I wrote my will last night…

In bed. In my head. But I will put it down on paper, just as soon as I get up the energy to get up.

Yes, I have some of my affairs in order. Several years ago, I asked my sister to go with me to prepare living trusts. That’s the thing you need if you own property and don’t want your will to go to probate. Probate is a pain in the ass for the person(s) left behind. If I die before my sister (and it’s likely I will, since I’m quite a bit older), she’s already going to have grief and many other pains in the ass, so why not remove some of them, if I can? I also wanted her to have her own trust, to help me in case she’s the first to go—because one never knows, right? I could be an old lady having to deal with it all. So we did the trusts.

But I had never gotten around to doing the will part. That’s where you identify things such as what to do with your personal belongings, your body, whether you want a memorial, etc. I did have a fantasy of what I ‘hoped for’ (Ha!) I pictured myself dying either at home or in some facility nearby. I wanted my sister to take the things that she wanted, and then have a party at my house. Invite my friends. Serve food and alcohol. Play Motown and Santana. Share stories about time spent together. And then choose items from my stuff that they like or need—photos, plants, furniture, kitchen ware, books, art, music. They could enjoy these things, and there would be less for my sister to dispose of.

But unless I die soon—and that is not the desired outcome, either—it’s unlikely that it will go that way. I am planning to move north to be closer to my sister, the only one left of my nuclear family. I know a couple of people there, but most of my friends from SoCal would likely be unable to come. I still want a will to make it easy for my sister to know what to do.

Why did I let this go until 3:00 a.m. last night? Because my own mortality was not actually real to me. In spite of my advancing age (I know: we’re all advancing—but you know what I mean), I’m pretty healthy. The worst thing is that spinal problems have limited my mobility somewhat. But that’s not going to kill me.

What might kill me? The novel coronavirus, that’s what. COVID-19. A global pandemic worse than any I’ve ever seen. If I’ve even seen a global pandemic. Maybe HIV/AIDS. And COVID-19 is a lot easier to transmit than HIV. To contract HIV, one must allow one of only four body fluids (blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or breast milk) into one’s own “portal of entry” (bloodstream, wounds, mucous membranes). Avoid a few behaviors (I’m not going to say simple behaviors, because sexuality is not simple), and if you do, you won’t get HIV. But to get COVID-19, all one has to do is touch something, or breathe.

I touch things constantly. I breathe on a regular basis.

And I see how quickly this disease progression can go. One day you’re healthy. The next day you’re not. The next you’re in the hospital. The next you’re in the ICU. The  day after that, you’re dead. So many dead. Not enough body bags for all the dead. Not enough refrigerated trucks for all the dead. Families trapped at home with their decomposing dead. Unthinkable.

You know what else is dead? Right now, my faith in the democracy of my country. Oh, I’ve always known it was flawed. There’s been racism, sexism, unscrupulous politicians, corporate greed. Two steps forward and one step back throughout our history. Even when we had our first African-American president, young black men and women were being shot dead in the street by police officers who’d promised to protect and serve.

But what has happened to allow a failed ‘businessman’ (and isn’t that an oxymoron)—with six bankruptcies, thievery from charities (CHARITIES!), a draft dodger, a man who says “grab ‘ (women) by the pussy,” who has many sexual assault charges, who makes fun of disabled people and war heroes, who rejects science, who pretends to be Christian, who won’t allow refugees into our country (MY BELOVED GRANDFATHER WAS A REFUGEE, YOU MOTHERFUCKER), who puts children in cages (CHILDREN!), whose stupidity and inaction and obsession with what? his TV ratings! has let COVID-19 ravage our populace, and perhaps worst of all, whose constant buttlicking of business interests that remove environmental protections while climate change takes us all to our ultimate doom—how such a person could become President of the United States I will never understand.

Yes, I know the factors. Voter suppression. Gerrymandering. Russian election interference. Uneducated voters who mostly don’t even know what those clandestine activities are about. They just thought they wanted “something different.” Well, friends, you got it. We all got it. Along with the biggest stock market drop ever. The highest national debt. The most convicted appointees. The most pandemic infections in the world. So much winning.

I saw a meme on Facebook that said ‘Why would one lose a friend over politics? Because it isn’t about politics. It’s about morality.” I don’t want to lose any friends, but it is about morality, or as I think of it, a philosophy of life. One of my UCLA public health professors explained the difference between Republicans and Democrats this way: Republicans believe that this is a country of opportunity for everyone. Everyone starts at 0 and has the same chance to pull themselves up. Democrats say that would be fine if everyone really started at 0 and had the same chances, but they don’t. Some start in the negative numbers and continue to face lifelong barriers. My philosophy of living is that people who have more need to lend a hand to those who have less. Justice, fairness, kindness: that’s my philosophy and my morality, too.

Now I will make my will. I will listen to science over snake oil salesmen. I will self-quarantine because of my age. I will vote (Democrat, of course). And maybe I’ll try to regain hope that my country can still get its head out of its ass—someday.

 

(Art work created or inspired by Shepard Fairey)

19 thoughts on “I wrote my will last night…

  1. Wow! What an inspiring and powerful post. I agree with you in every way. As a student, I just had everything changed on me in the blink of an eye. I am one who sits there yelling at the TV during press conferences when the “president” cuts off a reporter or yells that they asked a “very nasty question”. It makes me sick. What actually made me sick and what I am sick with (truthfully) may indeed be Covid19, as I came down with every symptom listed. I was lucky to be tested, and now, I too sit in self-isolation awaiting my results thinking what if this takes me down? What if I infected others when I didn’t have symptoms. There’s no cure, treatment, and even the resting system is throwing out false negatives, so how am I to be sure I’m in the clear. I am also a Democrat and I pray soon our country is able to thrive and move forward from this whole mess. Take care Lynda! You’ll be in my prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so sorry you’re going through this. People who voted for Trump and still remain blind to his murderous ways just will not understand. I’ll be pulling for you to recover. Stay with your education no matter what! Education is what makes for a progressive society.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Friendship for most people is a combination of affection, loyalty, love, respect, and trust. … Here you go again, it’s so obvious that you do not value friendship.Thank you Good bye Sent from my Galaxy Tab A (2016)

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  3. Hi Lynda.. it is too much!! Everything is too much. I am open for technology but I fall under the “late majority” of consumers. I had to learn fast on how to use Canvas and zoom for my work. Everyday I am being bombarded with emails from administrators, colleagues and students. Which one should I prioritize? Yesterday, after a zoom conference with my students I realized that our recording got corrupted. I spent hours and I mean HOURS trying to figure out what did happen and how can fix it. I am very eager type of person when it comes to identify the problem, find a solution and fix it NOW. I feel bother by the “waiting” for things to happen or procrastination. I move on “do not wait for tomorrow if you can to it today!!” Because of my impulsive and analytical mind, I get frustrated when I cannot find the solution for my computer technological challenges.
    My agent who is working on my Roth IRA asked me who do I want to put down as my dependents.. in case if I die. DIE?? of course we are all going to die one day.. but F^#$*%, Lynda, really?? I am putting all this money away for my retirement and in the end I might not even be able to enjoy it after I retire because I may die BEFORE retirement?? Then, comes this diabetic scenario in which I find myself in, it now making me part of the “risk group” in this pandemic S^%*#. Oh great!! As you told me one day, I have never imagine me being considered as part of the “risk group”.. this S^%*# is real.. and it is scary!!
    Then comes the time for me to go to bed. All this week I am feeling afraid to sleep. Maybe because of all this uncertain energy in the air, through the media, in my retirement package and because of my diabetic condition. The word “death” is everywhere and it is starting to affect me profoundly, like you Lynda. It sounds crazy but it is so true. In my thoughts I find myself saying “what if I die while I am sleeping?” I still want to change the world. I still have so much to fight for, including fighting for what I believe it is “moral” and for my “values”. Being to voice of those who are voiceless. Fight for social justice, for numerous problems faced by women and girls (and often, minorities) around the world that limit sexual and reproductive rights and prevent the achievement of autonomy. I guess I will make my will was well. And in my Will, I will designate “friends” to take over my “philosophy” and “morality.” Love and condoms are the answers we need to spread!!

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    • I understand where you’re coming from, girlfriend! So many things have changed our lives because of this virus, it’s overwhelming. Yet we’re still the lucky ones because we are alive! But we certainly are confronting our mortality. I share your values, I plan to keep fighting for them – and I hope one day we see them spread across the planet.

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  4. I did my trust also with my husband. His Mother passed a month ago not from Covid she had other issues. She had gotten her plot long time ago. Still so much left to do. I literally just thought the other day I have to be prepared.
    Stay safe ❤️

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  5. Well said, Lynda! We need to make sure we escape COVID-19 and stay alive so we can vote for Democratic candidates in November. There is no way our country or environment can survive four more years of this pathetic, lying, self-centered, pompous, ignorant, science-denying lunatic who thinks he is brilliant when he’s actually just an ignorant, amoral schoolyard bully selling snake oil to those with poor critical thinking skills. Hopefully, enough people will finally realize the “Emperor Wears No Clothes” (along with his numerous other deficits) and get him out of office!
    Stay safe and healthy.
    Deidre

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  6. Could not have said it better. With everything going on in our world today, we do not know what tomorrow brings. I have family that have been torn apart because of politics but it merely because many of very uneducated and do not know the bigger picture. There is no way our world can grow and prosper the leadership that we have right now. Change is needed. Stores and businesses are starting to reopen, not because it is safe but because the government only cares about the economy.

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    • I’m sorry about your family. I too lost someone dear due to her standing up for that criminal. At least your education does allow you to see the bigger picture. Education is something no one can take from you – and once you see, you can’t unsee, and you wouldn’t want to. Even with things opening, make your own decision to stay safe!!!

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