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18 September 2016 - Your Funeral

For the past couple of decades, twice a year, I have delivered what one reader calls my Farm Safety sermon on Samuelson Sez; one during the busy planting season, the other during the busy harvest season. So, I am going to do that now but they will not be my words because a few days ago, I read the best opinion/editorial dealing with Farm Safety I have ever read. It is written by my friend, Mike Deering, Executive Vice President of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association and a family farmer from Montgomery City, Missouri.

Following are his words, and I will share excerpts as I do not have space for the entire article. The Headline: Your Funeral

“When thinking about that moment when you ride off into the sunset, you probably imagine yourself being in your 80s or even 90s. Your body worn out.
Your skin thick, textured like leather, etched by windburn and sun from decades of working on the farm. You picture yourself peacefully drifting off. You’re ready for the next journey.”

“What you don’t imagine is dying young. Watching from above as your rambunctious 11 year-old son screams, desperately calling out for his Dad. His enthusiasm for life obliterated. Your wife feeling guilty that she is the one still breathing. She feels helpless with nothing but uncertainty ahead. You don’t think about this, but you should.”

Mike goes on to say - “This was my life in 1993 when my dad drew his last breath under a John Deer tractor. A horrible, tragic scene that haunts me to this day. I remember the sound of sparrows, the smell of April rain and the undeniable feeling of emptiness. A vivid memory that won’t leave me alone even with 20 years gone by. Time doesn’t ease your pain. That’s a statement that anyone who has truly felt loss knows is flowery, feel-good nonsense.”

He concludes by saying - “I want no one to feel what I felt, to see what I saw or to hear what I heard, more than 20 years ago. I don’t want to hear people gossiping about how you died “before your time” and making coffee shop predictions about what will become of your kids. Do everything you can to make yourself aware of the dangers. I want your funeral to be a day of celebration with embarrassing stories and laughter. Let’s work to prevent your kid from sharing a similar story to mine..

Farm Safety sermons don’t come any better, than this one written by Mike Deering.

I share his thoughts on Samuelson Sez.