Time for this week’s #weekendcoffeeshare and since my friend, Jenn, can’t join me for coffee this week, I would like to share my coffee with all of you. So, grab a cup, pull up a chair, and help me deal with a subject that has made me quite contemplative this week.
That subject is mortality. A subject that makes most of us, including me, uncomfortable. But, bear with me. This week, I have had a dear uncle and the father of a first cousin, once removed, pass away and mortality is quite on my mind. First, my uncle. He was my uncle by marriage. You couldn’t find a better man. He had been chronically ill for years and passed away at age 85. A good long life for a man with more chronic illnesses than you would wish on your worst enemy, let alone a fine man. Then, my cousin’s dad passed away at age 79. He, too, had been chronically ill for years, some of his illnesses possibly brought on by lifestyle, and he, too, had a good long life.
My uncle was a church-going, spiritual man or that is the way it appeared on the outside. He was good to his family and friends and lived life as he seemed to want to live his life. My cousin’s dad would probably have been described as “fun-loving” back in the day when he was still well. He was described as living life “on his own terms” which is really just another way to say that he did what he damn well pleased. I’ve thought a lot about those descriptions of these two men – both of whom I liked immensely.
A question tickles my brain. Given what I’ve just told you about these two men, didn’t both of them “live life on their own terms” even though it was only my cousin’s dad, the fun-loving guy, who was usually described that way? I’ve found that when someone is described in that way, it may be derogatory. Not always, but often. But, my uncle, a religious man, probably lived life on his own terms as well, though they were different terms and perhaps more socially acceptable than those “terms” under which my cousin’s dad lived. Who’s to say my uncle didn’t have just as much fun in his own way? Or that my cousin’s dad wasn’t spiritual in his own way?
I’m tired of placing people in boxes and stereotyping. We don’t know what goes on in other people’s heads. I am sure both of these men had good and bad qualities as do we all. They had flaws and wonderful characteristics. They were just different. Let’s give each other the benefit of the doubt and a break. #weekendcoffeeshare