FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Really Paying It Forward

by

Recently, I read an article about the aging population, specifically, those who have Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, and the burden placed on families, society, and health care.  As always, I looked at reader reactions. A man said he’s saving for the likelihood of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, long-term care in a facility, so his children won’t have to bear the responsibility. I agree with the person who said she’d take her own life if diagnosed with a mind-robbing, progressive condition. You know, go while the going is good.

We, the Sisterhood, Laura, Erma, and I, discuss end times. Our own.

I have it on the best authority that I am not depressed.

I have it on the best authority that I am an Olympic worrier, could compete for the Gold in Anxiety. Erma and I could synchronize in this category. Laura seldom worries.  I am my mother. Laura is Daddy, the man who often said, “Don’t worry about things over which you have no control.”

I don’t have to know you to empathize, to assume your sorrow.

If my mother were alive, you’d be on her prayer list. You are on my worry list.

You are 40, only a year older than one of my sons, and you have been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.  Your daughter is 10. You are a fighter, a protector of your child, and you want more than anything to survive, to see your daughter grow to become a woman, to be with her through her triumphs and trials. My greatest fear when I was your age was for my children, that one of them would be diagnosed with a horrible illness. Some of their classmates were, a girl with a brain tumor, a boy with leukemia.  “Please, no,” I would say to someone, anyone. My second fear was yours—that I would not live to raise them.

Happy and independent, my children are launched, out of my nest, building theirs.

My heart is breaking for you. My thoughts are with you. And because I don’t fear death, have had a wonderful life, and am almost ready to use my new Medicare card in a few months, I am accepting.

Several months ago, I talked with my gastroenterologist—another endoscopy to check the inflamed esophagus, the colonoscopy.  We got down. We discussed stress, the effects of stress on my body. Other than this damn stress, I’m in great shape. And I’m fine with whatever. I’ve had a fabulous life. It’s still good. I’m a runner. I walk to the grocery. I walk to the little theater a block from my apartment and see performances as spectacular as any I’ve attended on Broadway. I participate in life, this life I’ve had/have that’s brimming with love and laughter, but I am not young.

You are.

Here’s the deal: We humans are 65 to 90% water by weight, so oxygen accounts for 65% of our body’s mass. Carbon is 18%. If I could orchestrate the ultimate and pay it forward, I would—my life to you, my good health for you. This would be authentic carbon trading. I could go for this, go while the going is good. I want you to know.

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Baltimore. Email: missybeat@gmail.com.

 

 

 

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

Weekend Edition
February 12-14, 2016
Andrew Levine
What Next in the War on Clintonism?
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Comedy of Terrors: When in Doubt, Bomb Syria
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh – Anthony A. Gabb
Financial Oligarchy vs. Feudal Aristocracy
Paul Street
When Plan A Meets Plan B: Talking Politics and Revolution with the Green Party’s Jill Stein
Rob Urie
The (Political) Season of Our Discontent
Pepe Escobar
It Takes a Greek to Save Europa
Gerald Sussman
Why Hillary Clinton Spells Democratic Party Defeat
Carol Norris
What Do Hillary’s Women Want? A Psychologist on the Clinton Campaign’s Women’s Club Strategy
Robert Fantina
The U.S. Election: Any Good News for Palestine?
Linda Pentz Gunter
Radioactive Handouts: the Nuclear Subsidies Buried Inside Obama’s “Clean” Energy Budget
Michael Welton
Lenin, Putin and Me
Manuel García, Jr.
Fire in the Hole: Bernie and the Cracks in the Neo-Liberal Lid
Thomas Stephens
The Flint River Lead Poisoning Catastrophe in Historical Perspective
David Rosen
When Trump Confronted a Transgender Beauty
Will Parrish
Cap and Clear-Cut
Victor Grossman
Coming Cutthroats and Parting Pirates
Ben Terrall
Raw Deals: Challenging the Sharing Economy
David Yearsley
Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Formation: Form-Fitting Uniforms of Revolution and Commerce
David Mattson
Divvying Up the Dead: Grizzly Bears in a Post-ESA World
Matthew Stevenson
Confessions of a Primary Insider
Jeff Mackler
Friedrichs v. U.S. Public Employee Unions
Franklin Lamb
Notes From Tehran: Trump, the Iranian Elections and the End of Sanctions
Pete Dolack
More Unemployment and Less Security
Christopher Brauchli
The Cruzifiction of Michael Wayne Haley
Bill Quigley
Law on the Margins: a Profile of Social Justice Lawyer Chaumtoli Huq
Uri Avnery
A Lady With a Smile
Katja Kipping
The Opposite of Transparency: What I Didn’t Read in the TIPP Reading Room
B. R. Gowani
Hellish Woman: ISIS’s Granny Endorses Hillary
Kent Paterson
The Futures of Whales and Humans in Mexico
Michael Howard
Hollywood’s Grotesque Animal Abuse
James Heddle
Why the Current Nuclear Showdown in California Should Matter to You
Steven Gorelick
Branding Tradition: a Bittersweet Tale of Capitalism at Work
Nozomi Hayase
Assange’s UN Victory and Redemption of the West
Patrick Bond
World Bank Punches South Africa’s Poor, by Ignoring the Rich
Mel Gurtov
Is US-Russia Engagement Still Possible?
Dan Bacher
Governor Jerry Brown Receives Cold, Dead Fish Award Four Years In A Row
Wolfgang Lieberknecht
Fighting and Protecting Refugees
Jennifer Matsui
Doglegs, An Unforgettable Film
Soud Sharabani
Israeli Myths: An Interview with Ramzy Baroud
Terry Simons
Bernie? Why Not?
Missy Comley Beattie
When Thoughtful People Think Illogically
Christy Rodgers
Everywhere is War: Luke Mogelson’s These Heroic, Happy Dead: Stories
Ron Jacobs
Springsteen: Rockin’ the House in Albany, NY
Barbara Nimri Aziz
“The Martian”: This Heroism is for Chinese Viewers Too
Charles R. Larson
No Brainers: When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail