Monday, February 12, 2018
Life and Legacy: The numbering of my days
I have an announcement to make. I am dying.
I just got back from the doctor's office and the news was ... well ... unexpected.
My blood cholesterol levels are a little high. According to the American College of Cardiology on-line risk assessment test, I have a 10.9 percent chance of dying of ASCVD (atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease) in the next ten years. Worse, according to the Social Security Actuarial Life Table, I have a 50-50 chance of being dead in fifteen years.
Okay, so maybe my announcement was a bit overdramatic.
But it's undeniable that my days are numbered. I'm well past the milestone of having lived 25,000 days (about age 68½). I'm bearing down on the biblical three score and ten. And according to the tradition of the distant future culture in my 'Eden's Womb' novel series, I've completed the fourth and last of the seventeen-year life stages (Child, Hunter, Guide, Sage), at which time I am considered an 'Ancestor' even if I'm still clinging to life.
I will be lucky to live another 5000 days, and indeed, even if I live that long, I can't expect to be very productive. I can hope, but the statistics paint a bleak picture.
So here's my real announcement: As far as this blog is concerned, today is Day One of 5000 and no more. On Wednesday, October 22, 2031, Lord willin' and the crick don't rise, I will write my last post; and this blog will become a reference source, my long-winded 'Epitaph', my Legacy to the world.
An old African proverb says that when a man dies a library burns to the ground. By Day 5000, I hope to have filled this library with most of the stuff from my life that is worth preserving. Thus the new topic label 'Life and Legacy'.
I chose today to begin this numbering of my days for several reasons, but perhaps the most meaningful is that it is a distinctive holiday. It is Darwin Day - the day that commemorates the birth of the man who taught us that all life is descended from a single ancient ancestor.
Deep Ancestry and family connections (Genealogy) are themes I'll be exploring much more in coming posts. Turns out that Charles Darwin is a 9th Cousin, six generations removed. Today is also Abraham Lincoln's birthday. I was surprised to discover that Lincoln and Darwin were born on the same day, February 12th, 1809, one in Kentucky and the other in England. Although I can't find a family link to Lincoln, we do have family blood-line connections to six or seven other US Presidents including George Washington, whose birthday comes in ten days.
Yes, I am dying. It's only common sense to face reality square-on. But this prospect does not cause me despair. I look forward to the 5000 days ahead. And best of all, I have found true immortality. Not in the words I leave behind here, not in the teachings of the faith-traditions, but in the words of a much greater book. To find out just what I mean by this, you'll have to wait another day or two ...