Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The old guy.

We exchanged stories of Christmas like late presents between friends. I told him about a two year-old opening a cowboy hat and a rocking horse, then refusing to open anything else until everyone else was finished.

"We had scrambled eggs on toast for dinner," he told me. "It was quiet. Just my wife and me."

No presents. No family. No tree. Just a wreath on the front door and nowhere to go beyond it.

He shrugged it off without much sentimentality. In his eighties and battling cancer, the old man's expectations for tomorrow were diminished. It wasn't depression so much as awareness that things are winding down.

"Let me tell you, Bill. You don't want to get old. "


Buzzardbilly said...


That is so sad (but true).

Wv Sky said...

First you surmise that[i]It wasn't depression so much as awareness that things are winding down.[/i]

But if you are TRULY aware, then you know that dying is part of the circle of life and you (within reason) wont go out kicking and screaming about it IF you've lived a long life. The worst part of getting old is sometimes the pain associated with it or the lack of independence. But if you're AWARE of these facts, then you plan for them as best you can in advance and simply do the best you can... just like we all do, no matter our age.

It takes a certain resignation towards the end of a long life and there's no use fighting it. You had your moment in the sun, and it was your choice as to whether you made it count or you blew it. Since you only get one shot... better make it count the first time.

Too many people want to live forever, and they'll spend all their money and then YOUR money to accomplish that goal. They're just too oblivious (and have been all of their lives) to understand how life really works, and that there IS an end. "You wont get out of this world alive"... but damed if people don't still try!

Much of this may not reflect the old mans thinking at all, and he may be ready to face the inevitable. If so, more power to him. And he's right, it's hell to get old. But it's also hell to go to war or see your children die before you and a lot of other things that can happen in your life. So.. life goes on no matter how we feel about dying, and that's a good thing. Remember: There are very few people that you know whom you'd like to see live forever, while most people need to have a limited time on earth.