Monday, November 27, 2006

Thoughts of mortality

Yesterday in a rare idle moment I explored the calendar on my cell phone.

You can set reminders for future dates.


I wanted to see how far into the future the calendar would go,
so just for fun I set a reminder on my cell phone for my upcoming birthdays.


I'm 60 now.
I set reminders for my 80th,
90th
and 100th birthdays.


Although I know in two years I'll trade this phone for a new one,
it was an interesting exercise.

Holding down the # key rapidly on my phone scrolls rapidly through the months,
and before you know it, a year flashes by,
and then another,
and another...


(Kind of like real life)


It got me to thinking,
thinking about the finiteness of life.


How many cell phones will I go through in my remaining years on this planet?


Even if I live to be 100,
I will have already lived more than half of my years.


This exercise started me thinking.


What is life about, anyway?


The early years seem simple if sometimes hard.


A person must learn;
might choose a mate;
might reproduce;
must earn a living for oneself and one's family;
and raise one's children.


Then comes this long stretch of years
before the end arrives.


One's marriage may crumble;
one's children grow up and make lives of their own,
perhaps giving one grandchildren.


One may remarry and begin a new life;
inheriting a new extended family far away.

One may move to a distant city far away to start anew;
beginning a new career, starting over again from the bottom as a novice,
scratching and clawing one's way slowly back into respect.

One's new spouse may die an untimely death from leukemia as did mine,
leaving one alone as never before.


One may then have the courage to begin a third new life;
inheriting yet a third new extended family in yet another new place;
the adventures seem unending,
and new challenges appear every day.


But one day
it will come to an end.


What is the moral of this story?

Is there any real purpose to life?

Is it just putting one foot in front of the other?


I think the answer lies in the accumulation of knowledge,
which one may pass on to one's descendants
and to all the others who will follow.


Because
in the end
there will be
nothing
left of me
except
my thoughts.

2 comments:

Wrkinprogress said...

Oh, there will be more than just your thoughts. There will be me, who will have the memories of you; there will be your children, who carry your DNA and look and act like you; there will be your beautiful grandchildren who have inherited your ability to play beautiful music, and think creatively, and love with open hearts. My darling, THAT is a legacy that goes beyond mere thoughts. YOU, precious one, have made a GIGANTIC mark upon this earth -- in the hearts and minds of those who love you, if nowhere else.

Peace, my love. We have so much to look forward to together. You are the light of my life and the most wonderful man on earth. :)

Genevieve said...

Gosh, what could be added to that?! :D

I find myself thinking more about my own mortality as age creeps up on me. I try to stay busy with life so I don't have time to think too much.