Paula is dead. Harry is soon to join. The way Paula died was pretty sad and dramatic. We were expecting a recovery, but it turned out to be a quick, tragic end. Harry is going through chemo, but he doesn't want to. His wife and sons have strong-armed him into it. It's hard to blame him; the kind of cancer he has is incredibly aggressive and only 15% survive to live for five years.
I lost great-grandpa and great-grandma McCaw early last decade, but they had always been old to me. It seemed very matter-of-course. But, as a young man, I saw Paula and Harry both very virile, strong and aged closely in relation to my folks. And now...they're dying.
It brings me one step closer to death. I've always seen those older than me as standing between myself and the grave. It's almost as if they were protecting me from it.
Now, as they pass, I feel the pallor of the grand equalizer draw closer, which is alarming as I think of this all from Guinevere's perspective concerning those around me. However, what I fear more, is the thought that I may die, as others I've known have, with grand regrets. I fear I might die without opening my brewery, or getting my Ph.D. I fear that I might royally screw up as a parent and have my child set against me for years, or that she might grow up with some major emotional dysfunction that I could've prevented by merely loving and supporting her.
And so, it is, that I think of the Klingon salutation when departing company with another for battle: Good death! That's what I want. A good death. When I hit the point at which I am preparing to cross over, I want to look back with joy, pride and satisfaction on a life well lived and feel as if my work in this realm is as complete as I could make it, given my years. I want to know that I loved well, lived humbly and worked at fulfilling my goals and dreams, whether I crashed and burned or succeeded beyond my greatest expectations.
So, it is with that I continue to move forward with an even greater sense of urgency. All our todays become yesterdays in the blink of an eye. Now is the time to do and act. Don't settle for less than all you want from life. Love much and do good, not evil.
Today is a good day to live, so that tomorrow may be a good day to die. Good death! Good death to you all.