Paul Wilson: Mr. Wilson Contemplates True Meaning of Life

99257716128882439273Cue the mysterious music…

Having been trapped last week inside the luxurious confines of Olathe Medical Center – from early Monday until 10:00pm Saturday – I had plenty of time to contemplate all manner of topics in the white noise of my head.

I was reminded of a Bible verse that declares a mountain can be moved with the faith of a mustard seed as I thought about my wife’s kidney stone.

Hard to believe the rigors we put our bodies through only to have a grain of misplaced sand bring everything to a screeching halt.

With that back drop, I began to think of what we as humans can and can’t do. And how we’re taught at an early age that we only use 10% of our brains – one percent maybe for Harley.

However that’s false – except for harley – because most of us use it all.

The 10% myth seems linked to American psychologist and author William James, who argued in “The Energies of Men” that “We are making use of only a small part of our possible mental and physical resources.”

Einstein voiced a similar theory – but he was clearly using all of his – he just didn’t know it.

I wrote last fall about the loss of my mother and the premonition she had hours before she was hit with multiple strokes. I’ve mentioned the loss of my father, who, in a moment of clarity, spoke the only caring words to me he ever had over the course of a lifetime minutes before his sudden death.

Helen and Kenneth Felumlee...the way they were.

Helen and Kenneth Felumlee…the way they were.

On both occasions I wondered, what do we know and why do we know it?

I’m reminded of an acquaintance in Springfield who proposed to his long time girlfriend. She reluctantly accepted, reminding him she’d said all along she knew she would not live a long life and had been afraid to marry. She was killed a few short years later in a violent car accident.

What do we seem to know and why do we seem to know it?

Now along comes a news story about Helen Felumlee of Nashport, Ohio, who died April 12 at age 92. She’d been married for 70 years to her husband Kenneth, 91, and the couple held hands at breakfast every morning through 70 years of marriage.

“The couple’s eight children say the two had been inseparable since meeting as teenagers, once sharing the bottom of a bunk bed on a ferry rather than sleeping a single night apart,” the Zanesville Times Recorder reports.

“We knew when one went, the other was going to go,” said daughter, Linda Cody.

According to Cody, 12 hours after Helen died, Kenneth looked at his children and said, “Mom’s dead.” He then quickly began to fade and was surrounded by 24 of his closest family members and friends when he passed away the next morning.

“He was ready,” Cody said. “He just didn’t want to leave her here by herself.”

The pair had known each other for years when they eloped on Feb. 20, 1944 to in Newport, KY, That was just two days shy of Kenneth’s 21st birthday and they did so because he was too young to marry in Ohio.

Although both experienced declining health, Cody said, they tried to stay strong for each other.

“That’s what kept them going,” she said.

Did Kenneth will himself to die? Do we have the power in our own brain to just turn off the switch when we’re done? If that’s the case, the converse must be true as well – we should be able to leave it on, to remain living.

What other sorts of things can we do that we have no idea we’re capable of?

If we set aside our negative thoughts, our needless doubts, and open our minds to the positive side reality, who knows what might the outcome be.

What could we then know and what could we then do?
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16 Responses to Paul Wilson: Mr. Wilson Contemplates True Meaning of Life

  1. chuck says:

    I read the Felumlee’s story a couple of days ago.

    Happpiest story of the week. Perfect ending, to a perfect life, with the perfect mate.

    Shakes my indifferent God theory to it’s foundations.

    We should all be so lucky!


    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Thanks, Chuck, it makes you think about a lot of things. Not the least of which is how does one close their eyes and die, in what appears to be a voluntary, unassisted basis?

  2. expat says:

    It’s well known that deaths increase after Christmas. The reason being that many people want to see their families one last time and will themselves through it. That said I don’t think this effect works for long: when it’s your time it’s your time and you may get a little extra but nobody lives forever. Better to focus on living right every day – because it may be your last.

  3. mike says:

    What actually causes us to be alive in the first place? No matter how hard man has tried, we have not been able to create even the simplest form of life.

  4. Diane says:

    As I read your article, Paul, I was reminded of a story my father told. His father, my grandfather, had a stroke and had been bed confined for some time. During a visit, my grandfather told my father that he was going home on Tuesday. Now, my father thought his father was just confused. But on Tuesday, he died. I believe we often know things by “intuition” and when a person uses their intuition for decisions, they often make better choices. I’m currently am reading a book on the Law of Attraction that says when we FEEL enough, we make things happen with our energy. Another concept to contemplate.

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      There goes my Amazon One Button click again! Thanks, as usual, for chiming in with insight from Arizona!

  5. Stomper says:

    Again, Paul, an interesting topic and some good comments. Motivated me to share this.

    My mother passed away about 15 years ago after a slow but steady decline. With about 6 months to go, Hospice told us she was not yet a candidate. With under 2 months to go, they said she was and they were at the house daily from that point on. She was pretty much in a fetal position, silent, with eyes closed, for the majority of that time. Siblings and I got a call from them one morning and they said, today is the day. I hurried over to the house but wondered the whole way, how the hell do they know? We each went in individually and said our good-byes but Hospice told us she did not want us in the room when she passed. Again, I thought, how do they know? Within minutes after my brother left the room, she passed away. I guess experienced hospice workers can read the signs. Didn’t know much about them before then but I’m a huge believer in Hospice now. Definitely a huge help to the family left behind.

    Lot and lots we don’t know.

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Wow, thats an amazing story and yes, how did THEY know? Thanks for sharing, Stomper. Youre close to the Filling Station, lets make a date to meet down there….

      • Jack Springer says:

        I recently went through the hospice process at my father’s passing — I’m not a fan. I know that some people’s experiences are good, but my experience was not. Most of the nurses seemed to be obsessed with death and appeared to relish the approaching death of my father. I found that very strange and uncomfortable. Both my parents are gone now — but if I had to do it over again — I’d fight for them to go home or to a small hospital in their rural community.

        • Stomper says:

          Good point JS. We were committed to keeping my mother at home but realized that is not an option for many. Sorry for your loss and your experience.

        • paulwilsonkc says:

          Jack, I totally get that. My first experience with hospice was in October with my mom. The day they moved her to palliative care and hospice came in, we had a family meeting. Their first, foremost and repeated disclaimer was, we aren’t under the same requirements as the hospital. Our goal is to keep your mom comfortable. Then they would say, “You need to understand what that means; we can give your mom whatever she needs as often as you think she needs it if you sense she’s not comfortable.” Then repeat, “Do you understand what we are saying?”
          Maybe I didn’t, but I got the distinct feeling the message was that if euthanasia was your choice, they had the ability to meet that need! It left me extremely uneasy and it was repeated with each visit!
          I’m not sure that was “the message” but it sounded like the message. Scarey.

  6. the dude says:

    You might be a king or a little street sweeper, but sooner or later you dance with the reaper. Get down with your bad self!

  7. Libertarian says:

    I like the line from the Kenny Rogers hit, ‘The Gambler’.

    “All that you can hope for is to die in your sleep.”

    My dad died in a hospital bed, gasping for air. I don’t want to go like that.

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