I have little kids and they think I’m damn near indestructible and capable of miracles. And I remember being a kid and thinking the same thing of my parents. Even as I got older and started to realize my parents were fallible, it’s never really sunk in that they weremortal. I’ve been happy that my kids have been able to spend significant time with my parents and Becky’s parents, a luxury she was not afforded as all of her grandparents died early. I still hope we have lots of time left for all of us, but recent events shook that hope a bit .
My mom had breast cancer surgery last year, she has ongoing problems with her knees, and she still takes care of her mother who is living mostly on stubbornness and cheese sandwiches at this point. And my dad has had issues with diabetes and arthritis. Today he was supposed to go for surgery to have a heart stent put in, but once they cut him open they found severe blockage and decided he’ll need quadruple bypass surgery. That sucks, but I’m also glad this is happening before, not after, a heart attack.
This all serves as a major wake up call to me to get myself in better shape. I have genes that will do enough damage on their own, I don’t need to be hurrying any of it along through obesity and poor living. I already have a problem getting sick all of the time in the winter and I have too much going on this year for that to happen.
So yes, I’m glad my parents are still around and I don’t want to start getting weepy and sappy like they’re about to die, but life is fleeting, life is fragile, and I could be the one to die tomorrow. None of us knows, but the circle of life serves as a nice natural reminder that we’re capable of better living.