Having Hope

My Daddy once told me that unless a man had something useful to say, he should keep his mouth shut. As most of you realize if you know me, or have read my writing it’s obvious that I should keep my mouth shut most of the time. I just can’t help it though, useful or not I have to say what I think.

What I am opening my mouth (or keyboard literally) to talk about today is hope. That’s right, hope. I have to have it. It has to be there, like a piece of driftwood in the vast ocean when you are drowning. Something to grab hold of and stay afloat. My hope is for the future. The future in which I will be missing, but my children and grandchildren and whatever descendants that I may be blessed with (who will never know I existed,) will know.

Right now, it kind of looks bleak, and that is why I have to have hope. I don’t think there is any way that the members of my generation, the baby boomers, can fix the mess that we are in now. It’s not just one mess, but MANY different messes going on simultaneously which make things so complex.

There are the changing demographics of the entire world. People of different races and cultures are traveling far and wide in this day and age and settling in places their ancestors would never have imagined. As they do this, they become familiar with each other and one thing leads to another and you have relationships being built between these members of different races and cultures. Some still try to stick with their own cultures, but inevitably I believe will fail. The children of the future will all probably look like Tiger Woods and Mariah Carey. I think at some point there won’t be any black, yellow, red and white anymore. There will be one color and one international culture at some point. I don’t know how far in the future that this may occur, and I don’t know if mankind can keep from destroying each other first with nuclear weapons but if they can then that’s one thing I think will happen. It will be a huge challenge for our descendants who are at the “transitional” stage. (Or maybe that’s where we ARE now?) It could well be that the future inhabitants of this planet will “ease” into this situation so gradually that no one will ever know it’s happening until it’s upon them. I don’t think it will be a bad thing either. One of things that continually breeds discontent, distrust and war is the difference between people’s race and culture. If there IS not difference then they will have to find something else to fight about. Maybe they won’t be able to.

There is the quickly changing face of technology. I would have NEVER in my wildest dreams as a child imagined the world as it is today. There have been so many advances in the last 50 years that it makes the 1950’s seem like the Stone Ages. What we take for granted every day now, would have seemed like a trick of magic back then. Computers will continue to advance and now that robotics IS actually taking off like Isaac Asimov thought it would, our descendants can look forward to a world where the physical part of living will become easier and easier.

There will be issues that come up, ethical issues, which will challenge the very core of the morals of our society. What about a computer program that can store the “essence” of a person on a program, and come up with a “virtual” person who is exactly like the person who is dying. Anyone ever seen the movie “Freejack” with old Mick Jagger? That’s science fiction still, BUT so was Jules Verne back in the late 19th century. It may not be that a person’s “essence” can be stored on a computer and then put back into another person’s body. I am not sure it will ever get to that point. BUT to create a “virtual” person with the knowledge and character of a real live person is but a few steps away from becoming a reality. You can “store” Grandma or Grandpa on the handy dandy virtual person program, and pull them up to talk to any time you want. How would you like that? Kind of a spooky thought isn’t it? Yet, right now people who play the high tech computer games that generate “characters” to play through (the avatar type games) are already interacting in a very close knit way with these “quasi-people.” You can give them character traits, physical characteristics, and other things which make them “almost” seem human. It’s only a few steps away until you can do the same thing with your dear Uncle Bob, believe me. Soulless, yes. Interaction there will be. There could also be a use for this type of program to reduce overpopulation, in that people who are not allowed, or don’t want to have a “real” live child, can have a virtual child which they can “raise” from a baby all the way up through adulthood. The cost would be quite a bit cheaper to raise this type of “child” too.

Medically speaking, the people who can make it 20 or 30 more years are likely to be able to live practically as long as they want. With the research and discoveries in genetics that are now taking place, it won’t be long until the genes that cause “aging” as we know it, will be discovered and neutralized. People who are well off enough financially will be able to benefit from this expensive technology and beat “the system” Dick Cheney may actually still be here in the year 2100! Hmmm…?

I think that many diseases which afflict people such as cancer, heart disease, and all the big killers will be beaten. People will have to be run over by a Fire Truck in order to die. That’s about the only thing which will do it. However, I am sure there will be a lot of volunteers to be “uploaded” into the computer program which I mentioned in the previous paragraph. After all, who REALLY wants to live forever? And you probably will still have the old aches and pains that won’t go away. (Maybe not, they may have something for that too) Besides, you might be able to do things on that computer program you could NEVER do in real life, like fight dragons, or fly. That would be a hoot, right?

I wonder if people will still be able to go out and have a juicy steak or a lobster, or if everyone will have to eat those little pills like the one that Willy Wonka invented that turned Violet, well…purple I guess. Hopefully, he will have perfected them by then and we won’t have to go somewhere and have the juice squeeze out of us.

I kind of wonder too if space travel will advance to the point where we will be actually sending people out on missions to other galaxies. Will the episodes of Star Trek, The Next Generation be a reality or a near reality at least? If we can tear enough money away from the government’s efforts at exterminating people in other countries, we may be able to give some of it back to the space program and find out!

Our Amazing Planet

I heard on the radio last week about a scientist who was going around the Oceans of the world, and taking samples of the water and testing it for microorganisms. Turns out, he was finding thousands of new ones that nobody knew existed. (I have simplified this, if you want to read the complicated version go to NPR.org) You would probably not really be surprised by that, but at about the same time they announced they had discovered a new breed of big cat in the jungles of Borneo…a new kind of Leopard! Amazing!

If you can think about life itself, and you are NOT amazed, then I think something is wrong. I never CEASE to be amazed every day, and every night by the life all around me on this planet. My curiosity about whether or not there is life like what we have in other parts of the Universe is so high! I wish there was a way to find out.

To think that we live on a planet that abounds with SO much life, all the way from those tiny microorganisms to the beautiful deep jungle Leopards is mind boggling. We read and hear about how life IS endangered and will BE endangered by such things as human overpopulation, wars, Global warming, threats from interstellar disasters such a huge meteors and comets…and it sometimes makes it seem as if all life is going to cease to exist. But, I don’t think so. I think this planet; this Mother Earth is one of a kind.

I think that if we could somehow look a billion years into the future of our planet that there would still be life here. Life IS fragile, but for some reason THIS particular planet was created to foster and nurture life, like no other one. (That we know of anyway)

So, I think that life will find a way. I hope that it is HUMAN life that continues to find a way. I pray that we can grow past the point where we have to solve our problems through war, murder and all other types of bad ways that humanity has invented over the past ever how many thousands of years. If we can do this… perhaps when that billion year point comes, WE will be reaching out to those other stars and galaxies that we stand in awe of every night when we look up into the sky and WE can bring peaceful life to those places that don’t already have it.

That would be a wonderful thing wouldn’t it?

My Pet Squirrel

THE DAY THE SQUIRREL WENT BERSERK

Grandpa chopped down an old rotten Elm tree which was near the edge of his drive. The first frost had already fallen and it was a late September day, if my memory serves me right. The year was 1960 and I was nearing my tenth birthday. I was standing up on the front porch and watched as the big old tree fell down from a precisely placed last strike of the ax from Grandpa. There were no chain saws around back then, just the two person cross cut saw which my Dad had helped Grandpa with, and his sharp ax. That tree was going to become fodder for the old iron wood burning stove with the two eyes on top. That huge old glutton of wooden food could take five or six big logs and then turn orange red on the outside as it burned blazing hot in my Grandparent’s living room. You dare not touch it when it was freshly stoked or you would suffer a nasty burn. All of us grandchildren learned from an early age “not to touch the stove”

The tree came down and I noticed my Dad peering curiously into one of the sections of the tree and then reaching in and picking something up. He looked up at the porch and hollered for me to come down there. I came running and was amazed to see Dad holding a little squirming furry bundle. It was a baby squirrel. He gave it to me and told me to hold onto the squirmy little rodent. It appeared to be about half grown, and was pretty ambulatory and quite unhappy to have literally “fallen” into it’s current situation. Grandma happened to have a tall cardboard box at the house, so I ran up and put the little fur ball into it. It was too tiny to jump out the top, and so there it stayed in its first home away from its family. We were at my Grandparent’s house for a few more days and I played with that squirrel for hours every day. Much to my Grandpa and Dad’s surprise, the squirrel started to “tame up” and actually began to eat a variety of foods, including left over cornbread. Its little tummy would poke out after every meal.

On the way home in the car, I let the little rascal climb around inside my shirt. He didn’t offer to bite me, but those sharp little claws did more than just tickle on a couple of occasions.

Once we got him home, Dad acquired a metal cage from somebody. It was like a small chicken coop and the only way to keep the squirrel in securely was with a stretch spring which Daddy had gotten from the mill. That spring had to be pulled tight and latched on one of the crossbars of the cage every time we got the little rascal in and out of the cage. He always loved to run around inside my shirt and as the weeks went by, he learned to do it with just a tickle and without using those sharp little claws to “dig in” and hurt.

As he matured, our little pet gray squirrel became a true track star. He would run all over the house, up and down the furniture and jumping onto the light fixtures much to my Mom’s consternation. He was pretty tame with me, but he began to bite anyone else who tried to feed him. I got really attached to the little critter but it became apparent to even my ten year old self that he wasn’t really a happy camper. Wild animals like this just are not meant to be kept in a cage.

The end of his tenure at our house came abruptly. I was trying to hook the sharp ended spring into its place on the cage one day, and it slipped and raked across the meaty part of my hand causing a nasty cut. I hollered and bled for a while and Mom decided, against my protests that my furry friend had to go.

My Dad gave the squirrel and the cage to one of my cousins. A couple of months later Dad told me that the little feller had choked on a piece of orange (yep…it like fruit) and had died. I was heartbroken for a few days, but as children will do, I soon forgot my pet squirrel and started thinking about baseball cards, or comic books, or some other childish thing.

I have always liked squirrels since then, even though I know they are pesky little creatures who like to gobble up my bird food. I don’t begrudge them their bite though because I know those little dudes are voracious eaters. I look out the window at them jumping around like acrobats and I can sometimes still feel a little tickle inside my shirt. It was a short but worthwhile relationship between a nerdy kid and a furry rodent.

Fall- As a Child

I recall as a child, the Fall was my favorite season of the year. It’s entrancing beauty, the just right temperatures, the first fresh frost of the year, which made the ‘skeeters and other bugs disappear and most of all, fall as a prelude to the wonderful holiday season.

I remember the Halloweens when we could go house to house and never worry about having to check our candy….except for this one old lady who lived over on sixth street. She would hand out marshmallows with hot peppers stuck down in them! We always just threw them away, and sometimes we would come back and throw a roll of toilet paper around in her yard.

The peace officers patrolled the town and just kept an eye out to make sure nobody was throwing eggs at cars or houses. They didn’t have to worry very much about somebody shooting at them, or having to shoot somebody. The peace officers carried guns, but they seldom ever saw use.

Onward we went from the wonderful candy collecting day to Thanksgiving with Macy’s parade, and a ton of roasted turkey. Most of the time here in the south the dressing was “pan” made. I never even had any stuffing in a turkey until after Paula and I were married. It was a great day. Out of school for a long weekend, and lots of football games. Then on from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

I don’t have time to write all the things I would like to about that wonderful season, perhaps one day soon I will.

I think back now, over these 66 years. My memory is a little spotty, but still good. I think how much I have enjoyed all of the Autumns I have lived. I think how much I have loved all the people who I am so close to, who are on this wonderful journey with me through life.

I think our lives and the way we live them are like reflecting pools. We see in others the good we want to see in ourselves…the good we have in ourselves, and we act accordingly with love. Either that, or we look at others and see reflected back the hatred or dislike that we feel for ourselves, and act accordingly with something which is less than love.

I damn sure wish I could wave a magic wand and have everyone feel the love for life, the love for my family and my few friends, which I feel when the first cold breeze of Autumn rolls in….I wish…

I know I can’t, and I never will be able to do so. I cannot express myself well enough to change the things about myself I badly need to change, but…at least I can see those things and realize them. If I have a problem with changing myself, how can I impose my imperfect will, or my imperfect opinions on other people? That would be a sign of self righteousness which it is very too late in life to try and enter into.

Enjoy the first cold breezes of Autumn tomorrow. Try to show some love. I’m going to try, and that’s all I can do.

Premonitions

I don’t usually pay much attention to premonitions, or thoughts of that sort. Not usually. This past week, a week ago today, we were driving down to Gulf Shores. I’ve been here quite a bit over the years with my family. Not too bad of a drive and a pretty nice beach. Somewhere along the way, I started thinking back. I thought about it being nearly my sixty fifth birthday, and I started thinking about the first time I had ever gone to the beach almost exactly 50 years ago, when I was fifteen.

It was a trip to Panama City Beach. Back in the days of two lane roads and long, long hours to get there. I was unprepared for the awesome vastness and beauty of the ocean. I loved it immediately. We spent a lot of time during that vacation in the water, body surfing and swimming. We went deep sea fishing and I caught the largest fish on the boat and won the “dollar pot” for the day. A thirty three pound red grouper. I still have the photo of me somewhere holding up that fish. I won 46 dollars and for a fifteen year old boy, that was a bunch of money.

We went to the beach with our neighbors the Browns. Michael Brown was one of my best friends from childhood and we hung out a lot. We had a great time that year. Met some girls our age, listened to music, danced. Now….that entire family is gone. Mother, Father, sister and brother. Mom and Dad are gone too. I guess out of all of the people who went on that first trip to the beach with us only me, my brother and my first cousin Judy are the ones left living. Many, many years under the bridge, but oh how fast they have flown. But I remember that first glimpse of the beach and the beautiful snow white sand, and the deep blue ocean. I remember it so well.

But back to the premonition.

As we were driving and I was thinking off this first time I had gone to the beach I was struck by the feeling that this trip we were going on now would be my last trip. I don’t know why or where the thought came from. It was just something out of the blue and I tried for a couple of hours to shake it off. I finally did get it out of my head and had a great time this year, a wonderful time with my family. Not all of them were there, but a lot of us. We had a wonderful place to stay thanks to Ted’s talent in finding great places. My sons were great to me and their Mom.

Eli and I had fun, heck Eli had the most fun of anyone I believe. And it was Baby Evie’s first vacation ever. So special.

So I shook off the premonition, but it came back to dwell over me on the way home, and after we got here, like Charlie Brown’s little black rain cloud which follows him around every where.

I think perhaps it may just be because my 65th birthday is fast approaching. Maybe because I had just recently visited Mom and Dad and taken Rue and Eli over there. Perhaps just my realization of how quickly the years pass, and of my own mortality. Perhaps it was just all of these things combined with a few more little factors which I have been brooding on lately which caused these thoughts to single in on me. I hope that’s just it. Because I really do love these family vacations and the time with my loved ones. These memories are what life is comprised of, and no amount of money could replace them in our hearts. They are our life.

I’ll be really careful this coming year, because come next October I want to prove these feeling wrong and go motoring down the road again to the beautiful white sands and deep blue ocean. I have this year’s memories to tide me over until then.

Why you Gotta be so Mean?

When you look at people who are mean, or mean spirited, you have to wonder…why?

Mean, as an adjective is defined as follows:

———————————————-

Mean

mēn/

adjective

adjective: mean; comparative adjective: meaner; superlative adjective: meanest

1.

unwilling to give or share things, especially money; not generous.

“she felt mean not giving a tip”

synonyms: miserly, niggardly, close-fisted, parsimonious, penny-pinching, cheeseparing, Scroogelike; More

informal, tightfisted, stingy, tight, mingy, money-grubbing, cheap;

formal-penurious

“he’s too mean to leave a tip”h

antonyms: generous, munificent

2.

unkind, spiteful, or unfair.

“it was very mean of me”

synonyms: unkind, nasty, unpleasant, spiteful, malicious, unfair, cruel, shabby, foul, despicable, contemptible, obnoxious, vile, odious, loathsome, base, low; More

informal, horrible, horrid, hateful, rotten, lowdown;

beastly

“a mean trick”

antonyms: kind

NORTH AMERICAN:

vicious or aggressive in behavior.

“the dogs were considered mean”

————————————————-

That’s a lot to take in I know. The actual thing about a person being mean, as opposed to being kind is that for the most part…it’s a conscious choice to be mean. People actually know it most of the time when they are being mean. At the very least, they highly suspect it, but don’t care.

As long as you’re not being mean to your own particular “group, clik, or associates” …well that makes it ok, doesn’t it? It’s ok to be mean to those who don’t look like you, think like you, act like you, are beneath your social class, are not as educated as you, or with whom you generally just don’t have anything in common.

It doesn’t count if you’re just a little bit mean to them.

It’s just my opinion, but I think it’s the one thing which is the most wrong with our country and our world.

I’ve been guilty of being mean. We all have. But I think more and more how much easier it is just to be kind. I want to try harder not to be mean.

It’s certainly a battle we all have to fight every day.

But I think it’s worth it. I think the world would be better for it.

The Ghost

This is as pertinent, maybe even more so, than when I first wrote and posted it three short years ago.

The Ghost.

The ghost always seems to come upon me when my eyes, unwilling to close in sleep, because after all there are only so many hours left, and as my Grandma said “I’ll catch up on my sleep when I die” but yes the ghost comes drifting in like smoke off a cigarette into my sleepy eyes. It’s not insomnia, just the unwillingness to give in to the “the little death”

It looks like I would have been a drinker, and could have mellowed out and drifted off because after all the drink is in my blood something fierce, but I never give into it, never even finishing the samples they dole out at Olive Garden. I was drunk a couple of times in my early youthful days and just hated it, detested the loss of control while all the while knowing I was the fool.

So I write, I peck away. Trying to coax and coach myself into thinking of something worth saying because after all a writer defeats nothing more than an empty page or a blank line at the top of the page saying “what’s on your mind?” Well damn plenty is on my mind, but half nobody would want to hear and the other 50% just trivial. So I very much wish to wake up tomorrow after sleeping oh so gently to find this device laying on my chest in bed again with the cover open, hunting for something to fill the blank page, and to frighten the ghost away.

How I was Raised

I was raised with bare incandescent lightbulbs in fixtures that had little chains affixed to them. You had to pull the chain to turn the lights on and off. If one of them stayed on a while and you touched it, woe unto you. A burned finger might be the outcome.

I remember my Mother’s first washing machine. The tub was automatic, and it ran off electricity, but you had to put the clothes through the top part to wring the water out by hand, turning the crank. Mom hung the clothes out on a clothesline using wooden clothespins to keep them up. I loved the smell of the clothes on the line as the breeze shimmied by, the faint odor of bleach on the white bedsheets, accentuated by the warm sun.

I used to listen every afternoon at four o’ clock for the giant air whistle at the mill to loudly signal that first shift was over, and then I’d run out and look down sixth street, watching for Daddy to come walking up that hill towards home. Most of the time to sit down at our little round, Formica top table to a meal of pintos, fried taters and cornbread.

I think now, I’m glad I was there then, at that time and that place with those people. I think now, I’m so lucky to have subsequently found the other friends and family with whom I have shared this life. Every direction in which I have turned there has always been someone there for me….with me.

I think now, there are still memories to be made and happiness to be shared. New relationships to nurture, and different paths to walk. There is always change. That’s the one thing you can count on.

The Dawgs and the Tide

The Dawgs and the Tide

My Daddy and I went fishing up by the Trion dam one day back in early October of 1965. It was kind of a cloudy, cool sort of day, but we were going bass fishing.

It had been a summer of good fishing at the river. For some reason there were a lot of nice size bass in the Chattooga river back that summer and they were biting. Daddy usually used a “black worm” lure to try and entice those fish to bite. These were made to look like spring lizards.

All the old “millworker” guys back in my youthful day were pretty good fishermen. My Daddy Gaines “Tarp” Bowers, and my Uncle James “Pinky” Bowers were two of the best fishermen I ever knew. Uncle Pink was so good, he could practically talk a fish onto the line. They were raised during the depression when an empty line might mean you didn’t eat meat that night, so they had to be good. I was never able to get anywhere near their level as a fisherman, but then again I had never seen a day where I didn’t at least have “beans and taters” in the pot, along with some brown crusted, tender on the inside cornbread.

The water up next to the dam was clear and had some deep pools where those bass would lay around and wait for food to come by. Daddy owned a 1960 Ford Fairlane back then. I loved that old car. It had a sleek look, with the big old fins spreading out at the back and a grill that looked like the car had a huge perpetual grin. Ours was this weird green color. I don’t know where the Ford designers came up with the idea for that paint, but to make up for it, it also had a 292 V-8 motor which would run as fast as you wanted to go.

Daddy parked as close to the dam as possible and left the radio on, with the volume turned up as high as it would go. It was the day of the Alabama –vs-Georgia football game, and my Daddy was a Bulldog fan.

Alabama had been National champions the year before and Daddy didn’t think that Georgia had much of chance, but it was the first game of the year and he wasn’t going to miss the chance to hear it, even while bass fishing. Joe Willie Namath had led them in 1964, and in 1965 it was Ken Stabler.

Georgia drew first blood with a field goal and then an interception brought them to a 10-0 lead. The fishing poles had been put up by then in the back of the ever grinning Fairlane, and Daddy and I were sitting in the front seat listening to the game. Alabama made a comeback, and were ahead by 17-10 late in the game. “Dang it, they are gonna’ lose it” Daddy said. But then came “that play.”

Georgia quarterback Kirby Moore threw a pass to Pat Hodgson, who was quickly surrounded by defenders, but…he had inexplicably thrown the ball out to a running back named Taylor, who caught the ball in full stride and ran it into the end zone for a touchdown. My Daddy was whooping and hollering so loud that it echoed off the stone walls of the old dam. A tie against the reigning National Champs would be as good as a win! But Coach Vince Dooley wasn’t going to settle for a tie. He called for a two point conversion, and in the ensuing play Pat Hodgson caught another pass from Kirby Moore for two points and a miracle win against Alabama. The “flea flicker” play and the two point conversation had taken down the mighty Crimson Tide! This time after the play, I was whooping and hollering right along with Daddy. Two Georgia boys sitting in a funny green colored Ford fairlane, alone at the end of a little dirt road, at a tiny dam on an insignificant river…..feeling like lottery winners.

Alabama went on to win the National Championship again that year and Georgia ended up losing three games. It didn’t matter though.

I was 14 years old, two weeks away from becoming 15, and my Daddy was 37 years old that year. I remember it like it was yesterday.

Georgia and Alabama are playing a game in Athens again this year this coming weekend, and I may have to listen to it on the radio since we may be on the road. I don’t know what the outcome will be, but I will remember that day in 1965, and cherish it.

Fear of Heights

I’m afraid of heights. I also don’t like flying. I don’t like big crowds and speaking in front of a group of people terrifies me. Funny how things that are simple and basic to some people make other peoples knees turn to jelly.

I don’t know where a lot of these fears came from. Some of them have just developed over the years. Some fears we have always harbored. I have always been afraid of death. I never even wanted to think about it until the last few years. It’s a subject that most of us definitely want to avoid. I think sometimes we feel like if we talk about it, it might jinx us and we will end up on the “mortar board” at some funeral home before the days out. Also, it’s a pretty depressing subject to broach. Nobody wants to be depressed, so nobody talks about it. I can’t remember the first time I thought about it, and was scared. I think it was when I was about four years old. Really, it’s true. As a little kid when I should have been thinking about playing cowboys and Indians, I was mulling over the great unknown. It’s been a bummer over the years.

Lately, I have come to the conclusion that by talking about death maybe we can make it less scary. I am not as afraid of it as I used to be. It’s not the little kid fear of going to hell and burning up in a blazing fire type fear anymore. It’s more of just an apprehension of something unknown. It’s a disappointment that I might not be around to see my loved ones complete most of their journey that they have started. It’s the conversations and contact with my family that I don’t want to give up. The touches and looks of people you love, and who love you. Most of all, it turns out that it’s a selfish thing. Imagine that. I have so many selfish reasons for living that I don’t want to die and give them all up.

I don’t want to give up the beautiful sunny days like the one we had today. I don’t want to give up the good books that I enjoy reading every day. I don’t want to give up discussions with friends, eating out in great restaurants, the rain in my face, rolling up a Snowman. I don’t want to give up Christmas, or New Years. I don’t want to give up the hope of a #1 finish for the Dawgs, or the Falcons. I don’t want to give up seeing my grandchildren play ball, or band, or graduate from School….

But, it’s not what we want that we get is it?

There are so many theories and theological thesis about what happens to us after we die. It’s hard to pin one down and stick with it. One thing that I can assure you though is that it will be different from any of them. I don’t think that man has been given the knowledge, through any type of religion or science of what really happens. It may just be peace. Peace would be nice; I’ll take that over some of what I’ve heard over the years.

I’ve seen a lot of people going through unbelievable suffering, or who no longer know who or what they are who would take peace too. The little old lady who was “rooming” next to my Mother at the nursing home, back in 2010, who was there one day and gone the next. She was in bad shape. She was ready for a rest, and she got it. I think if you could have broken through the wall of her senility she would have told you she was. . A lot of times people outlive the desire to live, and when they do that, they are ready for peace. I am sure she wasn’t scared of it. Maybe welcomed it.

My own Grandfather, who lived the last few years of his life, not knowing who he was, where he was, who we were. My heart ached for him. I didn’t want him to live like that, but I didn’t want him to die like that either. I hope at the very end, when the spirit separated from the body…he once again knew who he was.

As long as we have the desire, then we should “keep on truckin’” as we used to say back in the 70’s. It’s when we lose the desire, due to things that are happening to us physically, that it becomes a hardship to keep on keeping on.

So, I guess as my perspective has changed from that little shivering four year old kid, who shouldn’t have even known what death was, to the more knowledgeable but equally unknowing soon to be 69 year old. I still have my desire to live and hope that I keep it for a long, long time to come. I hope all of you do also. But, when we are ready for peace, I hope we find it and that it turns out to be better than we ever imagined.