Last week at work, we had a retirement ceremony for one of the Managers. The thing is, she is only 48 years old. She is taking a medical retirement due to the fact that she has been battling Ovarian Cancer off and on for the last 4 years. She had the chemo, went in to remission, her hair grew back, she came back to work for quite awhile.... and then it came back with a vengeance. Normally these retirement parties have a different tone, because even though the person is in their 60's they are usually in good health and have lots of plans for retirement, it seems exciting. This retirement was so different and it really shook me. I guess because she is so young, maybe because she is a woman, or maybe just because she is such a beautiful person that I hate to see going through this battle.
In August, my 39 year old cousin suffered a stroke. He is a married father with a 6 yr old son and a 3 year old daughter. He is the oldest of 3 siblings. He has had some recent health issues, and was diagnosed with some sort of heart problem about 3-4 years ago. He had been cleared to have gallbladder surgery by his heart doctor, came through the procedure, but then developed blood clots which led to the stroke. I remember being by his bedside, talking to him, while his face was still contorted, trying my best to hide my disbelief about what was going on.
In September my dad had the first of two knee surgeries, had some complications, and ended up being in the hospital far beyond the 5 days he was supposed to be. It was hard to hear the fear in his voice, especially because I could not make it home to be with him. He has recovered and is home now, going to therapy and getting stronger each day.
All of these situations have me contemplating my health, in fact, I am just feeling so thankful and grateful for the blessing of good health as I sit here today. I try to be conscious of health and taking care of me. My eating habits are not horrible but I can always do better. I probably do drink too much wine, and dialing that back might be a challenge. I can honestly say that I don't exercise as much as I used to or even as much as I should. But I have been using my treadmill and getting ready for the Turkey Trot at the end of the month. Every year I do my best to motive my family members to participate with lukewarm results. Like a lot of families we have a host of health problems in ours, including diabetes and heart issues, etc. I know that most of these issues just stem from bad habits. I don't want to minimize the heredity factor but lifestyle makes a huge difference. I don't want to live the cliche' "If I knew I was gonna live this long, I would have taken better care of myself" So I am gonna act like I am thankful for my good health and take better care of myself as I age.
I am conscious of my mortality now more than ever. Somebody woke up & their life changed today, they got a devastating diagnosis, were stricken with blindness, got burned, couldn't walk anymore, a host of possibilities. But today I am thankful for the good health that I am blessed with. I am thankful for another day to live life healthy and another day to continue to try to do my part to take the best care of me that I can.
What are you thankful for ?
How is your health ?
What are you doing to take care of yourself ?