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I'm healthy and strong,
don't be alarmed.

I just got to thinking,
since I'll never have much wealth to divide,
and very few folks to get what I leave,
what should I put in my will?

I once read that any old will,
a few words scribbled across a page,
and signed,
is so much better
than no will at all.

So,
if the servers of Daily Kos
still have this diary on file when I die,
in thirty years or so,
then this could well serve
as my will:

My body is to be donated
to the University of Kansas Medical School:

KU School of Medicine

So there won't be any funeral expense,
no fees paid for embalming and dressing up my corpse;
no casket to buy.

My small term life insurance payout,
or savings in my wife's name,
if we let the insurance lapse after I'm about eighty,
in 2035,
that money will be used
to feed and entertain
a large group of family and friends
(it will be a large group,
won't it?)
at a memorial service.

I want a catering service to serve
all of the following:

Bacon and eggs.

Waffles,
with options of
butter pecan syrup,
or honey,
or molasses.

Cabbage and potato and celery soup,
with real butter and cheese slices on the side,
to be thrown in the hot soup,
to make it a high fat meal,
for those who want to know how to eat,
to live to be past eighty,
if that's how far I make it.

Toast available,
with real butter,
and peanut butter,
for the waffles and the toast.

If anyone wishes to speak
religious words at my memorial service,
I demand that I get equal time,
by someone reading these words,
over and over again,
to take up as much time as the religionists:

 No matter what you say,
you have come here today
because you liked Mark,
the deceased,
or you like others here,
or you like the food,
or some combination of those three.

You are not here to honor any god,
or any enduring spirit of Mark.

Once again,
either you used to enjoy Mark's company,
or something about Mark,
or you want the company of others here in attendance,
or you want the food.

If you claim some supernatural goal:
I love you,
but I do not agree.

Look around you;
regular humans,
animals of your own species,
are comforting each other,
or at least keeping company together.

To claim the comfort
is caused by something supernatural
could be seen as an insult
to those, your fellow humans.  

Someone must call my first wife's family,
the Weigel family of Hays, Kansas,
to give them the date of my death,
so they can have it chiseled into my headstone,
the headstone they already paid for,
years ago.

Someone also must call the cemetery folks,
here in Wichita,
where my parents are buried,
so I can have markers put in place
for me and my first wife and my second wife,
all close to my parents' grave.

Someone call my favorite nephew,
Bill Pennington.

Don't call my brother;
he'll likely be dead before me,
from lung cancer.

No need to call my sisters.

One of them will likely die before me from lung cancer,
and the other two:
they didn't make it to my first wife's funeral;
don't bother them about showing up at mine.

If my wife, Tonia is alive,
she gets everything.

If she's dead before me,
give everything away to Goodwill.

I won't have much money,
just a big pile of junk;
an old butter churn,
a hurricane lamp and a farmer's lantern,
a few tools,
a lot of books,
some record albums, and cd's and dvd's, and vhs tapes, and cassette tapes.

Give it all to Goodwill.

The best things from me
will be memories of me,
in the hearts and minds
of those who've known me best,
whoever they may be.

Will any of you here at Daily Kos
have something from me when I die?

Thanks for reading.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    Bringing a child into the world at this point in history is a crime, the crime of child endangerment.

    by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 03:07:03 AM PDT

  •  I too hope it's a long time with good (8+ / 0-)

    health and happiness between now and then, but I have to also say that's a really cool will.

    “April is the cruellest month, breeding/ Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing/ Memory and desire, stirring/ Dull roots with spring rain." T.S. Eliot

    by blueoasis on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 03:45:30 AM PDT

  •  That's very interesting bigjac. (6+ / 0-)

    You've pretty much claimed my funeral plans made in 1998. If you are serious about donating your body to KU, you merely need to contact them, fill out the paperwork, and you'll get a wallet card. It needs to go to the school as soon as possible. You do have to pay for transport there. If its anything like the University of Pennsylvania, they hold a service for all their cadavers every year. It undoubtedly contains something religious. While I find that nonsensical, it's worth it to me to save my family money. What the hell, they can go out and party for an equal amount of time.

    Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

    by Smoh on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 03:46:17 AM PDT

  •  Leaving your body to science (8+ / 0-)

    is the greatest gift to the future of humanity a person can give, greater than money or political legacy.

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 03:56:59 AM PDT

  •  seriously, I hope you do consider a duly (7+ / 0-)

    executed will with your notarized signature.  While you don't have much to leave now, you can never tell what the future will bring.  From personal experience, I can point to problems with my mother's will who mistook a life time right for ownership and so bequeathed property which was not really hers.  It resulted in a probate and civil tangle that is still being worked out.

    Also, you cannot tell when you may come into a windfall and actually have something to leave and yet, due to misfortune, such as a stroke or FAD or an accident, be unable to alter your will.  This is why everyone, regardless of age needs an updated POA, will and living will executed and reviewed every few years to take care of any changes.

    Believe me such a simple thing may be the best thing you could leave your heirs and may also prevent the family from fragmenting over arguments over various property.  (I have seen families not speak to each other for decades over who got a mirror or piece of jewelry)      

    •  Many states have simple fill in the blanks (4+ / 0-)

      statutory will and testament forms that may require only the signatures of two witnesses who are not heirs.  Check with your public library or you state rep's office.  You can always include non-property wishes and little drawings in the margins.  This will make the document more cheery because it will look like a restaurant menu rather than a grim set of directions like those that come with IKEA.

      Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

      by judyms9 on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 05:12:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As a teen my daughter decided that her gravestone (6+ / 0-)

    should be a boulder carved with the words, "I'm dead. You're not. Climb on!"

    Odds are I will die before you so by your lights will not carry on with anything from you. I'll endorse the idea of a little more formal will, as you'd be surprised by how humans can complicate things. The body donation card is also needed.

    I sympathize that as an ardent atheist you want no religion at your wake. But as a friend would you consider one revision? I know you don't believe and that the various beliefs seem like nonsense. For many though they are sincerely held and sometimes from personal experiences. Could you change lies to delusions or illusions?

    For a variety of reasons trust and honesty are very important to me and being called a liar is one of the most painful things that can be done to me. I don't in the least mind differences of opinion. Another friend who is an ardent atheist has different interpretations of my experiences  but he believes me when I describe  them that I had those experiences.



    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 04:30:15 AM PDT

  •  :) (3+ / 0-)

    Ha, having just lost 3 brothers in two years, you cannot imagine how much I needed this!

    Pretty much ditto on the sentiments. I've been thinking on how to put it in writing for my survivors. I'm agnostic, and the three funerals were all full of hellfire and rapture stuff which made me so angry it was all I could do not to stand up, scream shout and otherwise make a scene. Is it so hard to focus on good and love and beauty and kindness?

    Anyway, I'm an organ donor, so what's left will be creamated and inurned next to my parents and brothers in a small rural cemetery. People can have a party if they like to celebrate life ... but if anyone has any ideas of bringing up hellfire and the rapture, well one of my g-grandmothers was a spirit medium and I will be sure to be getting tips on coming back to haunt.

    Thanks for letting me vent.

    "If you are sure you understand everything that is going on around you, you are hopelessly confused." Walter Mondale

    by klompendanser on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 07:29:28 AM PDT

  •  You have changed all here that have read your (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama

    words. Our bodies die, but our actions reverberate.

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