Pondering My Mortality & Missing Family Ties

I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking about my own mortality this week. Sunday was a slap in the face to the world that everything can be taken in the blink of an eye. I’m not a huge basketball fan. I watch basketball when my kid is playing and I will watch games with Flea Market Guy whenever he’s watching, but I am not a “fan” by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t think you have to be a fan, though, to know who Kobe Bryant was. There was rarely a week gone by for the last 20 years where he didn’t appear on the highlight real of the sports news or scrolled through newsfeed for something that he was doing. And I’m not talking about the negative stuff even though some don’t want to forget that. He was just everywhere. And he was my age. And then, in the blink of an eye, the whole world was mourning him.

I know that people die every single day. People with kids. People with wives. People with families. I know that every single day someone is crying because they lost someone they love. And sometimes, those tears never stop. But when an icon dies and you are faced with your own mortality, I think it’s more jarring.

Kobe was like superman. And you never expect superman to die. Kind of like Michael Jordan and Betty White. They just are. It doesn’t matter what happens in the world, it doesn’t matter how bad it gets, what stupid thing our government is doing, some things just are. And usually those things are our heroes.

I feel bad for the others who died who were merely a secondary headline in the Kobe story. But, we are all just secondary headlines. When we die, we will all be secondary headlines. Likely overlooked in the paper unless someone is looking for us specifically. And then we will fade away by the next day’s news and possibly never be thought of again.

I know it is a dark and depressing way to look at it, but it is true.

The great get remembered by everyone. The average get remembered by the ones who loved them and forgotten by everyone else.

I think that’s why I like writing. I always said that I wrote this blog because I was certain that one day my mind would go and I wouldn’t remember anything or anyone, but I’d have these blogs to look back on to remind me about my life. And if I die tomorrow, my kids will have them to look back on even though some of these blogs should probably be forgotten especially by my kids.

Yesterday, I wrote about telling your story. I think if tragedy gives us anything, it gives us a reminder that we will all die some day. And what are we leaving behind? What stories are we leaving for the ones that come after us?

I envy people with family history because I don’t have any. I barely have memories of my childhood let alone memories that involve extended family. Flea Market Guy has a whole inventory of family history and heirlooms. His mom makes sure he knows about his family on both sides. I don’t know anything about my Dad’s side of the family. We grew up without him and my mom wasn’t much of a historian. So everything I know comes from my mother’s memories which are few and far between about my paternal side of the family.

I told myself this would be the year I would find out everything I could about him and his family before they are all gone too. I’m hoping that there is a historian on his side of the family that has saved something for his children to remember him by if they ever decided to come looking.

I blame ancestry.com for my curiosity. Their commercials are so good, they make you want to find out who your people were. So maybe I’ll take a DNA test and go from there. Or maybe I’ll just do some facebook sleuthing and see what I can find.

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