Put a candle in the window, but I feel I’ve got to move. Though I’m going, going, I’ll be coming home soon, ‘long as I can see the light - John C. Fogerty, “Long As I Can See The Light”
I mentioned in a previous blog post ("Because I Can") that my BFF's father had been dealing with some health ailments. Sadly, he succumbed to those maladies this past Friday after battling them for the past couple of years. This is a man that, in his prime, was very active and loved engaging in outdoor activities -things ranging from hiking to fishing to swimming to hunting. He loved it all. For most of his life, BFF's dad was healthy and took care to maintain that health. He didn't drink alcohol or smoke and in all the years that I knew him, I never once saw him overweight. Unfortunately for some, no matter how much they try to take care and be mindful of what is needed to be healthy, genetics are difficult to overcome.
This has made me think more about how amazingly fragile life is and how quickly one untreated health problem can snowball into a big issue if not promptly taken care of. I am making efforts to take better care of myself but I do see that I can do more and try harder. One can always make improvements. I also worry about my parents and my friends. BFF has a family history of diabetes and heart problems. Another dear friend of mine has a similar history in his family and he is now beginning to take baby steps towards improving his overall health. And then, there is my family. Dad's side has been blessed with overall good health and have lived long lives. My paternal grandmother was extremely overweight and was diabetic but she was an exception on his side of the family. My mother's side has a long history of heart problems - high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks - you name it. That scares me. Actually, it terrifies me. I go through periods where it is on my mind quite often and others when I try to ignore it. But losing someone so close because of a miriad of health issues is a significant smack in the face for me. And I know that it is for BFF, too.
I guess because she and I are young-ish, we still retain a little bit of the notion that we are invincible. We have now begun to realize that we aren't kids anymore. If we don't take care of ourselves now and make the changes we need to, our futures could be like her Dad's. And we don't want that for ourselves. And I don't want that for my family and friends. I want to do everything I possibly can to help my loved ones help themselves to improve and maintain their quality of life. And I want to do whatever I can to help my readers, too. If that means revealing some deeply personal struggles to you guys, then I will do it. My hope is that my actions and words will help someone else.
This week, in honor of BFF's dad, I will do a few trail wogs while listening to some Creedence Clearwater Revival (one of his favorite bands) on my Ipod. And I will help those that I care about to take care of themselves. I think that is what he would want.