April 4, 2024

It’s the day I’ll be the exact same age as my dad when he died. 

I figured out the date 10 years ago.  It’s been on my work bulletin board ever since. 

Now it’s less than a year away, 47 weeks to be exact. 

It’s not a day to worry about, just be aware of.

Maybe I’ll take off.   

Maybe I’ll go fishing at a nearby lake at the dam, a place where the turmoil of the released water churns up choppy white waters until finally slowing to a gentle roll farther downstream.

Maybe the day itself will feel like that. I don’t know.

Is it any coincidence my thyroid is acting up now?  Possibly the beginning of a hypothyroid with a plausible diagnosis of Hashimoto Thyroiditis. 

That’s what’s on my dad’s death certificate. The doctors tell me Hashimoto’s doesn’t cause death.

OK. Tell that to dad.

Tell the doctor who found nothing wrong in a complete physical exam two weeks before he literally dropped dead. 

Tell it to the coroner who cited Hashimoto’s as the cause of death nearly three months after he passed away.

On top of it all, I’ve had several cases of Angioadema over the last few months, a fast-moving swelling in the hands, feet, face or tongue. 

One moment you’re fine.  An hour later you’re at the ER getting an epinephrine shot because your lips and face swell up huge, shutting off sinus passages, and makes you look like the Nutty Professor.

I take no medicine, no prescriptions, but now they say carry an Eppy Pen… just in case.

I wonder if dad sensed any of that? If he felt something strange inside himself that made him wonder? 

Really, the date doesn’t bother me. 

But I don’t like thinking back to his death.  The biggest losers at the time my dad died were my four sons.  They were the apples of his eye.

Dad never got to meet, much less know, my four daughters who were adopted after he passed away.  They lost out too.  They would have had him wrapped around their fingers, just putty in their little hands!

And now, now I think about my grandchildren. Ultimately if something happened to me, and one day, everybody will have something happen, will my grandchildren be the biggest losers?

It is appointed to man once to die. Hebrews 9:27 a

I’m fine with that, most of the time, but what about the little ones? There’s enough unstable, enough already crazy in this world for them to have to deal with, much less loss on top of it all.  

I don’t mean it selfishly, not in the least, but I don’t want them to miss out on a Pawpaw like my kids missed out on their Pawpaw.

But then again, such is life.

So on April 4, 2024, I’ll reflect back a lot, or maybe look forward. Maybe write down some goals. Maybe scribble out some plans to accomplish before the appointed day, whenever that is.       

There’s never a guarantee, no lifetime warranty. 

After all, aren’t we all just one heartbeat, one aneurism, one fuzzy x-ray, one air bag deployment away? 

So, I’m going to keep the white scratch note with April 4, 2024 up on my bulletin board.  I’m going to keep the day in mind. I’m not stuck on it, nor any date before or after, but it does have significance, at least to me.

I’m going to plan ahead for the future like I’ll still be around in 40 years, almost 100 then.  At the same time, I’m going to try and live like today is my last day here on this side of the river of life.

Isn’t that wise?  I think so.  Maybe.     

Somewhere there is a blessed balance between contentment of 40 more years, and a sense of urgency of no more than today.  

Say what needs to be said.  Do what needs to be done. Be where you need to be.  Live what needs to be lived. 

In the end, I know where I’ll go.  I’m confident of it. 

Besides, this looks to be a good year, and what happens from here, I’ll just see, day, by day, by day.

I guess it’s just a walk by faith, not by sight kind of living.

Walk by faith, not by sight.    

Sounds like a plan.

14 thoughts on “April 4, 2024”

  1. Mortality can be a sobering subject for sure. But you know what? I’ll bet that God, into whose hands we entrust everything precious, will take care of our grandkids. He won’t take us to Heaven without a plan to make up for our absence in their lives Himself. Hmmm… I just preached to myself and found that very reassuring. Thanks for listening, haha!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Mortality is always there, which is why it is such a comfort to know the final outcome! We’re but aliens on earth, citizens of heaven. And yes, God will not leave us high and dry, particularly the little ones!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I resemble your thoughts a lot Jeff. I would have to add drifting around in a canoe to it and lots of cold winter sports. I sure get it. Love the memo idea but I don’t think I could do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Death comes for us all at its appointed time. My mom passed away at the age of 26. I’m now almost 62! When my time will come, I’ll go. Those who know you are lucky to know you and are benefitted by your love, care and wisdom. The ones who will come afterwards, will have someone else to dote on them.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You cannot add a single moment to your age anymore than you can add another inch to your height. God has numbered your days. Perhaps the awareness will help you live each one well. An old friend passed her mother’s death date and decided to count the days as bonus days.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope that when you look at that date on your bulletinboard you will be inspired to make the most of the day you are in now .Live in the present !It’s the one thing we know we have . Eternity is another matter altogether.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Interesting thoughts about our mortality, Jeff. I can understand why it would be special and the note is a good reminder. Difficult but still good. I think we all take tomorrow for granted, but it isn’t necessarily so. The other day as I was walking and praying, the though crossed my mind about seeing Jesus face to face. I wondered if He would hold my hand as we walked together, because I would like Him to do that, or if I would even be able to talk. So much grace, so little time. Home is just around the corner for all of us, it will unfold as it should and we shall be satisfied, of that I am sure. God bless you richly brother. – Bruce


    1. Thank you kindly, Bruce! love the imagery!

      You’ve come across my mind several times over the last few days, and I take that as a prompt to say a prayer for you and your wife while you take care of her. Peace to you!

      Liked by 1 person

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