Death of my Ex

You never know what life is going to bring you next.

My son called me a couple of weeks ago.  His mother had called him to say she was going into the hospital on that Tuesday because she was having difficulty swallowing. On Thursday the hospital called; she had a stroke. After performing some tests, on Friday the Doctors informed the family that cancer had spread throughout her body and she may have six months to live. They suggested the family call in hospice. On Saturday, after her condition deteriorated and more tests, they gave her two weeks to live. Things continued to move rapidly south and on Sunday they then gave her 24 hours. The following day on Monday, she died.  Wow this was fast.

Some people said this was a shame because it happened so fast, but it may have been a blessing. When I stop and think about it (and I don’t particularly  like thinking about death); a slow lingering painful death would not my preference.

Even though she was my ex,(and very much an ex), she was the mother of my children. With all the trials and tribulations we experienced; like it or not, she was still a major part of my life. We were in a relationship for around 15 years and as hard as you might try, you still cannot pretend that this relationship never happened. As very young adults, we packed up and moved together from Lakeland, Florida to Tallahassee so I could enroll in FSU. Admittedly we had good times early in the relationship but towards the end it was not very good. Divorce is never pretty; especially when you have young children.

Now she is gone. It is not the time to go into the he said, she said. She has passed into that next realm and it is not my place to make any judgments, but to wish her well.

Death, I know is something we all think about because that day will someday land on our doorstep. As hard as we all try to avoid thinking about this, it is part of life. Like a great comedian once said, “there ain’t none of us going to get out of this alive”; funny but it’s true.

It seems death is a reminder, that life is a gift; we just don’t know how long this gift will last. We all know people who passed unexpectedly and did not live long enough to reach their dream of retirement or that special trip. This is a lesson to take note.  You are alive today; have you pursued your dreams or passions?  Are you connected with God, or your spiritual connection?  Now is the time, this is your life don’t wait

I spent too much of my life living in a self-imposed martyrdom. Got to work all these long hours, can’t take a vacation because I need to save for retirement, bla, bla, bla.

Last year when my wife Morgan, wanted us to take time off to walk the 500 mile Camino in Spain, I came up with every reason we should not go (work, money, our house, our dog or our cat; any reason). It was during this trip I learned the lesson of living life. Whoa what a difference!   This made me wake up and realize what a big beautiful planet we live on; what a gift! Learning to be thankful for all the good things in life, living in the today;  what another big difference. Connected with the light or God; didn’t see that one coming, but life is now grand.

Yes Mr. Death, you will come calling someday, but in the meantime, I am going to love and live my life.

I could have never learned this lesson, without being out for a walk. Now grab a friend or go solo. Get outside, or inside and go for a walk and think about living your life. You in?

Gregg Patterson

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