I attended a memorial service yesterday at the Prairie Rose near Benton. For a long time fan of Western Music and a cowboy who lived the code. Right to the end he lived with dignity and took what came his way with good attitude and endurance. Of course with most of those I have lost the culprit was cancer. A name I can hardly bear to mention.
A wise man once said that you know your are aging when you attend more funerals than weddings. I have to think hard for the last wedding. Even though the young is told time and again to savor their youth it is only fully appriciated when it is lost.
It seems like yesterday that I reached my big 30. Then a little while back we had a big party for my 50th. I turn around and I am 57 and next year will be 40 years out of high school. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up!
I turn around and remember the turbulant 60's and Vietnam. How we all watched the draft lottery in 1973. Ready to join the Air Force if the number was too low. I did not want to pound the ground in the jungles.
I remember Nixon who ended the war and stopped my class from being the next to take our 'senior trip' to the war. I don't care how big a crook he was I will alway be grateful.
Joining the fire department was the biggest thing in my life and being forced to retire was the worst. Ups and downs, here and there, finding new interests and a lot of friends.
Then something started to happen when I reached 40. My best friends started to die, mostly from cancer. To deal with the very personal losses I found out that cowboys do cry and writing helped. So my venture into cowboy and country poetry and returning to my music took me on another path.
The friends that have come my way thru music have been a blessing that I never foresaw. And so I turn around and start losing friends again. The memorial service with my friends singing tribute brings again the fact that life is fragile. I have known how fragile from an early age. Running a rescue squad, ambulance, and fire truck I got an education earlier than most on how fragile life is.
It surprises me how much I loved to dance and I have not danced now for 20 years. I can fall off a horse as good as I used to but getting up is not. Remembering when I rode hay trailers all day, flew down stairs, worked in many manual fields, and loved it. And turn around now and the best I can do is run my golf cart, set on a stool and sing about life, and attend memorial services.
It is getting so I am afraid to turn around again. Boy am I going to feel old by November.