With an expectation of leaving this world within the next year or two, I think a lot about where I'm going, and I will certainly be blogging on that subject a lot. Naturally, I also spend a lot of time thinking about what things will be like for my family when I'm gone. But I also think a lot about what I'll be missing over the next 30 years or so, beyond the obvious.
Of course, I will miss everything associated with the lives of my wife and children, particularly things that fathers and husbands should be participating in. But outside of these, which are like a black hole in my vision of the future, there are other more simple and even mundane things I will miss terribly..... well, at least a lot.
I love movies and now that the technology has advanced to be able to bring all sorts of classic comic characters, adventure heroes and science fiction epics to the screen so realistically, I know I'm going to miss going to the movie theater with the smell of popcorn, the upcoming movie trailers and seeing my childhood favorites come to life.
I also love to read and get tremendously excited to download the latest works from Stephen King, Iain Banks and many others on my Kindle. I'm going to miss that pleasant anticipation and the satisfaction of delving into a new story that promises to captivate my imagination and, for a time, take me into another world.
When I was young, I was really into all forms of science and science fiction. It was thrilling to follow the first men in orbit, the moon landing, the launch of the space shuttle. I fully expected that by the turn of this century, we would have space stations, moon colonies and routine trips into space for civilians. Well, things didn't happen quite like I hoped but now, for sure, I'm going to miss all of those things. Even if I lived another 30 years, I still might not see them, but I nonetheless feel a sadness that I will miss it all.
I will also miss some of the simple things like sitting out on my back deck on a warm summer day, feeling the breeze gently caress me while I read or chat with Dianne or our friends. And how about diving into a bowl of ice cream with caramel sauce (like I just did) or having a cold drink of pop on a hot day. Or waking up the morning after a huge snowfall and seeing how beautiful the world outside is while I'm warm and safe inside and don't really have to go out at all. Staying up too late, propped up in bed, just talking to Dianne about "stuff" with our dogs curled around our feet. And that wonderful feeling I get when Dianne looks at me with a love that has grown stronger over 34 years of marriage. And even that dumb look of unconditional trust in my dogs' eyes when they look at me sometimes. Priceless.
As a kid, I spend much of my life living on hydroelectric projects "in the bush" and learned to love the great outdoors. Later, every summer for many years, I would kayak and camp with one or more of my close friends in some of the most beautiful parts of the country. I can't physically do that any more, but I can still take trips to cottage country and, on very special occasions, be invited to stay at a friend's cottage where I can revisit the water, the trees, the beauty of nature. I am really, really going to miss that. I'm not truly at peace unless I'm in that kind of environment.
But then again, maybe that's what heaven is like! Wouldn't that be a great place to spend eternity?