I have two friends right now who are battling cancer.
One is near the end of his battle. He, and all of his loved ones are now forced to face the inevitable. There's a noticeable silence in groups usually bright with chatter and risque jokes. We are all aware of the elephant in the room, but don't talk about it much. Dan's absence grows each day, casting an ominous shadow over our group. As we pray for a miracle for our beloved friend and mentor, we know that we are mere spectators; powerless to do anything but watch... and wait.
The other friend is a young, pretty woman with lymphoma. Thanks to inherited genes, her outcome is pretty certain. She tries to maintain an upbeat attitude in spite of the knowledge that her mother died at her age from the same thing she now battles. She can't help thinking about death, and the finality of it all. She hopes to grow hair again one day. In the meantime she wears cute wigs, sometimes spicing things up with hot pink. She's too young to die, and would be grateful to make it to my age or older, wrinkles be damned.
I want to get old. I am grateful for every wrinkle and every grey hair. I have earned them, and embrace those changes as part of life. I will celebrate every birthday as a victory, not something to be dreaded. I look forward to 50, 60, 80, or whatever I get.
Aging isn't so bad. It's better than the alternative - dying young.
Embrace aging and the changes it brings. Some people don't have the option of growing old.
Both of my friends have now passed on.
Dan left us March 27, 2014, after a year-long battle.
Christina passed the following day, March 28, 2014, mere weeks after her wedding.