Monday, May 17, 2010

The Highest Bidder

Some years back my mother died and this sudden end to 51 years of marriage left my Papa understandably despondent and very lonely. After some recovery time he came to me for advice; “Should he remarry?” I wasn’t really prepared for the role reversal, yet I was humbled that papa respected me alone for this kind of life important decision. We had some in depth discussions that lead to a mutual decision that remarriage was truly appropriate.

I then gave him some whimsical advice that went something like; “Papa you are a rare commodity. A man in his 70s who is in good health, has a full head of hair and is in decent financial shape. There aren’t enough of your kind out there to satisfy the huge numbers of single older women who also truly desire some lasting companionship. If I were you I’d consider going to the highest bidder.” We both had a good laugh and off he went on a quest that led to his second marriage. The woman he married was destitute. In fact she lived in the woods and shot (poached) deer with her .22 just to feed herself. And papa had made the right decision; he married not for money but for a mutual love that lasted to the end.

We all experience some crossroads in life that beg the question of which road to travel; money or a good fit? Ok so sometimes we get both, but not most of the time. Each time I have hit this decision point my wife and I have sat down and analyzed, to the best of our ability, which of the possible paths to take. I once took money and the money was very good, but the personal stress level it took to earn that money, as the old saying goes “Damn near killed me.”

And a better saying for this kind of situation goes something like “What good is it if a man should gain the whole world and yet loose his soul?” At the next crossroads your better choice likely deals with what is the best fit for your skills and your family’s true needs. Beware of the various evils that come from the love of money. In my experience love of family and life is a better, lasting choice.

The Doc


  1. Wonderful post Mike!

  2. wonderful, sage wisdom from the sensei! thank you for such a personal perspective. long live papa and his rifle-toting love. (i felt like i knew him.)


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