There’s an old man who comes to the gym in the mornings. He has a walker with an oxygen bottle, and bears visible scars from open heart surgery and a pacemaker implant. Monday morning I loosened up in the hot tub, and the two of us talked.
I learned that he had his first surgery in early December of 1999. I was reminded of my bout with myocarditis that same month, and how, as I lay in the Intensive Care Unit at UVRMC, the rooms around me were full of what I have come to call “gray people.” Their skin was literally deathly pale, and I assumed that the majority of them were going to die there.
I asked where this man had gone for treatment back in ’99, and he told me he was at UVRMC, and spent most of December in the Intensive Care Unit.
One of those gray people not only survived, but did so for a full decade at current count.
The last decade has been huge for me. I started a new job, rose to prominence, and then quit to do the same thing again. I created Schlock Mercenary, and Sandra and I had two more kids.
All of this in a decade.
I don’t know what my elderly friend at the gym has done with the ten years the doctors, God, and/or the Fates gave back to him, but I’m sure they are precious.
Whine about the “aughts” if you must, but as we begin the second decade of the twenty-first century, know that at least two of us are really thankful for the last ten years.