Tomorrow is my birthday. Well... an hour and eight minutes from now is my birthday. And it's weird. This is the first birthday that I'm actually starting to dread getting older, because the very first effects of getting older are starting to hit me. Like a weird ache in a wrist or a knee or a rib or a toe or a foot or an elbow from some long-forgotten stupid thing you did. (For the record, I have an ache in all of those things). This post isn't meant to be as depressing or gloomy as it's going to be -- for the record.
I was just on FaceBook, and I saw my birth date (I call it my birthday) on my page. And it was strange to look at because I realized that's a piece of information that is going to be on my tombstone (hopefully I'll have one - I want there to be a place where people can come and throw themselves on my grave and weep...) That date, that's about to come up, is the marker of an important piece of personal history -- the date on which my life began according to official records. And that date is one piece of three (or four) pieces of enduring vital information about me that, distilled to the most basic are, my Name, my Birth Date, my Death Date and my Social Security Number.
We come into the world, we go out of it. Maybe we do good; maybe we do evil; maybe we do not much of anything of consequence. And not to sound defeatist or "Debbie Downer"-istically pessimistic, but none of us will be known beyond more than two generations from now. It's more probable than not that our lives - our hopes and dreams, and acquisitions and loves, and frustrations, and triumphs and failures and terrible-falls-down-stairs, and amazing-chili-that-we-make, and funny stories and awesome race-times, and all the other experiences that made us unique and made us people, and brothers and sisters and parents, and friends with other people will, essentially, be distilled down to three, maybe four pieces of information that establish that we ever existed:
Our Name, our Date of Death, our Social Secutity Number and...
Our Birth Date.