.......is a comedy written by William Shakespeare around 1600 a.d. [First performed in 1598-99] The title's meaning has been debated for years. Some say, as did George Bernard Shaw, that Shakespeare used short, casual titles for his comedies as a marketing tool for devaluing them to the tastes of the low-brow portion of the general public. In other words, it was a money making tool to sell to the multitudes.
Others believe his comedy titles were a serious attempt at a new didactic tool where Renaissance literature could be a "teaching through delight." As one said "Shakespeare was saying 'sorry about all the poetry and the shouting, but I thought it might amuse you'."
As in any age there was the possible sexual innuendo. In Elizabethan English "nothing" was slang for the female sex organs, so calling the play by this name was, perhaps, a way of advertizing a saucy romantic comedy.
I'm not sure of shakespeare's intention in using his title for this comedy play but it has come to mean "a lot said about things of little consequence." That's the meaning I'm giving it for this particular post.
That's a long way of saying I'm going to talk about some random things that may be of no consequence and meaningless to most people, but are part of my present day life and I want to talk about them. "Much ado about nothing" I'm sure.. but it's my nothing and so I will make much ado about it.
Carotid artery surgery is not minor..for anyone. You've heard the old saying 'any minor surgery is major when it's on me.' That recognized, carotid surgery is major. Period. It's amazing how they cut the artery, affix a temporary by-pass tube, clear out the plaque by stripping it away, and patch the split artery with a patch from the sac that protects a cow's stomach. [They've got four so maybe they can spare one.] Then, remove the by-pass, re-attach the artery, close up and go home after about two hours of work. Simply amazing.
I had one of these done on Monday..waited a day..another done on Wenesday and wound up looking like I had a size 22 neck and have permant scars, one about seven inches and the other about five inches, down the side of my neck.
But I'm sixty-eight years old and have had a sense of living on borrowed time for twenty-two years anyway with triple by-pass back in 1986 and living through it when a sister just older, a dad, his five brothers, my uncles, all died in their forties and fifties from what I survived. It appeared to me I was given an extension of life. I know this thing of death is an appointment thing and I know Jesus inserts the key to 'unlock death' for every believer. It is that belief and scriptural confidence that enables me to face the possibility of my life perhaps ending in a surgery as I've described and being perfectly alright with it. But it is also true that life can be seen from the human side [sense of living on borrowed time] which is what I'm addressing here because I am...human.
Add to that the fact that I've lived with the woman of my dreams for forty-nine years and we're already planning our fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration which will include dining, dancing, and a champagne fountain with an invitation list which will include a ton of family and friends [those who won't be offended by such goings on] and you can see surgery is major for me at this time in my life. [Thoughts like 'I may not make it this time' are there for good reason.]
By the way, this girl of my dreams with whom I live, has a little bit of a strange personality. She doesn't like surprises. She doesn't like making decisions spontaneously. Me? I love things spontaneous. I love surprises. Take away my spontaneity and you will rob me of half my joy in life. As I said...she's weird.[I think anyone who isn't like me is a bit weird :)]
So, to help, we spent several days working out what would be an adequate memorial service and what would be the best pictures, speakers, burial procedures, [before or after the memorial service] and things of that nature were I to run out of borrowed time. We did it for both of us so we wouldn't lock in on me. Thanks babe..that helped and I'm serious.
This was necessary, as I said, to eliminate any pressured decisions were they to be needed and, because we both have personal problems with the typical memorial service of our day. Even christian memorial services. You may think I'm the weird one but I wanted Mary to be in charge of the service on the platform. This is basically because she is the least pretentous person I know and knows me better than anyone else on this earth. Put together that spells REAL. I will admit there might be a bit of a last ditch effort to make all extreme Fundmentalists uncomfortable [a woman in charge?] in my death as they have been with my life. But that was minor.
I also wanted no message. But all four kids were to speak and anyone else Mary chose. The singing would feature some anniversary songs I put on tape for Mary over the years and included some fifties, some Merle Haggard love songs, Lee Greenwood love songs, [Mary swoons at his voice] and my favorite gospel and praise choruses. Music of all kinds has been used to celebrate my life in Christ and being in love with that dream woman.
You can see as we talked we were reminded anew that, while we would grieve and hurt were the other to die, we would not be paralyzed by grief because our marriage is not our source of life for us..He is. Our marriage has been a great resource for making life better but, no question, He is our source. We would draw from that source at that time and celebrate the other in music, words, and people. A reception would follow for all to enjoy the moment and one another because the burial will have already been accompished that morning with the family only present.
As I write this I'm impressed again with what we decided. But it will have to wait. That key was not inserted into the lock of death...for me...at this time. [We'll put our plans in a folder for later, much later perhaps, who knows.]
I'm aware some people don't think death is a joking matter. But I tend to lighten moments that are heavy.. with humor. It may be an escape avenue or a pop off valve but it is real for me. I'm not sure but what it is good for us to be reminded that life is a journey through stages and included in that journey is this stage called death. So like Shakespeare, I want to give some comedy to that stage. When mine comes I do want it to be a laughing matter to some degree. Much ado about nothing. I'll sure be celebrating there. Why not those who are here?