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   No, I am not suicidal, not depressed, and not facing ill health or crisis.  Maybe, like not grocery shopping when you are hungry, maybe now is a good time to talk about death and our after life "wishes".  I have often made the satirical humorous remark: What happens after you die? They just hire someone else.  I love that truth packed statement.  But, what is a life.  There is more to life than just the dates, the most important is the dash.  All the experiences acquired are summed up in a little "dash" between those two dates of our birth and passing.  I see "death" as when we are 'forgotten' and no longer recalled.  I may not remember every tiny experiential detail of everyone I ever met, but there are many many times through out the day when sights, sounds, smells evoke a person's influence in my life.  I believe we all struggle as individuals to somehow contribute that one amazing thing into the experience of others.  Yet let us not neglect to recall that it is exactly "the others" about us that influence, guide and shape who we ourselves 'were'.
(This is very much like the one we picked out).

   We speak the name of a celebrity and instantly we are flooded with emotional responses; least of which is our own compassion among them and we are made to feel somehow less than they.  Who was I?  I can only have been me, and hope some of my behaviors, deeds and words were a positive influence on others.  I am not really sure of what all the perceived impressions are about who I am or what influence I was on others.  But for me personally, my biggest source of pride is; that I was a servant.  I tried in my own, behind the scene, "extra" in the background blur of life to be an important 'prop' to everyone else.

   When I was a child my dad gave us a Bible verse to memorize, and mine was Colossians chapter Three verse twenty-three; with it, my path was set.   As a child was I "the doorman" at our place of worship.  I mowed yards, worked years in Fast Food, served as a Chaplain's ASSISTANT in the National GUARD, work for the state SUPPORTIVE living center, was for years as the CAREGIVER for my disable wife.  So, looking back over my own life all I see was "a servant".

   Religion touts a thousand different roads, each spreading their own agendas, but the honesty of any religious path's core should be that of "servant-hood".  To GOD (the gods) and then vicariously exemplified into the lives of others about us.  I asked Brother Bounds, an 80 year old senior, who had memorized the Bible, and one of my most beloved mentors: "What was the meaning of Life?"  His simplistic answer again resounded servitude into my ears, "The meaning of life is 'Relationships'. Whether it's sixty seconds at the bus stop or sixty years with a loved one; we all desire to give back and make them better."  My heart-felt desire in life has been nothing less that, "giving back and making things better".  I have not always been perfect in achieving the ends of that purposeful goal in my life, but I hope I have not neglected nor strayed far from trying.

   Everyone I have ever met, I viewed as being so much above me, others were always 'better than me'.  Yet the older and hopefully more mature, hopefully wiser I have grown; I see all this time they have only been "different" not 'better'.  Different is good.  I would love to give even a frail thumbnail list of some of the people who have influenced my life and directions, but I would sorely be leaving someone out or not crediting them with enough of what I took and learned from their example.  I will say, I'm sorry I never said "I love you" and "thank you" enough.  More importantly, my prayer is that I showed them how precious they were to me.  I never had money, when I did it was spent on others and rarely on myself; which brought a better happiness to me.  Seems I always spread myself too thin, my regret (if any) is that I wish I had given more.  From today onward let me not neglect in doing so.

   I scribbled my thoughts with words in an effort to craft stories, many unfinished but all with the intent of thinking beyond the box of complacency and what if life isn't what we believed the moments were really about?  I liked writing things that had the reader wondering what came next.

   At my death, and passing from this life filled with experiences I want to be remembered.  Just remembered, as you see fit; because your version was probably the truth.  Our lives are made up of slices and views and bits and pieces of choices and consequences that are layered if not building toward - something.  What will my Obituary say about me? Who will write it? What was MY LIFE about?  Thank you all for being a part of my experience, my relationship with you was momentous, for you were an amazing slice I enjoyed with ever fiber!

A Servant's Prayer

   I am to be cremated.  The urn, and funeral plan have already been purchased (locked away in a safe box in the living-room).  I would love DUST IN THE WIND, and BREAK EVERY CHAIN, played.....(and of COURSE this one!!!)  Maybe some will be sad, but I would love to hear laughter and jokes shared and the silly things told; I had joy, I had hope, I had love, I had peace in this experience... and after this post I pray to go on crafting the rest of my own personal story.


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