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April 12, 2012 / dcwisdom

The Art of Dying Well

I have a new blogging friend in Australia named Julie.  She has an unusual life story in that her husband is 23 years her senior, and they married when she was a teenager and he was 41.  I asked her to blog her story, because I find that dynamic very fascinating.  What does a young teenaged girl find so fascinating in a middle-aged man?  When I was in my 20’s, I had an older man (a doctor in the hospital where I worked) tell me that he could have me eating out of his hand in 30 minutes if I’d give him the time.  His offer was totally unattractive to me, but we witness and read about this scenario happening fairly often these days.

However, that’s a topic for another day.  So, while I write about The Art of Dying Well, please visit Julie, too.

I am not interested in writing boring, snoozing blog posts about dying.  How morbid!  Reading about Julie’s current life of care taking has prompted many memories of the years my dad was ill with Parkinson’s symptoms.  Living in Mom and Dad’s backyard, I was/am the go-to person.  That’s just natural.  My uncle lived alongside his parents.  It’s only natural that they called him before they called their second son (another uncle) who lived 10 miles away.

I was born and raised in Texas.  Rick got to Texas as soon as he could.  Rick and I didn’t plan our lives to live close to parents, just like few people plan to live so far from family.  It just happened.  We experienced Oklahoma independence for nine years and got the hankerin’ to live closer to our families.  You know the saying “Be careful what you wish for.”  Again, sometimes, it just happens.

Particularly, we never planned being neighbors to my mom and dad.  I mean really!  The year we moved from Oklahoma, we had a simple telephone conversation with Mom and Dad that went something like this:  “We’re thinking about moving back to Texas.”  No plans.  Just thoughts.  Some time later, “Deb, Mom and I made an offer to buy Aunt Bessie’s property for retirement.  Would you be interested in coming here?”

So, we came home to Texas.  And we came home to assist Mom and Dad, but you really don’t know those sorts of things until after they happen. 
A verse in the Bible says, “I know what I am doing.  I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.  When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.  When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.  Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.  God’s Decree.   I’ll turn things around for you.  I’ll bring you back from the countries into which I drove you.  God’s Decree.  Bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile.  You can count on it.”   (Jeremiah 29:11-14 The Message/Remix)

Dad’s been gone almost three years.  It seems like yesterday and like an eternity.  I started blogging three months after Dad died, but I couldn’t write about him.  Writing is cathartic, and even in writing about silly, dumb stuff, I healed and found humor in the small parts of life.  Now, I think it’s time for me to devote some thoughts about what I learned in life from my dad and how to die well.

I do not have a death wish; I want to make that clear.  It’s just that we all have a portion of time in eternity here on this earth, and after that, in heaven or hell.  We make that decision while we’re here.  On my sidebar, I posted a reference about each of us being a soul with a body.  My piano teacher called our bodies earth suits.   We all have the option of dying well, and Jack, my dad, was my best teacher.

Peace and love.  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  God bless Israel.  God help America.

P.S.  If you would like to comment, click on the comment cloud to the right of the post heading.



  1. Vickie / Apr 12 2012 9:24 AM

    Hey Deb – this is a great story and post. There are a few folks that “die well”. And they are an inspiration to the rest of us. I hope and pray that I die well someday and be a good example for my kids. My FIL died well. Hope we can catch up soon, my friend.

  2. jmgoyder / Apr 12 2012 2:47 AM

    Thanks for the reference! Just one thing I should clarify is Husband and I didn’t marry until I was in my 30s and he in his 50s but we did meet when I was a teen and he 41!
    Loved your post!

    • dcwisdom / Apr 12 2012 3:30 AM

      Ooops! My bad! I’ll make a retraction on it my next post. Thanks. And sorry.

      • jmgoyder / Apr 12 2012 3:39 AM

        No probs at all! I would have married him at the time – heehe!

      • dcwisdom / Apr 12 2012 3:45 AM

        Well, dang! I can see why! 🙂 Ok, it’s 3:45 a.m. here – I’m off to bed.

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