Thursday, May 29, 2014

Karl August Schulze

Turns out my dad died exactly thirty years ago today, when I was twenty-two . . . and way too young. But then the story I’d gotten was that his father died young, and so Dad had convinced himself that he would too.
     Not the best lesson for me, and so I took to telling people he’d died in his 49th year, in fear of turning fifty—a joke, I thought, until I found myself approaching that very same deadline, only to discover that, in fact, he had died at 47.
     I’d made it, I thought, and with plenty of time to spare.

Photo from


  1. I see, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, that 'deadline' refers to death in this way: During the civil war it marked a line in a prison camp over which one cannot cross without being killed. I cannot think of the process by which it entered into (at least) newspaper jargon.
    You have no deadline, Roy. Nothing of the future is known. It must have been difficult for you to lose your father at such an age. My nephew is I think a mess now because his father (my brother) died when he (my nephew) was sixteen or seventeen. Since I figure he's scarred by the death of his father I cannot but extend the sympathy I feel for my nephew to you, in mostly the same coinage. ('Mostly' because you're not my nephew, and you were already out of the nest.)
    My nephew, Nigel, pretends politely to be unaffected but I've heard tell tales about how he hates my family, including me I suppose, because his father was not treated with a gravity proper to his illness (which wasn't properly diagnosed until about a month before he died). If you can give me a pithy motto about how you dealt with it, I could pass it onto him.
    Your poor father. You've had a full thirty years of an experience of the world that he didn't. You have your beautiful daughter and your okay son and your wife who hates yours truly; you know he's missed a lot he would have appreciated. (Except for the boy of course.)
    If I'm being too melancholy for just some paragraph and a quarter I apol. Take care of yourself; don't die tomorrow.

  2. I'm glad you've made it past that deadline...

  3. Family history on my maternal grandfather has a similar vein. He died at 41, one son died at 40. Two sons during infancy.What my hubby and I did (since he lost his mother early and his dad was 47) change our way of eating and exercised. He died at age 72, and I'm now 75. So hang in there and live your life fully.

  4. I enjoy hearing about people's family tales :) You broke the chain.


  5. That's quite a personal post. You've made it past the deadline, time to live it up a little or a lot.

  6. happy you're still alive :-)

  7. Interesting slant on mortality, I was 27 when my father died of a brain tumour. I always worried that I may meet the same fate but then we learned his cancer was caused by printing ink chemicals, he was a very talented Master printer and I still miss him now,
    Enjoy your life and don't worry about your mortality.

    best wishes,
    ABCW team.

  8. My dad passed away at age 47 himself, and I remember two of my older brothers used to kid about that they themselves would never see 47, they both now are in their late 60's.


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