December 12, 2011

100 Years From Now, What Difference Will It Make

(Sorry for the paragraphing, I wrote in Word, posted in Chrome Google, and viewed in Internet Explorer.)

100 Years From Now…

My husband has this saying that is a cure for annoying doldrums (black mood, dumps, slump, and blahs or accidents by the wife).

His favorite response is also effective for displacing displeasure with joy; disgust with respect; acrimony with courtesy; and pain with comfort.

It also works for anything that is, “my bad” as the current saying goes. Or, for those times we look up and say in exasperation, “seriously???”

“One hundred years from now, what difference will it make?” observes my philosophical, enduring, imperturbable, gentle, and loving, hubby, “Daddy Jim” when things go badly.

We like to assume we will live forever. It’s hard to wrap our heads around the, “one hundred years from now” philosophy.

I surely expect to milk it for all it’s worth and continue to live a vibrant, dynamic, sparkling, and vivacious life until I’m the last one out!

Last Friday at work, a patient passed away a few hours after I arrived on duty. He was 88 (I think), and what I saw was a withered old man who was unresponsive, breathing heavy with his mouth open, and skin covered with bruises and discoloration.

An older woman sat quietly beside him smoothing his hair back. Silent tears ran down her face as I approached to check for her husband’s respirations and heartbeat.

A few minutes later, when the LPN came to tell me that our patient had died, I hurried to ‘pronounce” him as having no respiration and no heartbeat. My next responsibility was to call everyone on the “to-call” list including the doctor, the chaplain, the administrator, the front desk, the mortuary, the director of nursing, and Hospice.

About an hour after he died, there was a small remembrance service conducted at the bedside with the chaplain presiding, as we always do at our facility.

As I held the daughter’s hand and listened to others tell of this man’s life, I was shocked! He had been a United State Air Force fighter pilot all his life. His first mission had been at Pearl Harbor. He had been commended for helping save one of the Marshall Islands during the war when his plane bombed and destroyed an enemy ship. He was to have a full military funeral after his remains were returned from the research organization he had donated them to!

He and his wife loved life, even learning to deep sea dive after the age of 80-years old. And, so much more I learned during those few minutes of togetherness, while he lay in repose on the bed, silent and still, gently covered with a white sheet.

Time seemed to stop during those few minutes of exploration into this one man’s life. I thought about the one hundred years allotted to some of us as living one life, for one moment in time.

One hundred years from now, will it matter that the chocolate frosted cake, created with such precise care and delicate detail, got accidentally turned upside down?

One hundred years from now, it will not still be frustrating that all the Christmas cards were returned for no postage?

One hundred years from now, the disappointment over a box of dry, brittle chocolates will be forgotten.

One hundred years from now, the loneliness when our children moved so far away will be replaced with the joy of finding them again.

One hundred years from now, there will no longer be the memory of a boss or coworker who is unrelenting, ungrateful, selfish, critical, arrogant, and dictatorial?

One hundred years from now, no one will miss the Christmas gift that got lost in the mail?

One hundred years from now, I will not remember the time the cat peed on my last clean uniform just as I was getting ready for work?

One hundred years from now, I won’t care that the new tire got ruined with a nail, and that I didn’t pay the $15 for a replacement guarantee?

I think of my friends as I fast forward,

One hundred years from now, she won’t remember the time hubby spent Christmas in jail for not having insurance on the car?

One hundred years from now, the penetrating pain of rejection by a lost love will no longer exist.

One hundred years from now, we will no longer feel the weight of the world from the loss of a good job, destruction of a beautiful home, death of a soul mate, spouse, loving child, devoted friend, or faithful pet, whose passing caused such great depression and grief.

No, we will not remember those scenes that brought profound sentiments and intense feelings.

In retrospect, some experiences may be the same one hundred years from now…

The lunar and solar eclipse will continue to stun the world.

Vacationers will swim delightedly with the dolphins.

Quartz stones in the pocket will bring good luck.

Volcanoes will rock the world and spew ashes and hot gasses into the atmosphere.

Continents will still shift and cause devastating earthquakes.

The four seasons will be enjoyed by most of the world.

It will snow in the high country, and be dry in deserts.

Cars won’t have tires.

People won’t mail Christmas cards.

Robots will make the chocolate cakes, and pronounce people dead.

People will still dislike going to work every day to tolerate unrelenting, ungrateful, selfish, critical, arrogant, and dictatorial, bosses or coworkers.

Our children, family, friends, enemies, bosses, and co-workers, will be wherever we are in time and space.

Our grandchildren will be nearing 100-years old. It will be a new century with old ways.

Unless of course, as some say, our universe has ended, and another has begun.

So, don’t forget to smile today and say thank-you, even if you don’t feel like it … and repeat Daddy Jim’s favorite saying when you remember,

“One hundred years from now, what difference will it make?”

Thank-you, Daddy Jim.

Take Care on the Journey
Your friend in 100-years of life,

Linda's E-mail:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I won't be on this earth in 100 years BUT I do plan on living for a 100 years, or more, on this earth.
Love to 100 years!!