Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Here's to your health

On an unrelated note, I'm going to make an effort to ramp up my blogging this winter. It's the only way I'll survive another one here in Minnesota. I'm also going to pimp my efforts via Twitter. (I hope I don't regret this.)

Then spring will come, I'll tire of blogging and decide what comes next. This all assumes I still have my sanity, which I wouldn't bet upon.

As I start a new chapter in blogging, I start it on a depressing note. My uncle has come home from the hospital, and things aren't looking good.

My uncle was diagnosed with some form of rare cancer. My mother explained it to me, but I don't remember the details. And they don't matter, ultimately.

My uncle ran a marathon this summer, went to a doctor days later because he wasn't feeling well and wound up diagnosed with his rare form of cancer. His diagnosis came after the cancer was already spreading, and he spent weeks receiving treatment in Rochester, home of the Mayo Clinic. He is now back home, under hospice care, because further chemotherapy isn't going to do a lot for him, according to my mother.

The man ran a marathon in June, and now he has cancer, and is in rough shape. I have no idea what happens next, or when, and I'm afraid to ask. All I know is that his daughter's wedding was scrapped in favor of a small, private ceremony with the immediate families, down in Rochester. She had to give up her elaborate wedding plans just to ensure her father could be a part of her wedding day. Weddings are overblown, but it's unfortunate such a joyful occasion had to be compromised. You take what you can get, I guess, and be thankful for what you have.

I've long considered myself fortunate when it comes to life and death. Both of my grandmothers died during my adult life, but neither one lingered in poor health for months or years. Each grandmother had her share of health issues during her senior years, but their deaths, albeit unexpected, weren't so painful for me. It was harder knowing my cousin's young life was snuffed out due to cancer. That cousin was one of my uncle's two daughters. Now his surviving daughter and my aunt are watching a similar scenario play out again, and this time at a far more rapid pace.

We all know life is short, that you have to make the most of every day. Sometimes I wonder if that's possible.

As I said, I've been rather lucky for the first 40 years of my life. I've been far less affected by death than most people who spend four decades on Earth.

The hardest thing for me in pondering my uncle's death is wondering if I have made the most of my life. I don't regret that I'm not married and raising a family. But I do question what I should be doing with my life instead of working at a lackluster weekly newspaper chain. What could I be doing that would make me happy? And if not me, then everybody else who deals with me. What should I be doing with my 168 hours per week?

We all wonder what the meaning of life is, what the purpose of our life is. I'm running out of time to figure out my answer. If nothing else, I can be thankful for one more night of good health.

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