In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Finite Creatures.”
I’m trying something new today — I’m replying to a tweet posted by The Daily Post in which they ask, “At what age did you realize you were not immortal?” My answer to this one is as simple as it is complex and yes, it involves the album you see to the left.
It was 1976 when Dad passed away and I was a mere 7 years old. All I knew was that he was gone and “in heaven” or so I was raised to believe. (The whole concept death and Catholicism is something I won’t dare tackle in this post as I have very strong opinions on the matter. It’s a post, or even a blog, unto itself.)
Anyway, Dad was gone and my brother and I were actually handling it quite well, so well that it surprised everyone from relatives to our school teachers. We had each other for support and it definitely kept our minds off of things and in a positive state. There were tough times but we managed to make the best of them.
Three years later, Fleetwood Mac released their album Tusk which blew my freaking mind. A double-album, I listened to it from beginning-to-end-to-beginning-to-end and all over again. It was full of fantastic tunes including the title track, “Sara” and “Think About Me” but there was one track in particular that stood out and, to this day, still makes me relive my epiphany of which I remember every detail.
Side two of Tusk starts off with “What Makes You Think You’re the One” and like most of the album, it’s brilliant. My 10-year-old brain was digging the melody without giving the words much though. But then, while walking out of the Del Amo Fashion Center with my mom, through the parking lot to get to her brown 1977 Ford Granada and stepping over a red-painted and chipped curb with my blue Vans slip-ons, one of the lines hit me.
“What makes you think you’re the one? You can’t live without dyin’.”
The song is right. Dad was gone and one day, I will be gone.
And at that very moment, at age 10, I realized I was not going to be on this planet forever.
From that point, naturally, the questions began.
How long it eternity? What if there really is no heaven? What happens after eternity? When earth — the universe — eventually dies? Are we coming back?
They went on and on and eventually they nearly broke me. I had a seriously bad time when I was teenager regarding these questions and my mind just couldn’t process them anymore, so Mom decided that I needed to seek the intervention of Father So-And-So at church.
We went to the rectory. We had to make an appointment. As shaken up as I was pondering the questions of life and death and everything in between, they wouldn’t let me see him.
And that’s when my faith in Catholicism started to wane. Again, I won’t tackle it right now.
I’m now 47 and I’ve outlived Dad by 5 years. My son is 11 and I plan on being around for him a long, long time. While the questions surrounding my eventual demise still bounce through my head (and sometimes jolt me from a peaceful sleep), I prefer not to let them interfere with my daily life and do the only thing I know how to do: move on.
Unless Fleetwood Mac comes on the radio.