Today’s post is a short one; it’s simplicity demands no elaboration. While in Ottawa earlier this week, we stopped in to visit my aunt and uncle, two septuagenarians whose lifestyle would convince you they are in their twenties. My aunt, Carolyn, learned several months ago that she had cancer. Her oncologist didn’t think her chances were great. A few months later, after a bout of chemotherapy treatment and an operation, she attended for a medical appointment and was told she was in complete remission. The oncologist reported he had never seen a case of such radical recovery.
Both my aunt and uncle have been extremely active all their lives. They have travelled all over the world, including visiting exotic locales most would never dream of visiting. They have canoed, ridden bikes, walked, run, danced. They have their tiny share of health problems, mostly genetic, but you would be hard-pressed to find a healthier pair of people in their 70s. While we were visiting, my aunt was talking about how they had gone for a long bike ride the week before, and then for a swim in the St. Lawrence River. She is also teaching a folk dancing class each week, and they have a trip to Germany booked in October. It was a bit inspiring for me when I’ve known people in their 60s who already seemed like they had given up on life.
Today, I am thankful that we have — to a large degree — control over our bodies. If we take care of them, then age really does become a state of mind. Yes, no matter what we do, our bodies will break down. That is inevitable. But I am grateful that there are changes and choices we can make that will stave that off for a little while: it’s the greatest tool we have to fight the ravages of time.