There’s a lot to be said about realizing that you’re not going to live forever.  And life is shorter than you realize. 

Chriso is always talking about how you only get 70 years.  If you get more than that, you’re on borrowed time and you should make the most of it.

I tend to differ a little in my thinking.  I typically don’t like to think of things like the fact that I may only be alive for another 44 years.  Or the fact that I am not immortal.  And neither is he.  And neither are my parents or brothers.

And as much as I want to put negative thoughts out of my head, sometimes, they cannot be helped.

Yesterday… This whole week, in point of fact.  I have found myself face to face with mortality.  My own and that of those I love. 

My father

The man who had a hand in raising me.  The man for whom I have the utmost respect.  A man who is far wiser than most and has a wealth of knowledge that would put most to shame.

My dad.  My pops.  Popples.  Poppley-Pie.  The man of many names.  But he’s still just “Dad.”

Yesterday he had some chest pain, and a cramp in his arm.  He took those signs to mean he was having a stroke, or a heart attack.  And he ended up going to hospital for it.  He is fine now.  The doctors did an EKG and his heart looks fine, although, they did recommend that he see his Cardiologist.  But he’s fine.

My response to this news was not something I expected.  Certainly I cried, but that was not the unexpected part.  But while I was crying, I was trying to plan my escape route.  A way in which I would not have to go home to face reality.  A plan that involved me not stopping, but driving all night until I reached a destination unkown.  Because, somehow, if I didn’t go home, none of what was happening would be real.

I didn’t want to go home.  In my entire life, I have never NOT wanted to go home.  Not to avoid getting in trouble.  Not to avoid anything.  But this.

My mind raced through every possible scenario, and I kept coming back to the same thought.  I don’t know what I would do, or what I would have done if anything had happened.  Possibly, my life plans would have changed, because I wouldn’t have been able to leave my mom or brothers.  But even more than that.  I don’t know how I would be able to survive if things had been more serious.  If the outcome was drastically different, I don’t think I could have dealt with it.

And I’m a strong person.  There are a lot of things that are difficult, and life gets hard sometimes, but how we deal with those things is what makes us stronger individuals.  Those are the things that shape our character.  But the loss of a loved one, in my opinion, must be the most difficult thing any one person can go through and come out the other side a whole person.  If they CAN come out the other side.  Some people live in mourning and can never function normally after such trauma.

But there’s no way of knowing what type of person you’ll be.  Will you be  the type to live life as normal after trauma?  Or will you be the one who breaks down and life changes completely?

There’s no way of knowing.  There is no indicator.  There are no clues.  No matter how strong you are in dealing with everything else, there is no way of knowing how strong you’ll be.  There’s no way to tell how you’ll react.  And there’s no way to take control of the situation.

And I find all that immensely terrifying.  The loss of control.  The uncertainty.  And most of all, the pain of loss.

I love my parents.  I love my family.  I don’t tell them because I’m pretty sure they know.  But life sometimes prevents things from being said.  People get busy, and other things take precedence for awhile.  But they always know.  I always know.  And that’s huge.

There’s a lot to be said for coming face to face with your own mortality.  It really gives you perspective.  Makes you look at your life, and prioritize.  Life is shorter than anyone realizes.  And there is just so much to done.  There’s no sense in wasting what precious little time we DO have.