Saturday, January 29, 2011

Old People - Regrets & How To Be Remembered?

Yesterday in the morning an elderly man of about 93 passed away with his step-daughter at his side.  His wife of 38 years had just left to go home from the hospital for a quick nap.

His brother is pushing 81.  That is the only surviving member of the three brother family now.  When questioned about how he was doing, his wife said he was fine.  He'd seen it coming and the brother who had passed was increasingly bitter after a 93+ year life full of bitterness.

The story made me question the length of one's life vs the quality of it.  It also made me question how best to be remembered.

My uncle was nasty.  The last conversation with him this past November was surly.  He said I did not know my father and that my father was an uproarious drunk and womanizer.  I laughed at first trying to brush it off as the dementia settling inside his head but then he pushed further.  He went on to exclaim that my father had serially cheated on my mom saying he heard this from my eldest brother.

Yes, we probably DO belong on the Jerry Springer show but I digress.

After trying to change the subject a few times, redirect it to neutral topics and he then went on to bash the United States (he married a Canadian), and when he returned to bashing my father with vitriol that is unbecoming anyone let alone family, I politely hung up on him.


My mother was in tears when I said that I was thankful she let me know but that honestly, I was not going to miss someone who had created such nasty memories.  I don't care if the individual was family or not.

My immediate family is more important to me.  My dad, my son, and my mother.

So, I'm not sure if it was good that he is now remembered for his nasty last conversations?  or his bitterness?  or the length of his life.

I hope that the genes that caused him to be so intrinsically bitter and age with such acrimony that no one wanted to be around him, skip me.

That, or someone helps me stop being nasty with a nice little doseage of sleep meds.

I would rather be remembered as someone who did good for others in a shorter life.

Than someone who took everything, spewed sewage, and lived to push 100.

At any rate, Godspeed, Uncle Bud.  I hope you find the peace in heaven that you never had or shared here on earth.

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