Friday, April 29, 2005

It's a terminal case

Let's face it, we're all terminal. None of us make it off this earth alive. It's just a matter of time before that egg you had for breakfast, or that steak you had last night reaches out and kills you. Maybe it will be the cigarette you smoke (I only smoked a little in college, and like billy, I didn't inhale) or the pick-up truck coming at you at you at over 100 miles an hour down a windy two lane road at just after mid-night. Or maybe it will be natural causes at the age of 126. But regardless, which one of these it is, we are all going to die.

Several things that have happened lately have made me realize that it's important for all of us to realize this. Or at least important for me to realize it. And we (I) need to be ready for it. I think I'm ready.

Mind you, I don't want to hurry the process along. Just like the country music song says, I want to live until I'm too old to die young (notice that everything relates to country music?). I have a lot of things I'd like to do while I'm here. I love my family and I want to spend time with them. I look forward to the day when I have grandchildren to play with. I consider it my personal responsibility to spoil them. I think God's gift to parents is seeing how much trouble they can help their grand-kids got into, how much they can get their grandkids to give their parents a hard time. I want to continue to learn while I'm here. That's why I'm going to school.

But eventually, the time will come to leave this all behind. When that time comes, I'm ready. I've raised three children and they've turned out ok. None of them has the perfect life I always dreamed they'd have, but then I don't have the perfect life I always dreamed I'd have. One of them is still young, but his feet are well planted and he's growing well. It doesn't take a crystal ball to see that he will do well. If I leave before he (or any of the others) is completely grown, there are enough loving people around to help him through the rough spots (are any of us ever completely grown?)

I have provided for my family financially. They won't live rich, but they can finish school and be prepared for the real world. After they've finished school they're on their own anyway. I plan to help as much as I can, but they're on their own at that point.

So when my time comes, it will come. I don't want anything major done to keep me around. Mind you, if I have a lot of years left, I expect work to be done. If I need a band-aid, put it on. If I need a shot, give it to me (I had morphine when I was in the hospital several years ago. I highly recommend it!). But if we're only prolonging the misery, I don't want the prolonging.

For the record, I have all of this documented in a legal terms. A lawyer drew up the papers a few years ago, I signed them, they're stored away. I hope that those that love me will love me enough to respect my wishes. There's no sense wasting a lot of time and money to try to change things.

I'll close with the words of an old Gospel tune that reflects my opinion:

This word is not my home, I'm just-a-passing through,
My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me, from heaven's open door,
and I'm just not welcome in this world anymore.

(Let's just hope they wait a while to beckon.....)

P.S. Any comments on this post or any other one of mine is welcome. In fact, I'd appreciate knowing that someone is reading it....