Sunday, January 16, 2011

Feeling Philosophical

It has been a strange weekend. I am not at liberty to go into the details, but it has left me feeling philosophical.

Please note: at no time should you infer anything about my health. I promise you that I am quite healthy, and see no indication of that changing.

I started writing letters yesterday. These are letters to my kids and to Jennifer. I intend to type them out, and then video them. It is my sincere hope to update those letters yearly. I wish I could do it by hand. The fact is that to hold a pen and endeavour mightily to produce penmanship that anyone can read has always been painful. I may do one paragraph by hand a day until the task is finished. The letters will be put in the safe downstairs.

In the meantime, "life's...a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage" (Macbeth, Act V). We do not know how long our hour is. Neither do we know how that hour draws to a close. It might draw to a close like a light switch, or like a dimmer. What I do know is that those who survive us quite naturally will remember our closing days more easily than our full lives. When my time comes, I want my wife and my kids to know that my life with them is so much more than the naturally self-centered way in which we all depart. I want them to know that if I lose my memory and cannot recognize or communicate, that any inability is insignificant as compared to their roles in my life.

So I am writing down my memories of who they have been as they grew up. These stories have been funny and poignant. I have learned some about the kids in the process of writing.

I recommend everyone consider doing this. It is not too late, but it can be rather quickly. Our last words to those important to us should not be about who gets the china and how to divide out the sale of the house.

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