Forty and one day

So, yesterday was my birthday.  The Big Four-O.

Having never celebrated birthdays until I was in my late twenties, they never really meant much to me.  In fact, I kind of dread them, but not for any vain reason, like getting older.  We all get older whether or not we celebrate our birthday.  I dread them because, while I’ve had great times celebrating with my friends, it seems that there have been some pretty sad things happen around it as well:

1999:  My friend Craig commits suicide.
2003:  My Uncle Shelby passes away.
2005:  Marlene, my mother-in-law passes away.
2009:  My father passes away.
2011:  My Aunt Inez passes away.
2012:  My friend Rosie passes away.

These days it seems like Death is around every corner.  There’s crazy things going on in the world.  Earthquakes and tsunamis and vampires and zombies.  But are they any crazier then they ever have been?  Maybe…  Maybe not.  Maybe it’s just that we are all connected way more thanks to the internet and 24 hour news channels that need stories to fill up all that time.

Regardless, here I am at forty years old and I’ve taken to (over)thinking about things a lot.

Last year a friend of mine from my youth died in a car accident.  We were friends on Facebook, but just the polite, somebody that I used to know kind of friends.  The kind of friends that like posts, but rarely comment.  After he died, I went to his page for the first time.  From his page, I followed a link to a website that he had set up to show off his photography.  It was a great website, I’m sure he spent many hours getting it put together, however there were no photographs.  There was only this phrase, “Here is where I will be posting my photographs to share with you all.”  Sadly, it was written the year before and there were no photographs.  I’m sure he meant to post things there.  I wish that he had.  But it was so sad to see the empty space of what might have been.  I’ve thought a lot about that page over the past few weeks.  Honestly, the thing that gets me the most is how it feels very much like this page.  I’ve posted twice or so in the past two years.

I don’t want to be that kind of person.  However I’m not going to say that I’m going to write every day.  I know that the odds are heavily in favor that I probably will not write something everyday.  But, I don’t want someone to come here after I die and be saddened by the posibility of what I didn’t do.  So, I’m going to do my level best not to disappoint.  Or, at least to disappoint them with the reality of what I did do.

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