Why Are We Here? How Long Will It Last?

As we started the 1960's, I took over a paper route in Wichita, Kansas. I had the route that was most of my neighborhood and was a walking route. It was for the Wichita Eagle and Beacon after they joined forces as "the paper" to read in Wichita. I am pretty sure that I walked between three and four miles twice a day for just about a year. During that year, I developed and maintained a habit of reading the paper. I am almost fanatical about having the virgin paper to read and pretty much read it in the same order each day. Today I walk out and get the paper at the end of our driveway and love to sit in the sun with a cup of coffee and read.

I generally start out with the front page. I skim the headlines and read most of the articles that grab my attention. If the article really grabs me, I will continue reading the article as it goes to page three, four or five. There are more that continue somewhere else that I don't follow than those that I do. I give the opinion page a glance to see if Joe Schmoe has written anything controversial. Most of the time I know if there will be the chance of something there but I never know. I will read what the editorial staff has chosen as their topic for their rant but don't always read it. Those small columns at the bottom of the paper are often notes from the dis staff side and I don't read them either.

Somewhere in the paper the ads begin to fill the pages and if often skip them and move to the Obituaries. Today a dear friend from work had her obituary in the paper. I always tell people that I read the obits to make sure that I am not there. I would hate to have a "Sixth Sense" moment and discover that I am really dead and don't know it yet. My Friend Wilma and her husband Clarence worked for the Kansas National Guard for years. Clarence was the truck driver that delivered goods to our Armory for years. He was the conduit for the unofficial news from Topeka. I am fairly sure that he fostered that role to get people to come out and help him unload the items in the truck. It worked as most of us would gather around for the news and the unloading would go fast. Wilma worked in the Full time personnel office and was one of those people that would always give you the correct answer if you had a problem. I can't remember her ever giving me bad advice. She was sad if she had to give you bad advice but it was always by the book. Clarence and Wilma retired and for years gathered up a list of full timers and sent out an invitation for a yearly get together at the Local VFW.

This leads me to the point that I question why we are here? I know that Wilma and Clarence had many joys and many heartaches in their lives. They weren't rich, but they always were rich in friends. The birth of their children and grandchildren were their joy. The death of their daughter to an unknown killer was sad highlight. They were friends to many of my friends and belonged to the church that I sang at with their dinner theater. Where they here to touch the lives of so many, or for their personal joy? They will live in my memories for as long as my memories exist.

How long will it last? Last night we had our daughter-in-law over for dinner with her nephews. Kyler and Austen are two bright kids that Da' Barb's both love. They are pretty typical boys and I think they will do well in the long run. It kind of hit me that if I do live long enough to have a grandchild, there is probably a small chance that I would live to see the birth of a great grand child. At 60 I am not sure how much more of life I will be allowed to live. I am not sure how much more I want to live. 20 years? 30 years? not 40 years! It would not be unusual for Barb to survive another 40 years as her family has a long history of old women that survive the death of a husband. My dad made it into his mid 70's so I feel confident that baring some major illness I'll make it there. Neither of my grandfathers lived as long as I have so there is no frame of reference there.

I am pretty sure that if I went out on the Internet I could find a table that would tell me based on the year that I was born what the expected life length should be. How many of us would really want to know to the day how long we will live? I will live, love and laugh until the last of my days and continue to have confidence that I won't suffer long. I don't fear death and I don't long for it.

Have a sunny day and eat an orange for me. In fact, eat two cups of fruit and three cups of vegetables for me. I will.



  1. I'm just starting to experience the threat of old age - two of my friends recently have been diagnosed with cancer; another is a cancer survivor. My parents both died in their 60's so I choose not to go by that method of figuring out my years left. I just try to make the most out of whatever time I have left. One of the things I like about your writing is you seem to have a full and happy life and that's what I think is most important.

    It's gonna be a great OU/KU game. That is, if Blake doesn't get his bell rung again!

  2. Will Blake find his bell un-rung? It is the time in the season that the teams control their own destiny. I wish them both well (with at least one hand with crossed fingers for the hawks)
    Live, laugh, love and be happy for tomorrow we die. I have been shot at and missed, shit on and hit and prefer the misses. MUD

  3. The OU website is reporting Blake as a starter this morning, so I guess his bell is ok. My favorite Sooner roundballer is Austin Johnson - that might be because I know his parents (we went to college together).