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Learning to Accept the Inevitable

There are few certainties in life, but some things are inevitable. They will happen no matter what we might do or how much we might wish to prevent them. The challenge we all face is how we will deal with those inevitable things.

Benjamin Franklin allegedly said (I say "allegedly" because a lot of things have been attributed to him, as to Mark Twain, that he never actually said), "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."

There's not a whole lot one can do about death. No matter how safely or healthily one tries to live, death eventually comes to us all. "Death waits for no man," someone wisely observed. And the Bible says, "It is appointed unto men once to die" (Heb. 9:27).

As for taxes, they're inescapable because ubiquitous. I'm reminded of the following poem:

Tax his land, tax his bed, tax the table at which he's fed.

Tax his tractor, tax his mule, teach him taxes are the rule.

Tax his work, tax his pay, he works for peanuts anyway!

Tax his cow, tax his goat, tax his pants, tax his coat.

Tax his ties, tax his shirt, tax his work, tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco, tax his drink, tax him if he tries to think.

Tax his cigars, tax his beers, if he cries tax his tears.

Tax all he has, then let him know that you won't be done till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers, then tax him some more. Tax him till he's good and sore.

Then tax his coffin, tax his grave, tax the sod in which he's laid.

Put these words upon his tomb, "Taxes drove me to my doom."

When he's gone, do not relax. It's time to apply the inheritance tax.

And then there's the whole aging thing. That's inevitable, too.

We recall our youth and what we could do "back in the day," but we just can't match those feats now that we've added several decades and more than a few pounds. I think wistfully of how I ran the half mile as my leg of the two-mile relay team in high school. Now I struggle to catch my breath after ascending the stairs to my office. And promptly forget why I came up. Memory loss--that's another inevitability, associated, of course, with the whole aging problem.

I think I'm handling most of the inevitabilities fairly well. I've resigned myself to paying endless taxes. I know that death, too, is coming at my God-appointed time, and I'm trying to be prepared for that final event on this earth. I'm learning to accept the side-effects of the whole aging process: the increasing inability to do the things I used to do, the memory loss (although I seem to be getting better at remembering things from my distant past even while being unable to remember what I had for breakfast), even the growing arthritis in my wrists and fingers.

But I'm struggling with acceptance of one unexpected thing--hair loss.

I seem to remember that my paternal grandfather had a full head of silver hair when he passed. My barber had always told me I had a full head of thick, healthy hair. In spite of the fact that my father had a gradually receding hairline (I always thought it was caused by the way he wore the bill of his train engineer's cap turned upward, making the cap grip his head tightly) and later began to develop a thinning spot in the back, I thought I had inherited my grandfather's full-head-of-hair gene.

Alas, I've been noticing that that splash from the gene pool must have missed me. I've begun to develop a thinness of hair that is getting increasingly hard to hide with a simple combover. Every time I look in the mirror after showering, the scalp peeks through the hair to mock me. I can handle the gray hair that is rapidly outnumbering the dark hair, but baldness is a different matter. It's an apparent inevitability that I can't accept but that will be regardless of my rejection of it.

Should I fight back and try Rogaine, or should I just accept it?

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