How Did I Get Here, And Where Is The Next Turn?

Greetings and salutations to all who deem this worthy of your time...

Brought up Nov 21, 2012


I was looking at one of the shells that I found on my trip to the gulf, and suddenly felt like crying. It dawned on me. This poor creature's body had built this beautiful home for it, and it had either out grown it, or, more likely, had died while still quite small. I was thinking of that again on my walk this morning. Life, in all God's creatures, is so fragile and brief, whether it is just a few seconds, or many years. Life is a delicate miracle to be savored and enjoyed to the fullest. None of us have any idea how long we are given to dwell in our fragile shells.

That got me thinking about my own time on planet Earth. In one month and 4 days, I will have been on my life's journey for 50 years. Half a century. I have been so looking forward to that birthday, but now, it seems I don't know, maybe trite or just not quite the shindig I was hoping it would be. I know all our time is limited, no matter what we face. In a few weeks, at least part of my shell will cease to exist. I hope I don't have to have surgery during the holidays, but it doesn't really matter if I do. I was just wanting to keep my lady parts until past my birthday. Stupid, I know. It's not like it will interfere with the celebrating, as there has never been any of that for me. I've never even had a birthday party. I figure it will be just before Christmas, or right after. It's no big deal to me either way any more; the sooner the better, in my opinion.

The waiting has me maudlin and going to dark places I'd rather not visit. I've decided, in any case, to take the first date the doctor has available, and just get it over with. And, to be honest, the fewer who actually know its happening, the better. So, I won't be posting that particular date, until it is over and done. If you pray for me, go ahead. Send me the positive vibes now while I really need them. It's the doctor who will need them when that time comes, anyway. Pray his hand is steady, precise, and quick. Heaven help him is he screws up. I will make his life a living hell if he does.

That got me to thinking in one of those dark places. Death doesn't scare me. What scares me is the idea that I might die with things still undone. There are so many things I still want to do.

I do know that I do NOT want a funeral. I want those who love me to spend time with me while I am alive, not weeping over some empty shell. I will not be there. I will have abandoned it, and the mortal coil, for what ever is next. I'd rather be with those I love, and who love me, to hug, talk, laugh as often as possible. It isn't that much to ask, I don't think.

Funerals are such artificial affairs. And, I'd rather not have some 10th cousin suddenly come out of the wood work, blubbering as if we were best friends, or some friend I haven't seen in ten years or more suddenly there acting like they care when we haven't even spoken in our adulthood.

My grandmother used to say, bring me my roses while I'm alive. I get that now. She was saying the same thing. If you love me, be with me now, not just when I am sick, or worse, when I am no longer here to enjoy your company.

When my grandmother died, those who could not be bothered to spend 10 minutes with her once in a while suddenly made an appearance. It made me angry. A few of them, I wanted to deck. How dare they put on a big show of grieving over her body, when they could not find the time to spend with her when she occupied it?

And that body. I remember vividly going to the funeral home for the first time, and seeing what was being displayed in that box. I blocked that out for a long time, but this morning, it all hit me full force. It was not my grandmother. It was her dress, but they had stuffed the bust in such a way that my grandmother would have laughed or been highly offended. She would have said they tried to make her look like Dolly Parton. They had also put so much makeup on her, that empty shell looked like a kabuki dancer or worse, a street walker. My Granny never wore makeup. I flipped out. I swore we were in the wrong place, because THAT was not my Granny. There had to be a mistake. I demanded to know where my grandmother was. My mom and her sisters were offended as well. the family was ushered out and changes were made.

When we went back in, that empty shell resembled my granny a bit more, but I knew it wasn't her. I had watched my Granny leave that shell, you see. We all watched as she took her last breath, her heart beat its last. That was just an empty shell. My grandmother, my dear, sweet Granny, had gone on to what ever awaits us all.

Thinking on that this morning, as I waddled my way home, I decided to be firmer in my decisions. I do not want my kids to go through all that phony bullshit. Of course, it will be up to them. I won't be there. I hope they cremate this shell, as I want. I want them to throw a big party, my only one, I guess, and celebrate my life, not my death, the Irish way. Lots of booze, lots of food, and stories of the crazy things I will have done in the next 30 years. If they grieve, I hope it's short. I will have lived a life full of mischief and mayhem. I have plans, you see. When I leave this shell behind, I want those around me to say, well, we don't have to worry about what she's up to anymore. She's God's problem now. Or, the devil's if she goes to hell. She's going to take over the place. Most of all, I want all those I love to have memories of my hugs and laughter. I plan to dispense plenty of both in the next 30 years.


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