A little while back I had an eventful ten days or so. Three unrelated things happened.
First, a friend of mine lost his battle with prostate cancer. He was about my age. I'll miss AJ.
At about the same time I was teaching my grandson how to clean a catfish. That was an interesting experience. At first he was simply put off by the whole idea. He could see nothing to gain from being put through such a horrible experience. Over the course of a few days I had him clean several catfish and the last one was a whole world better than the first one. By the time I pronounced him an accomplished catfish cleaner (admittedly a bit of an exaggeration) he was quite proud of himself and appreciative for my teaching him a new skill.
The last thing that happened was quite unexpected. The same grandson's mother was killed in an automobile accident. We will also miss Jessie.
While the three occurrences were unrelated, together they have brought a realization to me. AJ's passing reminded me (as death often does) of the finite nature of life. I'm approaching sixty. How many years do I have left?
Teaching David how to clean a catfish followed by his mother's unexpected passing made me realize that we must take opportunities as they come because we never know which opportunity will be our last. Believe it or not, Jessie could have taught David to clean a catfish. She was an avid fisher as well as a "hands on" type of personality so I'm sure she knew how it was done. But she had never taught David and that opportunity has passed forever.
The poker playing community is filled with grandfathers. We all know things that need to be passed on to the next generation--or perhaps the generation after that.
We also have something to pass on to the next generation of poker players. I have found that most older poker players are gentlemen and know how to play the game with class and dignity. I believe it is incumbent on us to pass that trait on down. I'm not asking any of you to give any lectures on playing our great game with class. Lectures never work anyway. It is a proven fact that behavioral lessons are almost always learned by example. We just need to keep setting good examples. We're teaching lessons whether we realize it or not.
See you at the tables.