As I sit here with all my medical issues, having been told repeatedly 'you are too young for this'. Yes I am. Medical issues are not supposed to compromise your lifestyle until much older. I should have had another 30 years of relative health.
But then I think of my friend Jill. I have known Jill since about 1980 when she became the college roommate of a friend of mine. Jill was a character - always with a story to tell and an adventure to go on - whether it was singing in a choir going to South American or this hot new (younger) man she was eying. She lived her life to its fullest through its ups and downs always keeping her sense of humor. She did all this with a multitude of health issues, primarily asthma and related respiratory issues. This Saturday apparently in an inadvertent mixture of her inhaler and possibly Tylenol (or some other common over the counter drug) she lost her fight and died. She could not be resuscitated. She would be 48.
When I was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, she unexpectedly dropped by my house, at a time when no one was visiting, to bring some cheer and an dream catcher as she was sure I would beat cancer and have years left to dream. A year later she is the one who fell and broke her leg. We would talk on the phone often while she was laid up. Through surgery and re incisions and infections, she still went to South America with her choir and kept her sense of humor.
In April, the three of us went out to dinner. My other friend and I had planned for about three months to get together and finally picked a date and Jill actually could meet us. We went out and laughed for hours and had a great time. Now on Sunday we will go to her memorial service and remember who she was and how she could bring a smile to anyone.