Sunday, January 20, 2019

Sudden Life

I've decided to develop a 25-year plan for my life, our life. The things we'd like to do, people to spend time with, places to see, tomes to write.

Yes, such a long-term plan is audacious. Especially at nearly 68 years of age. The plan would take me to age 93 in the year 2044. (For that matter, maybe a 31-year plan to 2050 and age 99. Why not. My mother is nearly 96 and going relatively strong.)

Truth is, none of us knows if we'll have even 25 more minutes on this slowly spinning orb.

A few days ago, someone I have known many years had a stroke. In almost an instant, they went from a normally functioning person to losing motor skills and even a sense of who they are or where. They may be confined to a wheelchair for whatever is left of their life, relying on someone else to take care of them.

Living of itself is not necessarily a goal. Quality of life is important. Having a reason to crawl out of bed in the morning. Making a contribution to the societies you live in.

I am not sure I would want to have someone burdened with taking care of me daily, hourly, if I had a stroke or Alzheimer's or something equally as mentally debilitating. I might tolerate having to roll around in a wheelchair if I still had the mental faculties to be somewhat productive. Maybe even learn to play golf on wheels.

We just simply do not know whether life will continue as we know it, or take a radical turn.

When my mother was a nine-year-old girl, her Uncle, my Great Uncle, pioneering aviator Richard Bennett, was preparing to leave for an air race in Niagara Falls. He wanted a kiss good-bye, but she was too shy. He died in the race when his plane's engine exploded. When my brothers and I were growing up, my mother insisted that whenever we left the house, we gave her a kiss.

Kiss and hold the ones you love. Today. And everyday you have them.

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