy, be strong.

  3. Hey Mich, remember me, your old bud in loss, here in Alaska? Our Ladies “Susan”…..Well brother I have survived another winter, mostly by doing the sad job of going through all of my lady’s left behind stuff, she had a lot of stuff, so the Salvation Army is happy…..Speaking of Alone, when my lady passed I sat alone for 40 + days, ate not one bite of food, drank a lot, lost 15 lbs, until a neighbor thought to stop in and check on me, brought a bowl of soup, and said :Hey George, is this what Susan would have wanted you to do, I don’t think so.” So I am slowly getting back on my feet. Her kids put me through another kind of hell, threatening me with eviction, cutting off my phone, cancelling my car insurance, constantly e-mailing me with threat after threat, this from the kids that could never bother to come and visit their mother here, I paid her way twice to go and visit them, sent them Christmas cards with a nice check, year after year, and they treated me like shit. I finally had to hire a lawyer to get rid of them. So now I am pretty alone, at peace, with a few good neighbors and a few friends who take me as I am. The trick to being alone is “Above all, remain friends with yourself.” I play my drums most nights, no stupid T.V. or other distractions. My water froze up in Nov. so I have been melting snow and ice for wash-water, and I have a friend who brings me 6 gallon jugs of drinking water, life in Alaska, and everyday I thank God for bringing me to live in this beautiful place on Earth…..Peace, Brother in sorrow & loss….George

    1. Hey there wild northern man hadnt hearse from you in a while wondered what happened glad to hear youre getting back on track lucky to have good neighbors and friends beats the hell out of isolation still drinking to my susan and you to yours

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