It's All About Family

My 85th Birthday Celebration, 9/11/13

Our Last (almost) Complete Family Gathering

Ted Flicker With Hat




Myself With My Great Granddaughter (4th generation)




         As my brother Marvin and I mourn the death of our brother Ted, we continue to celebrate life and living, just as we three always did, even under the most trying circumstances. Ted would have wanted us to carry on that tradition and so we do.




          I spoke these words at our father’s funeral in May 1979:


          ... He was not a religious man. He never was. But—he discovered his own immortality and out of that a sublime, comforting joy, not in the biblical sense but out of self-realization that dying was not an end. He could look around him and see that he was surrounded by his children, his grandchildren and his great grandchildren...


          He didn’t say it. He didn’t have to. He believed his life, our lives continue on into the unending future with the genes and characteristic that are unique to the members of our family. Immortality is ours.




         Life, each of our lives, is most certainly unique. The problem is, many of us fail to understand that fact and cheat ourselves out of the benefits our uniqueness brings to us. There is a message here. IT’S NEVER TOO LATE!

Immortality is all well and good. However, it’s the living NOW that counts— NOW!


          Speaking for myself, I stopped living my life as a writer about twenty years ago. I just stopped. Why? It’s hard to say except that I let my brain become lazy. There is nothing worse than a lazy brain. It transformed me into a self-absorbed, unfulfilled, vegetating human being.


         Then—it happened! I came across my old files of stories and plays. Out of that came A WRITER’S GHOSTS, the ghosts being many of my old stories and plays. Hallelujah! I found myself writing again. My brain was active and working again. I was “living” again.


         At end of October I will CELEBRATE my 86th birthday. For some that would be an indicator of life coming to an end. For me, it is a celebration of a rebirth and a new beginning. I raise my glass in a toast TO LIFE!



(After 21 the is it all downhill?)

See The Aging Game  click here


         It’s like a disease. It can take hold of a person at any age. The mirror becomes the enemy. The plastic surgeon, for many, becomes a source of imagined salvation. Creating unrealistic goals by a certain age is another

way of sabotaging the pleasure of each birthday. 


         Old starts in the head and creeps down resulting in both unrealistic mental and physical atrophy. The problem is too many of us become wrinkle counters. Wrinkle counting can begin at any age.  Oh yes, let’s not forget about the discovery of the first few grey hairs, a signal to the colors. That takes care of the physical part. The mental part is another story. 




         He was my best friend. At the age of 42 he put a bullet in his head. He would never know the joy that I experienced on that 85th birthday celebration of mine, surrounded by generations of my family as can be seen in the accompanying, family photograph.


         I know there can be many self-convincing reasons for a person, particularly a young person, taking their own life. However, I think back to a lunch we had (my best friend and I) two or three weeks before that tragic event. I recall asking him the question, are you happy? His reply took on particular significance following his suicide. His reply: “Who can be happy?” Who can be happy, indeed?


         He saw himself walking a treadmill, alone and growing old. Old at 42! His solution was, of course, was no solution at all.


         We, all of us, have the means to be genuinely happy at our fingertips and it has nothing to do with wrinkles and grey hair. Of course, happiness is not like a pair of socks where one size fits all. My focus here is on two connected situations in particular, worry about aging and worry about personal fulfillment.

         There is no way I or anyone else can tell another person not to worry and expect that will be affective. However, just as my brother Marvin and I are doing, focusing on our families and the positive aspects of our lives and living on a day-to-day basis so can most people do the same. Of course, there are days that defy those efforts. In that event, there is always tomorrow.


Bob Flicker


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 © robert 2014