“When I’m 64”

indexIf I don’t pass away tonight in the next 52 minutes my obituary will say, “He quietly (or violently) passed away at the age of 63.”  62 sounds as bland as 63 when the Beatles made “64” a milestone when only half of them made it… John was 40 while walking home and George was 58 while at home and how often do Ringo and Paul meet except for an occasion that celebrates how close they are (not).

If you’re waiting for an article theme there is none.  There are no ten wishes that I wish on anyone.  There is no ultimate secret to loving and living life that I would share except to tonight’s receipt.  (Remember, if you share a secret then it’s no longer a secret.)

My pending birthday only occurred to me  a couple of times today and now, as the clock ticks away, I’m left with 42 remaining minutes before my number changes.  Many kind people reminded me about tomorrow but I don’t seem to return its gesture to them.

I thought I’d have a “James Dean” kind of ending but it did not happen since I’m still here and he was gone at 24 (but what faces he could create from that young face?)  I recall the U.S. death age for men is around 78 so I could always move.  If Japans’ is higher than I may gain a few years but lose them quickly in trying to adapt.

We don’t talk about death or our own personal demise because it appears to wreck the cocktails before dinner.  If it’s a shared joke or two then it’s fun as long as no name is mentioned.

Growing up my friends thought my parents where my grandparents because they married late so the end time has been a common thought for me.  I didn’t mind because, after all, I was James Dean!

Well, I beat James Dean and two Beatles and it’s now 32 minutes until a new digit is added to be pending obituary.  I mention obituary because my old Dad and I wrote his before he died.  He made several corrections about dates but otherwise thought it was good.

His didn’t mind viewing his entire life in a few paragraphs of coming from these folks, marrying her, doing this and that as a doctor would read a patient’s chart.  He looked up at me and he smiled.   He was satisfied with its brevity.  All of his stories, episodes and nuances would be left out because it was no one’s business but his.

I smile at the long newspaper obituaries that attempt to prove someone after that someone has been proven.  I smile tonight at my Dad’s simple details, accurate dates and nothing else.  I’m sure he supposed it was enough for him to be remembered.  I expect nothing less from my remaining 26 minutes.

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About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. He is associate pastor of partnering parishes, Christ King and St. Bernard parishes in Wauwatosa, WI.
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