The last conversation

Death…lately it has been swirling around nearby…but it has yet to come knocking at my door..

Of all of my grandparents, three died of heart issues. One of a heart attack after having long term health issues. Two others of congestive heart failure after open heart surgery. They all made it to or past 80. I think that I can beat the heart problems that run in my family by running and taking good care of myself. I have low blood pressure and cholesterol. I am doing what I can.

My other grandparent died in childbirth at the age I am now. I think I can pretty safely surmise that that will not be my demise.

There is something about watching a close relative pass that makes me ponder my grand exit…or at least face the fact that I won’t be here forever.

Last week my last ‘great’ passed away. Now my parents are my oldest living relatives. This is frightening…where does the time fly to after it has passed?

I also found out recently that my great aunt passed away from a rare genetic lung disease that apparently two other relatives have or had. There is some confusion at this time because we really don’t know for sure.

I remember my aunt passing away from this horrible disease. I was really young then, so was she. She was on the lung transplant list. She couldn’t get around and needed her husband care for her.

Having my aunt and great aunt pass away from this and another relative has had it for over a decade now…I have to wonder or face the fact that it could happen to me…The first few days after I found out, I was really afraid.

Saturday morning, Paul and I sat in the hot tub and drank our coffee in deep conversation. I told him that I wanted to talk about this and that I would never talk about it again. I asked him if he would still love me if he had to take care of me.

Would you still love me if you had to give up sailing to take care of me? What if you had to give up all of your dreams the last few years of your life to take care of me?

As a very active person, a marathon runner, nothing torments me more than the thought of sitting still…being dependent on others…being a burden..

Until death do us part, but not together forever unless we die at the same time. He said that sometimes it is difficult for him to show he cares because I am so fiercely independent. Also, I care so much for others but refuse to let other people care for me. I rarely ask for or admit that I need help.

Paul said that his step-dad Darryl felt important and needed taking care of his wife during her cancer. Darryl took great pride in making her shakes. He patiently doted on her and it made him feel good. She wasn’t a burden as much as caring for her was a blessing..It showed us the power of unconditional love…

I also saw the genuine care and love that my uncle gave to my aunt while she was ill.

I found both situations very tragic yet touching to see such great care and love.

Sometimes I worry about Paul. His mom passed away from lung cancer last month and his uncle passed away from it last year. His grandpa had a massive heart attack a few years older than Paul is now. He has a family history of heart disease and cancer…the other side of his family history is completely unknown.

Would it be better to know?? I don’t know..

Despite the seriousness of the topic, we had a nice conversation over coffee…I felt that whatever happens I won’t be alone. Paul said if it comes down to it, we can sit together on the beach hand-in-hand sharing the same oxygen tank.

But until then, I decided that I am not going to worry about it anymore. Whatever happens happens. I am going to live my life to the fullest now.

We won’t be talking about this again.

This will be our last conversation about this too.


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