Monday, September 28, 2009


I have waited for this day to pass for the past 47 years; spooky as that sounds. Just let me explain. My dad expired suddenly about noon six days before his 68th birthday. He held a philosophy that said your heart was pre-programmed with just so many beats; and he died of a MCI. For years I thought he may be right and that my day was coming, genetically speaking, at any time. I was 20 when this all transpired.

Fast forward a few years and science has exposed so much more about what causes heart problems...not the least of which is heredity. But we know that too much fat, smoking, obesity and general fitness all play a role. Couple that with the drugs available to us today as in anti-hypertensives and cholesterol-lowering statins, we now can expect to outlive our ancestors; all things being equal.

Well, today is the sixth day before my 68th birthday. All I have to do is make it to mid-night (eastern time) and I will have eclipsed the ominous feeling I have harbored for so long. Call it whatever you like; today is significant in my life. Incidentally, all my sibs made it past this day as well, so fourteen years ago I began to think this was my morbid problem and nothing that was pre-ordained. Yes, and the fact that while my phenotype is more Lutz than Beal (mother), so who knows who I am genotypically? There is longevity in my lineage as well (78, 88, 90, 103) of my grandparents and greats, too.

So as I walked, solo while Aleene is at FISH, listing to my I-pod with my thoughts to myself this morning, I thought about the narrative I am currently writing about some of the early years (1958 plus) and why I why I am even writing it (working on the Foreword, you see) and what came to mind were blessings.

I was blessed to have loving parents who nurtured me in a traditional home. While the bulk of the discipline fell on my mother and older siblings until I was five, I had a good dose of "toeing the mark" and learning respect for others, elders, women...and, self. My more mature parents were role models that were hard to beat.

I was blessed to have two older brothers who took me in and taught me some significant lessons. Dave and Tillie put up with me for three summers (1956-58) while I worked on the Green family farm. I often stayed overnight with them for days at a time...and Til fed me; oh did she feed me when my legs were both hollow. David schooled me in animal science and spiritual things, too. Joe and Shirley picked up two years later and gave me shelter and food...lots of food, while I worked in Chambersburg the summers of 1960 and '61. I kept coming back to them for the next several years of brief visits for a variety of reasons not the least of which was to furnish a spot for me meet up with my love (another blessing that deserves special recognition). Both of these guys instilled a work ethic in me that I still carry.

I was blessed to have a big sis who taught me that girls were not just fragile objects, but real persons who could play baseball (she taught me much) and be intellectually respected (I am convinced she was the smartest of the five of us) and not sex objects. "What would Chickie think" crossed my mind frequently in those early, hormonal years.

I was blessed to have a brother who was gifted in ways the rest of us were not. JB (as we call him today) had tastes that I tapped into...that is after we had conquered the brotherly jousting stage. He can and does have the ability to talk to anyone...that was reaffirmed this summer and discussed with his spouse. We both admitted learning some of those skills from him. And clothes; when he left for the AF I had full reign of his wardrobe and took advantage of it all,too, except for the shoes because my feet were too big. His musical interpretation was another thing I mimicked and look where it got me: two state contest superior ratings, during a period I was still a clod.

But the blessing I have been working towards comes from "ma luv" as Regis Cordic would say. And all she did was take me in and support me every step of the way...which was not always easy. We reared two wonderful (now) adults. And that is not just me saying this. If you ever doubt that your off-spring are loved and respected...just ask their families. Whew. Read Mary's blog sometime or interact with Bren, Tru and Asher closely like we do and you really get a sense of who these adult children are, really.

Enough, already. If you want to read more about my thoughts on all those years pre will just have to wait until my latest narrative is done, polished and published, probably just on the web, this time.

I think I am safe in saying that at last that monkey is off my back...I outlived RC.

Oh yes, the picture is of a Llama guarding some sheep (Suffolk) in Lawrence County. I saw a bumper sticker out here that said: Lamas...angles with an attitude.

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