Actually, the last deadline.
The first time one coughs up blood there's a sense of panic and each person reacts to that panic in different ways. I'd been told by a specialist how I would die, gave me a site with the Mayo Hospital where I could go when the symptoms were pointing the way toward the end. I was prepared for this and kind of shrugged it off. One time could be anything...Logic was never my strong point...But then it continued and it no longer entered into the 'Maybe it's nothing' area and moved into 'How much blood?'
Then it came out during urinating and every place where blood could escape from. Some days are better than others but the flag had been raised and I went to the Mayo site and asked a few questions.
There were still other signs to look out for. One was when the fingernails started turning blue, then I should start to be concerned.
I've watched a lot of people die, friends, family, strangers, and when many people face mortality they start discovering 'Religion' or start trying to pray or whatever. Been there, did that, moved on and wasn't about to become the soldier in the foxhole where there is suppose to be no atheists. I've spent a lifetime learning about religion as a whole, graduated from the so called 'School of the Prophets', worked for several well known televangelists and discovered I actually had scruples and turned away from all of that because the truth most religions are based upon are lies written by men long ago, and today, to keep people in their 'Place' and the rich and powerful in charge.
I'd been a Witch to begin with, took a sabbatical, and returned with a new understanding that is undeniable. We are of this earth, this planet, and science has shown that man isn't built for long distant space travel, the body's immune system shuts down in space, the bones degenerate, and water pools into the skull...Whether this is because of gravity or that we are now and forever chained to the planet which spawned us doesn't matter. We came from the earth, we return to the earth and nothing anyone does to try and stop the whole dying thing isn't going to change this fact.
Make no mistake, loving life, especially now more than ever. I've been creating art, I've been working on projects I always thought I had time to finish and there are those whom I have come to love and life, hey, not looking for the final nap.
Also not afraid of it. Not changing my mind about my Faith.
I've been working with pencil for the most part, working on painting when I hit a snag, all knowing that time is ticking by but I have Faith I'll do what I can with the time I have to face the days ahead because, beyond Faith and stubbornness, I have loved ones to help me during these trying times. My sister, Beth, who won't let me feel sorry for myself, and Christy who has shown that I've got something real to continue living for...Love.
Real people and, ultimately, the only absolute in life and death and beyond. There might be something after death, don't know, don't care, because I'm from the earth and I will return to the earth and the world, well, the world will continue in one way or another and some day in (I hope) the far future the earth will also be dead and all we've done in all our generations will be lost to the universe, though I still have hopes the arts, the poetry, the writing, the art of all kind will be somehow preserved for the universe to discover and know there was a life here on this barren rock, life that had a soul.
That's my dream.
The reality is I have only a partial use of my lungs, I've gotten use to the blood thing, I no longer have feelings in the tips of my fingers and I continue to lose weight (Which under better circumstances would be great!) and all my waking hours are with my cat, Franki, with my art and with those I know and love.
And that' a whole lot more than most people have.