…but not for everyone.
There were plenty of retirement parties in the last years I spent on my former job. I didn’t like this kind of parties, for two particular reasons: they reminded me that I was getting older, and the more years I had worked with that fellow, the stronger the feeling was. On the other hand, I knew they were actually goodbye parties, and as I knew for sure that I might never see those people again, they give me a grim feeling of emptiness, no matter how good the wine was.
Mike retired in June. The party lasted till late at night, in spite of the mosquitos and some hundreds of calls on our mobiles from about thirty impatient wives. We had enough beer and the barbeque was great, so we didn’t bother.
Mike was the optimism personified. No matter how hard the day was, in spite of the stress, the stupidity and abject character of our boss, Mike’s favorite line was, “It can’t rain forever! Things will get better!” He was a big guy, and he always ended this statement with a friendly bump on my back. His hands were the size of a spade, and those strokes literally meant a step forward. The years passed, the shit we were living in was the same. Our salaries rose only in the politicians lies, never in our cards, the unpaid overtime was the same, and our bosses seemed to be some immortal creatures, a mysterious species of vampires, but Mike waited for things to get better.
On the 6th of September, one year ago, three months after his retirement party, we went to his funeral. A heart attack ended up his unbeaten optimism on a September morning. He had just come back from the market, with some cheese and grapes in a green bag. That’s how his daughter found him, in the kitchen, lying on the floor.
Mike’s death triggered something in my mind. I realized that this big guy, with his huge hands and heart, lived and died waiting for things to get better. And he hoped and waited in vain, damn it!
We can’t afford to wait for things to get better or for someone else to fix it, even if that someone is The Government, the Pope, the Holy Spirit or Johnny Walker! Even if that someone is entitled to make things better.
We can’t afford to wait for things to get better!
We never know how much time we have left. We have to take action immediately to make our life better.
“But I’m not ready!” Fuck! You will never be one hundred percent ready for anything, neither for marriage nor for having kids or starting a business.
You are not ready to die either. How many unsolved issues and unfulfilled dreams will you left behind if you die today? Grab a notebook and a pen, make a plan and take action! Make things move! You’ll prepare along the way.
Live! Make someone smile every day! The more, the better! Give away hope, knowledge, and happiness. Give time to your children and a lot of love to your wife. Call and visit your parents as often as you can.
Bye, Mike! Your sudden death taught me a bitter lesson, but I can’t thank death, so I thank you, as you were the one who passed away. If it wasn’t for it, I would still have been living in the same shit we were living in, hoping and waiting for things to get better. For how long? We never know, but at least now I know I’m on the right path.