Can You Achieve Immortality?


Late last week I learned that my 93 year old next door neighbor and good friend for the past five years, Frank has lung cancer. Doctors give him two months.

We all know that some day we shall die. But we usually try not to think about it by living busy lives in the fast lane.

I have been a bit introspective ever since I heard the news. What is the purpose of life? How do we live a meaningful life? What matters?

I believe that the main purpose of life is just to love and care for one another and to enjoy with gusto and abandon what is here.

A scant two and a half years ago another wonderful friend died. I gave one of the eulogies at his funeral.

I thought I would share it with you today because it speaks to what I believe is the real purpose of life.

All identifying real names have been changed in this post.

Eulogy For a Dear Friend

1 A immoratilityJames was a special friend. James was a special human being. He had a heart as big as the plains of Kenya where he and I first met. We hit it off immediately.

We were both birders. He was a substitute teacher in his retirement years. I had been a teacher years before. He was a gardener and loved roses. Me too. We, along with his lovely wife, Marie, loved to eat well. And Marie and I both love to cook. It was the beginning of a wonderful friendship that has spanned more than 20 years.

James had a warm and wonderful sense of humor. He had an easy, impish and always ready genial smile. Much of his charm was his boundless zest and enjoyment of life and for people. He always saw the positive in everything and everyone. I never saw him angry at anyone. Not once. James loved to help people too. He was a volunteer for many organizations. He was always willing to help out no matter the task. James gave of himself tirelessly and selflessly.

James  and Marie are the most generous people I have ever had the privilege to know.

They had me as a guest at their house many times after our Kenyan trip was over. They took me out to dinner, to movies, and on trips to wonderful places nearby such as LongwoodGardens, the Philadelphia zoo, and so many other places. They would never let me pay for anything. I was their guest and they treated me like royalty.

I had to sneak around them on occasion to pay for a meal by excusing myself to go the ladies room. Instead I snuck off and paid for the dinner on the sly. Or I sent a huge fruit basket to them after I got home. They always protested.

James lived and enjoyed life to the fullest. He loved his roses and worked on them every chance he had. In fact, just a few weeks ago he sent me an email about all the things he was doing in and planning for his garden for next year.

James was a great friend. He was one of those all too rare people. He never judged. He was just always there to listen, ask a question, tell a joke, a great story, or offer suggestions. He was generous with compliments and always interested in what was happening in my life. And he cared. He genuinely cared. It showed.

Through his actions, his words, and his gracious life James touched my heart. James touched my soul.

Over the eons men and women have tried to achieve immortality; and to that end they have waged wars, conquered nations, built empires, constructed mansions, written great books, composed heavenly music, or made great fortunes. These people may be famous. Their names may be etched forever in the history books. But many of them have not achieved immortality.

For I believe the way to achieve immortality is to touch another person’s heart; to touch their soul. For when we touch another’s heart and soul we leave a part of ourselves in that person. And that person in turn carries a piece of us to every person they touch; and so on and so on and so on over the years.

James touched my heart and my soul. And I am confident that he has touched the hearts and souls of many of you here1 A A immortality today to honor him as well.  So I know James has achieved immortality. For when we all leave this memorial today we will still have a piece of James within us to share and pass on to every person we meet.

That my friends is immortality.

I will never see or talk with James again. I will miss him to my last days. But his joyous, generous, and loving spirit lives within me and within hundreds of others. I feel so lucky and blessed at this moment to have known such a wonderful, kind, and loving spirit. Rest in peace, my dear, dear friend. I know you are walking with the angels today.


My neighbor and good friend, Frank is too, one of those people who has/will achieve immortality.

Will you achieve it? There is still time.

Featured Recipe        Fish with Mango Salsa


Mangos were on sale for $0.99 each today. I saw visions of fish and mango salsa dancing in my head. The bright yellow next to the white fish makes such a pretty summer plate. Makes me want to sing and dance.

This is a great salsa. Paired with fish it becomes heavenly.

These mangoes made today’s salsa the best ever. They were super duper sweet.

I like to fix fish a least a couple of times a month.

This is as quick and easy plus mouthwatering fish dish as you will ever find. It is filled with the sweet-tart taste of citrus. Although I use lemon and line, you can use any citrus flavor or flavors that warm the cockles of our heart.

Today I am also showing you a technique, not just a recipe.

You can change this recipe around to suit your tastes. You can use papaya or peaches, or plums, or pineapple or – your favorite fruit – instead of the mango.

You can use red onion or shallots for the green onions.

You can spice it up by using cilantro instead of parsley. Or use chives instead.

Do your thing!

This is what you will need for 4 people:

4 fish filets* of your choice (tilapia, scrod, cod, sole, etc.) 

About 4 tablespoons flour

About 2-4 tablespoons of oil

2 mangos

3-4 green onions

1 avocado

2 limes

1 lemon

A few sprigs of parsley

Salt and pepper to taste


NOTE: I only made 2 filets today. However, the recipe and the cost is for 4 filets. I just have extra salsa to eat. Going to be hard, I tell you. Going to be real difficult. I am thinking breakfast tomorrow with some cinnamon toast.

Here is what you do:

Preparation :

NOTE: Normally I do all of these steps and add to bowl as I prep them or, when I can, I zest or juice directly into the bowl to save time and clean up of plates.

Peel and dice the mango. Place in a bowl. 

Wash and slice the green onions and place in the bowl.

Chop parsley and add to bowl.

Zest the limes and one (1)lemon.


Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. The pit was in there tight and did not come out easily as you can see. Then slice the avocado into medium chunks. 


One way to do that is to make several cuts length wise and several width wise on the avocado. Then peel the skin off and place the chunks of avocado in the bowl.



Juice both the lemon and the lime and add to bowl as well.


Add salt and pepper to taste and gentle mix together. Set aside.


Cut the second lemon into wedges. Set aside.


Salt and pepper the fish. Then dredge the fish fillets in the flour. Shake off excess flour.



Heat some oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. If you want a richer cooking oil add a tablespoon or two of butter. This will add about 25-cents more to the cost of this recipe.

Fry the fish for about 2 minutes on each side until light brown, or until the fish flakes easily.


Remove the fish to individual plates and serve with the salsa and a lemon wedge or two.


 Was so wanting to dig in I forgot to add the lemon wedges to the plate. Alas. Better later than never.


Bon appétit!!!


4 fish filets of your choice              $10.98

About 4 tablespoons flour               $0.16

About 2-4 tablespoons of oil           $0.24

2 mangos                                     $1.98

3-4 green onions                           $0.50

1 avocado                                     $1.79

2 limes                                         $1.98

1 lemon                                        $0.79

A few sprigs of parsley                   $0.33

Salt and pepper to taste

Total cost = $18.75
Cost per person = $4.69

Quote of the Day

What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.

Albert Pine


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6 comments to Can You Achieve Immortality?

  • This is my favorite post. My next door neighbor is in Sydney now fighting throat cancer and it’s not going well.

    I think you’re absolutely right about immortality.

    • Roberta

      *Hugs* Maureen. So sorry about your neighbor. I will keep the both of you in my prayers. Blessings.

  • Sorry for your loss of your friend “James” and your sadness at Frank’s diagnosis. That is one of the nicest eulogies I have heard or read. You certainly did speak of the purpose of life, I am sure his family and friends were comforted by your words.

  • What a beautiful eulogy. I don’t think we can achieve immortality unless we are, well, Jesus or the Buddha or Thomas Jefferson or Genghis Khan… What we can do is be present for others in our lives and that makes us memorable, at least for a generation or two.