Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Grateful for every day
My wife's sponsor died of lung cancer, going peacefully in her sleep. She was diagnosed about two years ago, went through surgery and radiation for a brain tumor and chemotherapy for lung cancer. After receiving her 17 year chip recently, her health deteriorated markedly. She could no longer walk and towards the end was bed ridden. Thankfully, her struggle and pain is now over.
Her husband is bereft. We, and other members of the AA community, have been taking food over and sitting with him when family aren't there. It's one thing to know that someone is going to die, but when the actual event occurs, it still is shocking and sad.
We also got the news yesterday that an old friend from graduate school days died from a massive heart attack on Monday. I remember him as a young, vigorous fellow who liked to party and worked hard at his job. We hadn't seen him in years and had heard that he had retired not so long ago. Now, he is dead, leaving a wife, a daughter and a couple of grandchildren.
When I heard of his death, my heart felt especially heavy because he is only a few years older than me. I could see him as being young and remembered when we had a beer or two together, went fishing, and celebrated his engagement. It's a time warp to go from those days to now, as if the person is frozen in time, not aging or becoming infirm over time.
I know that I'm lucky to be in good health and that my wife is lucky to be here. I'm grateful for every day.
When you are five, you know your age down to the month. Even in your twenties, you know how old you are. I'm twenty-three you say, or maybe twenty-seven. But then in your thirties, something strange starts to happen. It is a mere hiccup at first, an instant of hesitation. How old are you? Oh, I'm--you start confidently, but then you stop. You were going to say thirty-three, but you are not. You're thirty-five. And then you're bothered, because you wonder if this is the beginning of the end. It is, of course, but it's decades before you admit it.— Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)