Monday, May 4, 2015

May the 4th Be With You

Today would have been my grandfather’s 85th birthday had he made it past 69 years old. The joke going around of "May the 4th be With You" would have made his day, so I figured I would write something in his honor.

He was just another in a long line of males on both sides of my family that never made it past their 69th birthday. My grandfather was so close to making it to 70, and we were all shocked about his death despite the fact that we shouldn’t have been really. His goal was to make it to 70 so he could start smoking again. Yeah that was rather ironic, right along with the fact that he died on Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday as I had talked about in a different blog. He drank too much beer, took lousy care of himself, and would take an extra belt of insulin now and then when he wanted to eat extra sweets at dinner. He was far from being the model of health. He was still my grandfather though and I miss him often.

My father finally broke the trend when he made it past the age of 69. It gave me hope in my apocalyptic view of the world, often I joked in my mid 30s that I was technically middle aged by my family’s standards. My father gave me hope, but then again it wasn’t really by his choice. Back in 2007 he had a car accident that put him in the hospital, his body went into an extended state of the DTs and he was practically comatose for almost a week. It was actually the first time he had seen a doctor in almost 40 years, and because he really didn’t have any say in the matter they were able to find all those things that would have killed him by the time he was 69 and rectified them.

I am quite proud of the fact that I intervened with my father’s fate. I had to drop absolutely everything and fly out to Florida (God I hate Florida still) and took over his life. He was a very stubborn man, who unfortunately had found himself in a lot of trouble through it all, and despite the damper it did put on my life at the time, I was rewarded with a father who is now in his mid 70s, and more over a very good guy. It wasn’t that he wasn’t a good guy before, but his stubbornness and ability to run and hide from everyone wasn’t exactly bonding.

How this applies to me is pretty simple. I already am far ahead of the making it past the age of 69 game. I work out pretty hard, and I see my doctor once a year. I get my blood screenings and take care of the vital things that have probably been the factors to kill off all of my male ancestors. Of course there is that old problem of all the women in my family living to their 100s and beating all the men to death with guilt, but then again I have rectified that issue too. I don’t have to go to every pity party I am invited to, and I definitely don’t have to allow everyone else’s problems contribute to my ulcers. That’s how I am celebrating my grandfather’s birthday.