One thing that happened recently is two deaths in our extended family. Both were beloved women who will be greatly missed.
Terry was 62 -- much too young to die. She was my former sister-in-law and we had lost contact during the years after her divorce. I attended her funeral and was impressed by what her family members and friends said about her -- that she enjoyed her granddaughter's overnight visits, particularly racing through her home -- in her wheelchair. That she was very important to a young woman who saw her as a mother figure. That her nephew loved and appreciated her taking him in and loving him when he had nowhere else to go.
She had been in ill health for years. I don't know all of the circumstances and I want to be clear that there is no judgement in my writing about her health. She was overweight and so am I. There are often consequences for being overweight and most likely, Terry's early death was one of them. We know that statistically is often the case.
The other death in my family was my Aunt Lona Mae (Aunt Sister), who died recently at age 100. I have posted about my aunt earlier; her life was one of good health, hard work, and involvement in her church, her family, her friends, and a concern for others. She enjoyed life and lived it to the fullest.
During her funeral, many stories were told about Lona Mae. Many were quite funny. An example: When she and my Uncle Jess were expecting their first child, they moved to a small home on a plot of land on her parent's farm. One day, Jess went into town and ran into a local nurse, who told him that she was going to visit Lona Mae the next day, just to see how she was doing. Jess went home and told Lona Mae that the nurse was coming and that she would check Lona Mae's blood pressure. Lona Mae asked what checking her blood pressure meant; Jess responded, "I'm not sure, but you'd better take a bath."
A more recent story had the minister telling widowed Lona Mae that he thought it was time that she met a new man. She told him that it would be difficult, because she liked older men and there weren't any around older than she was.
The same minister asked Lona Mae what her rules were for long life. Her responses:
- Have a routine. Eat regular meals, get up and go to the bed at the same time.
- Have a passion. Lona Mae's was the Dorcas class at her church and the work they did for the community.
- Stay away from doctors.
That's not to say that any of the rest of us would never need a doctor, even if we did live a healthy life. But if I may expand on her words, "Stay away from doctors as much as possible (by being responsible for our own health) and seek medical help when you need it." That would include all of the normal checkups that can keep us on track, and any of the medical procedures we might need because of circumstances beyond our control. If we all followed these expanded rules, maybe it would also help with the crisis in health care our country faces. At the very least, it might add years to our lives and life to our years!
Hoping for a long and healthy life for you and those whom you love,