Saturday, May 22, 2010

American Expectations

American Expectations
By Curtis Cecil

This is a recording of my final thoughts on life for all to hear. I am Charles Jefferson Williamson the III and I am dying. We all know that one day our time will come; that day when the angel of Death, God, the Grimm reaper, which ever you believe, comes to end your life. Yet none of us want to know it is coming.

That is my current reality. I know I am dying. Recently I had a physical ailment that had me thinking I was having a heart attack so I reluctantly went to see my physician. After the pain didn’t stop and his test came back as negative for heart, they rushed me to do a full body scan. That was when they found it. I was being eaten live by Cancer. Not just any Cancer but a untreatable stage IV cancer. So far spread they only gave me 2 to 4 weeks to live.

Hearing this gives a person 2 responses: One is disbelief or numbness, 2 is irrational and unstoppable fear. I once was asked by a friend, “What would be worse? Dying fast or dying over time?” Of course I thought dying fast would be worse, you know all the things you wanted to do and accomplish before you die. But now I wish I could’ve died fast.

I lived my life in a manner that I didn’t want regrets. I took on the hardest jobs; I climbed my way to the top of an affluent corporation. I had the best wives, all 4 of them. I had the biggest homes, and I do mean homes PLURAL. Yet looking back now I see it was nothing.

I remember something I heard as a kid about an old rich man named Solomon. I think he was from the Bible, anyways, he was supposedly the richest man ever and he said it was all meaningless. That doesn’t bide well with the American philosophy on wealth but I think I know what he means.

My parents were not rich by any means. I remember Christmas’ where we would get 2 gifts and some fruit. It wasn’t that my parents were frugal; we just didn’t have the means to get nice things. My mother made many of hers and my sister’s clothes. I got all my brothers worn out hand-me downs and they got their clothes from the local thrift store. We never had anything new.
Then my brothers left the house as did my sister. So for my last 5 years I was the ‘only’ child. We had more then. My parents never were extravagant but if they wanted something they would be able, within reason, to go buy it. I liked that life so much more.

So when I got older I got a job and worked hard. I saved my money and bought a car, a new car, something my father had never had. By the time I was 28 I was making more than my father had ever made. So I bought a house, a nice house. Of course it was better then what I had grown up in. It was a beautiful ranch house in the country on 5 acres. I had it all except for a family.

So I met a girl and married in about 9 month’s time. We had a son Charles Jefferson Williamson the IV or ‘CJ’ as he liked to go by. After 8 years we divorced. After that I spent and lost more money each year than my parents had ever dreamed of. All the time I felt like I was on top of life. I was living the American Dream.

Then something hit me that was so devastating that it knocked me right off my rhythm and I know what your thinking but it was not my cancer. It was 2:30 am on a Saturday night about 8 years ago. There was a knock on my door. After getting out of bed and getting my robe I went down to the door to find 2 officers. My son CJ was dead. My only child was gone.

I realized it was my fault. You see all I had shown him was my desire to be better than my parents. I wanted to give my kids and myself more than I had when I was growing up. “To want for nothing” was one of my favorite quotes. CJ loved this life style. It suited him. After the divorce he lived with his mother until the age of 14 when he chose to live with me. He so quickly adapted to the life of luxury, private maids etc… When he was 20 he started his own business and within 5 years had bought his own house, married and had a child.

Like I said he was following my example. The house he bought was the most lavish and expensive house he could find. He remodeled it to fit his liking, woods from Ireland, Marble and various stones for all of the sidewalks. He even had a pool with a view of the mountains. He spared no expense for his wife, whom he divorced 2 years later. His business seemed to be doing extremely well for him to be affording such luxury.

Yet I was deceived. Only after his death did I find out the pit of despair his debt had put him in. All he owned was taken from him. His business went bankrupt, his house was repossessed as were he 2 Jaguars and Shelby “Eleanor” Mustang just like in that movie, which was why he bought it. This desire to be better, to live the American dream, to meet these unsaid expectations led him to take his own life.

How had I been so blind to not see what I had done? Yet I continued on living my life style as I had. In fact I put my house up for sale a year later to by the 2.5 Million dollar home that I wanted to build. I never have sold my house, yet I went ahead and built the ‘big’ one anyways. I could afford it.

In the meantime wife # 3 came and went. She had just wanted a % of the money, they all did, yet she didn’t get any. My high priced lawyer saw to that.

But now here I am, dying. In the time I had left I sold my possessions and
put my homes up for sale of which only the 2.5 Million dollar home is still on the market. If you know anyone willing to pay even just 2 Million let me know. Well, I guess you should let my lawyer know.
I have no heir so I am doing what I should have done a long time ago. I am giving my money to those in need. Can you believe it? I am giving away my most prized possession, my wealth.

Call me crazy or loony, what ever you like, but I have done a lot of reading here these last 3 days in the hospital. I can’t sleep thanks to the medications so I read. When my eyes fail I listen to audio books. So when the nurse dropped off an audio CD for the Bible I figured I didn’t have anything better to do. So I listened. Oh the things I heard made me wish I could do it all over again.
If only I had been a kinder person, a more self=less person. I could have helped so many people over my life with the money I had. So that is what led me to do it now.

I don’t think I can make up for more sins. That is fine. I just want to die with a good conscience. I have no one to mourn me, no one to remember me. This lifestyle sure didn’t work out for me.

So I spend a lot of time thinking now as I wait. Oh, the waiting is killing me, no pun intended. I so wish I could just end it but I know I am too much a coward to do that and I deserve what I am getting. Yet I wonder a lot. Will anyone mourn me? Will anyone remember me?

So much for living the American Dream look at it where it got me; dying with nothing to show for my life, no reason to be remembered.

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