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  •  When you live to be as old as me... (1+ / 0-)
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    ... you will discover that you don't stop missing the dear people who die that inhabited your life.  You adjust to their absence in your life and move on.  Normal grieving lasts about one year.  Anything longer and the individual should seek counseling for morbid grief.  [Or so said the hospice trainer.]  My mother, who was on oxygen the last two+ years of her life, put it more simply with a direct order: "Don't grieve too long."

    The people nearest and dearest to me started dying in 1967 - aunt & godmother.  Dad, her sibling, died the same day as she did in 1975.  The same week, years later, Mom & her sis died a day apart in different years, one and two days after their mother.  All of those deaths are the last week in May.  Two other deaths are the week before that in May.  It used to be my favorite month, but now it isn't.

    My parents, their siblings, grandparents, are all dead..., and their loss reminds me that now my generation is the oldest and we are next in the inexorable pace to our own mortality.  That's just the way it is.  Already some first cousins are gone, and as the years march on I expect to enter death dates for them in my genealogy program at an accelerating rate..., and wonder what will happen to my family history papers when I die at some point.  I've made a will and put the executor in charge of my things and made my wishes known, but that does not guarantee all my hard work won't get chucked into the trash heap by someone else.  Genealogists worry about things like that.  Like some of my ancestors or their siblings, I have a heart condition.  My brother's was atrial fibrillation but that seems to have been fixed with a procedure called an ablation.  There's no "fix" for mine, a left bundle branch block (altho I may have to have a pacemaker at some point).  I can live with this for a while, but genetically I know I'll follow in the footsteps of other relatives and ancestors in due time, and I will probably die from a myocardial infarction.  Heart attacks and strokes as a cause of death are on both sides of my family.  I don't live in fear of death.  I know it's coming at some point, and I just hope it doesn't come until after I find more genealogy info..., or have a chance to help others with their genealogy research now that I have enough knowledge in a few specific areas to be able to return the help given to me through the years.

    Death happens.  Some of it is naturally occurring in old age, some isn't.  Death of children is particularly hard to take, but it happens.  One records the details..., and moves on.  The last familial deaths of children that I found were siblings of my gr-grandmother; they died of dysentery in Denmark days apart at age 3 & 5 before she was born after her parents and four other older siblings emigrated to the US.  In my case, I find the documents that prove the births, marriages, and deaths of people, record what is listed..., all going back some three, four, five hundred years.  Some details have been difficult to find, others easy.  It's always a major triumph to smash a brick wall - or leap over it at a single bound in joy, like when that brick wall was 45 years old.

    I don't worry about feeling secure or things like common criminals causing another large tragedy.  They may.  They may not.  The chances of my being in a location like that are so remote it's in the trillions (I don't live in a big city where a criminal seeking massively large numbers of people to kill with one large incident would seek to set off a bomb or whatever).

    When I was young I worked in law enforcement.  There are no guarantees of safety in life - not anywhere.  Accidents happen, and the best one can do is get help to the scene as quickly as possible and keep fatalities at a minimum.  Statistically speaking, I have more to fear from a drunk driver or inattentive driver talking on a cell phone every time I leave the house than I have to fear from anything else (those odds are the same for everyone else, not just me).

    For that matter, I could easily do something stupid like slip in the shower and hit my head which could lead to death, too.  There just are no guarantees that accidents won't happen in the home..., just as the likelihood of my dying at home in bed from a heart attack is probably how my life will end if it's not in a hospital.  I see the doctor every three months to monitor my health issues like high blood pressure and gout and pills I take for them, and if changes occur, do another risk assessment.  Whatever I have to "fear" in life, dying in a big city because of a mad bomber isn't one of them.

    In the "do NOT do unto others as you would NOT have them do unto you" philosophy I follow, I would not ask you or anyone else to give up their privacy on the one-in-a-trillion chance I might, maybe, possibly be in a large building in a large city for some totally unforeseen odd reason I can't think of (it's for absolutely certain I'd never be near a foot race), at some point in the future, and a bomber might be there (or not).

    I don't live my life in a paranoid state of fear at all times.  If I were that afraid of life, I'd just curl up in a little ball and hide under the covers for my entire life.  That's not living..., or respecting the dead who would not want that for me or for anyone else I know.

    Many, many years ago when an acquaintance knew I was headed out on vacation to drive by myself to my childhood home where my parents still lived 1200 miles away, she was absolutely horrified.  This was in the days before cell phones and I had long stretches of highway to travel where few people lived.  "You're driving all by yourself?  What if you get a flat tire?  What if you have an accident?  What if your car breaks down?"  "Well," I said, "I know how to change a flat tire.  If the car breaks down I'll wait for someone to come along who can call for help to get a tow truck for me, but I just had the garage check it over, changed the oil and made sure the tires were okay and full of air.  There shouldn't be any problems.  If I have an accident I hope someone can call and report it, or can help me somehow.  I know the towns where I'll be stopping have 24 hour restaurants and gas stations, so I can always get coffee and stretch my legs, or even find a motel if I get tired and need to sleep.  My parents know my license plate and car description and the route I'm driving so if I don't get there at a reasonable time, they can call the state police and have someone look for me."  Her eyes got big as saucers.  "Oh, I'd be too scared to travel all that way by myself!!!"  She's the kind of woman I never wanted to become: afraid of her own shadow, never taking any chances in life.  Oh, and I made the round trip without incident - that time, and a couple of times after that, too.

    The best we can do in life is take all due precautions for normal safety procedures, take responsibility for our own lives and safety within our homes and on our property..., and then enjoy life the best we can while we are here.  Sometimes accidents will happen.  If we do not know any criminals, most likely we won't have anything to fear from them.  If we know about criminal actions by individuals, report them to the proper law enforcement authorities (city, county, state, federal), hope they go to jail so you and your family and friends will be safe from them.  If there is just cause why criminals or suspected criminals need to be spied upon, proper search warrants that fulfill all the specifics of the Fourth Amendment can be obtained.

    Taking all due precautions to have a safe and reasonably happy life does not mean we each have to give up our own privacy to make sure the criminals are caught and go to prison for the rest of their unnatural little lives if they do not die in the commission of their crimes.

    As I've said before: I lead one of the most boring lives of anyone I know (unless you're another genealogy researcher and find old documents written in Gothic penmanship in four languages utterly fascinating, it is boring to most people; I know that)..., but I reserve the right to lead that boring life in private.  I can talk about it and bore people senseless (my brother's eyes glaze over; I've learned to give him the short answers to 'How's the research going?').  Meanwhile, there's no reason for me to know a single thing about your life or the life of your relatives, friends, or neighbors unless you choose to tell me about your life and the interactions you choose to have with others.  Choosing to keep your life entirely private or choosing to tell me about various bits of your life should always be your option..., without anyone in the government spying on you.  I am assuming you, like the majority of people, are leading a lawful life without any criminal activities, of course.  In that case, everything about your private life is entirely your own business.  I'm only "entitled" to know precisely what you tell me.  If you want me to know nothing, say nothing.

    My sincere wish for you and everyone else is that you have a life as free from sadness or sad events as possible while taking due precautions that you will have an accident-free life, and that you lead that life as privately or publicly as only you choose to do - minus government interference or snooping on your communications.

    Toward that end, you - and everyone else - should have our full compliment of constitutional rights restored to us, and AUMF, Patriot Act, MCA '06, and FISA fiasco '08 and MCA '09 should all be repealed in their entirety.  The one common bond we have as a nation is our Constitution and Bill of Rights.  When things are darkest (like the last legal war we were involved with, WWII), we should never, ever give up our rights for ANY reason whatsoever.  "That goddamn piece of paper" (as Dumbya called our Constitution and Bill of Rights) is why my Andrew Bennett and other ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War (Andrew's honorable discharge papers were signed at Newburgh by "G. Washington" - that's what comes of finding old documents while doing genealogy research; I have a copy of it).  Our rights are the legacy of our colonial ancestors (and yours if they go back that far - some of mine go back to the Mayflower and shortly thereafter, and I know where some of them were before then).

    If we live an honorable life, we honor our dead ancestors who fought so hard to give us our rights as they left home to escape tyranny and start a new life, or fought in wars to give us those rights.  We must not give up those rights if we honor the lives of those who came before us, gave us life, and expected us, as their descendants and inheritors, to abide by the documents that allow us to live in liberty.

    Liberty! 1/6 The Reluctant Revolutionaries" 1763-1774

    Liberty! 2/6 Blows Must Decide 1774-1776

    Liberty! 3/6 These Are The Times That Try Men's Souls 1776-1777

    Liberty! 4/6 Oh Fatal Ambition 1777-1778

    Liberty! 5/6 The World Turned Upside Down 1778-1783

    Liberty! 6/6 Are We To Be A Nation? 1783-1788

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 04:30:43 PM PDT

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