The last time he wrote for BoomerCafé, Larry Lefkowitz of Buck’s County, Pennsylvania, wrote about how his life has changed since retiring. What he has written now proves the point: he has time to reflect. Not just on his time on Earth, but on all of ours. He explains that he wrote this piece, called “To Everything A Time,” after reading a scientist’s prediction that we’ll make alien contact within 30 years… and realizing, he won’t likely be around to see it.
Billy Crystal, as the character Harry Burns in the classic movie When Harry Met Sally, said that he was so preoccupied with death that he began each book he started by reading the ending… in case he died before he could finish it.
That’s funny. What is not funny is how much closer we are to the end than the beginning.
I think the reason people are so fond of the idea of reincarnation is the hope that after this life, there is another for us to lead. But that would mean that already we are in the midst of living a reincarnated life, and do you remember the last one? So what good is that hope?
Then there is the hope that if we lead good lives, that if we are kind, and charitable, and do the right things, then we will go on to our reward. Game show host Alex Trebek, battling cancer, declared that he is not afraid of death. He said he has lived a long and good life and he recognizes that it is coming to an end. I was impressed by that and by Alex, in general.
I, however, try not to think about how many more summers I have to enjoy; how many more season changes I’ll get to see; whether my teams will ever win a stinking championship.
I think more about what I will miss. I will never see my young grandson become a man. I will never know if aliens exist. I will not be here when scientists discover non-Terran life, or cures for major diseases, or the merger of machines and humans. I don’t expect to see the climatic and waste solutions for Earth or its total destruction, or why Philadelphia sports teams cannot win. In essence, I am a sentient dinosaur. We all are. All life has a time on Earth. The thunder lizards roamed for millions of years without even a thought of reincarnation, or a care that their corpses would contribute to the fuel we mere humans use for almost everything we need.
Humans, though, are different than dinosaurs. Humans wonder and care, hope and dream, sacrifice and plan, but we’ll likely end as the dinosaurs did (sans the fuel part). I wonder about the extended life of souls, and if maybe we could at least look down or read the Pearly Gazette to find out what happens as life continues on Earth after we must leave.
We cannot know. So for now, I enjoy another season change, perhaps as I never have before.