“Getting old is not for the faint of heart.” So says a friend of mine who recently retired with some medical problems. I won’t catalog them, but they are substantial. He’s doing well and has a good attitude. He can’t work and it’s still it’s not an easy road for him.
To me, getting older isn’t too bad because there are some advantages. Getting old however, really stinks. Just having aches and pains that I didn’t have in my earlier years is bad. What’s even worse is watching the generation ahead of me get old and die. Not that there is anything I can do about it, after all, everyone dies eventually, but it still is a little bit un-nerving.
Not that I’m working towards whiner of the day, but lately it seems that all too many people, that were the adults I looked up to as leaders, important figures and idols when I was growing up are leaving.
A favorite aunt of mine, who once made the best chocolate pie on the planet, has an ongoing battle with lung cancer. Now her cancer has metastasized and all medical treatment stopped. I don’t know that she’ll see the New Year, although I hope so.
An old farmer who was also a dear friend just passed. He was the toughest man I have even known. He was in his late 90’s and still work longer, harder (on less sleep) and could drink more than anyone I know… even fifty years his junior. He withstood the hottest Summer heat better than me, and still could throw the 500th bale of hay with the same strength as the first. I’ve been pitching hay for him since I was fourteen and I was completely confident that he never complained not once about aches or pains of work. He worked unbelievably hard every day of his life. Everyone called him “Uncle Bill” although neither I, or my two friend, who worked for him, were blood related. This world will be a little less without him.
My mother told me that she has a “blood disease.” I haven’t talked to her physician, but it sounds like a type of leukemia. Not new and she’s been treated for a while for it, but still it worries me. Watching her fail physically, bit by bit as her mind is as sharp as ever, is to say the least difficult. Especially since you know who gets to be her medical advocate since my sister still has an incredibly full plate with four small kids and a business to run.
I know, it’s just the natural progression of life. Most everyday people fail to understand that death is just as much a part of life as birth. Everyone dies sooner or later. It’s not easy to think about, but it is much easier if you believe in a higher power and an afterlife. We try to stall death as much as possible. We even try to bend it to our will, just a little bit, as evidenced by what goes on every day in any average ICU. I have found my peace with my maker and I am ready, even if my last day is today. It may be my own selfishness, but I have a much more difficult time with losing my family and loved ones. I realize, through my own faith, that they are going to a much better place than here on earth, I understand it. Don’t like it, but I understand it.
Enough whining. I’ll try to have something more uplifting for tomorrow. Maybe some more Joe Biden “Gaffe-o-rama”. That ought to cheer me up.