…at least not in the flesh. I won’t preach on the afterlife, we all have our own views on that. Fortunately I’m pretty comfortable with mine.
The more time I spend with doctors, taking meds, experiencing side effects from meds and learning about this disease the more my inner teenager is forced to relinquish her firm belief in immortality. Funny because in many ways I was always a rather neurotic kid. I was terrified of illness and death and yet I lived a life style that tempted harm on a pretty regular basis.There came a point in my life when this paradox suddenly made sense. I perceived my actions as some kind of protective ritual for me, a way of knocking wood. You see if I challenged Death and won, it meant two things: a) My existence was validated, I obviously deserved to be here, and 2)I didn’t have to feel so vulnerable to every potential disease, accident or fatal mishap that I had spend my childhood obsessing over.
One thing the young and daring fail to realize is that although they may survive one incident and lived to see the sunrise the next day, “validating your existence” and all that; there is a good possibility that something could come back to bite you in the ass 30 years later. For some of my friends it was HIV, then AIDS, most of them are no longer with us. For others it was overdoses, car accidents, liver failure and other alcohol/drug/brain damaged induced mishaps. You can only tease Death for so long before He gets weary and drops the old sickle on your head.
Others of us do the best we can, struggling along, eating healthy, taking vitamins, exercising a little, trying to maintain some level of sobriety and, like me, doing battle with the sneaky little virus that that set up shop in my liver some 30 years ago.
So, no, we are not immortal, but some of us are the “lucky ones” and we have the opportunity to appreciate life and to cherish the time and the people we have been blessed with.
© 2010 Jennifer Hazard