By Mel McConaghy
Some time ago, I went to a memorial service for my long time neighbor and his wife.
They died within two weeks of each other, and it made me conscious about my own mortality. Now I don’t really consider myself to be a fatalist, but I am 75 years old, and a person my age does think about death.
To tell you the truth, I am not too happy about it, but then, who is happy about the thought of dying? I have lost people close to me in the past, and it always hurts. It also makes you wonder about what will happen when you die, and how people will remember you. You always hope that people will think good of you after you have passed on, and that people will remember your accomplishments. Thinking about my mortality made me begin to think about what it is that I have accomplished in this lifetime.
I worked hard and steady to provide the necessities for my family, and I never hit my wife or children, yet I didn’t accumulate a great amount of wealth, and I wasn’t always a good person. I have not always treated my wife the way I should have, and at times, I have not always set a good example for my children. But I don’t think that I have been a ‘bad’ person. In my mind, I can justify all my faults. I tell myself, “It was the hardships of your childhood and adolescence, or the times that made you do it.” But in my heart, I know it was really all me.
As mortality kept me thinking, the one thing that I honestly feel good about, is my family. As it stands to this day, they are great. I am proud of each and every one of them, but then, I cannot really take the credit for that. My wife deserves all that credit, for she is the one who earned it. She was the biggest contributing factor to their outcome. She taught them right from wrong, and how to be a good person. She, through her example of love and patience, taught them what love really is. Maybe, just maybe, I contributed something to their success as good human beings along the way, but if I did, it was probably from something that they learned from my mistakes.
I admit I am not really a religious person. I know that death is a trucker’s only highway out of this sliver of light that we call life, a white-lined one-way haul into the infinite darkness that precedes and succeeds it. I have no idea when my trip is scheduled, because someone forgot to stamp a ‘best before’ date on my butt when I was born. But, as it stands today, I have no intention of going anywhere, except shopping. I only hope that when mortality closes in, the people who have been close to me can, and will, forgive me for my transgressions, for despite what my ego might tell you, I am only human.
My Life Through a Broken Windshield by Mel McConaghy
Mel McConaghy is a retired trucker and author from Prince George, British Columbia. Mel’s tales are his views of life “through a broken windshield”. They are entertaining and humorous in a folksy style.
Visit Mel’s website at www.melmcconaghy.com