Superstition and fear

A few minutes ago, my mom emailed me to tell me that my grandfather was being admitted to the hospital this afternoon. He has a blood clot in his leg and I assume it concerns the doctor's enough they'd like to get some tests done.

The fact that Mom emailed me with family health information is news enough. My family is very close. My parents and sister are among my closest friends. My Dad's side of the family, the McHargue's, are all very close as are Mom's kin, the Wimberly's.

Despite these close emotional bonds, information flow through the family leaves some to be desired. We all hold each other's privacy in high regard. I talk to my parents a lot, but not as much as you may think with me living in the same city and attending the same church. Jenny speaks to her parents more than I speak to mine. We are always ready to lend a hand or shoulder to any family member, but hesitate to ask for one ourselves. So, we don't talk as much as other families with peaceful, warm bonds may. This is true on both sides of my family tree.

I am very fortunate to have both parents and all four grandparents alive. I'm 26 years old and I've had very few family members pass on compared to most people I know. I've relished the fact that my soon-to-be-born daughter will be known be all four of her great-grandparents on my side of the family.

Jenny is not so fortunate. Her only living grandparent is her maternal grandfather. He lives in Jacksonville and is wheelchair bound. He's a stroke survivor and is currently in good health for someone in his circumstances.

The extraordinary way I've been blessed tickles some part deep in my brain and fills me with dread. The simple fact is we are all mortal and sooner or later my grandparents will die. It's something I can't really imagine. I live less than an hour from my folk's folks. They've always been there for me. A trip to Madison never fails to warm my heart. Despite the fact that I am a Christian and believe that God is in control of everything, I can't help but picture those mythical Fates preparing to nip the threads of those I love so much. Until today, I'd never shared this feeling with another soul.

My paternal grandfather is in the later stages of Parkinson's disease. He's had it as long as I can remember, but the last few years have not been kind. The very day that I learned Jenny was pregnant I worried that this dear man would not make it to meet this great-granddaughter.

My father's childhood home had its share of problems, and perhaps even more than its share. Dad grew up in an environment that was probably closer to poverty than prosperity. Yet, his parents never failed to love each other or their children. They've stayed married for a time that is miraculous. Previous lifestyle issues that threatened the family were removed when they surrendered their lives to Christ.

And then my mom sends me an email about my other grandfather, the one I never worry about. He's had heart surgery and pulled through. He's been in the Hospital many times, but again, he always comes out fine.

A blood clot is what caused Jenny's grandfather to have a stroke. Her grandmother had a clots in her leg that may have lead to her death. So now, despite all reason, I despair.

Ah, cruel fate. I tremble before the scissors I see in my mind's eye.

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