I’m feeling it. I turn 59 on the 17th. Tonight I read a blog from MakeItUltra about mortality and asking readers for their thoughts. This isn’t going to fit nicely in a comment box, so here goes.
For those who haven’t been reading me for very long, I’ll catch you up. I’ve been married 31 years to Julie. She’s been with me through the good and a whole poo-load of bad. We have two adult daughters. One has had health problems and lived with us most of her life. The other decided atheism was more her thing and lives with him now.
I started out wanting to be rich and famous as an actor. I wanted to be able to walk into hospitals and make people’s day. I wanted to accomplish things that would be remembered after I’m gone. I’ve worked with movie stars, either when they were famous or before they got there. That career choice, well, things happened and I did the right thing. No regrets. I have my memories.
My first screenplay was read by Dolly Parton’s Sandollar Productions. They didn’t pick it up, but getting read is a big deal. I think I still have the rejection letter somewhere around here. I self-published my first novel, and I’m just giving my second away to anyone who’s interested.
I’ve been very close to dead three times; double bypass, a gangrenous gall bladder that almost did me in, and a bad reaction to a medication that threatened renal failure. I’m hoping they make another Frankenstein movie; I could get work body-doubling the monster.
When things were good, they were great. I was able to take my family to London the week before Christmas, 2001, Rome a couple years later, and I surprised Julie by getting her a plane ticket to join me in Paris on a business trip, where we took a week’s vacation after the job was done. I have some great memories.
I was laid off in the last economic downturn, went bankrupt, lost my house, and found myself scrounging the couch and anywhere else I could think to find change for gas.
Highs and lows, sport fans. Highs and lows.
Thirties were a piece of cake. I was in the best shape of my life in my early forties. Right up to that double-bypass; cardio, weights…I was a beast. Now I use my stomach to hold the remote when I watch TV. What can I say? Getting old isn’t for sissies. I can no longer lie to myself that my sixties will be the new…I don’t know. Pick a decade.
But those acting skills were well used as a church liturgist. You can do worse than do a special for God every week. I was a college instructor and corporate trainer; I helped a lot of people make their lives better. I remember the blond in her thirties who I convinced that she was indeed smart. She died her hair back to her natural brown at the end of the term. I helped someone else get past a glass ceiling in the corporate world. I could’ve done worse.
When I look back down the corridor of my life, I see a lot of good memories with Julie and the girls. We had a lot of fun. We gave the girls some big surprises and a lot of happy times. Julie has always said the best thing you can give your kids are good memories. She’s right. Again.
I just have to point out that I was definitely right about the cream chocolate frosting on our wedding cake. It was beautiful and went down really well.
I’ve talked about God to people on airplanes, in restaurants, and even a curb. I’m still alive, so I guess He’s got a few more for me to talk to. I’m getting to the point where I wonder how much longer this ride will last. Remember; I get my physical makeup from the shallow end of the gene pool. The world is going to hell in a hand basket, and, no, that isn’t some old guy having generation issues. I’ve been alive then, and I’m alive now. I can make the comparison. You may have read some of my articles on the ever increasing Satanic influences these days. It isn’t my imagination, even though I wish it was.
What do I think of mortality? Because of sin, not much. Oh, it’s all I’ve ever known, like all of you. I’m nervous about how my end will come. I don’t eat outside or go on picnics; I don’t like sharing my food with critters. Imagine how a pansy like me looks at death. What makes it tolerable is…
…HOPE! Hebrews 11:a – “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the essence of things not seen.” That’s the basis of my first novel, The Substance Hoped For. It’s the basis for all of our lives! Without hope, our mortality is a long, slow torture, trying to ignore the inevitable. With hope, we know that mortality will be swallowed by immortality.
I will be greeted by Uncle Ellis, who taught me to pray better than anyone ever could. I’ll see Little Grandma, who pretty much raised me and my sisters. I’ll see my dad, who I never really understood until years after he died. We will all have the rest of eternity to forget about mortality, and bask in the bliss of a sunless light, the light of God Himself.
What do I think of mortality? Like a dog chained from birth, I think it’s ok, because it’s all I’ve ever known. Even if that chain is digging into my neck. But I saw my Master walk out the gate, and I caught just the briefest glimpse of…something. Something I ‘d really like to explore with Him. It may be difficult to leave the security of that chain in that little yard. It may be pretty scary.
But I swear to you, I saw…something.
There you have it, Mr. Ultra. I hope it was worth the read.