Thursday, November 14, 2013

49 and holding

Age is just a number so the saying goes. You're only as old as you feel. Fifty is the new Forty.  I have heard them all. In a little over two weeks I will find out for myself.
    Fifty is an age nobody thought I would see. As I near the half century milestone I will also pass another significant milestone. I will be a 90 month survivor of stage 4 Prostate cancer.
   As we walk through life the milemarkers along the way have meaning. At age 5 we start school. That was my least favorite at the time but I also got my first b.b. gun that Christmas so it made up for the school thing a little bit. At age 8 I was able to go hunting with my dad and bagged my first buck. The tradition of hunting with dad has endured for 41 years. Sixteen was a no- brainer. My first car was a 1962 Chevy impala. It had a 283 with a two speed powerglide transmission. The engine had a flat cam so dad and I rebuilt a 327 in the garage and dropped it in. We painted it starburst metallic fireball red and put a set of crager coke bottle rims on it. The interior was restored and a pioneer supertuner 8 track deck was mounted above the console feeding jenson triaxial speakers in the rear deck. I miss that car. At 18 I graduated and got my first apartment. It was a bittersweet occasion.  21 was fun for a while. Not so fun the morning after. At 25 my car insurance dropped to the good rates. I was married had three kids too many bills and too small a paycheck. At 30 I was separated from my wife and living in a studio apartment trying to make it all work. It didn't.  At forty I had lost it all and was a junky living in a garage. I celebrated those two significant milestones alone and contemplating suicide. At age 41 I went through with my suicide plan. I lived and at 4 months prior to my 42nd birthday I was born again. At 42 I was diagnosed with advanced cancer and given a year to live.
   I never thought I would see this day but here I am. As I enter the threshold of 50 I would need a ream of paper to single space type my blessings. Eight years ago I had nothing except a job. My kids and family disowned me. I was a mess. My credit rating was in the  300's. I needed a cosigner for a payday loan. I owed $12k in traffic citations.  I owed $20k to the I.R.S. I stopped answering my phone as it was most likely a bill collection service. I was lonely.  I was alone. I wanted to die.
    Today I am married to the love of my life. My relationship with my children and my family is better than it has ever been. I have a mortgage on a modest but comfortable home. I have a Dodge diesel in the drive with a new camper on one side and my wifes kia soul on the other. I have a ski boat and snowmobiles in the garage. I am still in debt  to the top of my butt crack but it is for the life I always dreamed of living. My new credit score is nearing 800. There is food on the table and the bills are paid. The wolf is occasionally at the door but I am still a crack shot so he never tries to come in. Best of all this last year has been the best of my life. I have so many friends new and old. I am blessed beyond that which I deserve.
   This year I will turn 50 among 28 of my newest friends with my true love at my side. I am so thankful for this life.
    I have no Idea what I will do at age 60 to top this but I plan on being there among friends and family. Y.O.L.O.