Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Yogi Berra and Me

I've been posting alleged quotes or "Yogi-isms" from Yogi Berra to Facebook every Thursday for months. But now I may stop, at least for awhile. Now that he's gone, my heart just isn't in it. I feel sad that he's gone, even though he played mostly before my time, I was never a Yankees fan, and I haven't cared much for baseball since I stopped being a kid.

It's just that there was something so endearing about the guy, even if a lot of what it was may have been modified, misattributed, or even fabricated. Beyond that, with each famous figure who dies old or young, I can't help but think more vividly than usual that my time, my mom's time, my wife's time, the times of all those who ever mattered or will matter to me will come.

Yet, a friend emailed me today about Yogi's passing, and I replied to his subject line "Bad News" that perhaps Mr. Berra was so old, frail, and sick that dying was the best thing that could happen to him. I read that his wife died fairly recently and that he'd been in an assisted living facility for several years. Was there anything left for him to live for?

I don't want to go on living when my quality of life is so irrevocably compromised that not only can I not enjoy it any longer but I require other people to attend to pretty much my every need. Unfortunately, for longer than I care to admit, I've done very little to compress my morbidity through the recommended means of good diet, exercise, sleep, socializing, spiritualizing, etc.

But I think this is about to change or is already changing as I write this. I'm watching a Great Course's series of lectures on "How to Stay Fit as You Age," and I'm really digging it. What's more, I'm really digging the way I feel when and after I take my walks and do my exercises that I've neglected for far too long.

If I follow the pretty professor's advice, I may just be able to significantly compress my own morbidity even at this relatively late date, and even if I'm very unlikely to live as long as Yogi, maybe I can live pretty well until whenever I draw my last breath.


Thomas Armstrong said...

A wonderful think piece that I and, I'll bet, Philosopher Bera (if he has Internet access in Heaven) think was spot on.

Steve said...

God, I hope there's Internet access in heaven! If there isn't, I'm not sure I want to go there. On the other hand, given the alleged alternative, maybe I still do. Besides, maybe all those dazzlingly golden streets and all that supernaturally virtuosic harp playing will be so entrancing that I won't need no stinkin' Internet up there.