[This was posted by Michael before his inevitable demise.
A close friend has promised to post a final message after Michael is gone.]
This is Michael. I’m not dead yet… but I probably will be before too long.
I assume that you were shocked and stunned to think I was dead. You should not be shocked to realize that I too am mortal. Knowing that I am still breathing will give you several days or weeks to consider the fact that you will soon have to navigate your lives without me. That should make it less of a surprise when I’m finally gone.
The day I was born, someone crass like me, might have said, “You know that baby is going to die someday.” While it might be true, nobody wants to think that when they see a baby in a blanket. Everyone wants to hear, “Oh, he’s so cute! He’s got his father’s eyes.” When I was thirty, I had become a Scoutmaster, and I had my boys in a small forest for a weekend camping trip. When they tried to relight the campfire at midnight I ran out of my tent and yelled at them… using the same words my father used to yell at me. “Oh, no! I’ve become my father!” At thirty years old in a dark forest, that comes as a bit of a shock. As I’ve grown older, I consider any comparison to my father a huge compliment. An old girlfriend used to complain, “You’re just like your father!”, to which I would respond, “You say that like it’s a bad thing!”
That night I realized that I had a past. I used to be a Boy Scout, but that was many years ago. If you have a past, you also have a future. That future is limited and finite. Nobody lives forever. From that day on I have lived my life as if today could be my last. I have “grabbed for all the gusto”, living my life on afterburners, jumping from one adventure into the next. I’ve been scuba diving with sharks, jumped out of “perfectly good airplanes”, ran for President of the United States and for Congress. The only thing I’ve never done are recreational drugs. We often say, “I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it”. And now it seems I’ve reached the entrance to my last bridge.
My spirits are high. I have absolutely no regrets. There is nothing on my bucket list that I have not accomplished… in style. If it is possible to have lived a perfect life, I have done it.
A friend of mine is hosting a birthday party for me on August 6th. It will be my 68th birthday. It will also be my last. Assuming I was still the “life” of the party, I will post a review of who attended and what kind of fun we had. Please do not mourn my death. Instead, celebrate the wonderful life I lived. If you are going to remember me, please remember me as a man of honor and integrity.
Feel free to leave comments below
I’m honored that our paths have crossed. I am a better person for our conversations over the past few weeks. Recording the podcast to archive your thoughts was an honor. With love, Greg Boulden
Leaving the links here for those who want to hear him and his spoken thoughts on the Constitution and his life’s work.
America Out Loud Part 1
America Out Loud Part 2