“Tomorrow, So ya gotta hang on ‘Til tomorrow, Come what may,Tomorrow!, Tomorrow!, I love ya, Tomorrow!, You’re always a day away” Martin Sharnin
Death is not a pleasant discussion perhaps but it is definitely an inevitable one. In fact being aware that you are going to die will enrich your life. Knowing that life is temporary will make your appreciate it more and allow you to enjoy the journey.
I recall how my dad would boast about death and how we would discover the secret to life’s greatest mystery. He wasn’t boasting in the hospital when he got the news that doctors could do nothing for him and that his life was reduced to days. I tried to talk to him about God but he rebuked me in a growl, “I’m trying to figure out how to survive, I got no time for that.” In the end despite his agnosticism and that I never saw him set a foot in a church besides for weddings and funerals he called for the catholic priest. I guess he was hedging his bets.
My dad definitely improved over time. The unapproachable ogre mellowed out a great deal after his heart attacks. When he retired he seemed to refocus on life. He did more things for personal enjoyment. He loosened up on his tight finances and ate out in restaurants and went on vacations. In particular he liked to go on cruises.
I think that my mental illness had a profound effect on my dad. I was in engineering school and when I got sick it put an end to that. Later in life he would remark that if I stayed in school I would be something now. My dad could say insensitive and stupid things without realizing it.
I firmly believe that when we look at tomorrow we should be full of hope. We should ignore the great challenges this world will face, but rather the opportunity that we will be given in the aftermath of the storm. We need to create a movement for the betterment of mankind predicated on the philosophy of human kindness. If you can’t be nice to your fellow human being I really don’t care what your message is, by your actions you have already invalidated your theorems.
My dad of course was a product of his time as we are all. He grew up in the depression. Once he remarked to me that his dad was a baker so they never went hungry. My dad was drafted for the Korean war. This despite that his mother was a widow, he had a family, and that his brothers were in the service. They needed his specialty so the violated their own rules. My dad also remarked once how traumatic graduate school was, that he had nightmares from it. These three events shaped my dad’s outlook on life.
A broken man is a strong man. The sturdy oak will fall in the storm but the blades of grass will pass unharmed. I have seen in my life many an arrogant man, I once was in their number. Mental illness if nothing else will deflate your ego. Though I wouldn’t wish such affliction on my worst enemy I am a better man for the heavy burden of the cross. Some lessons can only be learned through experience.
I am a different person then my dad. Primarily I am a man of faith while he is a man of science. Still I find myself acting out some of his mannerisms. I have to catch myself and reprogram my mind not to follow his bad habits. Of course the good habits I embrace. My dad was a hard working man, and spent his money wisely.
So my dad has made the trip we all must take. I won’t boast and say I’ll be leaving here with more bravery or courage. Death is a tricky thing and one never knows how one will act until they are put in the situation. From my faith I look forward to tomorrow, yet by my humanity I am quite happy it is a day away.
Here is a book of looking into tomorrow with science fiction’s eye, “From Chaos To Cosmos” https://johnkaniecki.weebly.com/from-chaos-to-cosmos.html