“We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.” – Orson Welles
Do you ever think about dying? I’ve thought about dying quite a bit.
The difference is how I’m thinking about it. I used to view the entire thing as a relief. No more homework or work. No more bullshit. No more dealing with people I can’t be bothered with.
It would be so much easier…
Now, I’m like holy shit. Have I paid off this debt? Are all of my affairs in order? Does everyone know how much I love them?
A bizarre change, isn’t it?
A few weeks ago I tried to take out an insurance policy. After my grandmother’s passing, I realized just how inconvenient death can be. In my case, not only would my mother have to pay for a bunch of funeral obligations, she would be forced to take over my student loan payments. This just doesn’t seem fair to me.
As I haven’t been to a doctor in well over a decade, the insurance company forced me to take a physical, complete with blood work and a urine test. A couple of weeks later, I got the call that my policy had been rejected for abnormal test results.
I was stunned. And of course, I thought about death.
Was I dying?
No. I’ll spare you the hassle of reading about the shitstorm I went through over the last few weeks, but some of it has to do with finding a doctor. Apparently, the whole “new patients” thing is not trending in 2017.
However, the very nice doctor at the free clinic (which isn’t free, by the way) was kind enough to inform me that I do, in fact, have type 2 diabetes.
I was a bit pissed…
I’ve touched on my past before and gave you guys just a taste of my youthful shenanigans. Just a dollop, really. Most of what I experienced as a young man cannot be placed on this blog. I don’t want you guys to think any less of me.
Related: 13 Reasons why I choose to live
Now it’s time to pay penance
For the better part of two decades, I did what I want, when I wanted. Not anymore.
I think about death the most after spending time with my newest godson. He’s six months old now and probably the happiest baby I’ve ever seen. He loves the people who love him. He reaches out to you when you enter the room, even if it’s only been a few minutes since you were there.
His smiles and laughter brighten the whole room, and in my particular case, my life. Several months ago, I wrote a letter to his older brother, who just celebrated his tenth birthday a few weeks ago.
Related: A letter to my godson
It was a really nice occasion, as his birthdays always are. A small group of close friends and family with food and cake and gifts.
I live for these moments
Neither one of these children have the sense of entitlement that I see in so many young kids. They’re happy to be alive and to be loved. I look into the baby’s eyes and I can see it. He doesn’t know why he loves me. He just knows I’m there and I love him and he appreciates it. He doesn’t care about a 401k or a Roth ladder or ETFs.
He knows I’ll pick him up and won’t drop him, no matter how much he wiggles around. He knows I’m there for him. I’ll feed him when he’s hungry.
If I died today, would this little guy grow up and ever truly understand how much I loved him? No. Of course not. He’s a baby. That doesn’t mean I will ever stop loving him.
I’m 99.9% sure there is no afterlife. And if there is, I’m aware of where I’m headed.
No matter what happens there, no one or no thing could ever rip that love out of me. Not the love I have for these kids or my bff Mama. In fact, it’s the only thing I care about.
I could lose my job today and not care. I could lose my life today and not care. I could lose both hands today and never be able to write again. I’d get over it.
I’ve seen a lot of bad things in this life and I’ve had days where death would have been the sweetest relief. Not a single one of these days has ever involved my boys.
Looking back on almost 35 years of life, I’ve done some crazy shit.
But my highlight reel is chock full of two little boys and their mom. Their smiles and laughter. Them loving each other. Hugging their mom. The small things.
Nothing in life is guaranteed. If I died today…I’d be ok with it. Not because of how much anyone loved me. Not because of how hard I worked or how I was able to accomplish some of my goals.
I’m ok with it because of how hard I loved these boys. In five years, they probably wouldn’t remember my face or name and it doesn’t matter.
In almost a year of blogging, I’ve discovered that money matters less and less. I made the decision to not let money or a shit job dictate how I’m going to live. I’m going to decide that.
I’ve done everything in this life that I ever wanted to do. Everything from here on out is icing on the cake. And that icing is my little guys. I’m gonna spend the time I have left, be it a day or half a century, loving them as hard as I can.
Related: Fire – the path I’m not traveling
I encourage you guys to look at your lives. If you died tomorrow, would you be ok with it?
In this life, love is the only thing that really matters. Have you maxxed out that account yet? The value of this kind of compound interest far surpasses that of any paper currency.