Today is the 29th anniversary of my father’s death. I was 21 when he died, which means that he’s been dead about 7½ years longer than I knew him. He was 50 years and 8 months old when he died. I am currently 50 years and 7 months old. The Good Lord willing (as my grandma used to say), I will start outliving him next month.
I’ve tried to do a few things differently in order to live longer. My father died from a cerebral hemorrhage, so I try to keep my blood pressure down by eating and drinking in moderation. He and his father were both heavy. I lost weight and I try everyday to keep it off. My quest to visit all 50 states was just something I wanted to do. However, the self-imposed deadline to finish by the time I turned 50 was inspired by my father’s death at age 50.
So, what’s next? The year ahead promises to bring at least one big change as my son graduates from college and starts a new job. This anniversary is a good opportunity for me to think about how I want to spend the time that my father didn’t get.