Threatened Independence – Conversation with an Elderly Veteran

Right now, I’m here.  I don’t want to go down.  Like down, a hole in the ground, in a grave.  I’m almost 90. Most people my age are vegetables.  But I do alright by myself.  I do what I want, go where I want, take care of myself and I have my own finances, no romance, I’m too old for that.  But I don’t want to be a burden.  I got a good family. I live with my son, but we don’t hardly see each other.  My youngest son comes sometimes, and he cooks for me, when I don’t feel like doing it myself.  I’m independent, I’m satisfied.  But now, I’ve fainted and they’re trying to figure out what’s wrong and I want to stay where I am, avoid the decline.


Maybe you’ll find it hard to understand, you’re a young lady.  You’ve got a good education, good job and your whole life to live.  Me, I worked the same job for more than 30 years after the navy.  They respected me.  I didn’t complain, knew my job, they called me ‘Old man H’.  There hasn’t been anything I haven’t been able to provide for my family, anything they wanted.  I’ve been halfway around the world, now I just want to do what I want.  My son sometimes acts like he’s the boss, but he ain’t.  I’m the kingpin.


If you done been through what I’ve been through, seen what I’ve seen and know what I knew…  I do what I want now.  They’re talking about sending me to a rehab, but I got things to do, I got to the to the bank, I got places I need to be.  I take care of myself.


I’ve had hemorrhoids; I got them cut out.  I have a hernia.  I’ve had diphtheria.  People would die from that; put a big black cross on the front door and say, don’t go in there, ‘so and so’ died.  There wasn’t one on my door then; there ain’t one on my door now.  I don’t need that. At my age, I’m satisfied.  I do what I want, I take care of myself.  I’m satisfied.  You probably think I’m nuts (sidenote: I didn’t and I told him so).


Intolerant atheists are as just bad a intolerant religious zealots.  It’s not your belief system that’s the problem, it’s the ignorant, hardheaded idiocy that you choose to conduct yourself with.  So please respect everyone, as long as they’re not hurting themselves or anyone around them, even if you don’t agree with it.  And life will be better for it.


I admire people with discipline.  Mostly because I think I lack the ability to deny myself sometimes, even when necessary.

Recently, after some deep reflection, I’ve had to rectify my admiration a bit.  Why?  Because I’ve observed circumstances when discipline just plain sucks.

There really should be a balance of risk taking, pushing yourself, moving forward and withholding or denying yourself something for the sake of ultimate benefit.

Having discipline without being goal-oriented is just… well, restraint.  And who wants to hold themselves back all the time?

Just a thought.