|I think I'll just stay home if it's all the same to you guys.|
I'm a smart-Alec kind of a girl, still enjoying life in my twenties. I'm lucky enough to live in a (relatively) free country and (so far) have been fortunate to not suffer any life-threatening illnesses that might force me to come to terms with my obvious mortality. As far as I know, I'm not the Highlander. I know we all have to check out sooner or later. I'm not an idiot. At least not for that reason. I just always assumed that I would die in my sleep as a 90 year old grandma or (fingers-crossed) would be cryogenically brought back to life by the use of new Sci-fi technology that puts my old lady head on the body of a bionic supermodel. Stranger things could happen! So it came as some surprise to me earlier today when my own impending death took front and center stage in my mind.
|Well, that and Laz Alonso... a girl's gotta multitask.|
One of the local news stations was running a story about a driver of a mini-van who unfortunately was crushed by a truck today in an attempt to avoid a collision with another car. Now this is surely a sad story and my condolences go out to the deceased's family members but stories like this play on the evening news day after day after day with little more than a lifted eyebrow of a reaction out of me. What made this story any more special than the others? Well for one thing, the location of the accident took place at an intersection that I frequent in my morning commute two days out of the week. And if that wasn't weird enough, the accident took place at almost the exact time that I am usually driving on that road. In fact, I would have been driving on that road today had it not been for a last minute change-up in my schedule. I guess this would be the time the cynics in the crowd will start rolling their eyes at me and I wouldn't entirely blame you. No, I'm not trying to say this was some kind of divine intervention. I haven't been having tea time with Roma Downey and the ghost of Della Reese. I just decided to do something else today. And that something else is more than likely responsible for me not being in my car at that time, on that road and possibly the difference between me being all the way live and dead as disco. That's kind of a big deal to me. I don't know exactly what it is. I just know that it is something. Thinking about my own death or more specifically the precise time that it might happen, got me to thinking about my own funeral. I know, I'm being pretty macabre today, aint I? Thing is though, I've never (not even once) thought about what my funeral will be like. I mean I've given it a purely surface-level overview, like I would hope people.. you know... show up for the damn thing. And even though it saddens me to think that my death would bring pain to my loved ones, I sure as hell don't want to have a funeral full of people hand-clapping and boot-stomping. I mean, this isn't a praise and worship session at Ty Tribbett's super-church. This is my last hurrah on the planet. My last chance to be remembered as... someone who mattered. I'm gonna need y'all to make with the woo woo woos and tear ducts should be activated.
|It's okay guys, let it out. I was pretty awesome.|
But besides my narcissistic need to make my left behind loved ones sad and a hope that those same people will have something nice to say about me, I don't really know how that day is going to go down. None of us has control over anything beyond the logistics of it all. We can plan for who's going to get what once we're gone but we can't plan for what parts of ourselves people are going to remember the most. Sure you can try your best to be a better person and hope your good words and actions speak for the kind of person you were now that you're gone. But just like with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., folks are going to remember you more for the idea of who you were and what you represented to them more than the human, flawed, unique individual that you were when you were in their presence. And that's the rub! As in control as I'd like to be at all times, when I go that's all she wrote. I would hope that my loved ones remember me as being funny(ish) and genuine. I certainly hope they remember more of my good qualities than the bad ones like the fact that I can't finish a game of Monopoly without flipping the board over (take that, Park Place!) or that I bust out into a fit of nervous laughter whenever Sarah Mclachlan or Roberta Flack comes on t.v. singing about those damn puppies and kittens with their eyes poked out (seriously, who is poking out the eyes of all these kittens?!). I hope they remember some of the things that we as humans tend to forget when we're not around each other. The things that make us special. Our quirkiness. Like the fact that I blow on my ice cream before I eat it but dive right into hot soup or that I sometimes speak in a baby-voice when I'm tired. If I've got to go (and we all have to) I just hope the world remembers what made me... me.
And if you could work in somewhere that I was the inventor of the Post It note, that'd be super.
--- Vanity in Peril