Not all words we don’t like are limited to 4 letters, although it does seem like we have a long list of 4 letter words we don’t like work, diet, all the cuss words..well when we are in places society tells us we can’t use said 4 letter cuss words..etc. But there are other words that also get uncomfortable like cancer, which is 6 or cheater which is 7. Pain is a 4 letter word that I really don’t like chronic pain which together equals 11 is really not my favorite combination. But death. No one likes to talk about death.
In 2013 in April it was a normal day for my family. It was lightly raining. My fiance and I were down visiting her sister at her college. My Dad was at work, my Mom was at work, my brother was at school, my middle sister Laura was at work. We all thought it was going to be a normal day. Karen left for work that day never to return again. Karen was driving a Nissan Versa and she was driving on a very windy back country road and there was an oil slick on the road that caused her to lose control of that Nissan Versa and she hit into a box truck. She never had a chance. She drove off the road down the embankment into the ravine. The driver of the box truck called 911, the paramedics and fire crew did everything they could do save her life. She spent 18 days in ICU. To make a very long story short the trauma caused a brain bleed, but my sister was a large woman and the hospital did not have an open MRI. So they could not get an MRI of her brain, and it wasn’t until a doctor had her transported to one of the hospital’s other facilities that we got the MRI on about day I think 15 we found out my sister was brain dead. The only part of her brain that was still functioning at that time was her reflexes which was giving the nurses and the doctors false hope that she might be able to wake up. So we took her off life support. The decision to remove someone off life support even when you know its the right decision is hard. We surrounded her by family until she passed which she continued to breathe for about a day.
After all that my perspective on death and dying really shifted because I realized that it was a normal day for my family. We had all woke up and gone on our merry ways and one of us never made it back home again. We talk about that death can come at any time but some how when it hit my family I finally realized that it was true. So I started living one day at a time. Yes I do make plans for the next day, and a week from now, but I focus on today. I put my energy into what today will bring and I worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. With this blood clot it hasn’t killed me yet, and I know that’s a very blunt way of saying that, but I just as easily could be killed in an accident going to a doctor’s appointment. We never know when our time is up. That day in April was a normal day. I am following all the doctor’s orders about medications, diet and exercise because I am not trying to shorten my life. I am taking life one day at a time. I know how lucky I am this blood clot didn’t kill me, I’ve had more medical professionals tell me that than I care to be reminded. However I want to enjoy life and smell the roses and watch the leaves turn colors. I want to hear my niece and nephew giggle and see them run and play. I want to focus on all the joys of today rather than searching trying to figure out if I might see grim reaper standing next to me.