Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Growing Old

While growing old is not, entirely, bad, it is not for the faint of heart. Those that we love also are ravaged by the years. This year has been, especially rough. I lost two of my, beloved, Aunties. The were both, nearly, 90 and had been in declining health for some time. Their race was run and it was time to cross the finish line. I will miss them both, as they were special ladies and two of the last links to my parent's generation. In June, my baby cousin died. She was 51. She had been ignoring her health for a while, but at that age, nobody thinks that there is any real urgency. She woke up, sat up in bed, had a heart attack and was gone, just like that. We were pretty close. We all went camping together at Thanksgiving, with a few other people and had a great time, eating a full on banquet, sitting around the fire and taking snake bite medicine, telling off color stories and acting like kids. I will miss her all of my days. Yesterday I got one of the worse possible phone calls. My brother, Jeff, died. He was 61. He had some health struggles related to a severe infection that he had gotten that resulted in the amputation of his left leg. This was over a year ago and he had fully healed and was running all over on his prosthetic leg. He came to visit several times and seemed just fine. He had a mild case of diabetes, but he controlled it with diet and an oral medication. His doctors told him that his heart, blood pressure and cholesterol were all good. I'm not sure we'll ever know what happened. I guess it really doesn't matter. This is really hard for me to deal with. We were fairly close. Jeff was a bit of a hermit and would be incommunicado for months or years at a time, so it's only been in the past few years that we began hanging out more often. Sadly, that is over. There will be no funeral or gathering, as far as I know. I don't, necessarily believe in funerals, but without some sort of closure it just seems empty, as if a goldfish or a hamster had died. I need to get with my other brother and my niece so we can grieve together. It's what humans do.

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