Sad post today, y'all.
I'm feeling very shaken up and out of my comfort zone these days, especially today. Mortality is a bitch, and every once and a while she likes to remind you that she's part of your story, too.
I'm staring 40 in the face (T-minus 4 months, 4 days) and mortality feels less and less like an abstract concept, and more like a waiting game, or a roulette wheel.
December 19, 2016 my sister lost her 20 year-old son, while he was in the Army, stationed in NY. The details of his passing aren't known, but he wasn't ill, wasn't in an accident, no foul play... just gone. 20 years old, and gone. The unfairness of this just takes my breath away. As a mother, it terrifies me and breaks my heart to the core - her baby is gone. How do you keep breathing, walking, driving, working, paying bills, etc. when your baby is gone? It is incomprehensible.
Today I received bad news about a friend. This friend is almost exactly the same age as me (within months) and she had a heart attack a few months ago. She was saved, and has been waiting for months to get stronger so that she can have a heart pump, and eventually a heart transplant (her only hope, as her heart only operates at less than 20% now). Today she found out that neither the heart pump or the transplant are an option anymore. Her body is too weak, and can't tolerate the drugs she would need to be on to make the procedures successful.
This woman, this friend of mine, is my age. MY AGE, and she found out today that hospice care is how she will spend the remainder of her 6-9 months that the doctors estimate she will have until her heart gives up the fight. 6-9 months.
Did I mention that this woman has two little girls, younger than my own? The news has knocked me for six - I fully expected her to triumph. If anyone, I thought it would be her. She's an amazing woman, a kind, compassionate soul, and a fighter. I can't believe that she's been stripped of her tools to fight this. 6-9 months to live a life that should have been 40 years longer. It's not fair.
The day after Christmas, my siblings' cousin died from cancer.
Rob was only in his 50's, and he's gone. His daughter moved up her wedding day by a year so he could be there. He fought hard, but it wasn't enough. He died calling his dead uncle's name, with one of his four brothers at his side.
Several months ago, my oldest brother had a stroke - his second, according to doctors. He's 58, and has had two strokes. The fear I feel thinking about this makes me sick to my stomach. We are so lucky that he survived and is recovering well... so lucky. But my God, does it make you sit up and take notice.
Suddenly the things that happened to 'other people' are happening all around me, to those I know and love. When I see these things happening one after the other, 40 doesn't seem so young anymore. 40 seems scary, because after that comes 50 and 60, and more risks, more health problems, more people that I know and love succumbing to the trials of life and health.
Life is so uncertain, y'all. It's so beautiful, but so uncertain.
If you love someone, tell them. Don't assume they know. Do it for them, and for yourself, because life is short.