Thoughts About Mortality


On my last birthday, I realized that I am now the same age my maternal grandfather was when he died. I counted the days from his birthday to his date of death. Today is the same number of days since my birthday. So today, I am exactly the same age that my grandfather was when he died of lymphoma in Sloan-Kettering hospital.

It is a sobering thought. My grandfather ran a farm. After Pearl Harbor, he joined the Army and fought in World War 2. When the war ended, he went back to farming and he also took a job as a prison guard. He worked his way up until he was the associate warden of Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. He was eventually offered the position of warden of another prison, but he chose to take early retirement, instead.

I don’t remember my grandfather ever being sick. One day, my grandmother sent me a letter in which she mentioned that my grandfather had a chest cold. Somehow I knew it was much more serious than that. Less than two months later, with the best of medical care, he was gone.

When I was a child, my grandfather seemed invincible. But he has been gone now for forty years. And today, I am exactly the same age that he was when he died.

Life goes by so fast. Without faith in the Lord, how could we bear the thought of our own mortality, and the mortality of everyone we love?

PS. I am reposting the picture of the wild Barbary Sheep that I took on our street back on March 17, because somebody killed him. I was told they wanted his rack to hang on their wall. So sad.

I like to try to look on the bright side of things. So, here’s the bright side: I am alive, you are alive, and the world is full of wonderful things that aren’t dead. So I am going to have an awesome day. I hope you do, too. πŸ’˜πŸ’˜πŸ’˜


Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. My grandparents lived in the big warden’s mansion that’s pictured in the foreground, because the warden had his own home in town.

11 thoughts on “Thoughts About Mortality

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote May 22, 2019 / 9:03 am

      You just made me tear up. Thanks for saying that. I was worried this post might be too much of a downer.

      Life is hard. But life is also AWESOME. To me, the awesome far outweighs the hard parts.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. May 22, 2019 / 9:18 am

    My post today is also about the fragility of life. Our great minds have been inspired to talk about this today. It’s really not the length of years we have, but what we do with them that matters. Happy birthday if today is the day.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote May 22, 2019 / 9:38 am

      Thank you! My birthday was several days ago. But I could use more cake! Gluten free, please. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 2 people

      • May 22, 2019 / 10:34 am

        I’ll take the gluten thank you❀️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Alexis Rose May 22, 2019 / 10:29 am

    So inspiring! Too bad about the sheep. I remember that photo. I think that was the post where we were naming him. Happy Birthday ~ You are a gift to the world Linda!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote May 22, 2019 / 10:33 am

      Thanks, Alexis. You are truly a gift, too.

      We still hear an inexplicable “baaa” near our house most days. But now, the baa is usually followed by a sharp “chrrr-up!” I suspect that a mockingbird bird learned to mimic the Barbary. Sigh. I miss him. And I need to do a lot more weeding and mowing now, too!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Alexis Rose May 22, 2019 / 10:36 am

        Ohhh…I hope another sheep wanders in and gets to live a long life. That’s incredible that a bird learned to mimic its sound. I love nature!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Lisa Beth May 22, 2019 / 12:51 pm

    Thank you for sharing your birthday thoughts. Last year my husband gave me a big 60th b’day party (wrote about it here: title, When God Lifts You Up)
    Although I protested and dreaded a party, it turned out to be a breakthrough of healing.
    Our last days/months/years can be our best if we fix our eyes on Christ and His promised Kingdom to come. I look forward to eternity.
    Btw, fabulous sheep! Trophy hunters will have deep regrets when they meet the Creator.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. ibikenyc May 22, 2019 / 5:26 pm

    1. Happy Birthday to You!

    2. What a cool story about your grandpa; Leavenworth?! You never think about who runs a place like that!

    3. I’d like to cut the rack off the so-and-so who did that.

    Liked by 3 people

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