Coming and Going
Coming - into this world (Birth) Going - out of this world (Death)
As a child growing up in a world of all wonderment, rarely would you think about these two absolutes. Nor as a student or in the world of your chosen profession would you have much cause to think about life and death, unless you are confronted with something that is related to it. Perhaps the birth of a first child or the decision to abort an unwanted life, otherwise we drift through life with abandoned thoughts of life and death. For most of us do we start to consider death when older family members and friends start to pass. However this is still expected and passed over in a short period of time. It’s the natural progression of our species, to be here a while and then to pass away and be gone from here. If you have had a busy life, as I have, thoughts of Coming and Going were there but not emphasized. Being brought up in the Baptist church and under that influence I had the basic belief that abortion and euthanasia were bad and gay people were different and scorned generally as sinful people but we were all sinners in the eyes of God. Gay men and lesbians, atheists and agnostics were in our midst but not really noticed or taken very seriously. It was just a fun thing when my father in law dressed up in drag as I later did to put on a show, or even blacken my face to sing one of my signature solos “Old Man River”.
This sort of action is frowned on and even outlawed in this new world of political correctness. We dropped one fine old song in our senior singing group “I enjoy being a girl” because a younger female member felt that girls dressing up was offensive. The offensive part was that our director went along with the farce and dropped it from the program. I am baffled as to why this would offend anyone. The film was made in1958, the year we were married and depicts the era to a “T”. It was a very naive time for most of us, nothing offensive about it except our lack of worldliness compared to today.
Now that I have reached my 80th year, I have started to think about more important things. I have put away childish thoughts and come to the realization of what is life and death all about? I have been coming and going all my life, the coming part was easy as I had little control over that. Going was in my mind today, the times that just for the sake of some divine presence in my life, I did not get on the “Going” train.
Being a control freak all my life, I wonder how much I can do to make my going a bit easier for me and my loved ones. I know that I should remember the old song “Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream” I should take the stream of life more gently and at my age, go slow. Stop trying to always go against the current. Life is getting too short. Better to let the stream take me quietly along. If I am left by my dear wife of almost 60 years, it will be a whole lot harder. I will be lost without her at my side. My desire is to be the one to go first. I know that is a very selfish attitude but it is in keeping with my whole life. Joan says she does not want to be left alone and so our mutual desire would be to be taken together. I am reminded of the movie picture with James Garner called “The Notebook”, a real tear jerker made in 2004. A movie I would highly recommend. This loving married couple separated for health reasons managed to get together for one last evening of sharing quiet fond memories and were found in each other’s arms in the morning passed from this world. We watched this love story on board a cruise ship prior to its release and cried together in the almost empty theatre.
I am amazed that I have little fear of death but a sense of anxiety as to the unknown. As a Christian we may think we know what it will be like in the afterlife, I fear we may be surprised. Cities of gold and streets paved with gold and precious things? Perhaps, no one really knows for sure. If you are a non Christian, your fate is more in doubt; I do know that you will not dwell in the same house as our God. Will you meet up with friends and family from this life? I as a Christian hope to.
More and more of my friends and relatives have forsaken their faith and I fear for their souls. This world is controlled by the devil and we have all succumbed to his evil ways. Only through the blood of Jesus Christ are we forgiven our sins and saved.
Paul D. Scott.