The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Taking stock

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  • The recent death of comedian and actor Robin Williams of an attributed "apparent suicide" should make everyone take stock of their lives. There is an old saying that "the Good sometimes die young". Middle-age is roughly between the ages of 43 and 62.
    I am 50. Yet, I don’t really dwell on any so-called midlife crisis. I look towards the positive elements whenever I can. Yet, I am mindful that my health has been impacted by past injuries and illnesses. Those events shaped me both inwardly and outwardly, and I have the scars to prove it.
    It amazes me that people I recognize from their contributions throughout History have died so young. Examples include Elvis Presley dying at age 42; James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok dead at 39; John Henry "Doc" Holliday at age 36; Joseph Smith junior, founder of the LDS or Mormon Church dead at age 38; his brother Hyrum Smith at 44; and frontier scout, trailblazer, and soldier, Kit Carson died at age 58. Entertainers Michael Jackson died at 50 and Whitney Houston died at age 48. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated at age 46. Life is fleeting...and all to short.
    Robin Williams died at age 63, yet his vitality was as youthful as ever. Various "causations" have been speculated: Depression, Parkinson's Disease; side-effects from medications for that disease; and even financial money woes. Whatever the cause: this fine gentleman who entertained millions globally is dead.
    Whenever I have a ‘down day’, I am especially cognizant of all the people who never lived to the age I have attained now, including many of the famous individuals mentioned above — and others.
    ‘Middle age’ is a state of mind, which can fluctuate depending upon circumstances such as job position, friends, financial security and marital status. It can also depend upon the love and loyalty of any children.
    Perhaps the three greatest factors are money, happiness and self-fulfillment, along with a plan for old-age residency and our mortality. However, as the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen often said: “Life is worth living.”
    We must live it to the fullest regardless of whether we are strong or disabled or just have a setback.
    The good Lord put us on this planet for a reason. I am not one to plan a ‘bucket list’ but I have a ‘to do’ list for myself and my goals.
    — James A. Marples , Esbon
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