On October 12, Roberta McCain died. The mother of the late Senator, John McCain was 108 at the time of her death. The life expectancy of the average person in the United States is now seventy-eight, so Mrs. McCain made it thirty years past that. Pretty amazing! She not only lived a long life, but was apparently fairly healthy, too. A great combination! In 2008, we saw her making appearances during her son's run for the presidency. She was ninety-six years old at the time. We also saw her at the funeral and memorial services for her son, just two years ago.
When you live that long a life, you see and have to deal with a lot of different things. There's hopefully plenty of good, but you'll also see plenty of the bad. It comes with the territory. I want to focus on the bad.
Roberta McCain married John S. McCain Jr. (the Senator was the third) in 1933. He died in 1981. She lived almost forty years as a widow. Not easy! She had three children and outlived two of them. Grieving for your children isn't how life is supposed to go, but it's more than a possibility to occur if you live to the ripe old age of ONE OH EIGHT! And imagine how many funerals of her friends she had to attend. Let's face it, your lifelong friends and siblings are all going to be gone...every single one!
Since the death of Mrs. McCain, I've learned of the deaths of two other family acquaintances. While they didn't make it to her age, both were in their mid-nineties at the time of their deaths. In checking the obituaries, they dealt with the same major losses. Both suffered the loss of their spouses, with one outliving two wives. Both of them also watched two of their children die.
Naturally, I started thinking about my own life and situation. Doing the math, I have forty years to go to make it to one-hundred. Not likely, but you never know. I'm trying to imagine what it would be like to suffer the losses like my three examples and I can't get there. I don't want to get there. I would much rather be gone than deal with anything so heart-rending.
I know there's a life magic number that is somewhere between sixty-eight and one hundred. I'm just not sure where it is. Both my children are in the thirty year old range (sorry to out you, girls). I'd like to see them hit their mid-forties. I'd also like to see my new grandson make it to his teenage years and meet any future grandchildren (no pressure...whenever). That puts me at around 83-85ish. I think that might be pushing it, but I'm willing to give it a try. Hell, many people in my current age range haven't made it this far, so I'm happy and grateful for whatever I can get.
Now back to that one-hundred thing. I'm picturing telling my grandchildren and great-grandchildren about how much better sports and music were in my day. Oh yeah, and kid...keep off the nursing home lawn.
Related Post: How do you deal with the sudden death of a friend?
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