Sunday, March 21, 2010

Will it ever end?

Church today was very good. Zach had a vestry meeting afterwards so a few of us stayed in the fellowship hall and talked loud and raucous politics. And laughed and had a blast. It was mid afternoon when I finally made it home so I immediately called my mother for our weekly chat (that I'm sorely behind on.)

Another death. A guy I've known since I was in grade school killed himself last week. We hadn't been in touch much since high school but heard about each other via the old grapevine. We were all part of that gang who hung out together as a group rather than as pairs or partners. Yes, I had a mad crush on him off and on but he was clearly out of my league and to be honest, I think I liked him better as a friend anyway. I last saw him about 19 years ago at a class reunion and he was so happy and so friendly. He talked about his daughter non-stop. I think she was about Zach's age.

I thought about my parents' friends as my mom was telling me about it all. They've pretty much outlived all of their old "gang." Even the couples younger than them. I think there is one couple left. We started losing friends from high school within weeks after graduation and it's been going on pretty steadily ever since then. Losing Christy was the hardest for me...a young mother. She had a daughter about Zach's age as well. This seems to be a common theme here.

Another one was Jimmy. He was the bad boy, the loser, the guy who hung out at the pool hall. He sat in front of me in English class and was a blast. So funny. So...nice. On the way home from work one night he was hit head on by a drunk driver. He was 19.

I can think of a dozen who were gone by the 20th reunion. It was a small school; we all knew each other.

I had my own brush with death, survived it and too often take it for granted. Christy's death got me to the doctor for long-postponed medical exams because she had been putting her annual exams off for several years and died from a commonly cured cancer. The third mammogram found my cancer. I can say definitively that her death saved my life.

It's time I stopped taking my life for granted and gain my health back. Yeah, some stuff I can't change, but what I can, I need to do. I can't take medication for my depression because of a possible fatal intervention with my pain pills and after over 12 years of untreated chronic pain, I'm not going back there. But there are things I can do to help it.

In spite of all my whining, I really do prefer my life to no life at all. It's time to actually prove that now.


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