My cousin came just moments away from dying last week. She has R.A. which requires her to take regular shots of a medicine that lowers her immune system. Her choice is to risk infection or spend the rest of her life in crippling pain.

So her body had no defense when she contracted strep throat. It quickly lead to pneumonia. Within hours her lungs filled. Her husband got her to the hospital where she required 16 bottles of oxygen just to gasp in air. It was clearly time for her to go. He called all their children in to say goodbye. But somehow, through her strength, her faith, and the amazing efforts of the hospital doctors and nurses, she recovered.

Just a few days later she was released and went home.

She lives in a different state, a long ways from me. I first heard about her plight via a Facebook post then got more details when her husband called. I don’t get to see her much but she is very dear to me. I’m so glad I didn’t lose her.

Another person I know only through his television and radio shows passed away during the same time. Alan Colmes died at only 66 years of age, one year older than me. His politics were vastly different from mine but I enjoyed listening to him. You might remember him as the other half of the Hannity & Colmes show on Fox. He was a pleasant, knowledgeable, and happy man. Of course I didn’t know him personally but his death did affect me.

So all this has gotten me to thinking about this life I have and the inevitable passing we all face. I have so many things I still need to do: books to write, a wife to care for, children and grandchildren to love… so many things. But all that could be taken away. It doesn’t matter whether we have a disease like leukemia or we are perfectly healthy. We are here for such a short time.

It’s an odd thing death. Everything that you are just stops. I don’t know about the other side, or even if there is another side. All I know is what I’ve seen. When my folks passed they went from a moment of being there and then the next they were gone. A working brain, a living soul, and then nothing. They are only memories now. Even much of their possessions have been given away or sold.

It doesn’t seem fair does it? Yet, that’s what it is. I guess I can use the knowledge of my own demise as a motivation to be a better man and a good memory for my family and friends. In the end all you have is the summation of your life. When it’s all averaged out, I hope my life will reflect more of the good I’ve done than the wrongs I’ve committed.

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