Reader’s Choice 2011: Mortality Math and Neon Numbers

Rodney Southern

Rodney Southern and I have a few things in common.

We grew up in the same community. Share the same middle school and high school. Know a lot of the same people.

We’re both married with young children. Both enjoy writing and blogging.

But there’s one thing we wish we didn’t share.

Rodney’s Reader’s Choice is:

Mortality Math and Neon Numbers

click to read Mortality Math and Neon Numbers

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10 Comments

Filed under family & friends, life

10 Responses to Reader’s Choice 2011: Mortality Math and Neon Numbers

  1. It was just as wonderful the twentieth time I read it Aimee. Thanks so much for the link, love and wonderful writing that we all enjoy. I am proud to call you my friend and hope in the years to come that can continue to grow. Love to your wonderful family and God Bless!

  2. Ah, the club I wish I didn’t belong to…

    Here’s to another year of health and happiness!

  3. Elizabeth Whelan

    This post is a clasic example of you always digging Aimee. It gives me courage when you share real life issues that I “think” but could not venture to possibly share so vulnerably. My story is a bit different but having just one child I am oh SO protective of him. I contemplate “what ifs” on the periphery of my mind. Hoping if I don’t stay to long in thought I won’t ever have to confront it. I cherish your words, “I can ignore it. Pretend i don’t see it. Or I can set my face like flint toward it, look it in the eye, and pray to live”!

    Now I am quoting you sister…am I an “official” groupie?

  4. Interesting. I think we all contemplate our mortality at some point or another, especially if relatives have not lived as long. Sometimes it is the genes, sometimes factors of our own doing – smoking/drinking, and sometimes an “act of God”.

    Overall, my father’s side of the family isn’t particularly long-lived. His parents both lived to their mid-sixties, but they also both smoked heavily and died of lung cancer. My father is now their age, as is my uncle. My grandfather’s father died before his son was born, at age 30 due to tuberculosis, and his grandfather before him died of either tuberculosis or yellow fever when he was 43. Then there’s my mother’s sister who died in a car crash when she was in her mid-twenties leaving behind three small children. Conversely, there are a number of family members on both sides of my family who’ve lived into their late eighties and nineties. There’s cancer, diabetes and a host of other maladies to look forward to, some which probably will affect me, and many which might not…

    When I was young I recall thinking how old every adult was. To someone 5 or even 15, our concept of time is different then once we start hitting our 30’s. Now, I look at myself and think,about how young my parents actually were when they were my age now and I was a child of a particular age.

    While as believers we’re to not fear death; but rather to look at it as a journey to where we really belong. True comfort, peace and happiness. That said, I don’t look forward to the idea of potentially dying “early”. And who does? I want to see my children grow up, to continue interacting with them. There’s also a rather selfish part of me that doesn’t like the idea that my wife would probably remarry, that someone I don’t know would be raising MY children… and I say that having two step-parents, both of whom I admire and love very much.

    It will be what it will be. Our life and death on this spinning rock are known by Him. It is for us to make the most and best of what time we are given, as none of us are promised tomorrow.

    As for how to broach this with children, I am at a loss. I’ve never known how to fully handle it myself for myself, let along for those grieving or those seeking answers. So far, in our family, the two incidents of death that have occured, we’ve managed to bypass the issue as our eldest is such a tender heart. He’s getting older though, and there will no doubt come a time close approaching where we will have to face the ox head on.

    Lean on Christ.

    In Christ,
    Wading Across

    • Oh, and as for where I die, maybe it’s the rationalist in me, but overall I’ve never really cared, other than in a genealogical manner – to look at a headstone and say, so-and-so is buried there.

      I’ve always been cheap and thought “rationally”. When I was a teen, I thought that the best way to take care of my corpse was to donate it to medicine/science and tell my family not to reclaim the body.

      I’ve never fully gotten the idea of needing “closure”, and having been to funerals of family and not being able to attend funerals of some I was close to.

      How many people throughout history have died separated from their loved ones, with neither having any knowledge of that death, much less a body?

      Will it be any harder for me whether my father is buried in a grave or cremated with his ashes strewn in the Long Island Sound? Will it be any harder for me if my mother were buried in Louisiana or close to me? Would it make any difference to my family whether I were buried here in Missouri or down in Louisiana?

      Thoughts of about this are all nice, but once I’m dead, I’m sure I’ll be focusing my attention on other matters. When we shed this mortal coil, we will be looking forward, not backwards. You can’t take “it” with you.

      • You’re right, but there’s some comfort for me to think of being where I want to be doing what I want to do in life or death. Not always possible or logical, I know, but it’s still there. Also for those left behind, there can be comfort in being geographically close to their dead. Again, it may not be logical or be important to everyone, but it may offer comfort to some of us.

    • I think facing it head on and telling them the truth in way that’s appropriate to their maturity is the best we can do. Lots to think about…