I have a tenant who we will call “G” who is dying of lung cancer. It is only a matter of time and his daughter informed me to-day that he will be going to a Hospice which specializes in end of life Palliative Care. G is a wiry tough old bird in his early seventies who is a retired Bell Lineman. He moved in just over three years ago and , to me at least ,has always been a friendly pleasant chap. I really don’t know much about G other than he has at least one son and daughter and he worked for Ma Bell. I guess the reason I’m writing about him is he is the second tenant this year who has passed away or will shortly and both in their seventies and that’s where I am. To tell the truth I am surprised that I have made it this far because there were a few times when I fully expected to meet the Grim Reaper. The last time I went under the knife to have a ruptured Femoral Artery repaired I remember saying to myself just before I went out you are not waking up from this one David. I was the most surprised patient in that recovery room when I heard my oldest daughter telling me to wake up. Couldn’t believe it. I remember thinking later that I must be one rotten S.O.B. because as they say only the good die young. Guess the Universe still has some use for me.
When you see people you know in your own age bracket start to pass away it sort of gets’ you thinking. It is almost an involuntary reaction as you start examining your life and how you lived it. I am neither Saint nor Sinner just your average Hominid, getting by. It has been all in all a pretty average normal life. I’ve done some traveling and had a few adventures. Loved and Lost. Fathered two beautiful daughters which are by far my greatest of achievements. I have read an awful lot of books; REALLY AN AWFUL LOT OF BOOKS. You see I have this addiction to History. Son-in-law says I should have been a Historian/Professor but I chose a different road to go down. Maybe the next time around I will. That is if I have any say in the matter. The Universes’ priorities might not be the same as mine.
It is an undisputed fact that when we are young we think we are immortal and thinking such we sometimes do some pretty stupid things. It is amazing that as we age we seem to look before we leap. When I look back and think of some of the situations I got myself into it is surprising I’m still here. Take the fact that at age 24 I join a foreign army engaged in a war and go off to fight. I not only do my one year in combat I volunteer for an extra year. Never finished the full second year as I got badly burnt and had to be evacuated. The best thing that came out of that was I met my ex-wife got married and we had two daughters. Now here I am in my seventieth year and my parents and all but one aunt and one uncle are all gone. So far none of my cousins have passed away and anyway as I’m the oldest I’ll more than likely be the first.
I constantly make jokes about death and dying. Why not I’m not afraid and it is inevitable. You know what they say about death and taxes. They’re a fact of life. My employer gets worried if I don’t call her every morning Monday to Friday. I tell her not to because if I die I’ll phone her and let her know. She still worries. Hell why fear or worry about it, there’s nothing you can do to stop it. I mean I’m not looking forward to it mainly because my life is pretty good and I’d like to hang around a bit longer just to piss off any enemies that I may have. There is also the fact that my Mom use to say I was going to burn in hell and to be honest I don’t relish that as I’m not a hot weather person.