Talkin’ ‘bout my generation

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I’m not sure I can live in a world in which Luke Perry is no longer with us.
I remember several years ago hearing a radio DJ on a morning show saying that when John Cusack dies, it will be a turning point for our generation. We’ve reached an age where people who were born in the 1970s actually die of natural causes.
I mentioned to my mom last weekend that a friend is dating a man who’s “much older” than her.
“How old?” asked my mom.
“Like, 50.”
She gasped.
“Mom,” I reminded her, “I’m 42.”
Luke Perry, one of the many stars of “Beverly Hills 90210,” was 52, so maybe a little bit older than me but still …
I frequently write about being old and my physical ailments. However, I actually feel pretty blessed that I don’t often come down with a common cold or break a limb. I haven’t called in sick in about a decade – and although my memory isn’t that great, I’m willing to bet that the last time I called in sick, I wasn’t actually sick. My mother and I decided last weekend that we are both likely to die in a car accident – in a vehicle driven by my father.
So when a person who is – roughly – my age, dies, just drops dead after a massive stroke, that is crazy.
I was not a close personal friend of Luke Perry and I suspect that many of the actors posting sweet #RIP messages on Instagram weren’t either.
The takeaway for me here is that life can change in an instant. Your partner can tell you out of the clear blue sky that they don’t love you anymore. You can have a heart attack in the middle of the toilet paper aisle in Walmart. Your kid can be diagnosed with a terminal disease. Bad stuff happens.
Also, wonderful stuff happens. Last weekend my sweet little cousin Cassie got married. She’s 28, a graduate of the University of Texas and an optometrist, which is super, because we Towerys have pretty crappy vision.
I love spending time with my family and celebrating those wonderful moments. It’s sad that we have to wait until someone dies or gets married to do so. We’ll do it again at the end of this month when we celebrate the life of my late grandmother in Jacksonville.
I don’t understand why people die young. I don’t understand why sometimes it seems like bad things happen to good people. We got in a spirited debate in my Sunday school class about how disingenuous it is when people say, “Everything happens for a reason.”
Personally, I think people just don’t always know what to say in a tragedy and “everything happens for a reason” seems like a good catch-all phrase. I have certainly said it before and it came from a place of good intentions, but I also can certainly see how people might be offended by that comment.
Luke Perry wasn’t the greatest actor of our time and he did not change my life, but his death is a reminder of the uncertainty of life and the importance of drawing near to your loved ones.

April Towery is the managing editor of The Sealy News. She can be reached at 979-885-3562 or via email at editor@sealynews.com.

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