Sometimes you get an epiphany at unlikely moments.
My wife and I were watching television, comfortably huddling together in our toasty little den on another brooding February evening, when out of the blue she says, "You know, we probably only have about 10 more good years left together."
Pow. Epiphany. Right between the eyes.
This one came just days before our consecutive birthdays. She turns 52 today. I turn 61 tomorrow. So maybe she came by her eye-opening revelation honestly.
In truth, she might be right.
"Think about it," she said. "When you get into your 70s, it's all downhill. Stuff starts happening to you. Just look at all our friends who are in their 70s."
In actuality, this thought has been bobbing on the surface of my mind for several years, off an on, like a cork in a stream. While I am in reasonably good health right now, nothing is guaranteed. We discovered that I have atrial fibrillation in my heart, apparently resistant to conversion, which leaves me somewhat vulnerable to a stroke. Cancer took both my parents at the age I am now. You just never know.
I'm hoping I can bang out another 10 years, at least, and maybe 15, which gets me close to the national American average of 78.1 years. It would be nice if I could die healthy so as not to become a lingering burden to my wife. She was an exceptional caregiver to her elderly parents in their final years and I just don't want to put her through that again. So if I woke up dead one day, at 78, that would be perfect.
There are several variables coming into play in those 10 good years. We hope to do a little traveling. There are still a few things we'd like to do to our house. Friends still to be made, sights still to be seen, foods still to be eaten.
I guess I can wait another 10 years for my next epiphany.