My dad died the day I learned I made Phi Beta Kappa, two weeks before college graduation. I drove to New Jersey, stunned and confused. His heart had just stopped; he ate lunch, got up from the table and went to the living room to read while my mom cleared the dishes. She heard a funny noise and looked around the corner to his favorite chair and he was gone. Just like that.

Everyone says that’s the way to go but he was only 66. My sister and I feel like we’re living with a time bomb. Do we have our mother’s genes and look forward to another 30 years of relatively healthy life? Or do we have Dad’s, with a heart that’s about to hit its expiration date?

I want to feel that I live each day with no regrets, that I spend each hour as if it’s my last but truth be told I spend these days annoyed, anxious, worried and stressed. And I can feel how bad it is for my heart.

Today is my dad’s birthday. He would have been 101. He died 34 years ago and I miss him every day. Still.

I’m going to crack open a beer and sit outside and make this day count. Wherever you are, whatever you’re up to, do the same. Life is short.



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6 Responses to 101

  1. My dad died at age 67. We have all out lived him. You are right-crack open that beer and don’t worry about anything. My dad was one of the sweetest people who ever lived. So that is what I think about. We barely heard the word cholesterol and high blood pressure back then-so why worry, We go when our time comes. My brother called to tell me dad had died in the ambulance-the basement door was open and I was sobbing-Gregg was in a walker and saw Bob & Scott down in the garage and took off. He flew down the stairs and stayed in the walker. So one life gone & one saved. I think of you often and how crafty you are. Love you Nancy.

  2. otquilter

    Thanks for this, Marce. He was one of a kind. I have been teary all day, wishing I were there to crack that beer and miss him together. Missing you, too., so much.

  3. Carole L Esley

    “I’m going to crack open a beer and sit outside and make this day count,,,,”
    YES! Will do, Nancy ~
    YES, life is short! Thankfully love is long…….

    He was unique ~ how fortunate you were to have him for the years you did; those important, formative years……….


  4. Carole L Esley

    OOOOPS, meant “will do Marce” !!
    OK, time for a drink and salute to you two wonderful offspring …. xoxo

  5. You’re right, life is short… Eat dessert first. We’ll have one for your dad also.

  6. Karen sherer

    Spoken so beautifully and so true. And in my eyes you are following your dream… A few bumps but you’re doing it!!!

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