Alrighty, then! For those of you who know me as the wise-ass and comic, this line of thinking will come as no surprise. For those of you who do not know me as well, you may be somewhat shocked, or possibly even offended by todays's thoughts. Not to fear--it's all in fun.
As I sit here on my birthday, at the 'milestone' age of 62 years aboard this Spaceship Earth, the time has come to reflect on various aspects of life. Gee--now I can apply for Social Security...or not...research needs to be done to determine whether or not I'll do myself a disservice by not waiting until I'm 65. That investigation is a work in progress.
Many jokes are made around the subject of dying. I remember George Burns' comment of, "I don't believe in dying--that's been done." It cracked me up, and he did live a good, long life. But I was so bummed that he did not, in fact, make it to his 100th birthday. The celebration party was all planned and in the works. It was going to be a star-studded worldwide affair, held in London. As I recall, he passed away just a few months shy of the party. How unfair! He was cheated!
Geneaology has been a hobby of mine for a long time. In learning our roots, it places us in time alongside various historical events, making the study of history much more intriguing than just dry facts in a boring text book. When we can say, "My great-great grandfather was there ..." the history comes alive! In the pursuit of that study, however, and particularly since the ill-timed departure of George Burns, I have noticed a fairly large number of folks dying right on or very near their birthdays.
I object! I have decicded that I must need to be immortal. Dying on or near your birthday celebration is just wrong on so many levels. "Not fair" is just one of them. Likewise with passing from this plane on or near any major holiday, the birthday of a child or other close relative, or an anniversary.
Given that these events are usually pretty scattered throughout the calendar year, well, dying is just plain inconvenient--at best--at any time of year. Simply put, there are no good times to die. Goodness--relatives may have just gone out to buy gifts, and then the person up and dies, and what becomes of the gifts? They are kept in a drawer as a sad reminder...that happened to me: I had a special Christmas card picked out for my Dad, and it was put away in a drawer for a year...(I'd found it after the holidays, and had put it away for the following year). He did not live to see the holidays that year, and I came across the card much later. I was at once sad and angry.
However, as Benjamin Franklin put it, ".... in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. " Or, as my husband puts it, "The funny thing about life is, you don't get out of it alive."
I cry 'foul!' Just when you are old enough to have gathered the wisdom you need to make a go of things, know what you would do differently given the infamous wishful-thinking line of, "...if I had it all to do over again, knowing what I know now...".. that is when your body craps out on you, and will not cooperate with your plans...and not many years later,you bid your final farewell.
Perhaps, though, we do get 'another chance.' The immortal nature of humankind is in the legacy we leave, and, as some believe, maybe we do 'go around again' and get another chance to get it right. It's a worthy belief, and as valid as any, since none can be scientifically proven.
It is also not so good, really, that we do not and cannot know the time and manner of our passing. That knowledge would make planning how to spend our lives so much easier. What to study; what to avoid; how to do the most good; and when to start the early distribution of our life holdings, so the surviving relatives don't get stuck with the onerous task during their greiving process. It could all be pre-arranged very tidily.
Well.. someone ought to make a law! We are pretty good at making laws about all sorts of unreasonable things in this country--such as one town making a law that it was illegal for pigeons to fly over their city--why stop at death? Let's make it illegal to die on your birthday, anniversary, child's birthday, parent's birthday, major holiday, or prior to one's parents! That should fix the problem! Yeah!
Let me put on my 'legalese' hat here, and see how that would look.
"Section I. The party of the first part, hereinafter known as the pre-decedent, shall not by any means, whether natural or contrived, depart this world on, or near their own natal anniversay, nor on that of any blood relative of a first or second generational relationship to the pre-decedent. Neither shall said pre-decdent depart this plane on or near any major holiday, whether of civic or religious significance, by any means whether natural or contrived."
"Section II. The pre-decedent, shall, by all means at his or her disposal, attempt to ascertain and schedule their passing at a time not in confilct with any stipulation in Section I. "
"Section III. At all times, the pre-decedent must pre-arrange, at the time of purchase, for the reasonable and fair distribution of all real goods among his or her surviving relatives, as defined in Section I. Any goods which will themselves wear out or be fully used to within a reasonable expectation of their designed length of existence shall be summarily excluded from this requirement."
"Section IV. Upon the death of the pre-decedent, forthwith known as the decedent, if it is decided in a court of probate law that any of these provisions have been violated by the decedent during his or her tenure on the planet, they shall be placed in cryogenic suspension storage until such time as they can be revived and stand trial for their violations."
There! That should about do it! And now, I'm going to go enjoy my birthday by not dying!