I had a strong dose of reality last week, one of my parents has to undergo major surgery.
Now, I should explain, both of my parents are pretty darn healthy. No major issues, some minor surgeries in the past, appendix and the like. One is on about 3 meds, the other is on none. Which is a rare thing for people in there 70’s these days. They go to the doctors on a regular basis.
They are slowing down a little, but I think they could probably both still run circles around me.
So, it was a big shock to everyone to find out that my Father has to have open heart surgery! I was fine at the hospital when they told us. But it hit me pretty hard on the way home. Reality hit me hard.
I realize that heart surgery is an everyday procedure anymore. And it is constantly improving in technique and technology. But, this is really the first major hit in my family. I’m sure he will be fine and back to normal in a couple of months, but its still a hard dose of reality to swallow.
I think a person has three hard reality checks in life. (I’m there are more)
1. In your teens most people have what I call “superman syndrome”. You feel invisible, nothing can hurt you, nothing can stop you. Than about your freshman year of college, a friend, classmate, etc. dies. It hits hard, you realize that you are not invincible.
2. When something happens to your parents. Whether it be a diagnosis, an serious injury, illness, etc., and you realize that your parents are not going to live forever.
3. When your spouse becomes ill, injured, etc. And you realize that you may be alone.
I have not been through number 3 yet, but I can imagine that in each of these your own mortality becomes clear to you.