In the length of time that I have written this column, you all have been told many times that I am the baby of the family. You also are aware that my parents died when I was young. My Dad died when I was a mere girl of 15 years old and my Mom passed when I myself was a young mother of 35. I was the next generation at 35 years old. I started taking serious care of Mom when I was 26. She became very sick at the age of 65 and died at 74.
Most of you all know those statistics already, but what you don’t probably know is that I always worried about each of my siblings as they reached the age of my father’s death. When my oldest brother turned 62 and then passed it to 63, I was so relieved. Then my sisters did and my other brother did. Now it is my turn to live to be 62.
Well, in a week I will be 62. I know! How is that possible? But, the part that haunts me is I am going to be the oldest age my Dad ever got to be. He seemed old. I was only 15. It was supposed to be forever until all the other kids were that old but kind of like ages until I would be. Well, not anymore.
So what is the big deal? Well, I’m feeling out loud here folks, if my Dad could pass at that young age then so can I. Like that is a big revelation. Right? Of course I could. I have had very special people in my family and friend circles die truly young. Logically I know this, but this column is about “feeling” not about logic. There is not anything about me that deals with logic. I’m a dreamer, feeler, thinker, lover and worrier.
Back when I was a teenager I didn’t see all the changes that were a bit of a heads up that something was wrong with my Dad. He wouldn’t even admit he didn’t feel well. Yes, he was perhaps crabby or short tempered, but folks he was that way a lot anyway. So, as a teen I spent a lot of time in my room and I guess my mother knew things were changing, but ever the stubborn man he would not go and see a doctor.
In September of 1970, my Dad turned 62 years old. He died July 27, 1971. Next month he would have been turning 109 years old. Born in 1908.
So here I am at the cusp of turning 62 years old. Did my Dad feel this young? Did my Dad look to the future as much as I do? Did he ever think he wouldn’t be here to support my Mom and me? Did he wonder how we would get along without him? I’m sure he expected to walk me down the aisle at my wedding someday. I know how much he loved all the babies my siblings had so he must have just assumed he’d be cuddling my children someday too. But, he didn’t. He turned 62 and started to feel very unwell.
I know you are all thinking that worry is of no use. Well, no kidding. I have known that for years. I am the Queen of Anxiety. I manage it with a little help and acknowledge it with no shame. My Dad used to tell a very little Diane, “You think too much Diney. You love hard and you feel deep.” Yes. Yes I do.
So, here’s to turning 62 along with many dear friends. Then it will be on to making it to 74.
Until next time…