“Man, I had a great life.” MaMa and PaPa Bear
Thirty years ago this past January I stood at my Dad’s gravesite and told a crowd of family, friends and relatives a story that went something like this: “If Dad was standing here with us he’d say, ‘Man, I had a great life.'”
Mom passed this morning, just weeks short of her 93rd birthday. She battled neuropathy, diabetes, renal disease, and a list of other medical complications that would make WebMD blush. Mom went to dialysis three times a week for six years, never missing a day. Dialysis kicks the crap out of most patients, sapping their energy and motivation to conduct their day-to-day activities. I’d pick up Mom after a four-hour dialysis process and she’d look like she just finished a hair salon appointment and we’d go to a restaurant and pig out.
I’m certain if Mom was sitting here at the laptop she’d write, “Man, I had a great life.” Is there a more heartening, joyous phrase to utter when the final bell rings to enter the next dimension? I mean really?
Mom and Dad lived in a row house in Philly. Mom drove a Ford Escort, never had a career or hit the lottery, but she was wealthier than many people who live in mansions and drive Mercedes. Proof? The swell of people who stopped by her room in her final days with eyes welling and voices cracking. And the fail-proof sign of a life well-lived–that eternal glimmer in her eye.
MaMa lived a big, full life. We could only be so lucky when the final bell is about to ring to say, “Man, I had a great life.”