with thanks to songwriters: turnbull, dave; cory, david lee and to montgomery gentry--
"but i know i'm a lucky man
god's given me a pretty fair hand
got a house and piece of land
a few dollar's in a coffee can
my old truck's still running good
my ticker's ticking like they say it should
i got supper in the oven, a good woman's loving
and one more day to be my little kid's dad
lord, knows i'm a lucky man"
how can a man know that, at the end, his life has done anything more than occupy space and time? for myself, i find it hard to know if my years on this earth have amounted to anything at all.
i would be forever in listing the things i've not accomplished in my life.
i haven't written a book for instance. there was a time when i read anything and everything louis lamour. having read most of his works, though perhaps formulaic, he made it look so easy. i thought i'd try my hand at writing an oater. i couldn't get past the first line.
i've not invented anything, although, i consider myself a fairly inspired southern engineer. there simply has not been any terrific ideas come to mind for some gadget or another that might make susie homemaker's life a bit easier.
i could go on and on, ad nauseum, about the things i've not done in my life. for the sake of time we'll not go there.
given those things not accomplished, how does one measure the measure of a life? my hunch is that is has to do with the little things. things that too often are taken for granted.
on the positive side, i've never been to jail. nothing is on record more serious than some few traffic infractions, but nada that would prevent my being trusted with the nation's secrets back in the day.
i've never had anything re-possessed for non-payment. there may have been a few late fees assessed but there can be a lesson learned even in that circumstance.
i suppose my life could be reduced to numbers. married-- 33+ years to the same wonderful woman; 3 kids, 0 grand-kids ( a real sore spot with me as all 3 have sworn they will never have children of their own. i'm praying for divine intervention on that front.) 35+ years working for the same hospital. an ???? number of patients that have come into, and survived my cares. i suppose i'll be there until i retire, if they don't run me off first.
the house we built together in '77 has $0.00 on the balance due sheet. the 2 of us kind of rattle around in it like bb's in an empty beer keg. without the 3 cats for company and entertainment our life these days stands a pretty fair chance of becoming exceptionally dull.
but, as i see it, there's a problem with reducing a life to numbers. if omitted from those 33+ years is the pain of loved ones lost. if nelgected are the tears of joy and remorse, the laughter and the pride taken in watching children grow and mature into responsible, productive adults. if left uncolored are the outlines of a life whose shared experiences together have made the years fly by. if only today is taken into account, if left un-recollected is the love that made days flow into weeks, weeks into yesteryear, then there is nothing. but there has been love. the love of a family that eased the way through the bad and celebrated the good. when colored in, the years together equal the sum of our collective memories and in the end sums up a beautiful life and worth it all. aio