As of today, I have officially made it to the same age my sister was when she died in 2008. She was 45 years and a little over a month when she passed away from colon cancer that went undetected (maybe for years) until it was stage IV or D and not much could be done about it. You just don't look for colon cancer in people so young. It spread to her liver and she died of liver failure. It was a horrible way to go.
Since my mom died young (age 56) I come and go on worrying about whether I'll be the next one to die young in my family. Almost all of the time, I can bring my thinking around to the idea that I watch what I eat, I'm moderately active and am doing most of what I can to control my end of it. I got a colonoscopy (not too bad, I don't remember it), and get my annual pelvic exam, cholesterol test and mammogram. I'm happy to report that I don't take any medications besides the occasional Ambien to make sure I get a good night's rest before something important.
But I think of what was lost here. Both my sister and mom were nurses. My sister was on the verge of moving forward with her career and was in school when she died. They awarded her BSN (Bachelor's of Science in Nursing) posthumously. They were both good at what they did. I don't feel compelled to become a nurse (not really, but I have thought about it) for them, but I do feel like I've been given more time and should therefore not squander it.
To that end, I'm trying to appreciate all the things that are going well right now. My job looks like it is secure for another year. I don't make a ton of money, but I make enough. My son is healthy and curious and I can actually see that my parenting efforts are paying off. I have my own home, and my health is good. I like how things are going with B, and am looking forward to seeing how that plays out. Even my dog is doing well at the moment.
So, I want to send a humble thank you to the universe for feeling as close to content as I have for a long time.