The good book says we are entitled to ‘three score and ten’ when it comes to a full life. That was written a very long time ago, before modern medicine extended that considerably. Having reached the ripe old age of 68, I couldn’t help but ponder such questions this past week when three prominent people died. All were men, and the cause of death for all three was cancer.
David Bowie was a unique musical artist who had a huge legion of fans. He was creating new work right till the very end when his candle was snuffed out. Alan Rickman was an actor you did not soon forget, whether he was doing Shakespeare in the round, or making us hiss at him as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. He was totally believable as a ghost in Truly, Madly, Deeply. Both of these British chaps were 69, and they had lots more to give us, and no doubt lots more caring and love for those closest to them.
In my small circle of life, such a man was John Harvard who died at 77. He had been a well known broadcaster and a personal colleague, a hardworking Member of Parliament, and Manitoba’s Lieutenant Governor. The deaths of Bowie and Rickman seemed to catch the world by surprise. Because I knew him fairly well, John Harvard’s death did not catch me by surprise, but it came as a total shock to thousands in our community.
I also couldn’t help thinking about Jimmy Carter, the former U.S. President who told the world six months ago that he had brain cancer and was preparing for the end of his life. Carter is 91, and lo and behold he’s been granted a reprieve from the Grim Reaper. His brain tumour has gone away thanks to successful treatment and he may live several more years.
I share my life with someone who has come perilously close to death because of that same dreaded disease, the Big C. I say a huge “thank you” and count blessings for every wonderful day that we share.
I’m Roger Currie