I have been thinking about this day since October of 1991. My father was 42 when he died that year and the thought of reaching that age has been a fear of mine since. And here I am.
Things are different for me than they were for him. He didn’t have the medical issues I have had in my 42 years of life. After having two stents put into my arteries, type 1 diabetes for 24 years, lots of pills, insulin, and struggling with obesity you would think even making it to 42 should have been my goal. It wasn’t.
Last night my family got together to celebrate both my daughter’s birthday and mine. Hers was yesterday. At dinner I was asked what my greatest accomplishment was during this last year. I said being a part of the Diabetes Unconference. I was then asked what I had hoped to accomplish this year. Luckily I was able to change the subject and side step around having to answer because more than any other year in my life I know what my answer would be to this question. To make it to 43.
You don’t have to tell me I am being irrational because I know I am. Why would this age mean anything? Who really thinks just because someone else died on a particular day that you would too? It is silly to think that way! I would agree with all of that and ultimately I know it makes no rational sense. And what makes me think that reaching 43 means I will live a long life afterwards? I could die a year and day from now! It is hard to explain my feelings and thoughts on this which is why I am so thankful I have this place to be to share my stuff.
Losing my father when he was 42 was such a crime. He missed out on so much and so did we. My sisters and I continue to tell his stories, keep up his traditions, and remember him daily so as to never completely lose him from our lives. There were so many things I know he wanted to do and should have been able to do.
Now here I am at the first day of 42 and I plan on celebrating it tonight with my wife and children. I plan on staying as positive about it as I can. I plan on doing everything in my power to make it to 43 and when I do, and I am asked what I hope to accomplish in the new year of my life, I hope to say “anything I want to!”