With the 80th anniversary of my birth only a few weeks away the temporary nature of my being is never far from my consciousness. I am well beyond my expiration date and Mother Nature keeps reminding me that I’m no longer the young man I once was. I have lost many old friends, but when a relatively young member of the family dies unexpectedly it is quite a shock.
Last night I received a call from one of my adult granddaughters informing me of the passing of her Uncle Mark. He was the 61 year old “significant other” of one of my twin stepdaughters. He was not in good health, but no one thought he was anywhere near death’s door.
He has been living with my stepdaughter since well before the birth of their 25 year old daughter, an only child who was recently married. (More on that later.)
He had suffered a major stroke more than six years ago that affected his ability to speak, as well as, other functions. Since then, he has experienced several seizures that modern medicine has been unable to explain or control. He had always been somewhat reclusive, but after the stroke he essentially became a hermit, and rarely left the house except for Dr. visits. Although he lived less than a mile from my home I rarely saw him, he didn’t participate in family gatherings, even those which took place at his residence.
Despite his isolation, I always thought he was a decent fellow until I attended his daughter’s wedding last fall. Mark did not attend. There was no explanation for his absence. The bride, my granddaughter, must have been terribly disappointed. She hid it well. She had been very close to her dad while growing up. My respect for him declined significantly that day. I still can’t understand how a man can fail to attend his only daughter’s wedding. And now he’s gone.
What a sad situation. But our family will adapt to the new reality and continue our journey to the future. Enjoy the time you have here, because it may suddenly come to an end. Your happiness is only temporary at best.