I joined a group of guys for breakfast today, all of which are a generation older than me. There’s bruised arms, hearing aids, an occasional shuffle to the restroom behind me. They’ve all reached milestones I once thought were distant dates in an unknown galaxy, nearer to a predetermined fate none of us can avoid.
As today reinforced, it’s a bit depressing facing your mortality first hand, knowing that your witnessing a road map to your own personal destiny. And yet, the hour or so was filled with smiles and joyful stories of days gone by, not the impending doom that aging can provide.
We talked about obituaries – one gentleman said he didn’t want anyone knowing when he sails on, no service or notification in local newsprint.
Another informed me, his obituary is already written and in the hands of his loving wife of many years should that day arrive. We discussed whether that was considered safekeeping in the event he makes her mad between today and that date in the future, but he seemed satisfied in a proper resolution.
Overall, it’s really just a bunch of guys that know who they are, where they’ve been, and where they’re going.
The point in writing this is one of admiration – that men approaching an octogenarian label can still talk about the high school senior that was the best football player in school, and secretly snuck into the back of the shop class with a freshman girl on a regular basis.
The best memories die hard.
There’s not a big message here other than, when faced with these encounters, embrace the moment.
At least two members of this group that I met during my first visit a couple years ago no longer attend, their obituary preferences already realized. The mention of their name still evokes memories, including stories from the past, always pushing the limits of the actual reality.
It was a good day, shared with good men, taking nothing for granted.
And it’s worth sharing.