Geri-Antics: The Ramblings of a Crazy Old Broad
I found joy- my premature obituary.
I guess some might find it strange to be writing one’s own obituary in the month one fully expects to turn another year older. Well, not to worry, I’m quite well thank you. It’s just that today, I read an obituary written by a 38-year-old woman who was dying of cancer. She wrote her own obituary because she didn’t want some family member to write a glowing account of her life that would make her appear to have been a deity or a timeline that would reduce her life to only what she did and not who she was. I thought it was brilliant, and I decided to write my own obit, albeit, I hope, prematurely.
Actually, let’s not call it an obituary right now. Let’s call it the sequel to my memoir, “Finding Joy.” I’ll call this sequel “I Found Joy,” because I’m mostly joyous.
By now, you know that I had a relatively normal life from infancy to age 18, courtesy of adopted parents with very good intentions. At age 18, I married a good man with good intentions and had two children who have made this journey bearable, and a bunch of grandchildren who have completed the cycle and raised the bar on the joy-meter.
A brief perusal of my lifetime curriculum vitae would make one dizzy, as I jumped from one career to another for over 40-years. I did stints in retail sales, bookkeeping, interior design, mental health, a pharmacy technician, insurance agent, secretary and executive assistant – not to mention homemaker and mother to name just a few. God only knows how I ended up a writer, but I truly believe it was a divine intervention that caused me to take a leap of faith which led me to my current career.
I can honestly say that I have not done a single extraordinary thing in the 68-years I’ve inhabited the planet. I’ve never lived more than 10 miles outside the city limits of the town in which I was born, nor have I traveled outside my country of origin, except when the family went to Niagara Falls and crossed over into Canada overnight.
The only area in which I truly excelled was in the absolutely bone-headed mistakes I made. Mistakes of such magnitude that they changed the course of my life and are my deepest regrets. It is my fervent prayer that others who were hurt by my mistakes will find it in their hearts to forgive me.
I spent far too many years as a self-centered individual. In later years, I finally discovered that it feels better to do a kindness for others than to be kind to one’s self. Maybe I’ve been cramming for my finals, but I like myself much better since that discovery. I used to fear death, but I think at some point you just stop fearing the inevitable, accept it and begin preparations for it. I’m ready to go whenever my time comes.
Oh, there’s still the fear of the unknown. Having lived a less than stellar life, I’m not at all sure what awaits me on the other side. I have a fairly high tolerance for pain, but I’ve never fared well in the Kentucky heat and humidity. On the other hand, saintly people bore me to tears so I’m not sure heaven would be my cup of tea either. Maybe I’ll just hang out in purgatory for the duration and watch everyone else transition through. I’ll probably gossip a little about how they lived their lives, because I admit to being a bit judgmental. I could even be the Receptionist.
Well, that about sums up my life and brings me to the end. If you’re reading this now, just fold it up and tuck it away until it’s applicable.
I hope you won’t forget me. Mostly, I hope that my books, and these columns will be what you remember about me. I hope that you’ll share them with your children and your children’s children and that they will do the same. I can’t live forever, but oh I so hope that my books do.
Anne Carmichael is a lifestyle columnist who submits monthly to the Jessamine Journal.