In my previous post, I talked about a 42-year-old colleague who was diagnosed with cancer, and how that shook me. About a week later, my 90-year-old father underwent surgery to repair an aneurysm. It was a minor surgery, but at that age, no medical intervention is really minor. He had to stay an extra night in the hospital because he had some atrial fibrillation while there. Luckily, my sister was able to be with him during the surgery, but when she had to return to work, it was my turn to step up and help him through the early stages of recovery. At the same time, my wife went to be with her 91-year-old mother who is recovery from a fall which broke her fibia. If she walks again, it will be after 3 months of rehab.
So, what is the point of all this? I guess it is that I am seeing mortality, not directly, in my own life, but rather in the lives of those close to me. Through their eyes, I can see what kind of horizon lies ahead. Being a Christian, that does not scare me. It just gives me pause. In a recent NPR interview with Dropbox creator Drew Houston, he said he had heard that on average we are given something like 30,000 days on this earth. When he did the math on his age, he realized that he had already used up about one-third of those days. That is what motivated him to get moving. Seeing other lives nearing an end is doing that for me.