Saturday, December 17, 2016
Toilet Paper and One More Christmas
“I've learned that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.” – Andy Rooney
There comes a time when you accept that you’re closer to the end of life than you are to the beginning. That time for me came when I hit 50. But 50 became the new 40, right? So not to worry. And now 60 becomes the new 50. So it’s all good. I call it Baby Boomer Twilight Savings Time (BBTST) or the “dial of denial”. But sometimes even BBTST isn’t enough. People still die, no matter what time it is. And 2016 has been one of those years.
Close to home, my wife’s mother passed away last week and we had the funeral yesterday. My wife was a late in life baby and barely qualifies as a baby boomer. But her older brother and sister and her husband, yours truly; definitely qualify. Even BBTST can’t change the cold reality of losing a parent at Christmas time. To make matters even worse she had previously lost her father on Christmas day. It seemed like only yesterday, but it was actually 21 years ago. My parents are long gone. So her mother was the last of ours. And now we have become the oldest generation and the next in line for goodbyes and flowers. And if traditions mean anything, I guess for at least one of us, when our time comes it will be around Christmas .
And then there was a friend I grew up with who passed away two weeks ago. Based on BBTST he was way too young. But, I guess the disease that took him had its own clock and now he’s gone. Some other friends of ours recently lost a son-in-law in an automobile accident. Earlier in the year we lost a good friend to cancer. And my business partner’s father finally passed away this year after a long battle with illness and disease. He and his baby-boomer brothers are now officially the old folks of that family. And the roll just keeps turning faster.
Which brings us to another Christmas. Christmas at the end of a year filled with the passing of friends and loved ones. And I ask myself, what would it mean if this were all there is? There just has to be more. We were created for more. If not, then we were created for nothing. So I believe and in that belief welcome Christmas. Perhaps more so this year than most. After all, there are only so many Christmases left on my roll.