Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Immortality -- Arnold G. Tew, Jr.

"Immortality Lies in Being Remembered by Family and Friends." -- John D. Tew

After a hiatus of almost exactly two months, I return to blogging this evening and as I thought about how long it has been and why, I mused about the significance of numbers and time.

It is probably human nature to be always looking for patterns and for coincidence and thereby develop certain superstitions and unfounded beliefs in things such as "lucky numbers."  For example, my mother, my father, and my wife were all born on the 28th of the month.  My in-laws were married on the 28th of the month.  One might think, therefore, that I could justify the number 28 as having some special significance in my life, that I might have adopted it as a "lucky number."  But then, with a homonymic surname like Tew, I could just as easily justify some special meaning for and affinity with the number 2 (to, too, two, Tew) and adopt it as my lucky number.  Oh, and I was born on the 2nd day of the month.  Or better yet, two twos would be the number 22.  And my father was born in the 11th month, my mother was born in the 3rd month, and my wife was born in the 8th month . . . and 11+ 3 + 8 = 22!  My father was born in '22.

Two weeks ago today, on the 2nd day of May, my father died at age 95 as he was held by family members.  It was a long goodbye as is so often the case with dementia.  

Patterns, coincidence, superstition.  The numbers 2 and 22 have been imbued with meaning -- created or imagined -- throughout my life.  For the last two weeks I have felt daily a void in my life, a missing part that was integral to who I am.  For just over 66 years I have known that my father was always there -- that lucky numbers associated with dates and time were manufactured, unfounded beliefs, but I was lucky enough to have reached a seventh decade of life and still have my father and my mother.  How lucky is that?!

So after two weeks, the wisdom of realizing where true immortality lies, has hit home in a way it never had before.  My father is not there, but he is not really gone either.  His DNA is here with me and my three siblings, with his six grandchildren, and his six (and soon to be seven) great grandchildren.  Perhaps even more important, memories of him are here with us and his extended family and friends . . . and they will live for generations to come.  He is absent, but he is not gone forever because he is loved, he is missed, and he is remembered.




  1. I'm so sorry, John. I think it is incredibly sad when a loved one, especially a parent, develops dementia. It would seem to me like losing a parent twice, first mentally and then physically. But as you say, your father will live on through memories and his posterity's DNA. Blessings to you and all those who loved your father.

  2. Very sorry to hear about your Dad. He was lucky to have such a devoted and loving family. May his memory live on in your family for many generations!

    1. Thank you Marian! He is remembered and to help ensure he is I am in RI now about to attend a RIGS meeting on Sunday and doing some research and visits to some of his old haunts and that of our ancestors.

  3. Sorry for your loss. As you put it: he is not gone forever because he is loved, missed, and remembered.

  4. John, so sorry for your loss. He will live as long as he is remembered! Wishing you and your family comfort and peace.