Having witnessed so much change in the world and lived through so much history, there’s no limit to what we can learn from senior citizens. However, even though they’ve experienced countless extraordinary things in their lifetimes, you can’t always assume they’ll be invaluable sources of wisdom: After a long and eventful 93 years of life, Grandpa just said on his deathbed that it’s important to have fun in life.
Huh. That’s it? Not exactly profound, Gramps.
During a visit this morning to the hospice center where Grandpa is currently living out the final days of his life, the beloved family patriarch—gaunt and barely clinging to life—summoned his loved ones close to his bed to share what very well might’ve been his last words.
“Work hard, but always remember to have fun,” gasped Grandpa between labored breaths from an oxygen tank, seemingly under the impression that this blatantly obvious sentiment would somehow be useful to the rest of us as we navigate the world once he’s gone. “It’s important to have a good time before life gets too busy.”
Coming from a decorated WWII veteran like Grandpa, who’s experienced almost a century of cultural evolution, global conflict, and societal progress, you’d think that he might have some sort of insight to offer besides just “have fun,” but apparently not. Grandpa shared this half-assed nugget of wisdom with an earnestness that made it clear he thought it was something truly powerful that one could only glean after nine decades of life—the culminating takeaway from a long journey through war, careers, hardship, marriage, and fatherhood.
Growing up, you looked up to Grandpa as somewhat of a hero, but following today’s incredibly underwhelming deathbed speech, it’s clear that you probably should’ve just idolized a baseball player or something instead. If anything, Grandpa’s pitiful excuse for wisdom will just inspire you to live a life of greater meaning than one centered around such a flimsy guiding principle as “have fun,” because now, honestly, it seems like those 93 years of his were kind of a waste.