We’re all terminal

I don’t know what God is trying to teach me, but I probably should learn it soon or I’ll be completely alone on earth with only roaches as my companions.

OK–a little dramatic, a little over-the-top.

I receieved a call from my Aunt Michelle today. Her husband’s Aunt Helen died this morning. She wasn’t sick. The other night she decided to take a bath instead of a shower. She couldn’t get out of the tub, so she stayed in all night. When she finally got out of the tub, she ended up in her kitchen, unable to get up. Long story short, they got her to the hospital. It was looking good until this morning when she went into renal failure. She died at 7:30 in the morning.

There were some funny moments in the story, though. The hospital thought she had a stroke because they were talking to her and she was not responding. See, she was deaf in her right ear. Once they talked to her on her left side, she responded. (I didn’t know she was deaf for a while and would talk to her. She’d smile and nod. I couldn’t remember who was deaf and who was blind on that street.) Last night, when my uncle went to see her, she yelled at him, telling him that he should be at home with his wife and mother instead of in a hospital with an old woman. She also told him to turn down her thermostat since she wasn’t home. (He’s the caretaker of all of the elderly on his street. My aunt jokingly calls the street his harem.) These anecdotes are probably more humorous to me since I knew her and the situations.

Maybe I’m learning to deal with death. Maybe I’m learning to maintain joy when I want to sob. Maybe I’m just learning that in life there are births and deaths, both of which are the natural ebb and flow of being a human being. Maybe I’m learning that, as Craig Fassler said on Sunday, “We’re all terminal.” It’s time to make the most of every moment at hand, because we’re not guaranteed tomorrow.

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