Blogs > From The Bleacher Seats

A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Carpe diem ...please!

Carpe diem.
Seize the day.
That’s because you never know how many more pages on the calendar that are waiting for your signature.
That hit home with much more force recently.
My mom’s 86 years old. At least that is what her birth certificate says. Her lifestyle disputes that claim. She is fiercely independent. She lives alone. She loves to garden. She drives her own car. Not just to the nearby store or the neighborhood Applebee’s, but across the state to see my brother’s family in Muskegon. Nearly as far to visit her grandson’s wife and kids in Grand Rapids. To Ohio to check in with Kelly, her granddaughter; Kelly’s husband, Ron; and their two boys.
You get the idea. Mom is 86 going on 55.
Only she fell and broke her hip a couple of weeks ago. She is going through rehab now. All of a sudden, I have an 86-year-old mom. I never expected that to happen.
I’m the youngest of three sons.  Young is very relative these days, but you know what I mean.
My oldest brother, Tom, has had problems with his balance the last couple of years. His mental cognition is off, too. Sometimes words don’t come to him as quickly as they used to.
They used to come very quickly. He’s an attorney with a hair trigger vocabulary. These days, words sometimes fall out of his mouth in a jumble. His comprehension isn’t the same, either.
The doctors have diagnosed Mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS).
That medical mouthful sounds horribly familiar; it is what my other brother, Bill, eventually died of.
I don’t expect mournful violins. I don’t want meals to be put on the front porch. I don’t want to haul in fistfuls of sympathy cards from the mailbox.
I just want you to seize the day. That’s all.


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