I am so fatalistic

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.

14 Responses to “I am so fatalistic”

  1. Cathy Says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your brother in law Gigi – (((hugs))) My thoughts are with you and your sister
    Take care

  2. DJan Says:

    My brother in law was named Pete, too. I still miss him and it’s been a few years. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. My heart goes out to you and your sister. 😦

  3. Christine Says:

    You are right you can eat healthy and die early anyway. So very sorry for your loss.

  4. Olga Says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. There sure are no guarantees.

    And I hate when I read things like eating eating quinoa and blueberries (even though I happen to like them) reduces the chance of death by 30%. As far as I understand the chance of death is, and always has been 100%.

    I think you are wise not to worry, but to choose to be content and happy. Even though I can’t imagine craving a steak over a salad. I am personally hoping for something quick and unexpected like the bus thing.

  5. dkzody Says:

    My condolences on the loss of your brother in law. Sounds like he was a pretty terrific fellow and will be missed.

    Who knows how these things work. God has a sense of humor and lets us know that we are not in charge when we think we are. I never would have planned to work with small children in a school setting but God put all that together.

    As for eating and taking care of oneself, genes play a big factor. If your family members lived good, long, healthy lives, then you are apt to also. However, I want very much to feel good the whole time I’m here. Being sick is no fun.

  6. L....w Says:

    Lately, I’ve been shaken whenever I hear of people dying early in their 50s and 60s. I feel sad that they left this earth too soon and did not enjoy the golden years and the fruits of their labor. But as I write this I don’t think your brother in law and sister have any regrets and have lived their lives to the fullest. My mom told me when I was a child that the good ones leave us too soon. Maybe that is the way it works…you are on this earth to learn lessons and it may be that Pete learned all that he needed. My condolence and blessings.

  7. Joanne Noragon Says:

    I was thinking about this yesterday. Perhaps because I’m 72. Why did my mother die at 79, after a very healthy life, and her mother live to 95, after an equally healthy life. It’s a crap shoot; eat your ice cream.

  8. SchmidleysScribbling Says:

    Recent research shows dietary cholesterol has nothing to do with the kind your body produces owing to your genetic makeup. Thus David and I eat bacon and eggs almost every day.

    Smoking kills and because David watched his mother and sister die from smoking and lung cancer (the worst kind of cancer) we don’t smoke.

    Being overweight won’t necessarily kill you but it can make lfe less enjoyable. Having lost 40 pounds, I can breathe much easier than I did, and am praying it makes a difference to my arthritic hip and knee (left side). I continue to suffer with pain from the replacement surgeries I had on the right side.

    As for Lymphoma, my sister had it and they caught it early enough that she is in remission and considered a cancer survivor. However, she suffers with neurapathy brought on by the chemo.

    Health care is a mixed bag, for sure.

    Condolences to you and your family on the plight of your brother. I hope your sister is okay.

  9. Linda Reeder Says:

    I try to be careful about eating and exercising not to prolong life, but for the quality of living the life I have. I don’t give up anything. I just moderate.
    But then we each have our own ways of conducting our lives. We all strive for quality of life. It is sad when a good life ends too soon. I am sorry for your loss, and the loss your family has suffered.

  10. Granny Annie Says:

    I have both of my siblings and cannot imagine what you are going through. God bless your family.

  11. Keith Wynn Says:

    My deepest condolences for the loss of your brother-n-law. Your blogging family is here for you.

  12. scenenotspoken Says:

    Saddened to read about Pete and our condolences to you and your family, Gigi. My mother recently died at the age of 95 and her father lived to be 95 so I am hoping that I inherited their longevity genes. I am also overweight and have decided to make this the year I finally shed some lbs and while I know I will never be “thin” and never have been, it will make me feel better. And living life to the fullest is the best way to live.

  13. iwonderwhytheyhateme Says:

    Did not know Pete is your brother-in-law. I knew Pete from times he and his best friend Chuck Crumpton used to invite me to listen to jazz and drink some awesome wines at places like gordon biersch and honolulu club. Pete was a great man. Full of spirit, knowledge and incredibly generous.

  14. Bella Rose Says:

    You make very good points and ask great questions!

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