ENDS

by Don Curto

Coming to the end of things… stories, movies, novels, recipes, games, prayers, life…. especially life, requires a difficult transition.

In fact, very few activities have a true end. Very few of them will walk up to you, grab you by the scruff of the neck or the scrotum, pull your head down to listen and announce: “Listen up, smart ass. I’ve got a few things I need to say to you.”

I have, from time to time been heard to say, “Boy, will I ever be glad when this is over, when I can say what I really think, what I really believe. You disbelieve me? Well, don’t because you would likely be making some big mistakes.”

It is really difficult for one (me) to take that big guess that I do, indeed, know all the important answers needed by me.

I have had to jump to some important conclusions that I am not really prepared to defend. All of the messages that I work with say that I am “on the way out.” Speaking to these decisions are medical people, primarily, and social workers who know the COPD illness and its symptoms and conclusions. Daily, my symptoms and feelings run from “miserable” and “horrible” to “Great God, what is going on here?”

Then, clearly, I get the message that says, “What is the rush? Haven’t you learned yet that dying and getting ready to do the same is a lot of work, very serious work?”

My friend, long ago deceased, E.M. Budner of Wilmington (Delaware) used to tell his story of how he began acquiring his first million dollars. When questioned as to what he was doing now he announced he had discovered making the first million was a very difficult job and it seemed to him that no matter how hard he worked, the first million was still far away. So, he said, not being completely foolish, he reasoned that work on the second million would be less difficult now that he had the experience of all the first million work. He made his second million and died a happy man leading Friday services.

Is there a moral to this tale?  Why, yes, there is indeed. However, I have forgotten what it is, or was.

I suppose one could announce that moral this way and let it go for the time being. The moral says it is very difficult to be working on one’s death plans and be sure that the work is worth it, that plan details are accurate. Do I gain anything worthwhile by working on the plan? The answer to that does indeed seem clear.

So, I announce here, now, with clarity of mind that I am abandoning the idea of planning for my death even though there seems to be lots of evidence that such plans might very well bring on success, if we can label it as such.

So, just for the Hell of it I announce here that I plan to continue announcing my life plans. I really don’t have a lot of time to work on things that probably are doomed to failure.

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