I was thinking about life yesterday. Sometimes we wish it would pass more quickly and sometimes we wish we could get more out of it. Sometimes, it could not get any better and sometimes it seems it could not be worse. Catching the news, you see images of what cruelty people can do to each other. You can also see images of happy couples announcing their pending nuptials with their whole lives ahead of them. Or reunions and random acts of kindness.
Yesterday, I was riding my mower across the yard and I was thinking about the “Craigslist killer.” A young man who was soon-to-be a doctor and soon-to-be wed. Wonder if he wishes he could be at his folks’ house just mowing the yard. Seemingly he had a lot going his way. So what would possess him to consciously scour craigslist for someone to, at the least, allegedly rob. However, the young girl he contacted is dead. Assuming he is the killer, at what moment did he decide she needed to die? Did his mind just go beyond his tipping point and he went into some evil autopilot? Was he prepared to go this far when he hatched his plan?
As I was pondering this yesterday, a snake suddenly darted out in front the mower. A copperhead. Poisonous. I braked to a stop. In an instant, the thought popped into my head that I might be able to kill him if I drove over him with the mower. Is this a similar thought the craigslist killer experienced? In an equally quick instant, I thought “why kill him?” Granted, I did not just attempt to rob the snake. And granted, even though the snake had seen me, it was not going to call the police. The snake caused me no harm and I considered it might have some benficial role… so, instead, I chased the snake towards a flower bed out of my way and resumed pondering the craigslist killer.
Many well-intentioned people have lost their jobs. They have families and they are losing their homes, their cars and their savings. Sometimes, one of the distraught spouses commits suicide or kills their family than themselves… probably because in some moment of twisted, frustrated thinking, they believe this is the best way.
As I spread newspapers on the rubber pad for the puppies, the center pages of one section is always the obituaries. There are people whose life story covers almost 1/4 of the page; they have been so loved and done so many things and touched so many lives. I wonder what my obit might say. There are also obits for people who are just starting their lives and for some reason, it has tragically ended too soon. Many are younger than me.
There is little point to this post except to marvel at all the variables that are life. You could finish medical school and marry your fiance. You could look away and run over the snake with your lawn mower. Maybe you could even grit your teeth and dig still deeper to make it through this lousy economic time. Easy to say, so why does life have to be so hard sometimes?
Watching all the celebrities and the rich in front of us each day, it is so easy to wish to be them. Some have three or four houses and I think I would be happy with just one of them. Some of them are philanthropic, but I am not poor enough to be a cause. Susan Boyle has hit it big at 47. Damn, I am 52.
I am older these days… in my fifties. I am recently unemployed. I have several rescued animals in my care and am wondering if this is my last chance to create a new life/career for myself. Perhaps this is the time to do some of those things I have always thought I would do “one day,” follow my passion — while I still have life.
I’m thinking this might be a good idea and have been giving a lot of effort to this direction. But every now and then, a funk comes over me. Remember the John Travolta movie, Phenomena? Suddenly he has all the right answers to the world’s problems… and later finds he has a brain tumor which is prompting his brilliance. So if I have a brain tumor which is making this new direction look so bright, please let me succeed in my new endeavor before anyone diagnoses the tumor. And let my positiveness about the new direction override and erradicate the tumor.
To my guardian angels: please look over me and my very large extended family. We don’t need a lot, but would appreciate good health, happiness and a roof over our heads… and enough food to go around. We have cut back to just essentials (not that we ever splurged much anyway); we have planted a garden. Please help me find enough work to pay our bills. Please help me succeed. To anyone reading this, please send good thoughts and prayers our way.
We choose life.