Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Something to Really Think About

If you were to pop in over at Dayngrous Discourse, you would notice that Dayngr Girl does a Thought for the Day post with a beautiful picture each day. A week or two ago she posted a thought that really made me think as I believe it was designed to do. I was so taken with this particular quote that I asked Danygr if I could borrow it and use it as a post of my own and she graciously agreed.

I love quotes. Early readers of this blog can attest to that as I used to title every single post with a quote. I gave that up after I seemed to spend more time looking for the perfect quote than I did writing the actual post! Part of the problem was that I didn't like to use anonymous quotes; I preferred to attribute it to the person who actually wrote it or uttered it so sometimes it took awhile to find the perfect quote that wasn't attributed to "anonymous". I tell you this now as, before I give you the quote that made me stop and take pause to think for awhile, I wanted to tell you a little about the person who wrote this particular thought.
"Stephen Levine is a poet and teacher of guided meditation healing techniques. His work is said to stretch from the most painful experiences of the human spectrum to the furthest point on the human horizon, from hell to heaven, from pain to ease, from our ongoing sense of loss to the legacy of our unending interconnectedness. Levine's bestselling books Healing into Life and Death; A Gradual Awakening; and A Year to Live are considered classics in the field of conscious living and dying."
I thought it was rather ironic when I was researching Mr. Levine that the word "interconnectedness" came up as my good friend Miz Cyn and I had just recently been discussing that very topic during one of our late-night phone conversations; she in the context of the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and myself in regards to several books that I had read at the recommendation of a friend several years ago involving a character named Dirk Gently, a con man who bills himself as a "holistic detective". The author, Douglas Adams, wrote two books in which Dirk appeared, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul. Dirk claims "to use the fundamental interconnectedness of all things" to solve crimes while running up exorbitant expense accounts. They were both good books but I digress and wander away from what I really wanted to write about today which is the following quote:
"If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?" - Stephen Levine
Mr. Levine poses a very interesting question and one, I daresay, that Miz Cyn and I bounced around almost five years ago using the scenario of being on an airplane that you knew was going to crash. I was going to be flying out to California for a visit and because I'm always slightly nervous on a plane, that was how the conversation came up then.

However, even outside of that sort of scenario, it's an interesting question and one that is very tough for some people to answer. For Cyndi it's always been an easy question to answer as she would call her beloved husband, Jeff. For me, it's always been more complex because I don't have a significant other that immediately comes to mind as the person to call.

I don't think that I would want to pick one of my children above the other for that final phone call as I wouldn't want any of them thinking that I loved one more than the other nor do I think I would want to burden my mother with a dying phone call. Parents don't handle it well when their children die before them no matter how old that child may be and I would hope that I would have had the good sense to tell my mother ahead of time how much I loved her and appreciated her for all that she had done for me throughout my life prior to finding myself at death's doorstep.

I could call Cyndi but knowing her, she would argue with me about my actual dying and insist that it was not an option! Besides, she truly has enough to deal with in her own life with the heartbreak of her autistic son and the physical ailments that she personally suffers from. I would be loathe to weigh her down with more hurt. Besides, the woman knows that I love her dearly, that I hold our friendship in very high regard, and that it would not be a good-bye so much as a see you later. There isn't too much we haven't said to each other over the years.

There are, however, two people that I feel that I have unfinished business with; one I don't care if I ever talk to again and the other - well, the other one I worry about. If I had one last phone call, that would be the one that I would make and in regards to "what would you would say?" ... I think he knows what that would be. As to "what are you waiting for?" ... chalk that one up to fear. Fear of rejection, fear of too much water under the bridge, fear of that person just not caring anymore whether I were to live or die. Just plain fear.

So, that's my answer to this rather tough question. Anyone else want to take a stab at this one? It's not as cut and dried as you might think - or is it?


  1. It never is, for anyone. Truth be told, I might even hesitate to call my own darling guy (though it would be a split second hesitation) because I REALLY would not want HIS final memory of me as I am in this lifetime to be that sort of thing.

    Heck, maybe I'd call the elusive person you refer to herein and screech something typically tactful like "look, life really IS too short. Don't believe me? Well, listen up, Bozo: I'm going to kick the bucket in about 10 seconds, so don't make me waste my dying dime...quit hopping on and off the fence and do what you really want to do OR drop the matter entirely. Choose one or the other, and get it right or I will haunt you in ways too awful to imagine.

  2. Anonymous2:48 AM EDT

    I guess it would by Fiancee. But then knowing him, his phone would be out of signal.

  3. What a thought provoking post Linda.
    Assuming MWM wasn't with me, then my phone call would be to him. I tell him I love him every day, but his voice would be the last voice I wanted to hear. If he was with me I would phone my youngest son because he always answers his phone, whereas the eldest never does! The message of 'never forget I love you both' would be passed on and I could RIP.

  4. Wow! Heckuva post, Linda. Never really thought of it before. If she wasn't with me, I'd call "Mrs. Bulldog" - but I'd be worried about traumatizing her with the thought she was the last one to hear my voice alive. If not her, then my parents? If not them, my oldest friend? Hmmmm...you're right, Linda - this ISN'T "cut & dried"

  5. Anonymous9:37 AM EDT

    Nice post, Linda. Does make you stop and think. And, yeah, it's not a cut-and-dried decision. Not at all.

  6. This post reminds me of a song.. it makes me bawl every time I hear it, especially if hubby is listening and singing along.. "One Last Time" by Dusty Drake, here is a link to a video someone made using it. Have a kleenex handy, you'll need one!

  7. Also, to answer your question.. I'd definitely call my hubby, and I would hope he'd call me. Far from being traumatized by being the last person to hear his voice, I would be glad of the last chance to tell him how much I loved him.

    And now I'm gonna go get a kleenex before I embarrass myself by crying at work! XD

  8. Good gravy, Miss Linda!
    I guess mine would be to my mom.
    That reminds me, I need to call her.
    NOT for the you-know call, just to call her.

    Sheesh - way to make me THINK before my coffee has kicked in 100%!!!!


  9. Much as I'd like to be able to make a "last call" to my kids, if I were to have to single one out, I'm sure it would create repercussions later within the three of them as to why I chose the one I did! Ah, jealousy - what a nasty subject that presents. But, I think I would opt to call my long-time friend, Joan. She and I don't get many opportunities to talk throughout the year - usually only one, maybe two phone calls most of the time but we do make the best of them. But I could tell her all kinds of things, including giving her messages to be delivered to each of my kids and know that she would do that and be there for my kids after the fact too. Ok, that's what I think I'd do when I am thinking this over in a semi-lucid manner. If, under the duress of the situation I was actually able to follow through with that game plan -well obviously, that remains to be seen doesn't it?

  10. It is a tough one, but I would have to call Miss Bee and say...........

  11. I don't know who I would call. I probably wouldn't all anyone. Sad, but true. I wouldn't want to pick of of my family memebers for the same reason you don't want to pick which daughter to call.

    And I don't have anyone who loves me back so it would just be another one of those times where I'd say it and he didn't.

    So, I'd just pray.

  12. Wow, this is very deep stuff Linda. I haven't a clue...just one person. Wow, there are so many. This is a tough call. Yikes. :)

  13. Linda, you've made me think. What a deep and inspiring post. It was honest and real. Great writing.

  14. A good quote can do and mean so much.

  15. Wow Linda you've actually made me use my fried brain. I should have read this earlier today.

    I haven't a clue who I would call. I will actually have to think long and hard on this one.

    Excellent post!

  16. Anonymous11:31 PM EDT

    Phew, talk about a toughie. I just talked to my wife so she knows how I feel about her, ( we are over the move so it is all good!) . If this scenario were happening this moment I would therefore call my mother and thank her and my dad for letting me go but always being there, if that makes sense. I guess I never realised when i was a kid that I would always be their kid even when I get wrinkly. I think they would like me to contact them. Once I had a bad accident and didnt tell them thinking it was best. It wasn't.

  17. She has a great blog. It's a daily stop for me.

    I read that quote and I thought long and hard about it as well...it's a difficult thing to think about. But, I would for sure call hubby, although he is bad about not answering his phone! *LOL*

  18. Oh my, once again, I am really taken by the quality of your writing. So many bloggers I read can be absolutely riveting! You are one of those.
    For your question, couldn't call the kids for reasons given, don't have any parents (sigh...), I'd hate to burden hubman but he'd be hurt if I called anyone but him and I can't think of anyone else whose voice I'd rather hear...

  19. Anonymous10:16 PM EDT

    Excellent post Linda!! Wow.

    I have too many people to call. I think I'd call a service that could record my voice and then one of you could post it so I could say a goodbye to everyone that I care about (including many people I haven't yet met in person).

    I like the "see ya later" better ...

  20. You did good and you certainly did this "thought for the day" justice. Thanks for delving into this one.


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