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.
“If you use our real names in your blog, then I’ll . . . ”
The speaker was Adam. That’s not his real name. Adam is married to Eve. That’s not her real name. I have known Adam and Eve since they were kicked out of The Garden.
Adam and Eve have often invited me to their place for dinner. I have avoided going because I get into my hermit mode and do not socialize. So it’s nothing against Adam and Eve when I turn down their dinner invitations.
This past Wednesday I had a business appointment with Adam. Adam offered to drive me back to the library after our appointment, but needed to stop briefly by his house on the way.
“Would you like to come in and say hello to Eve?” asked Adam when we stopped at his house.
“Sure,” I said.
I had no plans to stay, but once inside Adam and Eve and I started talking. What a wonderful conversation! It lasted through dinner and afterward. We talked about life, death, God and religion. What else would you talk about around Adam and Eve? I would have missed this delightful evening if Adam did not have to stop at his home.
Adam and Eve are kind and generous. All who know them are blessed. Even God regrets kicking them out of The Garden. I am grateful for their friendship.
Last week I thought about Mother’s Day. I thought about Ma dying 15 years ago, and how I was finally over her death. And then I wrote yesterday’s blog and I cried and I cried and I cried.
Bereavement Leave at the places I worked was 3 days. Three days to get over a death of someone close to you. Here it is 15 years, and I’m still not over my mother’s death.
Yesterday, I felt the way I did when she died. I felt like screaming, “Stop the world! Stop the world! My mother died! Stop the world!”
A friend once told me, “We never really get over the deaths of those close to us. We just learn to live with the pain.”
I have mentioned before how Aunt Marie always smiled no matter what.
I never saw Aunt Marie angry. I never heard Aunt Marie complain. She always smiled and was always pleasant. The recurring words, at her funeral today, were about her glowing smile and pleasant disposition despite her serious illnesses.
Some people reporting about their near-death experiences say how they rose out of their bodies, and unconditional love and eternal peace surrounded them. They wanted to stay out of their bodies, but a voice said, “Go back. It’s not your time yet.” How disappointed they were when back in their bodies. They said that their bodies were like prisons. They longed for freedom, and no longer feared death.
Aunt Marie suffered all those years with various illnesses, operations and finally cancer. Not once did she complain. She always smiled and was pleasant. This is what she was like with her failing body. Can you imagine the glowing smile on Aunt Marie’s face now that she is free of her failing body, and surrounded by unconditional love and eternal peace?
From my perspective, I will miss Aunt Marie. But from her perspective, she has never felt better.
Years ago, I read a Buddhist Saying in a book. I don’t remember the name of the book. I googled the saying and found different versions of it from various sources. I’m not sure of the source, but the version I read said,
“When we are born, we cry and the world rejoices. When we die, the world cries and we rejoice.”
It’s been ten years since Kurt Vonnegut left his body. On Wednesday April 11, 2007, Kurt shuffled off his coil mortal—or something like that.
“That’s right. Ten years ago I learned that there was an afterlife. I was 84 years old, but never too old to learn.”
Kurt Vonnegut! What are you doing here?
“I heard you were writing about me so I thought I’d stop by.”
Really? I’m honored!
“Don’t get too excited. You could be hallucinating because you’re insane.”
You look real for a hallucination.
“I do my best no matter what I do.”
You’re doing a great job at appearing real.
I’m at a loss for words.
“You want me to write your blog?”
Uh-er-uh-No-uh-It’s just that I am at a loss for words over being in your presence.
“Have you noticed that you are never at a loss for words when you tell someone that you’re at a loss for words?”
“Isn’t there anything you want to ask me?”
Yes, lots. But I wouldn’t know where to begin.
“May I ask you a question?”
“How do you plan to end this blog?”
My good friend Dominic Zoffranieri died February 27, 2016. Wow! It’s been a whole year. I was hoping to hear from him after he died. Dominic loved telling jokes. I was hoping he would appear to me and tell me a joke. Nothing so far. I have had dreams about him, but they were only dreams.
Does Dominic not appearing to me make me doubt whether we go on after we die? No, I still believe in an afterlife, and the afterlife consists mainly of shopping at Walmart. Perhaps Dominic is still busy buying stuff to stop to tell me a joke. There are lots of great bargains at that Walmart in the sky.
“Dominic, buddy, I miss you. It’s been a year since you moved away. I still think about you and the times we had. I don’t remember us having any bad times. They were all good. Feel free to stop by anytime so we can catch up. I’d love to hear you tell me a joke or two. Cheers!”
Officialdom will tell you, “Carrie Minnie Johnston died on November 10, 2002 and not November 9th.” That’s because her death certificate says November 10th.
We mortals cannot assume death. Only divine doctors, who know everything, can pronounce someone dead.
Ma collapsed and died at about 10:00 p.m. on Saturday November 9th. The ambulance attendants knew she was dead. We knew she was dead, but only a doctor can pronounce death.
The coroner arrived at Ma’s home in the wee hours of Sunday November 10th. He took a quick look at Ma lying on the floor, and decided that a “heart attack” was her cause of death.
No autopsy? It wasn’t necessary. Besides, an autopsy might show that the medical profession had screwed up somehow causing her death. She was on collection of prescribed pills. (Twenty-plus bottles of pills?) Could the combined medication have caused her death? Could what was causing the severe pain in her back have killed her?
We would never know the answers. The coroner repeated how an autopsy was not necessary. He pronounced her dead on Sunday November 10, 2002, and listed the cause of death as Myocardial Infarction which is a fancy name for heart attack.
It was official. Ma was dead. We mortals thought that she was lying there having a shnanny shnoo so she wouldn’t be tired when she went to Yick. But now we knew, thanks to a divine doctor, that Ma was dead.
Ma was a big kid. She had her own childlike language and behavior which she never outgrew. A shnanny shnoo was her term for a nap. Yick was Ma’s name for Yorkdale Shopping Mall. Yick was Ma’s favorite place to shop. Her second favorite place to shop was Plooz which was the Dufferin Plaza. Ma would often say, “After my shnanny shnoo, I went to Yick, and then I went to Plooz.” Dad was Ma’s reluctant chauffeur.
Shnanny shnoo was for naps only. Ma’s expression for going to bed to sleep was “going up on high.” I would call and ask, “Where’s Dad?” Ma would reply, “He’s gone up in high.”
Ma would never call people stupid. She would say, “They’re clueless. They need to go to the closet and get a clue.” Clueless also applied to anything Ma thought was silly or stupid. Often her review of a movie would simply be, “It was clueless.”
Ma’s would never say, “I told you so” when you found out something that she had said was right. Instead she would say, “See what I mean to sez?”
Ma’s childlike behavior was inconvenient at times. During the winter, she loved to kick the chunks of frozen slush from a car’s wheel wells. It always took longer to walk with Ma down the street because she would stop at every parked car and kick the chunks of frozen slush.
“Ma, you died on November 9th and were pronounced dead on November 10th, but you’re still very much alive. You’re alive when I have a shnanny shnoo, or go up on high. You’re alive when I go to Yick or Plooz. And you’re alive when I kick chunks of frozen slush from the wheel wells of cars. Thanks Ma.”