Thirty years is a long time. What were you doing on January 21, 1983?

A blogger named Glen chose to reconstruct that particular day from his youth. His parents had trusted him enough to leave him home alone. He burned his first attempt at microwave popcorn and then was terrified to tell his parents.

Three weeks earlier, the Washington Post published their annual in/out list. It brings back a lot of memories from that era such as “Out: Alligators / In: Polo players.”

The members of my family were numb on January 21, 1983. We had spent every day that week in the ICU, hoping that my father might somehow recover from a massive cerebral hemorrhage. He died that evening. He was 50 years old.

My family is pretty good about accepting the inevitability of death. We’ve had several relatives who died too young and many who lived to an advanced age. With each passing year, I try to do something to honor my father’s memory, no longer out of sadness but out of respect. The sadness faded over time. I used to get depressed every January 21 but now that I have outlived my father, I feel thankful for my own health.

I think that my dad’s premature death gave me the push to try new things. I’ve swung at more pitches, getting some hits and some misses. For example, a year ago I couldn’t have predicted that I would try stand-up comedy or that I would win a stand-up contest. I hope that a year from now, I will be just as surprised about accomplishing something that is completely unknown to me today.

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