What? Me worry?

This year–though not for a few months yet–I will be 44.

My mother died when she was 45.

my mother at 42


I’ll be 45 in the next calendar year.

Kind of far away if you’re looking forward to something.

So far I’ve had most all of my mother’s health problems.

Of course, I’m not her.

But obviously I’m thinking about it.

Any big numbers out there for you?


6 responses to “What? Me worry?

  1. That’s a long time to anticipate a potential disaster. Of course you know rationally that 45 is just a number, and you could live for another 45 years or die tomorrow, just like me. When I’m anticipating a big, scary event, I focus on how I’ll feel when it’s over. So in your case, whenever you catch yourself dwelling on that number, you’d switch it to “when I’m 46 I’ll be…” whatever. Just project yourself past the event. It’s a simple little trick that helps me calm down, even if it doesn’t eliminate the fear.

    As for myself, I guess I don’t really have any dates or ages in my future that hold any meaning. All my grandparents except for one died when I was a kid, before I could absorb anything about mortality. My parents and all their siblings are still living. I guess my worry is more generalized.


    • Yes, it is just a number. Most of the time I don’t think about it. But sometimes a friend says something along the lines of “my mom is 85 and doing great, so I’ve got good genes.” Makes me want to say something along the lines of the opposite…

  2. Actually, I can think of some big numbers I wouldn’t mind encountering in 2012…

    I’ve finally stopped thinking in terms of my age vs. my dad’s. (He died 24 years ago, when he was 4 years older than I am now. (And my mom just turned 80.)) But I still play the where-did-those-years-go game, along the lines of, say…: JFK was killed around 48 years ago. If I go back to when Dad was my present age, and then crank back the calendar year 48 years, what was going on in the world then? [answer] It invariably boggles my mind.

  3. Most likely everyone who has lost a parent plays that number game in their head whether they mention it to others or not and no matter how old the parent was. But I imagine that the younger the parent was when they died, the brighter the number–so to speak. Certain numbers elicit remarks from others such as, “Oh, but they were so young!” or on the other side, “Wow, they were blessed with so many years!” This probably colors one’s thinking as well.

    But it all is a waste of time really.

    My main thought about what-was-going-on-in-the-world tends to stick on the fact that my mother passed away a few days after the Berlin Wall fell. Any news about that moment reminds me of her, and it seems to me that she lived in a world that no longer exists and died when it died too.

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