Ed the Limo Driver and Reasons to be Thankful Today

I’m pretty thankful tonight. For some time, a friend, his wife, and his doctor feared that high PSA numbers were evidence of prostate cancer. His extensive biopsy results from Monday came in today — there is NO cancer. None.

Lots of prayers were said. I absolutely do believe in prayer, God, and the power of Faith. I believe that prayers were answered. Had the report not been so wonderful, my faith says that God would have provided strength and wisdom for my friends to get through what they needed to. I praise God for that.

About four months ago, I became completely blind in one eye. I won’t pretend I flung myself on the Lord’s mercy and begged him for my sight to be restored. Actually, I was not really happy with God. (Yeah, like my retinal problems were a direct result of Him zapping me for amusement.) I had a “Really? God? Me? What next?” kind of moment.

In spite of that inward prayerful tantrum, God responded graciously.  His voice and message were clear.  Strangely enough, the response came during a conversation with a limo driver named Ed…a Vietnam vet.

Ed said, “I tell those fellows in the Wounded Warrior program, ‘Yes…why not you? If you feel sorry for yourself, you will be the only one who does, no one else gives a $h1t, buddy. And, it CAN get worse; so get up, get moving and do what you can with what you’ve got, because in the long game, the day-to-day is up to you. You can be happy, or you can be pissed off…if you are pissed off, you are going to be pretty darn lonely.’ “

I refuse to say, “It’s h3ll getting old!” I like to think that I am blessed because I lived long enough to have age appropriate ailments and because medical science, while not perfect, has progressed to the point where almost every condition is curable or a person can usually be made more comfortable while enduring a health problem.

Today is a good day. If this was 50 years ago, my friend would have few alternatives to be cured of cancer. It would be terrifying. I’ll bet that he feels younger than he has in years. I know I did after my retinal reattachment was successful. My life was back on track…a slower track, but at least I can see the track!

Today, I know that I am very blessed. 50 years ago I would be completely blind in one eye and living in fear of the second eye following suit. I don’t have to fear that. My retina specialist is monitoring my left eye closely.

Today, I can look forward to seeing another doctor who will set up a date for a second surgery in June that will restore more of the sight that I have lost. Scar tissue (a cataract) will be removed. It won’t be perfect, but it’s going to be better.

Age is only a number. Like my friends Kelly & Jim say, “These are good years. They are more carefree…like college days…but, with more money.”

Yep…I wouldn’t know about it being “h3ll to get old.” I just know that while I can somewhat better afford to have enough fun to kill myself, I am almost smart enough not to do it. God is wise. He slows us down and makes hangovers really, really painful after 50 when being a bit carefree might be a license to have too much fun.

I believe that I will celebrate with an early bedtime and an episode of Fargo.