Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Hello?  HELLO?!  Is Anybody Up There?

While sitting early Friday in the dermatologist's parking lot waiting for my 7:10 a.m. appointment, I snapped this.  A marvelous sunrise as this often catches me off guard.  So overwhelming.  So thought provoking.

We're taught or at least I was that up there . . . way up there, is heaven.  It's where all the good people go.  Naturally when I look up to marvel the heavens I think about Mom, Dad, Grandma Nellie, Wifey's mom and dad and wonder if they're up there watching down on who's left to mind the home fires.  I did that Friday.  I thought - - - Hello?  Anyone home up there?  Can you see me?  What are you thinking?

Do you do that?  Do you think anyone is home?

While I sat and enjoyed the sunrise onn Friday I remembered the words of my father-in-law when I suggested to him at age 67 to get a comprehensive health check.  After pondering my suggestion for what seemed to be forever he put on that shit ass eating grin of his and responded with, "And then what?"

Me;  And then what?  Then what would be that if there was an issue you'd be taken care of.  You've often said that you'd live to be more than 80, probably 90.  Getting a physical is one way to do that.

Father-in-law:  And then what?

Six months later he died of a heart attack on the steps of South Lake Tahoe's Little Harvey's Casino and Inn.

And then what . . . came into focus.   He had always done life on his terms.  He died living his terms and being in complete control of all that was around him.  He didn't want what came with the results of a physical exam that called for a heart by-pass or something like that and lose control.   Plain and simple.  Father-in-law was never a good patient for any physician.  Why would he want to start at age 67?  And he didn't.

Spending half a day a week ago in the hospital brought "And then what?" to mind.   The place is like a little shop of horrors.  You know what I mean.  I blew the whistle that something seemed wrong "And then what?" earned me a visit to the hospital.  The old boy knew just that - - - and before answering the question of "And then what" deeply thought about what life saving steps would mean to him.   A little shop of horrors.    Was it worth it?  If something went wrong during surgery, "And then what?"

I guess it comes down to weighing going through an ordeal in the name of living longer or just taking the "fuck it" way out and let the chips fall where they may.  Either way the question will remain the same for both scenarios:  And then what?

You often hear people mention that they want to die doing something they enjoy.  Like the mountain climber who ventures onto a shaky ledge when he should have taken the longer way around it - - - only to have it collapse pitching him into a 2,000 foot head long dive onto the valley floor.   At a ripe old age why not go out doing what you love to do instead of being tortured in the little shop of horrors.

Me?  I'll go out doing what I love.   Struck by lightning while sailing in an electrical storm.  I've been known to do things like that.   If nothing else I will be fully charged . . . ready for the big journey into the unknown.

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Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States