Dying Ain’t What it Used to be.

Funny how one reacts at the news of the deaths of famous and beloved people. David Bowie was less than five months older than me. Natalie Cole about two and a half years younger.

I don’t think I’m overly obsessed (is that from the Department of Redundancy Department?) with death, but anyone who reads this blog knows I do think of it. I believe I’m driven to contemplate it by two major factors in my life: my father’s untimely death at a couple months shy of his 60th birthday, and; my becoming a first-time adoptive father at 55 and again at 59.

Since I’ve long passed the age at which the old man died, I believe the “sword” hanging over my head is related to my desire to be around long enough to get to know both my daughters when they’re adults. My oldest will be 15 this year and she’s not terribly interested in anything I have to say, and I’m anxiously awaiting the 12-year-old’s descent into madness.

Pile on top of that the numerous ways in which my body is aging, changing, and falling apart, and I hope to hang on for at least another decade before shedding this mortal coil and rejoining the great quantum field from whence we’ve all emerged. Also, the changes in technology and society that are taking place right now have me wishing I could live another hundred years or so — just to see what happens!

I’m well aware the ultimate trajectory of my existence is mostly out of my control . . . and I’m fine with that. I’m quite certain when it’s my time I’ll be ready if it takes a while and I’m aware of the end’s approach, or there won’t be any me to worry about it. I just don’t want my kids to lose their third father before their twentieth birthdays. They deserve better.

About Rick Ladd

I retired nearly 13 years ago, though I've continued to work during most of the time since then. I'm hoping to return to work on the RS-25 rocket engine program (formerly the SSME) which will power our return to the moon. Mostly I'm just cruising, making the most of what time I have remaining. Although my time is nearly up, I still care deeply about the kind of world I'll be leaving to those who follow me and, to that end, I am devoted to seeing the forces of repression and authoritarianism are at least held at bay, if not crushed out of existence. I write about things that interest me and, as an eclectic soul, my interests run the gamut from science to spirituality, governance to economics, art and engineering. I'm hopeful one day my children will read what I've left behind. View all posts by Rick Ladd

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