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Talkin' 'bout my g-g-g-g-generation

A couple of weeks ago, I turned 39. I really didn't think too much of it, but something has just struck home with me.

Last July, my best friend lost his father. Last month, another dear friend (Candy, an occasional commenter as well) lost her father. And this week, an ex-girlfriend with whom I stay in touch lost her mother.

By another rather fortunate coincidence, all three managed to see their parent shortly before their passing.

They're all a couple of years older than I am, but it brought to home that I am in that age group where we are going to start burying our parents.

It didn't occur to me, because my parents had me when they were in their 40's themselves, and have been gone for over a decade. But these friends of mine are a bit more conventional, and their parents were in their 20's and 30's when they were born.

It's times like this that helps put things in their true perspective.

Update: For his attempts to turn EVERYTHING into a partisan attack, including the losses of some people very dear to me, and general asshattery above and beyond the call of even trolldom, muirgeo has earned the application of Olaf The Troll God's Hammer and been banned. I have blocked both his home and work IPs (yes, muirgeo, I know where you work, and if any of your colleagues enjoy commenting here, they have you to thank for their inconvenience).

If anyone would care to argue against this action, feel free to e-mail me at jaytea (at) wizbangblog.com. If muirgeo himself would like to appeal it, he is also welcome to write me -- I could use the laughs.

Droog, you're choosing a very poor example to follow.

Comments (45)

The true perspective is tha... (Below threshold)

The true perspective is that you are next. Time to quit planning the next vacation and start making pre-arrangements with the funeral director.

Sounds gruesome but facts are facts. That's what amazes me about all the greed and hate in the country. Try as you might you ain't getting out of this life, alive.

As they say, 'good health is only the slowest rate of death'.

Yep, these sort of things m... (Below threshold)

Yep, these sort of things make me glad for people like FDR who helped decrease the horrendous poverty rates of our elderly prior to his reforms which went unnoticed during the preceding 40 years of Republican rule by greed.

No matter the age it's alwa... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

No matter the age it's always difficult to lose a parent. Along those lines, there's this false notion that'll you, as an adult, will somehow be better emotionally equipped, more able to "handle" a parent's death, and that's simply not true.

And you're right, at our age (I just turned 40 a few weeks back), it brings your own mortality into closer focus. You're wise to count you blessings...I know I have...

Muirgeo, fuck off and die. ... (Below threshold)

Muirgeo, fuck off and die. One more off-topic comment and I'll ban your ass.



murigeo, I can say this wit... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

murigeo, I can say this with complete confidence: STFU.

I was going to rip Murigeo ... (Below threshold)

I was going to rip Murigeo a new one, but Jay Tea and Peter did a fine job already.

My Dad was 81 when he died suddenly just a month ago yesterday. It's been tough, but knowing that he lived a good, long life and that he truly enjoyed his children and grandchildren right up until the end meant a lot to me.

I would suggest that if any of you have bad blood between you and a relative (or friend, for that matter) work it out. Life is too short, and I have friends who are grieving a parent because of things left unsaid, or things said that couldn't be taken back.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

muirgeo, perhaps you should... (Below threshold)

muirgeo, perhaps you should eat something that ought to mellow you out. Perhaps a kaiser roll sprinkled with walnuts?


Last night I saw a preview ... (Below threshold)

Last night I saw a preview of the movie The Fountain...I know the pr on TV etc...makes it look like it is a Highlander/Indiana Jones/2001 kind of movie..but it is not that...and so much more than that..it deals with acceptence in a very visual way..

Jay...may you embrace the moments that those who are gone gave you,...and realize you, in your own way,..do the same for more than you will ever know...

Jay, with all due respect, ... (Below threshold)

Jay, with all due respect, perhaps you might want to chill out a little re muriego. While I would point out to him that FDR's elderly generation are among the financially wealthiest age group (based on the social security ponzi wealth transfer) at the expense of the current younger generations, I wouldn't say he was that far off topic. In any event, not deserving of Kos-like language.

GeezUs muirgeo,You h... (Below threshold)

GeezUs muirgeo,
You have WOULD be the one to make this post political.

sorry for leaving out the o... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

sorry for leaving out the other letters..
...you should know where this comes from

Jay Tea: Nice thoughtful po... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Jay Tea: Nice thoughtful post; unfortunate that a silly troll had to spew all over it.

Candy,I'm really s... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:


I'm really sorry for your loss. Know what else? He knows just how much you loved (and still love) him, too. :-)

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

I would ask those, that for... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

I would ask those, that for whatever reason, who read into Jay's post something other than sharing his grief and sense of mortality...take a deep breath..and back off...

Perhaps, your words come from your own loss and doubt...and feel obligated to attack Jay simply because he articulated what we have all felt and will feel...."ain't no time to hate..barely time to wait.."

Yep you'll lose those in th... (Below threshold)

Yep you'll lose those in the preceeding generation, then those in your own. I'm in the age group where I start to hear people just a few years older than me keel over. Still it beats the alternative. I'm not being callous (intentially to your grief), its just my dealing with my own mortality.

I'm listening to the Fire R... (Below threshold)

I'm listening to the Fire Rescue channel on the scanner and they just got called out for a confirmed signal 50 (DOA). I've ran on a lot of them and offered what condolence and comfort we could, but it did't make it any easier for a family to watch us (we always tried to get them out of the room) put a family member in a cadaver bag and zip it up. All anyone can do is tell them you are sorry for their loss. Really hard on a surviving spouse of 50+ years. We will all face it one of these days and so will our children. All of the preparation in the world won't help the initial shock and disbelief.

Muirgeo, most of the times ... (Below threshold)

Muirgeo, most of the times I read articles here I fully expect to read some very strongly worded posts from those with alternative views. When I read this one I sensed an exception and certainly I did not expect anything such as your response. But in reading your post I must say I cannot tell whether you are simply a cold human being or a lonely, angry person whose twisted comments are his only pathetic interaction with his fellow human beings. You must be, without a doubt, a misanthrope. If I had my way I would put you on a 3 month banishment from posting on this site. I thought nothing you wrote here could raise my eyebrows, but I was wrong. The nature of your post in this particular thread is evidence enough that you are not a very nice person irrespective of whatever intellectual capacity you personally feel you have been blessed with.

I never than this before bu... (Below threshold)

I never than this before but Muirgeo you are a sorry ass and STFU. Go and stick your head in the sand.

I am like you Jay Tea, my parents had me in their 40's and I am about half century old. My parents passed few years ago but at least I was able to tell my mom and dad I love you days before they died. There's not a single day that I never thought of them.

I encountered a lot of elderly people in my job, and I treated them like my parents with respect and dignity. I have more patient with them now than ever. I could care less if they are democrat or republican, all I care is that they have smiles in their voices when I hang up the phone. They make my day when they say "God Bless You Child" (I work for Financial Company who help saving people who are about to loss their homes).)

It is too painfully obvious... (Below threshold)

It is too painfully obvious that Muriego is one hell of a miserable person. He just proved it with that post. We should probably pity him.

I have a friend who is 43 and still has both parents and (get this) both sets of grandparents still living. Unbelievable!

Jay, you are but a younglin... (Below threshold)

Jay, you are but a youngling.

It's all downhill from 39. By my age (45), you start having problems your parents had.

And younger folks start calling you, "Mr."


J, I should have read the t... (Below threshold)

J, I should have read the thread first.

Perhaps when you get really, really old, you become an angry old man like Mungo.

But I hope not, since you'll be consigned to posting ill-conceived messages on weblogs where about 99% of the participants hate your guts.

That would be such a waste, no? I prefer drunk and crazy, to sober, angry, and stupid.

Almost too young to remembe... (Below threshold)

Almost too young to remember hula-hoops and "Pop Rocks" >sigh

Some people find some prett... (Below threshold)

Some people find some pretty stupid ways to say "what about me," right muriego? Where's your humanity, man?

My father, a stolid and hearty rock and a towering figure, just suffered acute renal failure at 85. He's looking at his final days/weeks/months on 3/wk. dialysis.

He doesn't deserve it.

And I have been instructed by HIM to go to his childhood home town and purchase grave plots for him and my mother (and brothers and I, if we wish).

We intellectually anticipate the day when these events will occur.

But we're never truly ready for them when they do.

Back on topic.HAPP... (Below threshold)

Back on topic.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, and I wish you many more.

1) 40 is when your warrant... (Below threshold)

1) 40 is when your warranty expires. You know what that means.

2) Is it Time for another birthday already?



5) With one parent on either side of the grave, and a late child myself, I know exactly where you are coming from. With age comes either wisdom or ennui. Aim for the former.

<a href="http://www.... (Below threshold)
Those damn Dems continue to... (Below threshold)

Those damn Dems continue to destroy the stock market:


"Dow finishes at yet another record high."

[slaps hand at keyboard]</p... (Below threshold)

[slaps hand at keyboard]


[slaps hand again at keyboard]






Guys, don't think it's okay... (Below threshold)

Guys, don't think it's okay to wait til they're old to try to patch things up. My dad died of a heart attack when he was 38 (yes, younger than Jay Tea.) I had always been on good terms with my Dad, but then I was only 16 when he died.

Yes, make sure you are kind to the elderly, but you need to be kind to people well before that, too. You never know when.

I guess I must be one of th... (Below threshold)

I guess I must be one of the older posters here, from most of the comments I've seen. IMy mother passed when she was 49 when I was a sophomore in college. Mortality is a harsh and scary thing to get your head around. You don't really get used to it.

No complaints about Muirgeo.

I can't even broach the sub... (Below threshold)

I can't even broach the subject of losing my parents wihtout getting all weepy. I'm in my fiftes and they are both still with me. Having lost a child and watching my children lose their father at 46 though (he was an ex at the time), I think I know what to expect. Shock, denial, anger and then acceptance; self-pity interjects itself in there at some point too. The trick is going all the way through it and not getting stuck at one point in the progression of emotions. We have to remember that those we've lost wouldn't want us to suffer indefinately.

Tell them you love them often, Jay. And hug a lot. ;-)

Jay,Like you, I be... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:


Like you, I became an orphan as an adult, nevertheless, it's an emotional experience becoming an orphan at any age. While one parent is alive there's still a connection with the other parent and their generation that transcends logic. The positive aspect of losing a parent is that, in time, you heal in such a way that you are stronger and able to comfort those who have just suffered the same loss. Consider that gained strength a final gift from your parents. I expect you have used that gift amply in comforting your friends.

JT, I am glad you banned Mu... (Below threshold)

JT, I am glad you banned Muriego. Now if you will do the same to Lee and JP2. They add nothing to the discussion but hate. No real debate. One time out of a few hundred they make sense. Not enough times to put up with their crap.

Loved your post. My wife and I are now in the generation that we are thankful for all our days.


Glad he is banned. I agree... (Below threshold)

Glad he is banned. I agree about Lee and JP2. I had stopped reading the comments around here because they always denigrated into such vitriol. Not sure why I clicked on this comment section. I guess I figured this post was safe from such nonsense.

Too bad what happened to mu... (Below threshold)

Too bad what happened to muirgeo, but hey, he can always come back here using a different name, different email address, and different computer, so that we don't miss all his astute observations and clever wit. But I wonder what that "one more comment" was that resulted in the banning. by Mr. Tea. I certainly didn't see it above.

Herman, two things:<p... (Below threshold)

Herman, two things:

1) I blocked his IPs, not his name or e-mail. That means he can't comment from his home line or his work line.

2) If you scroll up, you'll see he posted a link to an NPR story that reinforced his utterly irrelevant and callous first comment. I took that as him saying that he chose to disregard my warning and daring me to pull the trigger -- so I did.

I truly don't like banning people. But muirgeo's insistence on turning every single topic into partisan bashing -- including the losses three people very dear to me have recently suffered, and all three read this page on an irregular basis -- so offended my sensibilities that I did it. And I don't regret it in the least.


My generation is not quite ... (Below threshold)
Ruth H:

My generation is not quite ready to give it all up. I am 70 and can assure you and my children and grandchildren I plan to read YEARS worth of blogs before I go. They still need me. Yes they really do, not as much as I need them, but one daughter in law is just beginning chemo for breast cancer and they have children, I think being needed is a life lengthening thing.
Sorry about your friends parents I lost my own mother just 5 years ago. She lived to 89 and I plan to do that or better. I know, I know, I'm not in charge of it, but I do have plans.

Jay, please don't get mad a... (Below threshold)

Jay, please don't get mad and ban me for this, but this stupidity needs to be responded to.

Those damn Dems continue to destroy the stock market:
"Dow finishes at yet another record high."
Posted by: Droog at November 18, 2006 12:23 AM

The Dems didn't take power on November 8th, you vacuous boob. They don't take power until January, and even then, it will take time for them to pass bills and even more time for the bills to really start affecting things. The stock market is still being affected by Republican policies.

So in other words: FOAD, Droog.

Ruth: You go, girl.... (Below threshold)

Ruth: You go, girl.

J, et,al,Please ac... (Below threshold)
Brian the Adequate:

J, et,al,

Please accept my condolences on your losses. I just lost an aunt and grandmother after a 8 year lull with no close family deaths. Even though they had both lived long full lives and I have no doubt they are in Heaven, the losses were hard all the same.

As for banning Muddygoat, THANK YOU, thank you, thank you. I am all for a good debate, but all the trolls here do is degenerate every single thread into off topic p------ contests. Although Lee and jp2 are IMHO lesser evils than muddygoat was (thank you again), if they don't at least try to get better with conducting a civilized conversation, perhaps you should consider slapping them down as well.

J. Many happy ret... (Below threshold)


Many happy returns (youngster)

What a belated birthday gift (to yourself) by banning the malignancy of bitterness and futile rantings that has plagued Wizbang for far too long.

We are on this planet for such a short time ------ and you just made it a little brighter in my world.

What took ya so friggin long?

Happy B-day, Jay!A... (Below threshold)

Happy B-day, Jay!

Ah, one more year then it's time for all those "baseline" tests your doctor will order for your physical ....

I have a little more than a dozen years on you and I figure I'm in the "sandwich" position. My parents are alive and healthy (75, 78), my youngest daughter (of 4) is a sophmore in college (geez, no wonder I'm broke) and I have grandchildren (identical twin boys, 4 y/o). I realize that the status quo, though, is a fragile one. We lost my husband's younger sister this past summer and we are now thinking it might not be a bad idea to actually make some plans for ourselves in reference to what kind of funerals/memorials we would like to have and also avoid leaving the burden to our kids.

My parents made their arrangments years ago (my grandfather was a funeral director and #2 daughter is in a morturary science program, so this stuff doesn't have the "ick" factor makes so many people put off planning for themselves).

PS thanks for banning the egregious troll

I had a child at age 44, so... (Below threshold)

I had a child at age 44, so there is still hope for us oldsters. I worry about losing her, my wife, parents. But the fear is not overpowering, since all the good things I have can and will be taken from me one day, either by my demise, or theirs.

I cherish the time with them all. It is worth the fear and concern about losing them.

If there is a God, which I incline toward believing, then I hope we reunite in a better place. Even if we don't, we had a ball!

Happy Birthday Jay Tea!!!<b... (Below threshold)

Happy Birthday Jay Tea!!!
TYVM for hammering that asshat, it was deserved a long long time ago.
My condolences to your friends on their losses. SI is right, nobody gets out alive but the object is to make people remember you long afterwards for the good you did, not the bad.

I will pass on a tasteless ... (Below threshold)

I will pass on a tasteless joke my grandfather (Irish) used to tell at every wake:

"What is the difference between an Irish wedding and an Irish wake?

"One less drunk!"

I told that joke at his wake almost 22 years ago. Brought down the house. He thought death should be a celebration of life, not a time for lament and sorrow.

He was right.

OH!! What took you so long??






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