September 06, 2003

Life Lessons

My aunt passed away yesterday. She battled leukemia for several years, visited with her brothers and sisters within the last month or so, was surrounded by her family, was at peace with the world and ready to go. The only thing she didn’t manage was her very last goal, which was to make it to her next birthday. She and I shared our birthdays. She would have been 87 on Monday.

I just spent a few hours alone out in the backyard. I built a fire and just sat there our swing, thinking and watching the flames.

The last time I had done that was with my best friend Paul. We’re closer than brothers; he was best man at my wedding, and we’re godfather to each other’s sons. And yet as alike as we are, we’ve led two totally different lives. I got married and settled down, while he just kept running full speed at life. We’ve talked about it, and we’re both a little jealous of the other sometimes. Paul has seen the Taj Mahal, and slept under the Eiffel Tower, and spent time living in the Ukraine and the Philippines. His first wife was killed in an auto accident, and I was the first person he called. His son, my godson, was killed in another car wreck. He found out by being paged at an airport in Japan as he was making a connecting flight.

Despite it all, he’s still happy. He’s satisfied with his life, even after all the pain he’s endured. He has a wonderful wife and daughter, who calls me Uncle Ted. I love them all, and there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for him.

Part of the reason I went out and built a fire was because after reading this idiot, I needed to calm down and regain my composure. To Stump, all I can say is that you are an asshole with no tolerance for anyone who doesn’t act and believe exactly like yourself. You think that the value of life is measured by how long it lasts, and I’m telling you that you are so very wrong. Even after reading that vile piece of hateful garbage you wrote, I hope that you live a long life anyway, since that is apparently all you treasure. If there is one thing that Paul has taught me, it’s that life is too short and too uncertain to hold grudges, especially against a fool like yourself.

Posted by Ted at September 6, 2003 10:05 PM
Category: Boring Stories

Apparantly the idiot has disabled Comments for that post. Did you leave something snarky? I was going to. Oh well.
He made a lot of good points, but that litany of "fuck you"s really torqued me off. I mean, the guy - by his own admission - has no understanding the people he's so harshly criticizing. Maybe he'll grow out of it.

Posted by: Tuning Spork at September 6, 2003 11:09 PM

Oh, and condolences on the loss. My grammaw is 86 -- same age as her mom she she died -- and I'm making the most of every minute I spend with her. She's got all her marbles, is an avid writer, and she's cool.

Posted by: Tuning Spork at September 6, 2003 11:14 PM

That's what got me too, the ending. I was too pissed to leave a comment when I read it, which was probably a good thing. Later I saw he'd turned them off.

And thanks. She was a sweet lady. Here's hoping for long life to you and yours!

Posted by: Ted at September 7, 2003 07:20 AM

i'd love to comment and say what i think of that guys post. But i would get in trouble if i did, so i will bite my tounge.

Posted by: Rachael at September 7, 2003 09:12 AM

Sorry to hear about your aunt, Ted. Sounds like she had a full life, and that's what we'd all like to be able to say.

Posted by: Jennifer at September 7, 2003 09:54 AM

*sigh* Some people. My dad died of lung cancer, at the age of 75. Did that hurt? Sure as hell. But - this was a man born in the 20's who lived through the depression, a world war, a stint as a mercenary in latin america, survived the death of a wife, brought enjoyment to far too many people to list over a career as a professional chef, and taught his son what being a man was all about.
I think he earned the ability to die of whatever the hell he wanted to, after living his life to his very best. I may wish he'd quit smoking and possibly lived a bit longer, but there's no guarantee he would have even if he had quit.

I'm like you, RJ: I hope stumpjumper lives a long, long time. Miserably. He wouldn't have qualified for the back of my old man's hand.

Posted by: Ironbear at February 18, 2004 10:11 PM
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