My father died of a massive heart attack on a Sunday. He was 3 months and 2 days shy of his 43rd birthday.
Today is Sunday. I am 3 months and 2 days shy of my 43rd birthday.
The thought of this day has been renting space in my head for a long time – especially since turning 42. I’m not sure why that is. I haven’t been fearful that there is some kind of curse or that I would die today. That’s not it.
After all, even with my really bad lifestyle in the past, I did make some good choices that didn’t put me in as high of a risk category. I have never smoked and I don’t drink. And certainly now with my exercise and healthier eating choices, I imagine my heart is in pretty good shape.
I knew, of course, at the time that 42 was extremely young to die of a heart attack. But I was 18 then. Being the same age today – when most days now I feel like I have a hell of a lot of living left to do – to think that his life was over at this time….
It’s a weird feeling that I can’t exactly put into words. It’s one of those melancholy “what might have been?”
A friend suggested to me that today is not for mourning my father but instead celebrating my life and health. Because I was certainly digging myself into an early grave. Maybe I wouldn’t have died today, but my recent choices have without a doubt extended both the quality and quantity of my life. (Barring being smushed by a passing car later today!!! )
So I ran this morning. 13 miles. And I hugged my dogs. And I told Marc that I love him. And I told myself that I have overcome what was a mental hurdle for me. It is now March 1st. A time to think about rebirth.
That’s what I’m going to try focusing on.