True Power

True Power

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What Will You Do When The Phone Rings?


4:30 a.m.
Brrringggg! Brrringgg!
"Hello."
"Come take us to the hospital. Pa is sick."
"What do you mean; sick?"
"He's having chest pains."
"Is that him I hear in the background?"
"Yeah."
"O.K. We're on our way."

I stood by the phone stunned at the conversation I had just had. I don't know what I expected to hear at four thirty in the morning. But the words 'chest pains' were not exactly what I had in mind.

We all know that sooner or later we will have the call of one of our parents are sick. We think we are prepared for that 'call' but, you never are.

My children have taken it upon themselves in the last couple of months to be my health police. They tell me I need to exercise and watch my weight. When I have a super rich desert they say "When you are taking insulin for diabetes, don't look at us." Or when I order a four inch hamburger with fries they say "How mean can one be to their heart." I almost hate going out to eat with them. I know they want me to be healthy and live a long life, but they are taking all of the fun out of life. I know how much they love me and would do anything to have me around forever. Jokingly I asked them if they could keep me around as a vampire or zombie would they? The answer was a resounding 'Yes.' There response led me to write a humorous book "Death: Life's Annoying Friend" (I have not approached anyone yet about this manuscript).

The manuscript looks at the inevitability of death and how no matter how hard we try to stave it off, we all must die. Most people if given the choice will die peacefully after a long fulfilled life in their sleep or as they say in the old west "with their boots on." But we all are not that lucky. In the book I begin with "I just want to die a good death and stay dead." Then I look at what exactly is a good death?

It is no secret that Elvis Presley died in his bathroom and Michael Jackson died trying to get a good night sleep. One man died choking on his partners edible underwear. So much for dying a good death. The list of how people die accidentally is amazing. I don't think there is a such a thing as dying a good death.

So then, what are we left with? Living a good life. Even while living we realize that death lives next door waving at us when we pull into our driveway, peeping at us through closed curtains, borrowing our possessions never returning them such as our eye sight, flexibility, hearing, and other body functions we take for granted. Death is that annoying neighbor we try to avoid and ignore, but is still there and never planning on moving.

So the telephone rang and I answered. I wasn't prepared then and probably won't be prepared when it rings again. The chest pains were just that and not a heart attack. Hours of worry and prayer and death still waving without shame, the only difference is Pa is waving back each day as he goes about his life-living.

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This Could Be Me At Your Next Event
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