It is a good day to die.
My dearly departed friend, Marion Brooks, and I shared that greeting often. After some 80 years, he was not yet finished with his life plans, and he considered his fatal condition a temporary hindrance. But he always knew his fuse was short. He had survived miraculously too many times to recount. I am aware of a dozen moments when I should have been snuffed, but against all odds, it didn’t happen. Until it does, I’ve got plenty to do. But it’s always a good day to die.
Mr. Brooks will not see the hideous disaster just now beginning the Gulf of Mexico. He never heard about the BP oil disaster when it was first reported, because he was already gone. He’ll have to miss out on the festivities as they continue turning a vast chunk of the earth into yet another toxic swamp.
He’ll miss the loss of much of the Gulf Stream, and the coming Ice Age. Granted, we have had here in Oklahoma some unseasonably warm weather. I went out yesterday in shorts and a t-shirt and it was pretty warm at 8AM for a walk in the woods. But our weather is volatile, and tonight we’ll probably hit around 18°F. Still, in our island of moderate winter overall this year, it is likely to fade into fond memories in the coming years. I could be wrong, as well as the large number of scientists who believe it’s quite likely, but it won’t matter. Mr. Brooks will miss it either way.
He did reckon he was lucky we didn’t have food riots yet, because he knew our economy was going to tank. He was a keen observer of the stock markets, having played them a bit in his younger years. He had lots of silver, some gold, and lots of guns and booze. His kids have it all now; it’s their problem. They don’t much believe what he knew about these things, so I imagine they’ll be caught off guard.
He’ll miss out on a lot of excitement. He knew it was curse to wish someone could live in exciting times. He wasn’t looking forward to it, but he knew he had things to do. Now his work is stopped. Echoes of his life still resound here and there, but as with all men, this too shall pass. He wasn’t afraid of dying. I have reason to believe he’s in Heaven right now, so he’s in a lot better shape than the rest of us.
Mr. Brooks, you lucky dog.
I won’t wish you a happy New Year. It won’t do any good. I wish you the serenity of knowing none of it really matters, but we have to go through it, any way. That’s because what really matters is how we go through it.