Posts Tagged ‘mortality’



Life Fleeting

Life is precious. We are not guaranteed tomorrow on this earth. Those two thoughts came rushing into my mind as I read an email today about the passing of Gary “Shoe Shine Guy” Armstrong. He was found dead in his apartment over the weekend. Gary was 51. I saw him this past Friday afternoon at his usual spot at the bottom of the main staircase at the Maryland Farms YMCA. I had a pair of shoes for him to shine this morning, but he was not there. Since 2003 Gary had worked at the same spot, and over the years I gave him a lot of business. It will be strange going down the stairs and not hearing Gary’s soundtrack of 60, 70 and 80 tunes in his old-school stereo he setup every day. Interestingly, Gary had a blog with only four entries from April of 2007. I only discovered…

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Carpe Diem Before It’s Too Late

Friday night my friend Chad called to tell me his good friend Martin had just dropped dead after returning home from a run. I didn’t know Martin, but he was practically my age and, according to Chad, very healthy. So what does that mean to you and me? Well, there are probably many lessons here, but the obvious often escapes us: we are not guaranteed another day on earth. Today is all we have. Carpe Diem before it’s too late. Chad called not only to tell me the sad news, but also to let me know that 1. my hair looked good and 2. that he loved me (he knows me well). I’m sure he hugged his children specially tight Friday night. I snuggled up with boys on the couch and told them both I loved them within minutes of the call. Interestingly, last week another friend had asked me…

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Facing My Own Mortality

Last week was a difficult one for me. I was confronted with my own mortality through the deaths of several of my generation’s icons, Michael Jackson, Farah Fawcett, Ed Mcmahon and even, Billy Mayes. Farah Fawcett and Mrs. Piggy posters hung side by side in my bedroom wall growing up. I didn’t understand then as well as I do now that everyone dies; well, maybe Mrs. Piggy will live on through eternity, but all of us humans will eventually pass away. But I find myself, like many others in my generation, bucking the we-all-die trend. After all, Suzanne Sommers has me convinced that she’ll live to be 150 and look 35. That’s what I want. Interestingly enough, I’m slow realizing that, like the reminder of the recently deceased icons, my own life is just as fleeting. Last Saturday I set out on a long run in the oppressive heat of…

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