Why would I suddenly think about John Spauls on Sunday May 6th? I haven’t seen him in over 30 years. But on May 6th, he popped into my head out of nowhere.
I found out late afternoon on Friday May 11th that John had died on May 6th. Coincidence?
John and I grew up in the same neighborhood. Our parents knew each other. John was older than I was. I looked up to him like an older brother. When I started at ABC Taxi, John was already there. He gave me advice, and his advice saved me finding things out the hard way. Also, I enjoyed our deep spiritual and philosophical discussions. John had wisdom, integrity and was a rugged individualist. What a great role model. I learned a lot from him.
I did not see much of John after we both left ABC Taxi. Eventually, I did not see John at all. And then he pops in my mind on the day he died.
Just as he was at ABC Taxi before me, now John is at Eternity before me. I will be seeking his advice when I get there.
“So, what did you think about when you stared off into space?”
“Can you tell me some?”
Okay. Sometimes I thought about nothing. My mind was blank. Sometimes I thought about my brother-in-law, Don, and how I could not believe he was dead. He never liked discussing spiritual matters while he was alive. Does he like discussing them now?
I thought about my death. When would it happen? Will it be sudden? A long time ago a Ouija board said that I would die the first week of August, 2018. If this is true, then I have less than six months to live. Perhaps I shouldn’t borrow any thick books from the library. But maybe I won’t die in less than six months. Maybe scientists will discover that eating bananas makes you live forever. Then again, would I want to live forever while all I know passes away?
I thought about how my older sister said that I have “mental health issues.” She was serious. It was during a discussion (argument) over whether I was right to follow my gut feelings. I suppose she would know because “mental health issues” run in the family and—
“And you talk to voices in your head.”
True. As a voice in my head, do you have mental health issues?
“Of course! I wouldn’t be in your head if I didn’t.”
That’s nice to know.
“What else did you think about while looking off into space?”
I thought about writing. I thought about writing. And I thought about writing.
My sister, the widow, is doing her best to cope with Don Edward Boles buying the farm. Some family members are doing their best to protect my sister’s feelings. They don’t want her to feel any more pain.
My sister is doing her best to protect her mother-in-law’s feelings. My sister does not want Don’s mother to have more pain over her son’s death.
My father’s mother lived until she was 97. She developed stomach cancer when she was 96. My father did not want to tell her that she had stomach cancer because he wanted to protect her feelings.
My grandmother lived through two world wars. She lived through the Depression. Three of her eight children died while they were still children. She survived a kitchen fire when the doctors said that she would not make it. She saw her brother run over and killed by a horse and buggy. And my father felt that she could not handle the news that she had stomach cancer. He never told her.
Please don’t protect me from feelings. I need to feel, to experience, to learn and grow. I also know that there is love and support if I feel overwhelmed. Thank you.
I couldn’t write because it was so cold my pencils froze. Is that an acceptable excuse?
The good thing about sub-zero temperatures is when the temperature goes up. Today the temperature went up to just above zero Celsius (32 Fahrenheit). Wow! What a heat wave! Zero Celsius is a heat wave compared to -35 Celsius (-31 Fahrenheit).
During the cold spell, I went to my high-school friend’s funeral. He had shed his mortal coil before Christmas, but the funeral was not until January 6.
(I have noticed a relationship between death and funerals. Almost every time someone dies, there is a funeral. This isn’t a coincidence.)
My friend’s funeral was mostly nice, but the presiding minister ruined the mood by carrying on and on and on. This is common for religious leaders to use a funeral as an opportunity to preach to the heathen. Why can’t these religious leaders realize that funerals are about the deceased and not about God? People come to honor the deceased. They do not come to hear how great God is, or how they better accept Jesus as their savior or else it’s Hell for Eternity.
My friend was the star of the show with God and Jesus having supporting roles. But the minister ruined the show by making God and Jesus stars and giving my friend a supporting role. The funeral was upbeat and moving with several people speaking words from their hearts. Some read from The Bible. Amongst the speakers were my friend’s son and daughter who gave a wonderful loving tribute to their father. What a positive note the funeral would have ended on if it had ended after the son and daughter’s tribute. Nope. The minister started preaching about God and Jesus and God and Jesus and God and Jesus blah, blah, blah . . . She had forgotten that people had come not to be preached at.
And while the minister went on and on and on, I wondered whether my friend was watching from above and thinking, “Is she going to stop soon?”
(I would have posted this blog yesterday, but the Toronto Public Library’s Internet had not thawed out from the cold snap.)
No one stopped the world. Public transit is still overcrowded and has delays. Christmas is still coming. And my high-school buddy left his body, this morning, for a better climate.
Did you have to come so close to Christmas, Death? Your timing sucks. Couldn’t you have waited or not have come at all?
“Waited for what? I’m just doing my job. Besides, there is never a good time for me to come no matter how long I wait. You mortals don’t want me to do my job.”
You’re right. Can we continue this discussion when you come for me?
Do you know when that will be?
Can you tell me?
I thought you would say that. Can you let my friend know that I am grateful for his friendship and wish him well on his journey?”
Several friends contacted me about yesterday’s blog, More Thoughts on Life.
They asked why I wanted to die in the Fall, and wanted me to clarify the ambiguity of “leaving the world laughing.”
I’m sure I have blogged before about why I want to die in the Fall. I have a habit of repeating myself since my memory retired. Did I mention that I have a habit of repeating myself? But I can justify this incidence of repetition because my friends asked.
Besides being the opposite of Spring, in which I was born, Fall is beautiful with the leaves changing colors. But the beauty of the changing colors is because the trees are preparing for Winter, and have cut off chlorophyll going to the leaves. The leaves are changing colors while they are dying. What a glorious death!
I doubt whether I will turn such beautiful colors as I die, but I can pretend to do so by dying in the Fall.
. . . I will leave this world laughing.
As for the ambiguity in the ending of yesterday’s blog my friends asked, “Will you make the world laugh before you die, or will you be laughing when you die?”
My reply? “Yes.”
My high-school buddy with cancer is heavily sedated. He spends a lot of time sleeping. When he is awake he is too weak to talk. A miracle would go good now.
What dreams or visions is he having? I’d love to know.
I have mentioned before that when it is my time to die, I will die in the Fall. I was born in the Spring and I will die in the Fall. Of course, Life may have other plans about when it leaves my body. I will have to go along with Life’s plans.
It is also worth repeating that I came into this world crying because I was young and did not know better. Now I am older. Now I am wiser. I will leave this world laughing.
Al and Drew do not know each other, but they came here from the same place. Drew is still here, but I found out this morning that Al returned.
I have known Al since high school. He married my sister’s friend Marilyn who also went to the same high school.
I was thinking about Al and Marilyn recently because they had a wedding anniversary on September 17. I don’t know how many years they were married.
I had not seen Al and Marilyn recently, but I will be seeing Marilyn this week when we celebrate Al’s life.
I celebrated with Drew, my great-niece, yesterday. We, family and friends, celebrated the first year of her life. Drew went from Spirit to flesh on September 24, 2016.
Let us hope that Drew will be here a long time and has a good life before she returns to where she and Al came from.
My power of attorney is done. My will is done. Am I ready to die? I’m not planning on it, but you never know. I could go to a doctor for some reason, and he or she could kill me—accidentally of course. Or I could get hit by a truck delivering health food. Or I could perform standup comedy and die on stage. Who knows?
Death fascinates me. I love walking through cemeteries, reading the residents’ tombstones, and reflecting on their lives. What were their concerns? What made them happy? What made them sad? Did they know that a tombstone would grow after they were planted? Did they know that one day, long after they were gone, someone would be reflecting on their lives?
I want to be planted so a tombstone will grow. I like the idea of someone reflecting on my life long after I am gone.
When I was in my teens, I played with a Ouija board. The Ouija board said that I would die during the first week of August in 2018. If the Ouija board is right, then I have just over a year left. Am I worried? Not yet, but ask me again on July 31, 2018.