02 August 2008

On Aging

Riddle me this, my faithful readers ... what is the lifespan of a human being? For my mom's parents, it was less than 70 years. For my dad's parents, it was past 80 years (I think). If you believe that life begins at inception, then I have three siblings who never even made it out of the womb.

My oldest brother is standing on the threshold of "Life After Forty". My baby sister will be entering her mid-twenties. I, myself, will be crossing into my late thirties this year.

My grandpa was dead before I knew him. My grandma died of Alzheimer's. My grandfather was ravaged by cancer. My grandmother suffered a fatal heart attack. My parents both are diabetics with high blood pressure; my dad has already survived one heart attack.

All of these things have been swirling in my mind as of late. To use that tired cliché, I'm not getting any younger. I have no spouse. I have no children. My parents, like my grandparents before them, have these built-in support systems on which to rely as they take that slow unyielding march into their twilight years. What will I have when I hit retirement and then life after?

I grant you that all of this mental handwringing I've been doing is quite pointless. I may not make it through today, much less the next 50 years. So why expend the energy on such thoughts?

Because there is always a chance that I will live into triple digits. Because there is always a chance that I will succumb to a debilitating disease. Because there is always a chance that I will need to be taken care of as I grow older.

And you all well know that I can't help but to plan for all outcomes.

But there is no plan for this. There are no children. There may not be a spouse. Yes, there are friends, but let’s be honest ... y'all ain't gettin' no younger neither.

As I have stated before, I hadn't thought much about getting older. These thoughts have been an unwelcome and unpleasant intrusion into my quiet, calm mentality; and I'm having a little difficulty processing them.

There really is no point to this post other than to put to "paper" the fears that keep me awake at night. Perhaps this will allow me the ability to work through this moment.

1 comment:

Jimmie said...

I prefer to think of this year as "living life right at bleeding 40 and not a year older, thank you very much"! ;)