Why NOT me?

7 Aug
Photo by L. Stewart Marsden

Photo by L. Stewart Marsden

Why not me?

By L. Stewart Marsden

 

One of the dubious advantages of being my age is you have a much longer perspective from which to draw conclusions.

Examples:

  • If you don’t die, you get older.
  • If it’s too good to be true, yep — it is not true.
  • How to tell if a politician is lying? (You know the answer.)
  • And these and more observations become truer and truer.

You respond with an affirming nod at certain things, like when the priest in the movie Rudy says, “Two things I have learned in life. There is a god, and I’m not Him.”

At my age, you appreciate that kind of wisdom.

I think nobody is looking to be singled out for something bad. Am I right? Do I get an “Amen, Brother?”

But life is pretty arbitrary about how it deals the cards. I mean, while there may seem to be Jonahs and Sad Sacks, pretty much everyone gets dealt a card that makes them respond, “Why me?”

Other responses include but are not limited to:

  • “Why now?”
  • “WTF?”
  • “What did I do?”
  • “Why do you have my number?”
  • Inherent in the responses is the inference that someone is doing some thing to somebody, and that somebody doesn’t know why.

You ever been there?

I’m moving to the mountains. I’ve been in the process now for about 4 weeks, if not mentally longer. EVERYTHING has been moving like a precision-built BMW so far.

Then, out of the blue:

  • My dog gets bit by ants, reacts to the ensuing itching and nearly eats his hind rump off;
  • Someone steals my iPhone at a Lowes Hardware Store, and we (my daughters and I) watch the culprit abscond with my lifeline on Find My Friend app using GPS. EVERYTHING of informative value is on that phone!

Hoody-doody! WTF is going on? Why me? Why now?

And to top it off, my Panasonic wall-mounted flat-screen doodley-obeldy television set has given up the ghost!

DAMN! (And other appropriate seaman epithets).

Again I say unto these hills: WHY ME?

Did I tell you I can see Grandfather Mountain from my upper deck where I live?

Did I tell you that an intermittent rain has been dampening sound and fury the day long?

Did I tell you that over the years I have weathered far worse times in my life?

My infant daughter choking on an onion skin she picked up off the kitchen floor?

My first-born son, diagnosed with childhood Leukemia just months before his third birthday?

The dissolution of two marriages?

WHY ME?

Nearly at every turn.

So, Grandfather, in his infinite wisdom, gleaned from tens of thousands of years staring upward at the sky, says,

“Why NOT you?”

Wait! What?

“Why NOT you?”

The true answer is that I always thought I was special. That I deserved better.

“Why?”

I don’t have an answer for that. Why have I always thought I was special and that I deserved better?

Let me think.

Ah, because my dad told me so!

“But most dads tell their sons and daughters so. But does it make it so? Does it protect you and barricade you from the sting of life. Or worse, the sting of death?”

I know everyone dies. I know that, but I want to believe otherwise. Especially at my age.

WHERE WILL YOU SPEND ETERNITY? shout the evangelists.

So, I listen to the mountain. He stares upward at the darkening sky as I sip my gin.

“Why NOT you?”

I can’t give an answer. If I knew my Bible better, maybe I could mumble something spiritual, and thereby feel better. But I don’t and I can’t. I don’t have an answer.

So that thief who stole my iPhone is off counting his money, and preparing to waste it on his drug of choice.

And that ant that bit my dog has probably cycled through his meagre life cycle existence.

And my onionskin-eating daughter is married, with three kids of her own.

And my son, who survived nearly five years of chemo, is married and working on his bucket list, somewhat fatalistic.

And those two previous wives are now in pursuits of their own that don’t include me anymore.

And I sit on my deck and cannot see Grandfather, yet I know he is there.

Why not me?

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