EndNotes

Is it just me?

A sign marks an entrance to Saint Thomas Hospital medical campus in Nashville, Tenn., on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. An outbreak of a rare and deadly form of meningitis that has sickened more than two dozen people was first detected among patients treated at the Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center in the complex. (Erik Schelzig / Associated Press)
A sign marks an entrance to Saint Thomas Hospital medical campus in Nashville, Tenn., on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. An outbreak of a rare and deadly form of meningitis that has sickened more than two dozen people was first detected among patients treated at the Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center in the complex. (Erik Schelzig / Associated Press)

Right now in my life, I am worried about several people. My close friend, Chris, is going through chemotherapy. Another family friend, in her 80s, is now in Hospice care and will pass soon. Another friend had sudden, unexpected abdominal surgery and is recovering.

These are the folks in town. Out of town, I have in my prayers a niece through marriage, in her 50s, who was sitting at home reading the newspaper when an aneurysm burst in her brain. She is doing well, but it's a long road ahead. Another friend is recovering from a brain injury following a fall. 

In my water aerobics class, aquaintances I know there -- people in their 50s, 60s and 70s -- have survived many forms of cancer, strokes, knee and hip replacements.

Today I wondered why almost every one I know is facing chronic or temporary health concerns or has faced them recently. And of course it finally dawned on me. It's my age.

A 20-something friend who I studied with in chaplain school said it's difficult to explain her calling to friends her own age because they don't know many people who are sick or dying. I thought back to my 20s. I didn't know many sick or dying people then either.

A woman I admire in Spokane is in her early 90s. She told me a few years ago that she attends between two and five funerals a week now.

The future?

(AP photo)




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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.





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