Recently a friend of a friend passed away from colon cancer in his early 30s, after battling it for the last 10 years. He passed away at the same hospital my father did, who also succumbed to the same cancer. It brought back a few pangs of regrets, memories of searching for closure.
Both sides of my family have been blessed with longevity- my grandmothers are in their 90s. When my grandfather passed away at 97, he was still in strong spirits, despite having essentially been blind the last 5 years of his life. (There may have been some fancy medical term for his loss of eyesight, but let’s be honest, after 90 years of use his eyes retired.) As a former principal, he was universally liked by students and faculty, to the point where he would be randomly stopped and thanked in the street years post retirement. One of his most memorable attributes was his unrelentlessly positive attitude towards everything (well except maybe towards his wife). Hospitalized for pneumonia, he still managed to impart his charm and wit on the nurses. The nurses would quiz him on what 2 +3 was, and he’d cheerfully reply, 23! Reminds me of a quote: “Don’t take life too seriously. No one gets out alive anyway..”