My essays, of which there are more than 750, were confined almost unanimously to the light-hearted variety.  Once in a while a more serious subject would creep in among the light hearted subjects.  But now we arrive at one that is a bit more serious in nature.  It has to do with those of us who have been classified in the Hospice category.  When one thinks of the Hospice category, he or she automatically assumes a sobering stance.  But this sobriety does not necessarily extend to everything in hospice.  Rules are made to be broken and at this time of life the snap-crackle-pop asserts itself with alarming regularity. 

There are many light hearted moments knowing that one will shortly be consumed in the clutches of deaths’ embrace.   For example, the limit on those of us who love ice cream is automatically lifted for those who are in the hospice category.  Furthermore, there are no warnings about driving carefully to avoid accidents or being careful crossing streets.  I would happily walk under a ladder but I would need an army of support to get there.

It may well be that these are the most carefree days in my adult life.  For example, this morning I found that I was relieved of collecting all of the information for the filing of income taxes.  No one tells me what time I have to go to bed; however, I am usually in bed sometime around 9:15PM.

There was also a weekend where two of my grandsons visited with me which provided an alarming amount of hilarity.  One instance of hilarity was prompted by the reading aloud of an essay which contained my own obituary written by me.  As you may know, writing ones obituary has long been the desire of every Irishman who ever set foot upon the earth’s surface.  Wouldn’t you like to write your own obituary?  My description of the death scene included many inappropriately clothed women, even more empty champagne bottles, and “$1,000 bills were sticking out of every pocket of Mr. Carr’s jacket and pants.”

Prompted by my good friend and fellow Missourian Howard Davis, this afternoon I started out to write my final thoughts on life.  But that does not seem to be possible.  It may well be that all those thoughts were committed to writing in the aforementioned 750 essays.  There is little left unsaid.  I am satisfied in the knowledge that my well honed philosophy of life has been communicated, my memoirs have been completed, and thanks to Kevin Shepherd, they are now available for all to read.

Perhaps one of the benefits of declaring that your life is coming to an end is the opportunity to say goodbyes to friends and family.  To quote William Butler Yeats… “Think where man’s glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends.”  (Municipal Gallery Revisited)

If I were to leave this life tomorrow, it would be primarily with a giggle.

March 3, 2014
Essay 775 (?)
Kevin’s commentary: So, I did the digital equivalent of a back-of-napkin calculation to figure out just how prolific Pop has been since he started composing essays. By that, I mean I just ran a full word count of the entire Ezra’s Essays folder on my computer. There’s a chance that handful of essays got double counted (occasionally, the folder contains both early and final drafts of the same essay) but that shouldn’t throw the overall statistics off by much at all, especially considering that there are also a few essays that I don’t have electronic access to, and thus weren’t counted. These figures of course exclude my commentary.

All that out of the way:
Essay count: 775
Word count: 1,029,621
Pages: 3,569 at 288 words to the page
Characters: 5,741,988 (averaging six-letter words! Not bad!)

For those counting, this puts Pop just a few essays short of the length of the entire Harry Potter series (1,084,170 words) but easily outstrips the length of the King James Bible (~780,000 words). I suppose Pop took it upon himself to write his own Bible (and then some) upon rejecting the Christian one — sounds like a reasonable solution to me.

What I’m getting at is that a million words seems, well, sufficient. Nobody is going to accuse him of throwing in the towel at this point.

As a related issue, I consider myself exceptionally lucky that I have access to all of these writings. If I’m ever possessed by the desire to know exactly what Pop thinks about Dick Cheney, I can immediately pull up precisely 64 essays which mention the man. Perhaps excluding the progeny of the extremely famous, precious few people have access to anywhere near this volume of a relative’s archived consciousness.

Those interested in the obituary that Pop wrote for himself can read it here.

Finally, I have two pictures to share from the weekend mentioned in the essay, which I feel like the present and future readership of this site might appreciate.

The first is confirmation that Pop ain’t fucking around when it comes to Ben and Jerry’s:

















The second is a picture of Pop that I snapped while Connor was reading the obituaries essay. It makes me happy.

2 Responses to 'FINAL THOUGHTS'

  1. JIM HURLEY says:

    To Ed, my friend and mentor . . .

    There has been many a time in my life that I have looked at a situation and remembered your calm reassuring way of addressing problems. Thanks my friend for the patience you showed by taking my hand and walking me through that wonderful training ground.

  2. Ezra says:

    It was good to talk with you the other day Jim. We damn near put off getting together for TOO long. Thanks old buddy.

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