Tag Archives: death

Dad and The Pastor; Find Your Ease – Part 13

(Continued from yesterday.)

“In love,” Bowden said.

“How so?” Dad said.

“He was cantankerous, moody, jealous, vengeful, angry, and murderous in the Old Testament and a revealed himself by means of the love of Christ in the New Testament.”

“Oh, Bowden,” Dad said. “That is a worn out argument easily parried.”

“Then do so,” Bowden said.

“It’s really coming down to this isn’t it,” Dad said. “It is your faith that is week.”

“You are the arrogant one,” Bowden said. “But since you brought it up, I have no need to counsel with a farmer.”

“Nor a Jewish carpenter,” Dad said.

“But God has changed,” Bowden said.

“What is to happen to all the wicked?” Dad said, “according to the New Testament. And mind you, there is as much said in the New Testament about the destruction of life.”

“Than God is not love?” Bowden said.

“There!” Dad said. “That is your question.”

“You think you have one up on me don’t you, farmer,” Bowden said.

“Ah, farmer is it.” Dad said. “There is another rub. Your words betray an envious heart.”

“I don’t know why I come out here?” Bowden said.

“Stimulation,” Dad said. “You are lonely. You’ve always been lonely. You have no one to stimulate your apathetic faith or the lukewarm doubt that grows in you. This is a feast for you.”

“More like a snack,” Bowden said.

“It eats at you, Bowden,” Dad said. “People come into you and ask questions. You speak to them in intellectual terms. They are terms vague at best. You tell them to have faith and not to question, but as you sit there on the ground and cannot tell me that God is love.”

“Of course I can’t!” Bowden screamed. “I’m dying!” Bowden began to sob.

Dad slowly eased from the tractor and sat beside Bowden. Dad pulled him into his chest as Bowden wept.

“Please say a prayer,” Bowden said.

“You pray,” Dad said. “I think God wants to hear you and I think for the first time in a long time it will be a good prayer.”

“Dear God,” Bowden said. “Why me, why me? I have…” Bowden stopped.

“God knows what is in your thoughts,” Dad said. “There is no shame in telling him.”

“I was going to tell him I have served him,” Bowden said. “But I haven’t. My life has been serving myself. I think you are the only one who knows that. I can tell by the contempt you have for me.”

“I apologize, Bowden,” Dad said. “I hide my feelings with contemptuous words. I deeply care for you. If I didn’t I’d have thrown you off this farm long ago.”

“My life has been full of hypocrisy,” Bowden said. “I have walked people up to and through death with words I did not believe or trust. I have fooled everyone except you. I can only trust you.”

“You look healthy, Bowden,” Dad said.

“Yeah,” Bowden said. “Like this black suit makes me look holy.”

“If you are to die, ole friend,” Dad said calmly and compassionately. “You will not die alone. I’ll be with you. It is a sleep, a gentle sleep it will be only a moment. When you waken I’ll still be with you. We’ll talk about God, nature, and good things, things that trouble and things that make us happy. Bowden I believe that with all my heart.”

Dad and Bowden wept together.

(Continued tomorrow.)

 

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Pudge and Mickey

th3L9VDXLKPudge is what they called him, short and stout full of bluster and anger. No one dared to get on his bad side. He pushed and shoved until he found reason to humiliate and pummel a man. He had no friends yet everyone was his friend. How little he knew of the contempt other felt toward him.

He could clear a barroom with his fists or his presence as everyone suddenly had errands to run, lawns to tend, or sudden headaches when he showed up.

Yet on the weekends few left at his presence, there was too much going on for him to effect the evening. Although on several occasions he found ample reason to display his pugilistic prowess. His blows were sharp, quick, and powerful. His arms were short and his fists round and large like two clothing irons.

It was Mickey’s first night behind the bar. He was two hours into his shift and feeling comfortable. Mickey worked for a year at Flaherty’s on the other side of the river for a year so he knew his P’s and Q’s and could tap a keg and draw larger with the best of them. A slight man in build with a friendly disposition. Always smiled and had a light-hearted comment for everyone.

Pudge hated those dispositions. It was likely it signaled to him the world wasn’t such a bad place after all.

After a half hour of sitting at the bar Pudge said to Mickey, “Can you tone it down a notch or two, the is a bar not a circus.”

“I’m sorry sir,” Mickey said. “In most cases the customer is right, but in this particular one he is wrong dead wrong.”

There was a scowl on Pudge’s face that could have stopped a grizzly.

Mickey smiled and drew a beer. “Now there ya go, mate, one on the house to chase the gloom away.”

“Do you have any idea who you’re talking to?” Pudge said.

“Of course I do,” Mickey said. “It’s the famous Pudge. We heard about you on the other side of the river. Everyone’s afraid of you.”

“Than that ought to tell you to knock off the good-time-Charley routine and just tend the bar.”

“I’m sorry not to find you in a better frame of mind,” Mickey said. “Perhaps you should leave and allow decent people to have a good time. With that in mind I’ll remove the beer from in front of you and find someone more appreciative.”

Mickey was about to remove the beer. Pudge grabbed him quicker than a cat’s paw and pulled him inches from his face. Mickey head butted Pudge on the bridge of his nose. Pudge released his grip and fell backwards stumbling to the floor. Mickey swung over the bar and straddled Pudge’s chest before another breath could be drawn.

Mickey’s fist was tight and poised to launch like a blackjack. He knew exactly where to land his blow, the jaw. A broken jaw diminishes a man immediately. The pain is excruciating.

Mickey looked at Pudges face. It was a look he did not expect. He saw fear. “This man lives in fear,” Mickey thought.

Mickey’s fist relaxed. Blood trickled from Pudge’s nose. Mickey pulled a bar towel from his back pocket and placed it over Pudge’s nose.

Mickey sprung to his feet and offered a hand to Pudge. “Got a lucky one in that time. Next time might not be so lucky.”

Pudge grabbed hold of Mickey’s hand and Mickey pulled him to his feet.

“It’s probably broken, ya know,” Mickey said. “Not a word of this to the owner,” he said under his breath, “it could get me fired.”

Pudge smiled from beneath the bar towel held to his nose. “Your head okay?”

That was 40 years ago. During that time Mickey and Pudge were regulars all those years.

Mickey now laid in a casket. Pudge’s grief was unbearable. He leaned over and kissed Mickey’s forehead. He raised and said, “Thank you, Mickey, for understanding my fear.”

 

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No Bell For Me

Saved by the Bell

Tell us about a time when you managed to extract yourself from a sticky situation at the very last minute.

I have heard two different stories about the expression “saved by the bell.”

A boxer is knocked off his feet and the bell to end the round rings before the count of ten. Thus he is able to return to his corner where his head can be cleared enough to be pummeled for yet another round. Which leads me to wonder, was he really saved? In the days of John L. Sullivan and Gentleman Jim Corbet the round was not ended by a bell, but when one of the boxers was staggered by a punch and fell to the canvass. There was no bell to be saved by.

Another possible explanation was in dreary old England. It was reported that people were actually being buried before they were dead. How this was brought to their attention I’m not sure. At any rate, before a person was buried a string was attached to his or her finger. It was strung through the coffin, up through the dirt, and attached to a bell. A set of instructions came with the string; “In case of an emergency or life please pull string and scream your bloody lungs out.” Thus if a tinkle was heard it was not another angel receiving their wings, it was Uncle Milton trying to claw his way out of a coffin.

There is yet another phrase that comes from this morbid exercise; “The graveyard shift.” Yes, what if Uncle Milton should start clawing during the night when decent folk were in bed. Someone must be employed by the graveyard to listen for any bells. The only requirement was insomnia and good hearing. Today the standards have been lowered for the “graveyard shift.” Insomnia or good hearing have been waved.

Considering both histories of being saved by the bell I wish to be in a position of neither.

Here is a link to my short story for the day, Optimism – you think you got it bad.

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What Is A Five Letter Word For “End Of Life?”

Worst Case Scenario

Of all the awful possibilities, what’s the worst possible thing that could happen to you today?

A number of things ran through my mind as they did last evening when trying to find sleep. I have a mother who is 100. She’s not doing well. I talk to her every day. She lives, 2,000 miles away. Her death is immanent. We never want people to die alone. We imagine them on their death bed, surrounded by loved ones, smile, and pass on.  Mom likes people, but values being alone. If I may, I’d like to share something very personal; although it would be a terrible thing to learn of her death, but I hope she’s found alone with her glasses on and a finished crossword puzzle in her lap.

Some decisions were made regarding Mom not so long ago.

Here is a link to my short story of the day entitled Ripples. It’s about decisions.

 

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Nothing Left To Do But Die

thL2B1N75CTodd sat next to Charley in his hospital bed. It was late and they were alone. Todd was two years older than Charley his brother. Charley was slowly dying. He was now off life-support. It was his request.

“I can only watch, Charley,” Todd said. “That’s all I can do. If I could give my life in place of yours I would.”

Charley forced a smile over his pain. “You always watched, Todd. You always watched after me. You were always there. You have been a good brother. You always said I would end up dying before you because of the life I led. All you could ever do was watch. My whole life, I was out of control.”

“Don’t have any regrets, Charley,” Todd said.

“But I do,” Charley said. “You tried to look out for me and I ignored the one who loved me more than he loved himself.”

“I really do love you, Charley,” Todd said.

“I did so many foolish things,” Charley said. “I was always tempting death and here I am at last. Did you ever think it would end any other way? You knew all along this day would come. You knew you would have to be the one to find me dead or watch me die.”

“Just relax, Charley,” Todd said. “And think about all the good times you had.”

“I’d take them all back for one more day of life,” Charley said.

Todd smiled. “No you wouldn’t. You’d do it all over again with twice as much gusto.”

“Yeah,” Charley smiled. “I suppose you’re right.”

“Remember the time you jumped through two open doors of a slow-moving box car?” Todd said.

“And I made it through,” Charley said. “How was I to know a car pulled up on the other side; went right through the windshield. Only spent a month in the hospital. You helped pay the bill.”

“Didn’t think you were gonna make it that time,” Todd said.

“Then I tried hijacking beer trucks,” Charley said. “You paid my bail.”

“Yeah,” Todd said, “But you still had to serve 18 months.”

“And I still didn’t learn my lesson,” Charley said.

“Yeah,” Todd said. “There was the gas station.”

“You were there for me then,” Charley said. “The owner was a friend of yours and you talked him into dropping charges. You always looked out for me, my dear brother.”

“I’d do it again,” Todd said. “You kept my life interesting, but you changed.”

“I never changed,” Charley said. “I just redirected my efforts. I was always in trouble and you were always there to help me out.”

“I know, I know,” Todd said patting Charley on the shoulder.

“But you can’t help me out of this one,” Charley said.

“No, Charley, I can’t,” Todd said.

“I’m doing this one all on my own,” Charley said smiling. “Finally… right?”

“Right,” Todd said.

“I had more things I planned to do,” Charley said. “All legal. But ya know when ya live life on the edge you can’t expect to live a long life and do it all.”

“Do you have anything you’d like to get off your chest?” Todd said.

Charley smiled. “Can I have a kidney?”

“Don’t you remember,” Todd said.

“What?” Charley said.

“You all ready have one of mine,” Todd said.

Charley closed his eyes.

Todd held Charley’s hand. “If you could have only held on another month I was going to do something special for you when you turned 95.”

(January 7 Helpless: Helplessness: that dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins. When did you last feel like that –- and what did you do about it?)

(This was also submitted as part of the Daily Prompt.)

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You Can Take Your Bucket List And Shove It

thHR79VYH6There they were, like clock work, 8:00 AM, the same booth at McDonald’s; Elmer and Waldo slurping senior coffees.

“What’s on your bucket list?” Waldo said.

“Bucket list!” Elmer said. “What the heck is that?”

“You know, just a list of things you want to do before kick the bucket,” Waldo said. “They made a movie about it. Two old guys doing what they always dreamed of doing before they die.”

“They make a stupid movie and everybody has to run out and do stupid things and act like there‘s something wrong with you if you don‘t comply and do what Hollywood says is normal,” Elmer said. “It’s not normal. People’ve been croaking without bucket lists for millenniums. I suppose you‘re going to tell me next Lincoln wanted to go to the Ford Theater before he died.”

“There’s got to be some things you want to do before you kick the bucket,” Waldo said.

“It all sounds to me like its hastening death,” Elmer said. “You don’t make a grocery list until you’re about ready to go shopping. I’ve put off going to the grocery for at least a week because I didn’t have a grocery list.”

“What are you talking about?” Waldo said.

“I’ll be sitting at home and all the sudden I want cookies and there aren’t any in the house. I could go the grocery right away and get some, but instead I say, ‘Wait till you have a list.’ It may be a week before I get cookies. Who knows, if I stay away from making a bucket list I can put death off for a couple of years. I ain‘t ready to die and I‘m not gonna give the appearance I‘m ready to die by doing something like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or entering the running of the bulls in Pamplona.”

“But nobody knows when they’re going to die,” Elmer said. “It could be tomorrow. You got to start a bucket list.”

“Let’s say I start one today,” Elmer said. “And I’m laying on my death bead tomorrow. That’s a very unpleasant death.”

“What do you mean?” Waldo said.

“Because first on my list is a beautiful woman waiting for me at the corner bar and I’m stuck on life support,” Elmer said. “Who wants that?”

“Don’t you get it,” Waldo said. “That’s what keeps you alive; planning and doing.”

“It’s a gimmick, Waldo,” Elmer said. “It’s just another way they get us old guys to spend our money and die before our time dangling at the end of a bungee cord. Let‘s just close the subject, I don‘t want to talk about it anymore.”

Waldo waited for a moment. “Elmer, there’s one more thing about the bucket list.”

“Sure,” Waldo said. “What is it?”

“Whose the woman you got in mind?” Elmer said. “If you ain’t gonna put her on your list it would be a shame not to have her on somebody’s.”

“Elmer,” Waldo said. “There’s something you must want to see or do before you kick the bucket.”

“There is something,” Elmer said.

“What is it?” Waldo said.

“I’d like to see Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson appear on screen together,” Elmer said.

(This is 365 day prompt.)

(This is also a Daily Prompt)

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The Fact We Live May Be An Accident

Daily Prompt: By the Skin of Your Teeth

Share a time when you narrowly avoided disaster.

I was 5 years old. My parents, two older sisters, and I were driving home from the auto races at the Allentown Speedway in Allentown, Ohio just few miles west of Lima, Ohio.

The races had been cancelled because of rain. Mom drove. We were stopped at the light at the Old Westinghouse plant on Lima’s south side on old Route 25.

I was asleep in my dad’s lap. It was hurting my dad’s knee so he asked my sisters in the back seat to take me.

“Oh, dad, can’t you keep him up there,” Char said.

“We’re all stretched out,” Becky said. “There’s no room back here.”

“We’re almost home,” dad said and lifted me over the seat. “So take him.”

My sisters grabbed me and sat me between them.

A little more than a minute later I heard Mom scream. I’ve never heard a scream like that before or after. I stood and saw headlights coming toward us.

The next thing remembered I was walking aimlessly around the wreckage of our car. There was an eerie silence interrupted only by the rain patting on the pavement and the sound of windshield wipers. There were no human voices. I began crying. I thought everybody was dead, but me. Suddenly Mom moaned. My sisters began crying.

Dad made no sound.

In time the ambulances came. Dad was the first to be taken away. Mom was told that he was likely not going to live.

Dad recovered. Injuries to his chest were massive; every rib was broken.

That was my narrow escape from death. Recall moments earlier my head was nestled in my dad’s lap and he handed me to my sisters in the back seat. Likely, I would not have survived the impact.

That’s been over sixty years ago. In this very strange way I’d like to go back and hold that dysfunctional family of five close to me and tell them everything will be all right, but there is a lesson; life and family are precious.

Life is a remarkable design. What happens after that seems like a series of accidents that take our lives or extends it. People loose there lives by reason of accidents, but I suspect many more of us are living because of accidents. By accident we were not at the wrong place at the wrong time. It probably happens more times than we care to think about.

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  8. Escape | Momma Said There’d Be Days Like This
  9. The Fact We Live May Be An Accident | The Jittery Goat
  10. My Teeth’s Skin | charlottesville winter
  11. S. Thomas Summers | I Bid the Trees to Move
  12. If I want some serious adventure I will watch an R18 film | thoughtsofrkh
  13. T-Bone Steak | Eyes Through The Glass – A Blog About Asperger’s
  14. Daily Prompt: By the Skin of Your Teeth « cognitive reflection
  15. CRASH! Daily Prompt | alienorajt
  16. It’s a Big Deal If It’s Your Problem | The Thoughts’ Outlet
  17. Almost Normal Takeoff | Kansa Muse
  18. Daily Prompt: By the Skin of Your Teeth | Basically Beyond Basic
  19. No One Gets Out Alive | Finale to an Entrance
  20. The Lurker’s List | An Escape and a Lesson
  21. Curse of the Bed Bunk! | The Number FiftyTwo
  22. LIFE CHANGING GIFTS | hastywords
  23. Daily Prompt: Skinnin’ | One Starving Activist
  24. Daily Prompt: By the Skin of your Teeth | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  25. Daily Prompt: Close Calls | A Good One
  26. The bus and my bag | Life is great
  27. My Old Dog Fell Down the Steps But He Got Up
  28. Near Mishap | Flowers and Breezes
  29. Beauty & Innocence | Broken Light: A Photography Collective
  30. Daily Prompt: By the Skin of Your Teeth | A Mixed Bag
  31. Daily Prompt: Photography Challenge – ESCAPE | Nicola Kirk
  32. JUST A FEW INCHES | SERENDIPITY
  33. Facing Danger | A mom’s blog
  34. The Escape | I Write Therefore I Am
  35. Dear Addiction, It’s Time To Say Our Final “Goodbye”……. | *Recovery Ramblins Blog Of ~ Author Catherine Lyon*
  36. Bus slipping away | crookedeyebrows
  37. By the Skin of Your Teeth | The Nameless One
  38. Almost… | Retrofocus
  39. Escape Has Many Faces…..(wp daily prompt) | Daily Observations
  40. Surfer Rob does not always think things through | Rob’s Surf Report
  41. Death waits all | Emotional Fitness
  42. Escape | johnny ojanpera
  43. Escape- Daily Prompt | The Rider
  44. How Smoking Saved My Life | 61 Musings
  45. Almost . . . But Not Quite | meanderedwanderings
  46. Dear Addiction, It’s Time To Say Our Final “Goodbye”……. | *Recovery Ramblins Blog Of ~ Author Catherine Lyon*
  47. The story of MM, Helga and the flying car. | Multifarious meanderings
  48. The Great Escape | It’s a wonderful F’N life
  49. Peril Atop Mount Timpanogas: An Adventure to Last a Lifetime | Odds and End Thoughts
  50. Daily Prompt- By the skin of your teeth | hippiebitch420
  51. By the Skin of My Teeth | Kerry C. Mitchell’s Adventures
  52. Daily Prompt – Crashing | My Gap Year Adventure
  53. I Think That Field is on Fire | Manresa, Maine
  54. It’s December. | The Land Slide Photography
  55. Daily prompt: Avoiding disaster – best tip | helen meikle’s scribblefest

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