With the passing of several beloved talents this past week, it got me thinking about the mortality of Mr. Nimoy, Mr. Shatner, and all the other senior citizens left from our beloved little sci-fi show, and how it would affect Trekkies worldwide. Obviously, no one lives forever, and none of us are getting any younger (although some try). Yet although we love them, no doubt sooner than later our favorite crew will pass from this mortal coil.
James, DeForest, and Majel are all gone now. Sooner or later they all will be. Back Row: James Doohan (1920-2005), Walter Koenig (1936), Majel Barrett (1932-2008), Nichelle Nichols(1932), George Takei (1937). Front Row: DeForest Kelley (1920-1999), William Shatner(1931), Leonard Nimoy (1931).
Last week when Nimoy tweeted condolences for actress Arlene Martel (T’Pring) A very nasty tweeter replied “You’re next, Nimoy!”. It was a thoughtless and cruel comment. The commenter was appropriately scorned by other Tweeters. I hope Nimoy didn’t see it or just brushed it off.
But this incident brings to mind the whole ‘familiarity’ that people often feel toward celebrities. After seeing the worldwide outpouring of love for poor Robin Williams last week, the power of celebrity made me wonder how cataclysmic it will be when Nimoy, Shatner et al., die. Their fandom has grown for nearly 50 years and many see them as not just actors, but as mentors and fantasies, nearly as beloved as members of their own families. I’m sure it will be a heartbreaking day when Nimoy passes. So many of us grew up with him and almost feel we know him like a father or friend. Truth be told, we don’t know him at all and that’s the way it should be. For his part, Nimoy disclosing his very private COPD was something he didn’t have to do, but did. I suspect it was partly to alleviate fan concerns that he was dying, but it also may have sparked his awareness of his own mortality. He didn’t sit and mope about his illness, and as one makes lemonade out of lemons, Nimoy used his illness to make people aware of the dangers and stupidity of smoking. And he keeps moving forward. As we all should.
Two does in my backyard several years ago. They don’t worry about headlines.
It’s easy for a middle-ager to think they have a good 35-40 years left, yet when people face their mortality every day, with cancers and accidents, and it’s easy to think “Oh, that won’t happen to me!” But then when life throws you a curve, and it does happen to you, it really puts your perspective in focus. When faced with ones own mortality, the nightly news and what to watch on the DVR suddenly became so unimportant. Family and Health became Number One, and shouldn’t that be one’s focus all the time? Oh sure, fandom and our little guilty pleasures are fun, but there is so much more out there.
Several years ago, I had the pleasure of spying on two tawny does in my backyard. They wandered in, and sat in the shade for nearly a half hour before my husband gently shooed them away. One of them was pregnant. These lovely mammals have no concept of time or the troubles of the world. They eat, they sleep, make babies and just carry on. We should all be so lucky. But we can learn from them. How we spend our time is what makes it worthy of a life well spent. If you spend hours on your tablets and phones (guilty here too) it strips away the face-to-face time we have with real people. Oh sure, it’s great to be electronically “connected”, but the true connections we make everyday should be with real people, in person, outside! Take a walk, say hello to someone you pass every day that you’ve never said ‘Hi!’ to. You’d be amazed how one little gesture can mean so much to someone. Or take the time to create something with your hands! Tell your family and friends you love them! Volunteer! Write to your congressman! I could give a whole lecture on this, but you know what I’m saying. Yes, it will be sad when our heroes pass on, but we’ll be content to know that they spent every day of their lives moving forward, making their lives as worthwhile as possible and that they made us very happy. We need to do the same*.
Mr. Nimoy is happy with his life. Mr. Shatner is too, as we all should all be. Most of you reading this are just blessed that you don’t live in a war zone or are fighting just for your food. Never forget to be grateful for the blessings you have in your life, and share your love. For all we have is right now. It’s still summer. Get up and get out there. I love you.
*This being said, I wish all the Star Trek alumni long, happy and healthy lives, and all us us too!