Living For Today


Here's one for one for Kübler-Ross.

From the second you are born, you start dying.” - Joe Sochoka ca.1984

Thanks, Dad; I needed to hear that in my lifetime. While not the popular view of growth, adolescence, maturity, decline, and death, it is morbidly true. When I was younger I never thought of it much. Now every day of my life contains the question, “Is today it?”

There is no question it was like somebody threw a switch when I turned 40. Let’s just say that things don’t work as well as they used to.

I would guess that I’m good for about 6 major panic attacks a year. From what I understand, it mimics the symptoms of a heart attack. I’ve had them all. Sensations running down both arms radiating into the back, the taste of nickels in my mouth, and a feeling like bomb went off in my chest. The 2 times I did go to the emergency room, I was in perfect sinus rhythm at 60 beats per minute and the symptoms dissipated when administered some IV lorazepam. That was the most-expensively-possible healthcare dollars, well spent.

I wait them out now. Not the best strategy, but if I’m still standing after 20 minutes, I’m fine. I have pled for my life more times than I can count. The only problem is that one day, I am going to be wrong.

You couldn’t take a sip of morning coffee without seeing that a celebrity has passed away. We lost some good ones. My wife wept when David Bowie passed, and I felt it in my inner-geek when I learned that Star Wars’ Kenny Baker (R2-D2) and our princess and general Carrie Fisher had passed. Debbie Reynolds (Carrie’s mom) suffered a fatal stroke the next day; good for her. I wouldn’t want to live a microsecond without Julian, never mind a day.

Carrie Fisher was bipolar disorder’s spokesperson who showed what the disease can do when running wild, and more importantly, under control. If you ever want to see an example of her sheer brilliance, don’t watch Star Wars. Go on YouTube and look up her AFI roast of George Lucas. It is how I will remember her.

Unfortunately, the famous and not-so-famous pass on early due to choices they have made in the past. People die due to diseases caused by years of self-abuse. Drugs, alcohol, smokes, food, candy, and a lack of exercise take their toll over the years. Even after lifestyle modifications and decades of success, physiological sins come back to haunt people. My mom quit smoking 30 years ago. Her lungs are now waging war against her. I wonder what waits for me.

The fact is, death is the one constant of the universe. Everybody dies; a few people more than once. It happens from the second we are born. Live for today, because tomorrow may never come.

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