A few months ago I wrote a story for a website I co-edit. It was an article based on some research about how Baby Boomers aren’t serious enough about their health, that we’re just not realistic.
The study called us “delusional.” It implied, I guess, that we think we’re indestructible, and I tend to agree.
That’s why, when Davy Jones of the Monkees died of a heart attack last week, it hit many of us hard.
For some of us, it wasn’t even that Davy or the Monkees were our favorite groups.
Simon and Garfunkel were my favorite musicians of the era -- hands down, closely followed by Peter, Paul and Mary.
We lost Mary Travers a few couple years ago, but hearing that she was gone was different. Poor Mary had struggled with health issues for several years, so we were prepared a little, I guess – as prepared as anyone can be for something like that.
We squelched our selfish wishes to hear her sounds with the assurance that finally her suffering had stopped.
But, Davy Jones, that Monkee who looked like a youngster when we first heard him and never seemed to lose his boyish enthusiasm or charm, was moving along just fine, we thought. He was still touring, raising horses, savoring life.
Then one day, it was all over.
Davy was gone – the victim of a massive coronary. He was 66.
When we Baby Boomers were kids growing up, we thought 66 was absolutely ancient. My first grade teacher must have been about 40 when I was in her class, but looking at her, I was sure she was 100. Our parents’ and grandparents’ generations were always old, grown up, mature, responsible.
Some of us never wanted to grow up – to feel or act or look 40 or 50 or 66.
And, we sure didn’t want to grow old, or frail, or like, Davy, to die.
My argument when I wrote that earlier article – still my belief today – is that we aren’t delusional. We’re optimistic.
But, the sunniest outlook in the world can’t change what happened last week.
No matter how much we want to believe otherwise, Davy left us with this reminder when he went away so suddenly:
We are destructible, after all. And that, I guess, is not a delusion.
Darn it, Davy. Those are lyrics we’d rather not hear.
© Ann Tracy Mueller 2012