The advice from attorneys, advertisements and caregivers these days are to make a living will. A declaration as to how you want your life to end if you’re in a situation in which your life is in dire peril and there is not much to do but pull the plug. There are many of us who would asked that our loved ones to do just that; take us home and let us die peacefully.
Morose is not what I want this column to be about this week, but it does have to do with those we leave behind.
Our last will and testament leaves specific orders for how to divide our possessions when we pass. Thousands of dollars for cousin Dave to squander on booze and women; that old truck you have been promising to refurbish to your son who has always loved it; Fifty shares of Bank of America stock to that big shot day trader of that brother who doesn’t need a dime and of course protect the rest of your assets for the one who has suffered you through thick and thin for most of your life – no not you mother – your husband or wife.
As far as the will portion is concerned if I were to cark it today there wouldn’t be much of anything to include in that section at all. My piece of this newspaper, an old fedora I don’t wear enough and a couple of old orphaned socks that have lain in my top dresser drawer since 1974.
But testament is something I do have, and I feel that is where my wealth runs deep. I am on the downhill side of middle age and a person collects a lot of evidence through the many years I have stumbled around on God’s green earth.
Not to be too sappy but I have lived a few of Sinatra’s words in “I did it my way.”
Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has not
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way
You’re right, way too sappy, and I hope not too self important, but there’s a lot of truth in songs about our lives. Pick your favorite; it will expose much of your life as well.
But I digress as usual. My testament is what I have learned through life and what I have observed about the ones I love and give my advice, right or wrong, that might help them along the way. Encouragement; ensuring they know that I love them more than anything and with a touch of humor, remind them of the stories I have told, exaggerated some, but true to my heart nonetheless.
Warning, do not read further if you are the least bit squeamish or are the least bit politically correct.
When my kids were very young they used to love hearing the story of Hogwoman. The surrounding would have to be appropriate. A ride down some dark and snakelike road, bumps enough to frighten at the timed part of the story.
You see Hogwoman began her life as a very beautiful girl, long blonde hair, slender hips and lips like Angelina Jolie. One night when she was driving home to her mother’s house on Poplar Thicket Road, she had a terrible accident, hit by a drunk driver. Her face was mutilated to such a great extent that she was ashamed to be seen by anyone.
Her faced resembled a farm animal and specifically a hog with squashed nose and exposed nostrils, her hair, now gone, added to her frightening appearance with raised ears pointed and turned slightly to the front and now with her voice gone all she could do is grunt and squeal like a pig.
And not so disturbed by her horrific circumstances she roamed the woods in the underbrush of Poplar Thicket Road looking for children to kidnap and take back to her cabin to put into a pot for little kiddie stew. Thump. The tire hit a pothole and my five-year-old screamed. I would slow the car to a stop and say, “Look, I think I see her up in the woods.”
“I see her too,” the kids were convinced and would say louder than the squeal of a pig. “Let’s get out of here.” And so would end the story of Hogwoman and a night of having, one by one, of our little ones to creep into bed with us, until morning would bring sun and safety. Because you see, Hogwoman only roams the woods looking for small children on a thick as potato soup, dark moonless nights.
There are more stories living in this savage little brain of mine that I would like to pass along.