View Full Version : If this were the last day of your life.....

07-01-2006, 06:28 PM
would you be o.k. with that? Perhaps a little morbid, and I mean no disprespect to anyone. Just got a call that my wife's favorite cousin and a very close friend to me passed away a few minutes ago. She had inoperable cancer. It was not unexpected.

My wife came home the other night from visiting her cousin to tell me that she was very worried about me. I have worked in chemical manufacturing for 25 years, and in one of her periods of distress my wife's cousin had told her that she 'just knew' that I was 'eaten up' with cancers because of it. Well, I do a physical every year and have nothing to report but I am not going to say it won't happen. The average life expectancy of guys in my line of work who work rotating shifts is about eight years less than the norm.

Anyway, my wife, whom I love with all of my heart, tearfully asked me the question the other night: if this were the last day of your life how would you feel about it? After thinking about it for a moment I just smiled and told her 'I wish that I had sailed the Dragon more'. She just laughed. 'Of all the things in your life to think of, that's what you'd regret?', she asked me.

I have been blessed with the love of my parents and sister, my in-laws, my wife and children, and of some good friends. I have a challenging job that I do pretty well. I have travelled enough to say that I have travelled. I have seen the stars on the ocean at night and had the respect of my friends and peers in my little insular world of short-course sailboat racing. I have taken care of very many lost animals over the years. I have tried to be an example to my kids, and even though I failed more often than not, they are good girls and I am extremely proud of them all.

Regrets? I wanted to graduate from college but I fell short there. I should have been a better friend on occasion but never really found a way to do that and balance it out with the family. I never really got to do the full-blown sailing campaign that I always wanted to do. Too many other things in the way. May seem silly when you are counting the days of your life, but there are shelves filled with books on people who indulged a hobby, I just never could commit like that.

So yeah, if I had one thing that I could do over it would be to spend more time in the Dragon. That, and I want to meet my grandkids someday. Other than that I feel like my blessings have outwieghed my shortfalls a hundred fold.

Thanks for the chance to talk about it.

Mickey Lake

Phillip Allen
07-01-2006, 06:53 PM
My Uncle Earl died some years ago. Before he died (by some years) my cousin and I came to a conclusion about him at the same time. Uncle Earl was not very smart and could say the stupidest things and even do stupid things. All us kids knew this and we tended to ignore him for it and to slight him behind his back. We called him “Poor-ole” because his own wife would say of him; poor ole Earl. The first time anyone “named” him poor-ole was a night when my cousin came over to go out somewhere with me and I said I couldn’t because Mom, Dad and I were going over to poor-ole’s for a visit…he immediately knew who I meant and that was the beginning of that…

Later, as we matured a bit we came to the realization (also at the same time) that Uncle Earl was a kindly old man who never did anyone any harm..we figured that we had been wrong and that was that…

If this was the last day on earth for me, I would hope to begin to be as kindly remembered as our Uncle Earl,

For My Uncle Earl

He was a skinny ole man with a distinctive voice
He was a plain man and us kids all knew it, but he was our Uncle Earl

He’d dress up and red and white with a cotton beard and a pillow under a plastic belt
He was our Uncle Santa Clause

He gave us brown paper bags of Christmas candy and oranges
He brought them in a burlap sack that smelled like Brown’s feed mill

He cut our hair with old fashioned hand clippers
He played an old Silvertone guitar…but only just

He drank about an ounce of beer at Jane’s wedding and danced bent over, looking at his feet
He was all elbows and angles and the twenty-year-old he danced with was all bosom

He taught us something
He was a valuable Uncle

Nick Scheuer
07-01-2006, 08:01 PM
I'd say.

Moby Nick

07-01-2006, 09:30 PM
Every day is the last day of your life. Tomorrow you'll be someone else. Similar, perhaps, to who you are today, but you'll never be the same you you are today, right now.

Like that.

07-02-2006, 01:35 AM

It's a interesting question, and the answer often depends on my philosophical disposition at the time. Some moments I see this as the best school we can imagine. A classroom where you are just encouraged to learn, no sanction for failure, no grades, but lot's of chances to make the best of it. Other times I guess a Calvinist gloom takes over and I fret over my sins of commision and omission.

Is it possible both are true, in some way we don't understand? That's what I think most days, and mostly lean towards the former moments. A large part of what drives us, makes us live today, is derived from sorrow and rage we aren't even aware of, and stuff that when the grim reaper comes he just laughs at. It's a common experience of mystics the world over to laugh in unison. I'm not sure what it is they see beyond the veil, but they are often belly laughing about how the great mass of people goes about their lives. When they aren't weeping.

07-02-2006, 02:17 AM
My best friend was 46 yrs older than I. He worked all the time,saved all his money,common to a blue collar career man. Did pretty well for himself towards the end,ducks in a row,no suffering of poverty and by just getting by wisely. If the car broke he had a means to get it fixed.Never bills paid late or an unbalanced checkbook. Very stable in his existence and a great provider. I always looked up to him for his responsible ways and stability.

He knew he was getting old,I was always up front with him about it. Me always trying to convince him of the great life he had,been across Europe in WW2,had lived and seen all the best of Florida.

So one day I asked him that if he were me,what would he do to secure some kind of future? To get where he had? He told me to forget about the scrimping of money and worrying about old age. Get out and do all you want to now while your body still can,there will be plenty of time left for all that tomorrow.The best things in life are free anyway, and that too many people are too worried about living it with any kind of carelessness. Build that boat now,fix the house up when you are too old to go anywhere,you'll need stuff to do then more than now. Keep in touch with your friends because the remembering the old times will make you miss them when everyone has gone by the wayside.

He said he had pretty much spent his life burdened with worry(not regret,really,he had a great family life) and responsibility of not being able to fail, that he had missed out on all the adventures dreamed, so as to not ever run out of the almighty dollar. And why he was grumpy because it had all gone by way too fast and just woke up this way one day.

Then he goes on to say,"of all the times of my life,seeing you being late,talking me into taking off work to go fishing and all the other unmentionable traits that a responsible man just doesn't do,all your hair brained ideas and projects,has been the closest I have ever gotten to experiencing what I would have rather done...Now let's be quiet,we're scaring the fish."

Phillip Allen
07-02-2006, 09:09 AM
I like that...

07-02-2006, 10:47 AM
If I could plan my last day,it would be out on the boat.As it is i dont get near enough time on the boat,at most every other week.If we give up buying groceries,doctors visits for my wife,etc ,we might be able to find more time ,but doesnt seem likely.My last day on the lake cruisng slowly,watching the world go slowly by.