Death, Again. Always Death.

Took the four year old to meet his teacher and tour his school today. Tomorrow is his first day of school. First day of school. 

He nearly died when he was two months old. His blood had turned septic. If not for one observant doctor in Houston he would most likely not have survived another 48 hours. He doesn’t remember any of this. I do. It was the beginning of a cycle where I’ve never been able to get very far away from the very real possibility of death.

Soon after coming to Illinois Jenny had a cancer scare with her thyroid, and the next year I had my heart surgery.

Last week Jenny had to put down her 17 year old dog.

Death everywhere.

I’m here at my apartment hiding from death. A twinge in my chest or a muscle spasm in my side. I get up from a chair and get a little dizzy. 

Death?

I don’t know. Maybe.

My fear now is less about death than dying in front of the children. What a crummy reality to have to face. Forty-five years old and I take a child to see meet his teacher for the first time.

Even if I hadn’t found out about my heart problem I never really believed I would survive until fifty anyway. It was just something I felt. Inside me. An expiration date. Probably from the same cancer that killed my mom, or an autoimmune disease.

I will be almost sixty years old when this child graduates from high school. It is likely he will have to deal with my death before he is able to legally have a drink of alcohol. I have guilt now when I eat bad food. My margin for error is very slim. 

I should be grateful for all this borrowed time. But increasingly I’m resentful that I live with this clawing animal. 

 

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