Pete and my younger sister, Sylvia, November 2010:
I have decided to enjoy the rest of my life, however long or short it may be. Why stress over what I eat, what I do, and what I look like? As long as I am happy, why bother about the rest?
Think of Aunty H. She smoked like a chimney, but died at the ripe old age of 80 of pneumonia. Whereas Aunty J never smoked a day in her life, but died at age 59 of lung cancer.
David and I are obese. We eat meat and dairy products – including ground beef and ice cream – all the stuff that is supposedly bad for us, but tastes so good. Yet, we are still alive and active.
My brother-in-law, on the other hand, is dying of lymphoma and other health issues. He was a vegan and exercised every day. He did everything right. Why is he dying at the age of 65? Why him of all people?
On Sunday, David and I went to the hospital to say good-bye to Pete. Tears kept streaming down my cheeks. I could not stop weeping. I stayed in his room for almost two hours. His mind was still sharp and he could converse and make us chuckle with his witty comments.
Before we left, I told Pete how much I loved him and how much I would miss him. Life will never be the same without him.
Which brings me to the desire to enjoy the rest of my life. I truly believe that life is what you make of it. If you choose to be happy, you will be happy, no matter what. What good is it to be a vegan if you yearn for a juicy rib-eye steak or a bowl of ice cream? Go ahead. Eat that stuff if that is what you yearn for. Whatever you eat, enjoy every bite.
I am so fatalistic. You try so hard to stave off death by watching what you eat and exercising daily. Then, you step out of your house and get hit by a bus and die instantly.
What the hell?
P.S. I will write more about Pete later when we celebrate his life at his memorial. I loved him dearly.