In world news on November 12, media outlets reported the death of Stan Lee, creator of such entertainment successes as The Amazing Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, The Fantastic Four, The Silver Surfer, The Avengers, Daredevil, and a whole lot more. His career began in comic books, writing for Marvel. His insistence on making his characters flawed by focusing on them as characters rather than superheroes revolutionized the comic book industry and found wild popularity on the silver screen. Stan Lee was 95 years old.
My Aunt Lyndean passed away on November 7. She lived a less public life, although she, too, was involved in the media. Something to do with magazines. I never knew the details. I didn't know her well, despite our being pretty close in age--only seven years apart. We never lived close. Growing up, I only saw her every other year when we visited Grandma and Grandpa in Minnesota. I shared her bed during our visits and envied her that deep purple velvet bedspread as only a girl obsessed with Barbies could. As a child and young adult, I admired Lyndean. She seemed svelte, adventurous, wise, and glamorous. I remember her smile and her patience when she tried to teach me to water ski. I never did learn. Lyndean didn't leave behind a legacy that amazed the world at large, but she did leave behind a family and friends who miss her. She was 60 years old.
On November 3, a former coworker died. I hadn't seen her since I left our place of employment, but we communicated every once in a while. Her obituary said that she was an accomplished singer, which I never knew. I didn't know her well, either, but I respected her administrative abilities: efficient and accurate. She was one sharp cookie. She left behind her husband and two young children. She was only 41 years old.
Ten years ago my niece died six weeks before her 18th birthday. Over that decade, my extended family has seen several deaths from a variety of causes that range from complications of old age to lethal disease. Doctors caution me to get this procedure and that, to eat properly and exercise. They warn me about breast cancer: statistics say it afflicts one of every eight women. My family history says that I won't be one of them: heat disease, kidney disease, or brain cancer is more likely to kill me.
These recent deaths lately, though, have me thinking that it really doesn't matter what I do. As I said to my sister-in-law, God will take me when He's ready. Nothing I do or don't do will affect that. I begin to think that extending my lifespan isn't as important as living well during the time I do have.
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