Saturday, August 8, 2015

Resume or Epitaph?

I’ve written a resume a time or two in my life.  A bunch, actually.  I find them fairly easy to write. 


A resume is a chronological listing of things done in one’s life.  Not everything, just those things that would be pertinent for the position and the job one seeks.  However, a resume tells only a part of the story, only those things that are important to obtain the job. 


There is much left out of a resume.  There is nothing about what movies you like to watch or with whom you like to watch them.  There is nothing about what books you like to read.  There is nothing about your favorite foods or beverages.  There is nothing about places you’ve been to or places you’d like to go.  Nothing about your bucket list.


So as much as a Resume tells about you, it is really incomplete.


I’ve also written an Epitaph in my life.  Only one.


When our son, Wil, was shot and killed a year and a month ago in Chicago, Kim and Hannah and Emily and I had to visit the funeral home with our daughter-in-law, Maria, and we had to put together a chronology of Wil’s life.  How do you do that in a paragraph or two?


I have to admit, it was one of the tougher things I ever had to do in my life.  I know Kim, Hannah, Emily and Maria would say the same thing.


There were so many stories we wanted to share about Wil.  Like the time he got completely and utterly lost on his way from Milwaukee to Fredericksburg to visit us.  Somehow, he ended up in Kentucky.  Or the time he and Maria dressed up as Ninja, went to a park after hours in order to get a kite out of a tree.  Or the time he was on a breakaway in a high school soccer game and an opposing player tried to slow him down by grabbing onto his shorts, which ended up around his knees.  Or the time in a high school track meet when he came in second, but broke a school record with a badly torn thigh muscle. 


Like the Resume, an Epitaph is incomplete.  Neither tell the complete story of an individual’s life.


And, there is a major difference between the Resume and the Epitaph. 


A Resume is written when one seeks something.  A Resume is written when one wants to move on, to gain something different.  An Epitaph is written when one is dead.  It is a tribute to one’s life, hopefully, well-lived.


In essence, a Resume seeks to move one forward, whereas an Epitaph marks one’s end.


I think there are times when we forget to live, to move forward, to advance.  I think there are times when we only settle for titles, and positions, and things.  We forget the greater purpose of our lives, the meaning of our lives.  We seek to gain titles and positions and things for sometimes selfish reasons.  So that upon our death, an Epitaph can be written that is a tribute to all we gained, all we’ve done, all the titles we held, so people can yell (or perhaps think) “Bravo!”


Do you notice that an Epitaph is written upon one’s death?  It is written in the past tense of one’s life.  A Resume, however, is written when life seeks to be lived further and is written in the present and future tense.  To me, it is important to write Resumes, to live and to keep moving forward and to live in the present.  And, if one writes a full and complete Resume – not once, but again and again – then the Epitaph will take care of itself.  Something to think about . . .


Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!


To my readers:

You will notice that I’ve written sparingly during these summer months.  I needed to recharge myself emotionally and spiritually, first and foremost.  I need to be with my family in the present as much as possible.  Lastly, I’ve been working on the third book of The Lives Trilogy, Splintered Lives, which will be out sometime this month (I think).  It is the final book of the trilogy.  Yet, for those of you who have been asking, my plan is to take a couple of my favorite characters and move them forward into different storylines, yet in the thriller/mystery fiction genre.


If you are interested in catching up, you can purchase the following via Amazon in ebook or paperback or by messaging me and I can send you a signed copy.  They are:


Taking Lives, which is the prequel to the trilogy.  Kelliher and the FBI have a string of dead bodies with no leads.  A twelve year old boy holds the key to the puzzle, but doesn’t know it.  Taking Lives can be found at:  


Stolen Lives, Book One of the Lives Trilogy.  Two 13 year old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher knows he has to find them within the first 24 hours or they’ll end up like all the others: dead! Can he find them before they disappear forever? Without any leads? With a leak in the FBI, and possibly on his own team?


Shattered Lives, Book Two of the Lives Trilogy. The boys were freed from captivity. The hospital staff, the FBI and even their parents thought the boys were now safe, and they were, until people began dying. Six dangerous men escaped and the FBI has only a slight idea of who they are, but no clue and no leads as to where they are, so they can only wait, which is a deadly game when it comes to the lives of children.


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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe