Why?

Why am I doing this blog? Just something new to do? No, I've got plenty to do. And on the rare occasions I don't, I take a nap. If I really dig down deep and think about the basic reason, it's probably because I'm getting older and struggling with that fact. I'm in transition from the young, athletic, I'm-going-to-live-forever and achieve all my goals bon vivant party guy that I still am in my mind to the old fart that I'm all to quickly becoming. I now wake up with little hitches in my get-along that take a while to work themselves out. I have a bum left wing that hurts when I try to move it backwards. I can no longer outrun my daughter or make a spectacular diving catch in the outfield. Falling 4 feet now hurts like hell. My stomach yells "Knock it off!" when I eat too much hot sauce. I've suffered the pain of friends and family dying. And horror of horrors, I no longer think of sex every waking moment. Oh God, it's true, I'm a Senior!

This mortality awareness has been creeping into my consciousness over the last couple of years, building and gaining strength. And now that I'm barreling toward 60 years of living, my middle age crisis has firmly taken hold. I never really paid attention to age before. I always had to stop and do the math when asked how old I was. When I turned 40, ha ha, no big deal. Great excuse to have a good party and close down a club. At 50, woo hoo, I made half a century - put your sexy dress on Darling, it's time to party! But at 55, things started to change. 55? How about that. Let's go out to eat at El Fenix and get back home at a decent hour before the crazy drunks get on the road. On my last birthday, we watched a movie on TV and were in bed asleep by 11:00. And I was good with that.

What happened to the old me? Where did "I" go? I don't like being in small places. No great fear of it, I just much prefer openess; room to move around, room to feel free. I was born, raised, and spent the great majority of my life in Texas and can't stand the idea of not spending eternity nestled within her borders. So when I die, there will be no cramped coffin for me. I will be cremated and my ashes blown away by the wind in my beloved Texas. With not even a headstone, will there then be no trace of me? Will I have lived, loved, cried, laughed, died and yet not made some kind of difference? Like most people, I thought I was different from most people, so I'm surprised it's my turn to be confronted by the age-old question, "What is the meaning of life?" Looks like I'm not so different after all.

I won't go down in the history books. I didn't change the world. The government will have my name on the rolls of military people who served in Viet Nam, but my name is just one of thousands and thousands. I think of my wife. If I go first, I prefer to believe she'll be sad for a while. And maybe a few friends will mourn my passing before going back to work or planning their next vacation or playing bingo. And then I think of my children. And maybe that's the answer.

I have two grown and one still growing. My adult children are good people living productive lives with families and friends that love them. I was divorced from their mom when they were young, but I stayed in their lives and like to think I had at least a small positive influence. I have a grandson; a very intelligent and talented young man who is being raised with proper values and a lot of love. And my still growing child is a really great kid who is being taught good moral values, given a good compass to guide her through life, and I am desperately trying to provide her a good example. I pray when she is older, she can smile, remembering what a great childhood she had. I hope when she is confronted by the millions of decisions one has to make in life, she asks herself, what would Dad have wanted me to do.

Maybe that's the answer. Maybe that's the purpose of my life. Not for everyone, but my own purpose for the life I've had. The way I can leave one dusty track in the sands of time.
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