When you say goodbye to someone you love.
I haven’t done too much of this regarding my family, but I have seen my fair share with patients. My Aunt, Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt, now Papa. Relevance and proximity can make it all different.
What I mean, is that the time we spend is what determines how close we are to somebody. Their proximity along with their relevance determines the amount of time that we spend with somebody. Sadly, that changes with the changing climate of somebody’s health.
Have you ever heard someone say “I am going to live to 100”, followed by somebody else saying “I would hate to live to 100”. What you are hearing is “If I were going to live like everybody else, I would never want to be 100, because what’s the point”. As the average person ages, their relevance and proximity change. They cannot be the person they were… it makes sense. How could we? They cannot make it out to the same events as they could… makes sense. Life gets harder.
It makes me very sad to think of this in my current context. As Papa progressed further and further into his degenerative back pain, it became clearer and clearer that even though he had cancer, and arterial disease. It was the excruciating back pain that took him further and further away from the life he had… the life he yearned for. The spine is so important. And as that back pain worsened, the lower back nerves became more and more dysfunctional. And it is NO surprise to me, that the spread of his cancer was to the lower extremity. The location where the nerves were the weakest, thus the immune response is the weakest, and the ability to maintain normal function is the worst.
Papa was a man who loved to laugh, and he loved to give people a hard time just to joke with them. He was good at knowing the right limit. Just the right amount of push to get a waitress to laugh at him and give a good smack on his shoulder. Or a store clerk to chuckle at a quick witted joke. He was a man who enjoyed life, and lived it fully. When he got saved, and baptized, he at first became that guy who flooded your inbox with a dozen “pass this on and get blessings for months, don’t pass it on, and you’ll get smitten!” emails. He was great at supporting ones initiatives, and equally quick to shoot them down if he saw fit.
A great guy to have in your corner, and a great guy to poor into your life. He was not only my wife’s daddy, he was also my papa.
I enjoy this photograph of him pulling my wife around in her chair at dinner at a celebration of an anniversary, or a birthday… her pure enjoyment is a reflection of the fun that he created around him.
So. My lesson. Lets do everything we can to stay relevant and proximal as long as possible. Get up and move. Right now, you need to get up and exercise. You need to stop making excuses for a poor diet, or lack of activity. You need to fix your posture and your spine, and start with me adjusting you, but don’t stop there. Fix your desk and go stand up. Fix your slouching. Lets care about the way you stand, and then lets fix it. In other words, take your health serious until the day you no longer can.
Be blessed and be well! – Dr. E