How Do You Want To Be Remembered?

A while back, somebody quite wise – I think it was my rabbi – suggested that people should write their own obituaries. Now. Regardless of age or medical condition. That way, you'll think about how you want to be remembered and what you want to accomplish in the rest of your life. More recently, a friend suggested that we all write our own obituaries to make sure that we like them. The idea was, why shouldn't we decide what aspects of our lives should be in the obit instead of some writer who never met us? Nobody wants to be remembered as a person who fell asleep in meetings, was a bad parallel parker, or used the phrase, "between you and I."

So with both approaches in mind, my obituary follows:

Lloyd Garver died last night after having sex. He was 133. He didn't look a day over 120. Mr. Garver was best known for being the only person to win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature, the Nobel Peace Prize, and the California lottery all in the same year.

Before turning his attention to other literary pursuits, Mr. Garver wrote television comedies for over 30 years. He was responsible for such famous lines as, "And those were just the girls," "You never told me that before we were married," and "Who could be at the door at this time of night?"

Thanks to Mr. Garver's mediation efforts, there has been peace in the Mideast for many, many years. Now, Muslims, Jews, and Christians live happily side-by-side and share many a fine meal. When asked how he brought about peace, he replied, "I just kept telling the same story over and over again until the warring factions would agree to anything to get me to stop talking."

Although a private citizen, Garver helped draft some of the most important legislation in this country's history. He was behind the Higher Taxes For Rich People Act, he helped institute life without parole for people who talk behind you in the movie theater, and limited to three the number of "Law & Order" versions that can be on TV at the same time.

Despite the magnitude of these accomplishments, Garver was proudest of his family. He and his wife recently celebrated 110 years of marital bliss - – the Uranium Anniversary. She said that he was "a giver. He always displayed, flexibility, tolerance, and patience -- even when I told long, rambling stories."

He was both loved and respected by his children. They were very patient with him whenever he had a computer problem. They always laughed at his jokes, came to him with their problems, and he was never a source of embarrassment to them – even when he whistled or sang in public.

He was quite wealthy, but saw his many friends as the source of his true wealth, not all that cash that was in the shoebox in his closet.

When he won the California Lottery in 2060, he received 300 billion dollars. At that time, the lottery took in about 16 trillion a year, with $600 of that going to the public schools. Mr. Garver did not spend his huge winnings on himself – except for buying two new cotton sweaters. He gave the money away to those who needed it the most. In 2062, he was named, "Most Philanthropic Person In The World." He even gave that trophy away.

But he always insisted that he wasn't a saint (at least not yet). He was far from perfect. Perhaps his greatest fault – if you don't count that he was a picky eater – was that he was too modest, too humble. I guess he was just never comfortable talking about himself.