Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Life Well Lived

Michael "Flathead" Blanchard
1944 - 2012

Michael "Flathead" Blanchard
A Celebration of the life of Michael "Flathead" Blanchard will be held on April 14th, 3 pm 8160 Rosemary St, Commerce City. Weary of reading obituaries noting someone's courageous battle with death, Mike wanted it known that he died as a result of being stubborn, refusing to follow doctors' orders and raising hell for more than six decades. He enjoyed booze, guns, cars and younger women until the day he died.
Mike was born July 1944 in Colorado to Clyde and Ethel Blanchard. A community activist, he is noted for saving the Dr. Justina Ford house from demolition and defending those who could not defend themselves. He was a Republican delegate, life member of the NRA, founder and President of the Dead Cats MC. He loved music.

Mike was preceded in death by Clyde and Ethel Blanchard, survived by his beloved sons Mike and Chopper, former wife Jane Transue, brother Stephen Blanchard (Susan), Uncle Don and Aunt Cynthia Blanchard(his favorite); Uncle Dill and Aunt Dot, cousins and nephews, Baba Yaga can kiss his butt. So many of his childhood friends that weren't killed in Vietnam went on to become criminals, prostitutes and/or Democrats. He asks that you stop by and re-tell the stories he can no longer tell. As the Celebration will contain Adult material we respectfully ask that no children under 18 attend.

- The Denver Post, April 12, 2012

Death is a daunting, unknowable chasm - a precarious edge with which we flirt every day of our lives. Most of us are petrified by the prospect of the end of our lives, maybe only more frightened by public speaking or spiders. Society, Judeo-Christian theology, and our families have bred an afterlife-centric view of the world, one which guides our actions and intentions day-to-day. Intent upon affecting and altering some unknown judgement, a large swath of humanity minds societal P's and Q's, prescribed by ancient texts and prophets of old. With blinders on, we deprive ourselves of present gratification for future reward, and when we do catch ourselves enjoying life, guilt reprimands that pleasure. Of course I generalize, but it seems that even the most irreligious have an inherent sense of working towards a future paradise, to the detriment of their current appreciation.

It is evident that this man did not adhere to many of the basic assumptions society sets forth. Less worried about the reverence and sanctity of death, Mr Blanchard evidently lived in the present, enjoying the life he had rather than fretting about what might lay beyond the grave. He assumedly penned this printed eulogy before his own passing, and took the opportunity to reflect back on his own existence in stride. Even as Michael Blanchard strode up to the chasm of death, he was able to look at his life, accomplishments, and legacy with levity and sardonic glee. I cannot speak to his final moments, but I would like to imagine that he was at peace when he breathed his last breath, not regretting the accomplishments not fulfilled.

I often find myself anticipating the next stage of my own life. Excited about having kids, finding a house, achieving that next big goal, I often fail to appreciate the situation that I am currently living. My wife and I recently reminisced about our lives five years ago, when we'd first set out on our own. First apartments, first jobs, first grasps at independent living - it was a truly exciting time for both of us. Though I know it was difficult, we look back at that time with fond remembrance, willing to quickly gloss over the unpleasantries of that chapter in our lives. Conversely, our current stage of life could not seem more deplorable. We are both incredibly anxious to move into the next phase and do not appreciate where we are today. It is as if we are not mentally capable of seeing the value in our current plight. It is only through the rosy lenses of retrospection that we can see how our lives have played out for the better, and that every experience, good or bad, leads us to a new one. Without the hard times, our current lives would not be the way they are today.

The 224 words written by Michael "Flathead" Blanchard do more to inspire confidence and a present-minded existence than any religious text or homily. All aspiring Renaissance Men or Women would do well to take note, as this life, though not without mistakes, is worth emulation.


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