I will be 60 when Jenna graduates from high school. I have often wondered if I would actually live that long. It’s not that I consider 60 so old as to have a foot in the grave. It’s my raspy breathing and hacking that has made me question my state of health.
I watched my father slowly die for two years – which really isn’t a long time when I consider what others have gone through. The memory of a loved one’s death lingers with you no matter how sudden or painful.
I have always wanted to move away from Utah – well, maybe not always – but definitely after I got married. At the same time (even if we could have afforded it) it would (and will) be so hard to leave my family members – knowing I would not or will not be able to afford to return often as there will be new births, deaths, Christmas, birthdays and other celebrations. And yet if I stay in Utah and continue to breathe this dry air, I will be miserable and my family members will remember how hard it was for me to breathe during the final stages of my life. I don’t want people to remember me like that! I’d rather be healthy and far away and correspond through modern technology although I’d prefer in person. I would prefer to breathe.
I didn’t plan on five days making such a difference, but it did. I could breathe so much easier in Oregon – and though I still had some of the phlegm, it never built to chocking me. It came out right away. My unpleasant sounds weren’t as long or as often. The wind blew at times – but never knocked me into a coma.
By moving to Oregon, I feel like I have bought another ten years of my life. I will not only be able to see Jenna graduate from high school, I may see her get married and have children as well. And I will be able to enjoy it if I am breathing.
Both Roland and I wear glasses. In Utah, we are constantly trying to wipe them clean. Often (to me) it feels like I am doing it in vain as the gunk seems to return in less than a minute.
I packed a huge amount of lens cloths for our trip to Oregon. We didn’t even use them. This is the air I have breathing and the air that I will breathe. I have to move. I don’t want to suffocate on my phlegm. It’s looking promising that, if I stay in Utah, that’s how I will die. I’d rather spend money on a move than on doctor and hospital bills.
I can be buried in Oregon when the time comes. It’s not like Roland and I have purchased plots here, and I don’t think it’s a wise investment on the part of my family to have my body shipped. And it’s okay. I seriously believe I am buying more time to be.