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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by teletimetx, May 15, 2019.
And how many times do we take that last ride with our buddies after they are gone?
Great post T3. These times can be hard but they can also allow you to really appreciate the good things in life. Although your friend died sooner than he should have, it sounds like he was happy where he was at. On that note, I wish we could all be as worry-free as your other friend Gibson.
I lost a dear friend, a brother from another mother, in 2016 and have just never been the same. So many seemingly small things I used to do were suddenly meaningless. When I wasn't working I spent my time on photography (both digital and film; even developing my own B&W film), making beef jerky and (sorta) hard tack for the many camping and hiking trips I used to take, road trips in my car, motorcycling in the mountains and desert, writing and recording music on a regular basis, even keeping a journal. So many small things that added up to "a life" just receded into the mortal ether of grief and the resignation that life's "clubhouse turn" was rounded some time ago.
Thank you for the reminder. I'll take the smiling route as well.
Great post and great thread. I was just reading an article that "weak social connections" help us feel part of a community and can reduce
loneliness and really improve our lives. Duh. One example is engaging in light banter with people you encounter-- whether at an airport, standing in line,
wherever. We are all humans riding this big old rock and if you think in geologic time it's quite an amazing coincidence whenever you run into a person
in the same time and place as you. The least you can do is take a moment to make everyone feel a little bit better. For sure, try not to make
anyone feel worse. When I lived in DC one thing I really liked is that just about everyone was very friendly and there was always light, humorous banter
wherever I went-- especially with people of color that I would encounter all over the place. People were often pretty focused and somewhat rude during commute hours,
especially on DC Metro, but even then once people were in their seats and not trudging from point A to point B I encountered lots of light, friendly banter with strangers.
I had a big test of this last Friday night. I had been on a week long business trip and was taking a red-eye home Friday night. I had a nice aisle seat (seat G on the
end of the 5-seat middle row) and
was just settling down into it when an old lady in her late 70s/early 80s came to sit down in the seat next to me (seat F). Then her daughter, probably around my age in her 50s or so, asked if
I would trade seats with her so she could take care of her mother. I asked where her seat was. It was about five rows up in a middle seat (B). Ah, heck. I said, "OK, of course.
Mother's Day is this weekend so how can I possibly say no?". So I traded seats with her. I wish she had asked to trade with the person in the middle seat next to her mother--
seat E. That would have been trading a middle for a middle. But since she asked me I didn't feel right trying to pass the buck.
The good news is that everyone in my area of the aircraft saw what I did and everyone was smiling and several people told me I did a good thing. So I get two
points in my karma account, I guess. It's easy to be nice and friendly when things are going well and everything is smooth. The real test is being nice and helpful even
when you really aren't in the mood for it, you're tired, you're stressed, whatever. It's taken me over 50 years to figure it out, but I finally realize that I should be spreading
good feelings. Even if I feel bad inside to start with, if I just spread good feelings that quickly turns around my own mood. If you are feeling down or depressed I highly
recommend it. Rather than focus inward on your mood, focus outward on doing good things for and being nice to others. That can turn around your inner mood faster
than medication. It's really the message from "A Christmas Story". Ebenezer Scrooge gets happy deep inside only when he lets all of his petty anger and surliness go and
instead starts to do nice things for the people around him. If I die tomorrow I want people to remember me as being a good person, someone who was always kind...not as a sour
son-of-a-b who was no fun to be around.
I had a philosophy professor in college, Dr. John Ellsworth Winter, who passed away about 5 weeks ago. Very, very, bright guy. I would consider him a sage.
He made a comment in one class, I think it was World Religions, and he said something quite provocative. He said, “The older you get, the tougher #%*+€<¥ life becomes.” I, at that time, really thought about that statement. It didn’t make much sense to me. I thought that life became easier. You retire, and then have all this time to pursue your passions, travel, enjoy the outdoors, whatever!
Quite the opposite actually. You develop health problems, and your family and friends develop health problems. Friends and family start to die. There is infighting among families about wills and who the executors are going to be. I could go on.
Maybe for the affluent, life might get easier, but for the average guy, not so much.
I thank the higher powers that be, when I plant both feet on the bedroom floor every morning. Because, you just don’t know when the Last Tango will come.
Sorry for your loss TTT.
@teletimetx - Beautifully said, brother! I've lost 2 younger sisters and beloved dog Pete in the last 4 years, my mom is in a nursing home on hospice, a couple of old friends on the way out, and my brother in the middle of a bad divorce(as if there were a good one). To say nothing of getting my left arm crippled by a hit n run driver...
You know what I do first thing every morning? I say thank you. Thank you for the miracle of life, for the beauty of the world around us, for the gifts we are given every day. I try to compliment the girl at the gas station. Try to smile at every silly joke, to tip way more than needed, to wave at every policeman in his squad car, to occasionally pay for the guy's coffee behind me at the convenience store. It doesn't hurt anything...Thanks for your post!
I’ve just had the gift of a second breather given to me. Just received a liver transplant. I’m 6’4”, O neg blood type. A bit rare match up for a healthy doner. I’d gotten to the state where the bad numbers were climbing and chances diminishing of surviving. Utah IMC has the highest recovery rate in the nation of using compromised livers. One family lost a loved one. I’m not out of the woods yet and may still have a fight on my hands. This has been the most intense pain I’ve ever experienced. Today is 24 hrs without pain meds, still tender but I can do it. My poor nursing staff were angels here on earth. My poor wife could do nothing but hold my hand. I can only hope the doners family can find solace in their child helping me live.
I count my blessings daily. I smile at people I meet that might need that smile of assurance that life is good. For those who offend or irritate you smile, give it back to them.
Warren Zevon said it best to
“Enjoy every sandwich”. Enjoy waking up to your lover and tell them how beautiful they are. When you smash a knuckle and rage ensues, grab your wrench and hold it like a feely thing until the rage leaves and love returns and work is again a pleasure. Sore note? Play it again until the smile and light be returns. Wipe yer Tele off and promise to pick her up again tomorrow.
Well said, @Mechanic!
A smashed knuckle only hurts if you have the finger it's part of.
Thanks for the post and the reminder to cherish both friends and family; including pets. At 71, I've started to get calls or notes about friends passing. Yesterday we had a meeting of a society I belong to. We gave a scholarship grant to Texas A&M in the name of a friend who had contributed mightily to our association and passed suddenly. It was a nice way to remember him.
You know Bill, when I read a post like this I certainly feel the sadness...but my big takeaway is that I'm just glad I ever got the chance to meet (even cyberly meet) fine people like you. There's something similar to envy that I feel about your gifts...but I get so much joy from them, envy never happens. Looking at the world through Bill's heart has been a genuine privilege.
Thanks for sharing and keep writing and playing that beautiful music...
Wow. Your post stopped me in my tracks to reflect. Two of my best friend's dads suddenly died when we were all 18 years old, so I learned this lesson early and have lived by the classic, "live every day like it is your last" ever since. It was the best lesson in life that I have ever learned. Nevertheless, your post is a great reminder that we all need including me.
I haven't been back home to CO in over 40 years. I got trapped in a cubicle east of the Mississippi river. The Smokies bring some peace but it never lasts time is slipping away.
If I had the ability to permanently stick a post at the top of my TDPRI in-tray, it would be this one. Well said, Teletimetx.