Observations and Ramblings from a Cranky Old Guy -By: Jeff Spaulding

Written by on February 9, 2022

Greetings all, hope you’re surviving 2022 as best as possible.

Personally, I always feel optimism at the start of each new year, then before you know it, it goes right down the crapper. Technically the flush happened about a week from Christmas, but the pain still lingers.

When you’re an old bastard like me, you expect many things to happen to you, especially once you start hitting say you’re 60’s. You don’t have the drive to work as much. Body parts don’t work as well as before, or perhaps need to be replaced if you can. And more people in your circle die.

I have spoken of the first before, and while, as I have said, I can see retirement in my future, I still get a chub doing what I do for a career after 45 plus years. At my age, that might be the only one I can still get. (Note to self, look up the definition of TMI). 

Speaking of body parts, I ain’t 21 anymore. Hell, I wasn’t 21 when I was 21, but that’s another issue.

As for people who die, at my age you expect parents, older relatives, friends you grew up with, high school and college chums. But never someone who hasn’t even made 40. That happened to me in December. I found out my oldest niece, Sarah Jean, died quite unexpectedly at 37 years old. How the f*ck do you explain or justify that? As of this writing, no one fully knows exactly what happened. Her younger sister went to her room one night and found her on her bed.

They say no parent should live to see their child die. It’s not any easier for an uncle either. What makes it such a tragedy is that her family has been struck by sorrow over the decades, this is just the latest. What makes it so damn unfair is that this is a great family, loving, caring, good people. These people took me in during one of the lowest periods of my life, and they get crapped on.

Sidetrack, I am having a hard time with this, emotions are pouring out with every word, please understand this is therapy in part for me. And I am more than thankful to the “staff and management” to allow me this forum. So, don’t worry, the true asshole in me returns soon.

Before I continue with Sarah’s story, a flashback to a few months ago. You may remember I wrote about my friend Mike, who I knew for over fifty years. In his case, we knew his death was more than likely coming, but it was still a stab in the heart. And Mike was close to my age. With Sarah, I just ask why.

Sarah is the daughter of a long-time friend from Shaker High School, Mark, and his wife Gloria. They married the same day as I did to the little snipe who I call Ex Wife Number Two.In her case (EWNT), I dealt with nearly 20 years of mental illness, psych hospitals and suicide attempts on her part. Another issue for another time.

It was such a joyous occasion when Sarah was born, followed by her sister Emily, her brother Tyler, and finally Brandy, who the family took in.

Mark accidentally died at a very young age. A few years later, so did Tyler as a teenager.

Brandy moved out on her own, Sarah and Emily lived with Gloria. They live in Columbia County, as “small town” (not an insult) of a community as you’ll ever see. Funny, Sarah is exactly one month older than my daughter Megan, but you could never meet two so completely different people. Remember in the early days of MTV, they ran a promo featuring two sisters separated at birth? One was a rocked-out chick who was a little party girl who wants her MTV. The other was an Amish girl on the farm. That’s Sarah and Megan.

Life goes on, and I will in time get over the loss of Sarah, but I will never get over the thought that life simply is not fair in many cases.

Thank you again for your time to let me tell you about a special person in my life. She deserves that at least. Rest in peace Sarah, Uncle Mike loves you always.

Be hearing you.

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