She is almost 100 years old.
Everyone just assumed she would live forever so it gave everyone quite a scare when she was rushed to the hospital due to a collapsed lung and the doctor said they she doesn’t have long to live. The priest was immediately called to give her her last rights and there was even a heated discussion about what she was going to wear in her own funeral.
That was a week ago.
As I visited her in the hospital, I came face to face on how old she had become since I last saw her, which was few years ago. I would have wanted to visit her sooner but her children and I had a falling out after harsh words were uttered. As you may recall, I take grudges to a whole new level. (See my previous blog about my relationship with grudges Holding on…). But, I digress.
She seemed so fragile and so very frail…yet somehow, she had the energy to watch one of the Batman movies “The Dark Knight” on her grandson’s iPad. She was sitting up and other than a nose breathing tube on her nose, she looked to be in good spirits. Definitely a far cry from the pictures I received a week ago.
She reminded me of a poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas:
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light
She also made me rethink about what I should be doing NOW so that in the event that it is my turn, no one will put me in a pink froufrou frilly frock from the 1960’s.
So, this is what I came up with:
- Have a plan:
..and no, I am not just talking about a will. Honestly, what good is a will if no one really follows it? I’ve heard of stories where the will stipulated that the family home be sold. Yet, somehow, it took years of bickering among siblings to finally follow through and honestly, I really didn’t think all the bad blood was worth it. People just had to grow up and face reality that you can’t live in the basement of your parent’s house all your life, that’s all.
What I am talking about is actually having a plan and having someone you can trust who will carry out your last wishes. It may be a family member or a close family friend. I remember when my father died, I was about 10 years old. I don’t recall that he had a will. What he did get was our trusted neighbour to video tape him so that there was no confusion on what he wanted when he passed away. In his own words, he outlined what he wanted. And he entrusted loyal friends to make sure that our family was taken care of. Of course, you have to bear in mind that this happened in the Philippines in the early 1980’s when the country was in turmoil under the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos and papers (especially wills!) and lawyers tend to disappear conveniently. But, again, I digress–but you get the gist.
2. Take care of yourself
…and no, I am not really talking about getting a massage and a manicure while you are at it. Well, on second thought, maybe a massage once in a while. What I am alluding to is to actually take care of your body inside and out. I read about this 105 year old from Norwich, England who does yoga and drives a Mini. Perhaps she has good genetics but the fact that she keeps fit, eats reasonably sensibly, and drinks a glass of wine (or two) a day, but I would certainly want to try to look as good as her when I reach my nineties! Google her…her name is Eileen Ash.
3. Be there for your loved ones
I think this is the easiest one to do. I recently heard about a young mother who had a brain aneurysm and never woke up. She left two young children and a grieving husband who just could not accept such a tragedy. So, kiss and hug your loved ones everyday–you never know what can happen in an instant.
4. Finally, just put things in perspective
This is one lesson that my daughter Olivia has taught me. There would be times when I would be stressed out at work or juggling several things at one time. Of course, I would not be the nicest person to be around. She always seemed to have a knack of figuring out what is bothering me. And one day, she asked “Mom, if you died tomorrow, would this issue even matter?”
Silence. I’m speechless.
So, really, put things into perspective when things don’t go your way. In the grand scheme of things, what was bothering you may not really be that important. All this would result to less stress, better outlook, and longer life…win-win.
So, there you have it, my plans to live a longer and you bet I will “rage, rage, against the dying of the light…”
How about you?
Have a good rest of the week, everyone!
P.S. If you’re reading this, thank you so much for supporting my blog! Much love.