I’m the Only Person Who Remembers My Father

I was driving past the Long Beach Municipal Cemetery today. I had actually shot a scene for one of my Zen Films there, (at night), about a year and a half ago. As I drove by I took notice of and remembered how all of the large headstone were symbolizing the lives of people that had died many years ago. It is an old cemetery. The thought came to my mind that there is probably nobody left alive who even remembers any of those people. Then, I realized, I am the only person alive who actually remembers my father.

My father passed away in 1968. He actually died at the Los Angeles Forum, inside the Forum Club, from a massive heart attack. At the time, he was the general manager of The Forum. Prior to that, he had owned a very successful restaurant near the U.S.C. campus that he had sold, planning to retire young, as he had already had one heart attack at the age of forty-four. But, he didn’t like retirement so he got another job. Thus, he lived and he died on the job.

Though at both of those established he had made a lot of friends, I realized today, that most people don’t live to be a hundred, as such, all of his friends and contemporaries would be dead. As I was an only child, having a small extended family, that’s it—it’s me, the only one left alive who actually remembers him.

This is an important thing to keep in mind as you pass through your life. You will live, you will do what you do, but then you will die. Who will remember you after you pass away? Why will they remember you? How long will you be remembered?