A year like this really starts to get to a person.
If losing my Granddad earlier this year wasn't bad enough, this morning I found out that a lovely woman that I graduated high school with has lost her battle with breast cancer. Granted, we didn't hang out and I certainly didn't keep in touch with her. But my heart goes out her husband and kids, because right now I simply cannot get myself to imagine what they must be going through. (I played baseball with her husband on the high school team, and even though he was a year older, he never made me feel like I didn't belong.)
Okay, here I am. I'm reaching the age where people my age are succumbing to health related issues rather than dying tragically in car accidents. And not just anonymous people... These people are in my group of friends, however distant they may be. That's a little hard for me to swallow. I've never found it easy to think of myself as being old enough to be in that age group. Because in my mind, "Older people are the ones that are at risk! Not me!"
Now I'm sure this is normal, since let's be honest, the human brain has a very difficult time even thinking of itself outside its body. Give it a shot - it's really difficult to try to think about your brain being the thing that makes you, you. But it's not just that. I've also noticed that I have an equally hard time thinking of myself as being at risk for cancer or heart disease.
Yet, here I am... I'm old enough to be in that age group. I'm old enough to be heart broken thinking about a former friend, a father, a husband... going through the rest of his life without his beloved wife. I cannot imagine what he must be thinking; how worried he must be for his kids. And it brings me to tears to think about what she went through. The pain she endured while the doctors fought to keep her own body from destroying itself. And those final, precious few hours of life... I know that she must have been thinking of nothing but her family and her kids and the millions and millions of tiny little things she will miss.
So thus far 2011, you can make like a tree, and get outta here. You hurt me too much, and you made me think too much about the hard things in life. I'll certainly be glad to finally put you behind me, 2011.
Assuming I make it, that is.