By Judith Ashley
Writers are frequently asked where they get their ideas. In the case of this post, I got the idea from a conversation with my youngest granddaughter. I knew my post was due soon and no ideas were popping up. Trouble? No, because I asked my granddaughter what came to her mind when she thought of the words – death and taxes.
Death feels bad but the person who died has gone to a better place, she added. I remembered a story my brother told me that illustrated this point perfectly. He’d gone to a church one Sunday because he felt drawn to go. The pastor’s sermon included the announcement of his father’s death. The pastor spoke of the glories of God and Heaven and that he rejoiced that his father was with the Lord God.
What I remember from this story is the grief, the wailing and gnashing of teeth, the dark despair of depression has no place if one believes in Heaven.
I’m not discounting those feelings. I’ve certainly felt sadness, a deep sense of loss, a significant shift in the fabric of my life when someone (including beloved pets) died. What this story shows me is that those feelings are about me, not about them. Death deprives me of their companionship, their being here with me on this physical plane.
As we were talking about death and she shared her feelings about an aunt who’d died a year or so ago, the idea for this post was born.
|Judith and Granddaughter|
What would this trip be like if we didn’t have taxes? Would there even be a freeway? If not, we wouldn’t even be out because the idea of driving over rutted, potholed roads the 15 miles and back would have kept me home. No street signs, no traffic signals, no pedestrian crossing signals, no street lighting? That was a scary thought.
Taxes are not my favorite thing. I’d rather spend my money on travel, chocolate, and a vacation home at the beach. However, every year when it comes time to file my tax return, I think of the benefits I derive from that money. This past year my taxes paid for the following: the roads I drive on, the police who came to my door when called because of a drunk stranger on my porch, the fire department who came when my house filled with smoke, the first responders at Clackamas Town Center near where I live and the ones who responded at Newton, Connecticut and so many other places around the United States. My taxes pay for the quality education my granddaughter and her friends receive in our public school system. My taxes provide a free or reduced price breakfast and lunch to children who may have nothing to eat other than these meals. My taxes pay for adult and child protective service workers who daily investigate crimes against these vulnerable populations.
As I gather my records together (yes, I’m one of those who always says I’ll do it each month or each quarter but never does) I’ll remember the benefits I personally receive and the benefits the vulnerable members of my society receive. Yes, my society. I am a member of my local, state, national and world community. In the end, we are in this together.