I remember distinctly when my dad’s best friend John turned 60. (I have written about him before) I cried and cried thinking that it was so old and I thought of all of the cruddy things about aging and how horrible it must be and how life was going to be over shortly!! I wove quite a picture in my mind….I had him until this year in July and he would have been 84 in December. Twenty three more years of memories!! It wasn’t the end of the good times, in fact is was just the beginning. In September Mike turned 60. I have thought so often about my dad becoming that age, and Papa John, and now Mike. It upsets me for some reason the idea that we are now approaching the last half of our lives and there is no way to stop it. Aging doesn’t frighten me, the effects of aging terrify me. As it is, I already feel like I am 100 most days and the idea of it getting worse (which it will) is horrifying. I am keenly aware that I have no choice and that I will get through it or I won’t, so that part is alright. The idea of something happening to him is more than this heart can take. I always think that if it has to happen to someone it is better if it happens to me because I can handle it!
I have spent time away from Mike at various stages of our lives but as I age I dislike it more and more. I find that my blood pressure is better when he is here, my breathing slows when he is around, and even if I am aggravated, it certainly doesn’t last as long as it did when I was 20 something! I always believe that if we are together that accidents won’t happen, or unforeseen hardships will stay at bay if we are a united front. It must be a game I play with myself, but if I am there I can somehow stop what’s coming! I guess that I have never told you that I have super human powers!! I can leap nothing, but I can be stronger than anyone when I need to protect them!!
Aging appears to frighten most of us! I still use Nerium on my face and take more vitamins than I probably should but I am not risking it! I understand the need to hold on to youth, heck didn’t we all feel better? I don’t know what 51 is supposed to look like, but I like me more than I did at 20 something. It has taken me a long time to face my demons and send them to hell where they belong. I have been able to do that with the help of that guy in the other office. Without his constant balance, I would have spun completely off my axis never to return!! He stayed when he shouldn’t have!
I watch my mom and I talk to her almost daily. We don’t generally go too long between visits. Every day on my way to town when I call she always tells me she’s glad I’m the one going to “get something done!” I tell her that she has it pretty easy and we joke about our roles in this world. My parents had a solid, loving, tight marriage. They were number 1 in each others lives. As a kid, I loved knowing that they were not volatile. I have not experienced loss the same as she has, mine is very different. Mine is even different from my brothers. It isn’t hard to see the effects of his absence on her. I see it enough that it the idea of having to endure that is more than my heart can take.
I have been defined for three years by a disease that is never far from my mind. Every day I wake up to take the medicine that keeps me from exploding an aneurysm. I had someone say to look at that as a reminder that God is in charge, I can only do part of it!! I am reminded constantly that my journey took a hard left when I was still rolling along forward. I had a huge repair done on February 14, 2017. Since then I have had another surgery to correct damage from the big surgery, I have been scanned, scanned and re-scanned., I am medicated, poked, prodded, and yet, in the long run, I will not outlive the amount of days that God has given me! I have made a decision to stop letting this disease define me. It’s not who I am, it’s what I have. I am going to live with it! I am going to treat the symptoms, but no more repair for this girl! I have freed myself from the things I am unable to stop!!! That is my blessing! The fear of the “what ifs” has to take a back seat to “what is”. So today, Mike and I are good. We are aging, not so gracefully, and things are not perfect, but we are together. I will not cry because he is 60! I will rejoice because he is 60 and Papa John and Dad did a great job showing me how to age with joy!!
I will do my best not to waste this day. I am trying to put my phone down and be more present. I love that word!!! PRESENT!! A gift I give myself!! I will listen, hug, laugh, cry, console, hold, rock, laugh some more and I will rest in the peace and promise that I am redeemed and loved. Get ready for the mush…..thank you Mike for always giving me a safe place to land…..I love you.
Until then…live it up in your aging body!!