the clock is ticking

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by teletimetx, May 15, 2019.

  1. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    cramers last UL orient.jpg

    A long time friend sent me this photo in a text message, near the end of November. Along with the photo, came this message: “Sunset in FOCO tonight. Come join amigo…”

    We had always planned on doing some fishing and skiing in Colorado after we both retired. He got there first, and would occasionally send messages like that, or maybe a photo from stream side, where he was getting a line wet.

    No more than two weeks later, he went to the bathroom and never came out. According to his wife, he died alone, in the bathroom, massive heart attack. Yeah, I know. None of us get to choose the time or place.

    He’d done fairly well in the world, particularly coming from very difficult beginnings. He was already in Houston, when I first moved here in 1983. His career took him to New York, then Europe, then to Wisconsin and finally, almost two years ago, he retired. With his wife, he built a house near Fort Collins and was just starting to enjoy retired life.

    We don’t pick our appointment with the grim reaper, but we do get to choose what to do with the time remaining.

    I was lately moping some great mopes with the passing of another best pal, my dog Gibson. In the middle of that mopery, I also got a message from another longtime friend, the first girl ever I kissed, who was still in deep grieving over the loss of her thirty something son. A random accident, he fell off an apartment balcony, no substances involved. It happened over a year ago.

    Never got to say goodbye. At least I got to say goodbye to my dog.

    The reminder for me is: don’t waste time puzzling over someone else’s appearance or musical stylings or questionable know-it-all opinions.

    If ridiculous appearance was a crime, we’d all be in jail. Everyone looks better when they smile.

    Play your guitar. Make some music with friends. Build a guitar or an amp. Fix a bike, fix a dinner, fix a party for someone. Make something good happen in the world. The clock is ticking and I might just be wasting my time and yours trying to spell this out.

    Yeah, sure cynicism feels worldly and wise. When the world bites your behind so many times, there’s not much left but gristle. If non-stop gristle is your flavor, welcome to it. Not me.

    I’m going for the smile version. Just call me Pollyanna. Once, you fat ugly bastiges!

    Here's a photo of my dawg, on his last ride:
    Gibson's last ride.jpg
     
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  2. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    These very sorts of thoughts have been on my mind for a while now......I'm only 61 but that's old enough to go to the store by myself and it's old enough to know that the show doesn't go on for ever. Personally, I wish I had a much greater grasp on the impermanence of things from a much younger age. Thanks for your thoughts.
     
  3. Pickin N Grinin

    Pickin N Grinin Tele-Meister

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    Well said. Life is a short ride and you don't realize that until you get some years on you and begin to lose some of the people you love.
     
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  4. meric

    meric Tele-Holic

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    Thank-you teletimetx, time is ticking away but you are not wasting it...by going for the smile version you have made me smile. Keep fixing things and smiling.
     
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  5. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Tele-Afflicted

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    I’m very sorry for the loss of your friend.

    Very well written, I feel exactly the same way. I’m 64, and I know I’ve reached the top of the hill and started down the other side.

    I do my best to enjoy life but it’s very difficult sometimes.

    I can write more but for now I’ll let it be.
     
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  6. slauson slim

    slauson slim Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for the post, and the wisdom.
     
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  7. Deathray

    Deathray Tele-Meister

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    Wow, your post brought a tear to my eye. So true, but so easy to lose focus of. Thank you!
     
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  8. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    This reminds me that I was checking out at the local grocery store several days ago and I was checked through by a cashier that I've had before....there were a few people lined up behind me as well. The cashier is middle aged, attractive, looks like she's lived a little and always seems upbeat. I asked her "How are you?" (which, btw, I am always sincere when asking this question...it's not just a matter of polite conversation for me..) and she replies "I'm always great!". So, I come back with "Even when you're not doing great?" and she's says "Yup! It took me a lot of years and a lot of psychologists and therapists and finally I found the right one who said the right things....." I thanked her for her wisdom and her genuineness and told her I have been on a similar journey. It was an unusual place for the conversation but it was a little bit of perfection....I like those unexpected moments of interaction that are deep, personal, genuine and brief.....they wake me up.
     
  9. Jerry_Mountains

    Jerry_Mountains Tele-Meister

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    Words like that are never a waste of time. Carpe Diem mi amigo!

    Thanks for the post and sorry about Gibson.
     
  10. Strat Jacket

    Strat Jacket Tele-Meister

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    Well-spoken words of wisdom.
    A hard pill to swallow, but sometimes we all need a wake-up call. Thanks for sharing.
     
  11. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's

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    Beautiful dog and I love your message. Think I will go play some guitar.
     
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  12. scrapyardblue

    scrapyardblue Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I try to value every minute, even the ones when I'm not doing anything. Only so many minutes in a life.

    Great advice, teletime.
     
  13. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    Interesting - I had a very similar experience, but waiting through a security line at a French airport. Very attractive middle-aged woman; helping travelers shove stuff through the X-ray machine. As is the wonderful tradition, she tells me, me personally, "Bon Jour!"

    Very polite, smiling, genuine. Expecting reciprocity.

    I was tired, and non-responsive. Nodded my head.

    "Monsieur. We are civilized. You cannot at least manage a smile?"

    My best response, at the time, in my taxi-cab French, "Désolé, madame. Je pense "demasiado" (spanish!) au travail et ne ce pas assez à la vie." Grammatically correct? No. I think she got the gist of it. Best I could do at the time.

    Trying to say: I Think too much about work, not enough about life. She just shook her head, but still smiling.

    I still remember that smile. Maybe 15 years ago.
     
  14. Stubee

    Stubee Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Thanks for sharing that Teletimetx. I am sorry you lost your friend.

    I’m pretty good at suggesting others take time to smell the roses and such, and I do so myself with high frequency. I also get all wrapped up in the aggravations or challenges of life and family and forget that very thing with nearly the same frequency. You’d think that what with losing several of my closest friends the past few years (and having others heading the same direction) I’d stop the occasional seesawing and be more ‘balanced’ at all times. I believe my personality, alas, dictates that I must work at it. So thanks for the reminder.
     
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  15. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    What was your friend's name? I wonder if I knew him.

    Thanks for the reminder!
     
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  16. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    Great post, thanks for sharing. You’ve got me thinking that we seem to get too wrapped up in our own little world sometimes, and forget about the important things.
     
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  17. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    His name was Scott Cramer. Fairly new to FOCO. We both grew up in Boulder.
     
  18. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    He sounds kind of familiar, but I don't think I knew him, Sorry to hear of his passing anyway.
     
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  19. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I’m sorry for your losses.
    My dear friend and guru told me there’s no time to waste.
    That rings truer every day.
     
  20. Wrighty

    Wrighty Tele-Afflicted

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    My mother-in-law went into sheltered accommodation for (what turned out to be) the last two years of her life. For the first year she was down. She didn’t seem to know why but we sussed it. Where you gave, say 50 people in their twilight years in one place and, inevitably, they will pass away frequently. We realised that, seemingly every time we met, somewhere in the conversation would be the ‘Mr x, Mrs Y passed away yesterday’. We weren’t Sure what to do or say but, seemingly overnight, her demeanor changed. She started being out when we arrived or ‘phoned. At the shops, in bingo, one time into London. Later she told us, if she was going to die soon, she was gonna do it with a smoke on her face and an empty bucket list! Those of us on this forum of a certain age are beginning to friends, relations and friends of friends pass on. My wife’s auntie and uncle lived in London for ten years with the dream of a little cottage by the sea. With only a hint of a ‘live for today’ attitude they could have done it. But, they were careful, never quite git to what they considered the right time. Uncle died first, Auntie six months later, in London, with enough money in the bank to buy the home if their dreams and live in it for at least 20 years. Both were 91 when they died.
    I been semi retired fir eighteen months. Earlier this year I took a lump sum from my pension pot to visit friends in Australia, something I never felt comfortable with when I was earning well. Now, providing I’m not genuinely worried about money, we’re gonna live before we die. We no one know what’s around the corner but if I can see my clear to pay the bills for a roof over our heads and food in our bellies for the next five years, we’ll do as we please. Next year the wife fancies Borneo and wildlife. Once the quotes are in, if we can do it and still be able to eat when we get back, we’ll be on our way. Life’s only too short if don’t use up whatever time you have doing the good stuff.
     
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