Ponderings on meaning of life and a family man

The meaning of life. Hmm.

No shortage of theories out there. Everybody from Einstein to Col. Sanders has offered opinions on the great mystery of human existence.

Who’s to say which concept is right? Well, that one Big Guy, but He’s sorta letting us try to figure things out down here for now. So we’re left to ponder…

Is the basis something pragmatic? You know, the belief that working and playing hard and winning at all you do means gaining material rewards, bragging rights and “important” stuff like that. Some call that “living your best life,” as the buzzword phrase of the moment states.

It could be less tangible and more philosophical a query: the notion of living well by having health in mind, body and spirit. Achieving harmony and oneness with self and nature, is how some frame it.

Then again, perhaps the answer lies in religion. That is, the belief that this limited journey is really just a precursor and pathway to a whole different kind of life — an ultimate, more lasting destination based on our actions here. A “reap what you sow” sort of proposition, if you will.

Maybe the meaning varies from human to human. Maybe it’s all too deep for us to grasp. Maybe it’s about eating as much chocolate as you can, as often as you can, and with as much dogged determination as you can muster?

If you ask the Amazon virtual assistant Alexa (who is really just a verbal Internet search engine with a soothing female voice simulation) she’s likely to give an answer such as: “The meaning of life depends on the life in question: 42 is a good approximation.”

Great talk, Alexa.

I have my own hunches but if anyone can shed some light on the matter, it’s probably Jerry Ruggieri who will be celebrating the beginning of his 90th year here on the third rock on Nov. 9.

I adore Mr. Ruggieri, not because his daughter is my long lost sister (OK, that doesn’t hurt) but also because he is one of the finest homo sapiens and examples of humanity personified that you will ever have the good fortune to encounter.

This is man whom his daughter describes as the perfect father. Someone who would, for instance, not hesitate to jump in the car to drive from Warren to the University of Mount Union campus in Alliance to deliver her a new curling iron when she faced the 19-year-old crisis of her old one breaking. The kind of Dad who is always there to encourage and support her and never forgets her on Sweetest Day.

Mr. Ruggieri is a devoted husband of 64 years to his beautiful bride Jean (whom I also adore) and has always put the safety, health and well-being of his family above all else.

Though he’s nearly a nonagenarian, you’d never put him at a day past 70. Cute as a button and as loyal to faith, family and community as the day is long, this is the type of fellow by whom you could set your watch, you dig? He’s one of the good guys, to be sure.

I know that Mr. Ruggieri has lots figured out; I assume this includes the meaning of life. A man so honorable, giving and compassionate certainly seems to know which path he’s headed down, or in his case, I would definitely say up, capisce?

Happy 90th birthday, Mr. Ruggieri — you are beloved to all blessed to know you.

Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist who’s banking on the religious theory of life. Check out her other notions at www.patriciakimerer.com

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