A Wedding & Five Funerals

Could the definition of middle age be the point beyond which life’s happy milestones are outnumbered by unhappy ones?  This summer has turned out to be full of life changing events for friends and relatives.  On a significantly happier note, two beautiful babies have been born (not to the same parents) and a friend has entered into wedded bliss.  On the flip side, I have had to bid a final mental farewell to five individuals, whom I have had the pleasure of knowing during different periods of my life: a dear cousin, a high school classmate, teachers to our children, and a business associate of Earl.

Here’s the math:

Happy Milestones                              Sad Milestones

2 births + 1 wedding  =  3        <         5 deaths

Without exception, all of those in the second column experienced an inappropriately early demise.  Of note, in recent years, two had been diagnosed with cancer and then successfully fought it off through surgery and adjuvant treatment.  They had both reigned triumphant over the scourges of breast or brain cancer and had retreated to normal lives after cancer.  While both had managed to achieve every cancer patient’s dream (death not from cancer but from one of a myriad other garden-variety, every-day causes), in retrospect that dream needs a slight but significant reword:  death at an advanced age not from cancer but from one of a myriad other causes …

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