Birth-Day (Love Made Real)

Last night we attended a party for Cletus (we call him Clete), my uncle, who turned 90.

90!!!

He has outlived two of his five children. He has 18 grandkids and almost as many great grandkids. He is still married to his wife, Marge, of what I am guessing is up to 65 years? Yeah, it has to be about 15 years since I attended their 50th anniversary.

Though I do not relish getting old(er), and really thought I would be dead by this point in my life, the odds of dying “young” are slimmer and slimmer for me. Genetics being the big thing, I suppose.

Clete, obviously, is 90. His brother and my father both turn 88 this year (Clete and his brother are on my mother’s side). My paternal grandmother kicked it at 94. My mother turns 80 in a few months. I’m kind of screwed on the leaving a beautiful corpse kind of thing, aren’t I?

As we were driving out there I was thinking – was it just genetics or medical involvement too? In a 14 month period, I lost three of my four grandparents. I was in 5th & 6th grade. I am currently the same age my mother was when she lost her parents (technically, my grandfather wasn’t her father – but that’s another story). She has now almost been without her mother as long as she had her at this point.

I have friends who are my age who still have some of their grandparents, a few with both sets. Was I the anomaly in the fact that my grandparents died when I was younger? I didn’t think so, but now I wonder. Is it all just luck of the draw or roll of the dice?

I would venture to say “yes”. And as it turns out, regardless of what age – it was doubtful I could have gotten in on the Beautiful Corpse Club.

Song by: Suzanne Vega

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