An unexpected one-two punch

April 11, 2017


I started to write this night a friend just a few years older than I came over to tell us his cancer had recurred and he would be trying a new treatment that isn’t as debilitating as chemotherapy.  As he stroked Riley,  he mentioned that the and his wife had discussed her impending retirement and had jointly decided that she would hold off on retiring until they see how well the treatment is working. If it works, she’ll retire, but if not?.

“If I pass, I don’t want her to be alone in the house and depressed,” he told us. “She has many good friends at work and it would be better for her to remain connected with them on a daily basis.”

“If I pass….”

Shocked silent, that’s what I was. Sober. And a little off-balance. It was one of those moments when I realized that this is the kind of discussion I’d never thought about before. Because we were young and vibrantly living life. Now, that talk and others like it are going on throughout the Boomer generation.  We’re truly not that young any more.

Sure, there are all the little signs of aging, but this one thing brought it all home in a serious way. Dead serious, you might say.

The next morning, I heard Thunder Road. As I was thinking about the lyrics, I noticed a birthday for someone I’ve known a long time on Facebook.  We’d lost touch when she moved a few years ago but I had many wonderful happy memories of hilarious times spent with her and her husband in the mid- and late 1980s. I went over to her FB page to wish her a happy day and discovered she’d passed a few months ago.

Gone. Just 75.

Not that young anymore

I didn’t have much to say the rest of the day. Instead, I spent much of it reminiscing about the old days with my late friend, reliving some of the most hilarious times, and thinking about her, her mother, her husband and her kids. I knew them all back in the day, when we were younger. Some 30 years younger.

And I also thought about my friend and his treatment, and the talk he and his wife had.

I’m old enough now that when I look at my life I see a multi-colored tapestry. Each person I’ve known is part of the pattern and when I look back at it, the memories of our time together come alive.

I’m living fully and out loud, so I’ll have no regrets when its my time. I’m giving back through my business. And I’m traveling with my husband and friends all year.  A lot.

These friends are still young in my memory and young in fact.

And now, forever young.


34 comments on “An unexpected one-two punch
  1. It’s hard to be at the time of life when people “passing” is a regular part of our consciousness. I’m “only” 58, but when I lost a few close friends several years ago, it made my own mortality all too real. It may sound insensitive, but when friends die, the gift they impart to us is a better appreciation of life.

  2. Robin rue says:

    It’s so hard when people we love pass. I lost my mom a few months ago and I feel like I am still in a fog most days….

  3. GiGi Eats says:

    NO REGRETS. I currently have ZERO of those and I don’t think I will ever have any ever again because I know that regardless of what happens/the situations I am in, they happen for a reason and make me who I am. So I am just going to LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLLEST!

  4. Jessica Taylor says:

    You don’t realize how precious life is until someone close to you passes. My grandmother died at the age of 89, and I was sure she would live forever.

  5. Ruth says:

    Big sigh…. Nope, not that young any more and working to learn what we need before this chapter closes.

  6. Oh, Carol. Yes we are in a bittersweet time indeed. I guess that’s why the time that reflection and looking forward often seem to be the same thing! Beautiful post and a reminder that life is short and what matters matters thank you.

  7. I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost a good friend back in 1992, I had no idea he was gone! I found out from a friend who didn’t realize I knew him. He was my ex! We had a connection like no other and we decided to not ruin the friendship by being anything more after we tried and figured out that it wouldn’t work. I know he’s there for me still. Whenever I am going through something, and am in a store that has music playing, “My Sharona” by the Knack, his favorite song that he sang to me comes on and I know everything will be OK! I miss him so much! He was my sounding board, and I was his.

  8. Ellen Dolgen says:

    Someone gave me a diary for my 63rd birthday. The cover says “I Regret Nothing”. I am trying to live by this diary and not write anything in this book as I move forward in my life from age 63.

  9. Jay Colby says:

    I’m sorry for your lost. I try to live my life with no regrets, because tomorrow is not guarantee.

  10. Milton GOh says:

    As a Christian, I see death as just shedding the temporal body into a beautiful eternity with no more tears, pain or sickness or aging or death. Sounds pretty good to me!

  11. Donna Parker says:

    So sorry for your loss, my thoughts are with your during this difficult time.

  12. I find it important to remember, at some point in time we will all pass on. We need to spend time with people and live every day to the fullest.

  13. Donna says:

    I know what you mean….our recent health issues have brought us painfully close to mortality and we do wonder…..I try my best each day but still fight against fear each day. I am getting better at it…..keep teaching us my friend.

  14. Amber Myers says:

    It is so hard when friends or family pass. I am so sorry for your loss.

  15. It’s always the hardest when someone who is either the same age as you are or younger gets sick or dies. It all seems unfair and makes you realize we’re only here for a short time. We have to make the most of it.

  16. I think that’s a hard stage to be in – I was actually just having a conversation about this with my cousin earlier, so it’s funny I should see this post today. We’re in our 30s, and we both tend to draw friends who are older than we are – it isn’t uncommon at all for us to wish good friends a happy 50th (or 60th, even) birthday. Recently she had a friend confess that she has breast cancer, and we were saying today how strange it is that we’re entering THAT place in our lives – that place where people are reaching the ends of their journeys here, the place where illness and even funerals become much too commonplace to be comfortable.

    I can only imagine what that must feel like for the Boomers.

  17. Bel says:

    It’s such a difficult stage I’m sure. I lost a very close friend a few years back.He died two weeks after we saw each other. I was devastated. I’m still young but immediately after,I started worrying about growing. I’m glad i’m over it. I’ll just take life slow.

  18. Poignant and tragic. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  19. It can come out of the blue. I just could not believe it when Randy’s lungs collapsed three years ago. Tomorrow is not promised.

  20. My father, mother and brother all died in their mid sixties Carol and so as I turn 60 this year i have to admit mortality is on my mind. I am determined, like you, to live life and make the most of it because you never know when it will be your last day. Hope all going well with the new business.

  21. Sondra Barker says:

    It’s quite sad to think about how fast life goes by us. Getting older can be quite scary, it is so important to build upon beautiful memories with your loved ones.

  22. This is hard to think about but its coming. we are not getting younger. I was talking to my daughter today and she told me about a 24 year old who died from heart disease. He worked at her school. it’s hard to believe that people are passing but they are. And time is moving.

  23. Elizabeth O. says:

    It’s heartbreaking to hear a friend say that line… “If I pass…”, but that’s also the reality of life. We get old and we have to deal with things like this. I’m still not sure how I’ll feel though when it someone so dear and close to me.

  24. They say when your time is up, your time is up… and that’s just a sad thought. A few days ago I was at a schoolmate’s wake. Her passing was a shock to us. She was only 34. 🙁

  25. Kelly Reci says:

    Looks so sad. I am sorry to hear that. Now, my mind more look forward about the importance of life.

  26. Julie Syl says:

    I feel very sad about this post. I don,t want to think it. But this post is a good reminder.

  27. Ughhhh I’m so sorry for your loss. I just lost my best friend Monday so I am glad I came upon this and gave it a read. Greening a loved one is definitely difficult that’s for sure

  28. Esse d says:

    I’m still rather young, but I have had to deal with the death of at least 3 people that were really close to me. It’s hard and always highlights the fragility of life. I abhor death talks and usually shy away from them, but I understand preparing.

  29. Regan says:

    This is sobering, for sure. I am only 43 and have already lost far too many high school classmates, a few to cancer. My childhood best friend was also just diagnosed with cancer, but thankfully they caught it very, very early. It’s shocking to me that I am actually getting older. I mean, really getting older. I sure don’t feel like it.

  30. Hannah Marie says:

    A conversation like that is what I feared. I don’t ever want to lose anyone but it’s natural and it will happen. Let’s live our lives with no regrets.

  31. My eyes got watery. What a reminder to not take each day for granted. We need to live and love to the fullest before it’s all gone.

  32. blair villanueva says:

    Sometimes thinking how much young/old we are is just a state of mind. It is our responsibility to feel and make ourselves good at any age. And when we stop that, that’s the time we become feeling old.

    Be happy and enjoy life. It’s a blessing.

  33. It’s really very difficult to overcome a heart ache death leaves and sometimes I really wish that RIP meant Return If Possible. But unfortunately this is life and we all have to accept this harsh fact.

  34. I’m so sorry for your loss! I can’t imagine that empty feeling. It’s part of life but always hard to deal with when it someone close to us

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