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To Jack Schnee…

Our best friend’s Dad passed away last year.  After 89 years, his passing came suddenly and unexpectedly.  He was preparing to go in for knee replacement surgery; his knee was bothering him when he went dancing.  He was felled by a stroke.

Although I didn’t know him very well, the way his eldest daughter and son-in-law (aka our best friends) spoke of him it was obvious he loved life.  He reminded me of my Dad’s love of life.  They called him every Sunday for a weekly update along with the enjoyment of a gin martini toast albeit separated by 900 miles.  We should all be so loved and fulfilled.

Life has a beginning, a middle, and an end.  I’m way past my beginning.  It’s the delineation between the middle and the end that isn’t quite as clear.  But as friends and family around me reach their end, I always pause to reflect.  How about you?

Here’s how Michael E. Gerber sets up one such reflection:

I’d like you to imagine that you are about to attend one of the most important occasions of your life.  It will be held in a room sufficiently large to seat all of your friends, your family, your business associates – anyone and everyone to whom you are important and who is important to you.  Can you see it? 

The walls are draped with deep golden tapestries.  The lighting is subdued, soft, casting a warm glow on the faces of your expectant guests.  Their chairs are handsomely upholstered in a golden fabric that matches the tapestries.  The golden carpeting is deeply piled.  At the front of the room is a Dias, and on the Dias a large, beautifully decorated table, with candles burning at either end.  On the table, in the center, is the object of everyone’s attention.  A large, shining, ornate box.  And in the box is … you!  Stiff as the proverbial board. 

What do you think?  If you were able to reflect while in that box surrounded by everyone you have interacted with throughout your life. What would go through your mind?

Rather not think about it?  Your prerogative, but its inevitable for us all.  And at my age, I think about being old, over the hill, past the middle:

Baker’s Byroad  

When you are over the hill, you pick up speed.  

So far, I’ve resisted gravity pretty well.  I continue to live each day with my best effort.  Of course, some days I (like you) have “one of those days”, but that’s part of living, too.  Dealing with adversities enables us to richly enjoy life’s accomplishments, true?

Besides, I follow Baruch when thinking about how old I am:

Baruch’s Rule for Determining Old Age  

Old age is always fifteen years older than I am.  

Of course, those millennials in my work place that I write of often have a different opinion.  Every time we hire a new group of college grads I imagine hearing one of them say, “Is it bring your grandfather to work day?”  I suppose they would chuckle thinking I can’t hear very well anymore.

It’s all good for me though – I love being around youth:

It’s easier to have the vigor of youth when you’re old than the wisdom of age when you’re young. 

Richard J. Needham  

So, here’s to you Jack Schnee.  Here’s to your life; your style; your zest; your family; and your legacy.  Here’s to dancing with the Lord now; never to worry about knee pain again.

GAP

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