Sunday, May 15, 2011

Two Weeks of Death and Life

The last two weeks, at least for me, has been full of both death and life.

I mention death first because the news of the last two weeks has been dominated by the death of Osama bin Laden.  Of course, everyone knows who he was.  He was the worst terrorist and the killer of many people, including many Americans.  If anyone deserved to die, he certainly did.  As well as killing so many people, he affected the lives of so many friends and relatives is such a negative way that their lives are forever changed despite his death.  His death will not bring any of those he killed back.

Yet I did not feel like other people who celebrated his death at Ground Zero, at the White House, or at others places.  I did not celebrate his death like they did.  Despite what Osama bin Laden did, it did not seem quite right to me to celebrate the death of anyone.  Yes, I am glad that he is dead, but at the same time, I do not wish for anyone to die.  Perhaps I would feel differently if a friend or relative of mine had been killed by him.  I was horrified when so many innocent people died on 9/11.  I haven't been affected by the events of 9/11 in such a strong way as people who had so many loses on that day of almost 10 years ago.  I did not lose a friend or relative on that day.  I have not had to live my life without a parent, spouse, sibling, or friend who died by Osama bin Laden's hand.  All my life, I have been taught to celebrate life.  I have not felt comfortable in celebrating his death. 

At the beginning of this post, I said the last two weeks has been filled by both death and life.  The news has been filled by the death of Osama bin Laden.  For me, the last two weeks has been filled with life, in particular, my life.  Actually more than two weeks ago, I had a mini-stroke in the retina of my left eye.  A blood vessel broke in the retina, and my vision in my left eye has been affected.  The mini-stroke was caused by high blood pressure.  I have made changes to my diet by eating more fruit, drinking tomato juice, and not eating as much of the stuff that is bad for you.  I am exercising much more now.  I have had a fitness walk five of the last seven days, and as a result, I have walked eleven miles this week.  I am on blood pressure medicine, and my blood pressure has gone down to around 120/80.  I check my blood pressure twice a day since I bought a blood pressure monitor from Walgreens.

Obviously, this health event has caused me to make changes in my life.  I realize that if I really want to keep on living on this earth and continue to have a high quality of life, I am going to have to continue with these changes.  I have lost a little weight already, but I am nowhere near the weight I want to be at or need to be at.  This is the start of a long process, but I am actually looking forward to where these changes will take me.  Last Thursday, I did not have the time to do a fitness walk.  I had walked four straight days (2.2 miles each day).  As I was walking to my car to run some errands, I could feel that my body wanting to walk faster.  My body wanted to do a fitness walk.  I had to slow myself down.  I felt guilty not doing my fitness walk.  Today I did my fitness walk despite the threat of rain.  More and more, fitness walking is becoming a part of my life.  It is what I do along with teaching.  It is what I have to do, along with the other changes, if I want to keep on living.  Too bad something drastic had to happen to me to make these changes.  I really knew I had to make these changes at some point in my life.  Now I know I have no choice.  I have to make them.    

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