Hi, my name is Jan, and I’m an Orphan


How many of you out there are orphans?  Obviously the older we get, it is inevitable.  People don’t live forever.

I lost my father when I was in my 20’s.  My father was only 54, and died of lung cancer.  That was back in the day when you could still smoke in hospitals, believe it or not.  I remember thinking that he was going to burn himself up in bed before the cancer would get him.  He continued to smoke, pretty much until the day he died.  We all did.  We would all sit around in his hospital room, smoking.  He died a horrible death, and we dealt with it by smoking more.  How ironic.  We all needed a good kick in the head.

My mom died when I was in my late 40’s.  She was unhealthy most of her life, and ended up with Alzheimer’s.  The last year or so of her life she never got out of her hospital bed.  Not once.  It was very sad to watch your mom just fade away, on feeding tubes etc.  I will always be grateful that she remembered my name until the end.

So, there I was.  An orphan.  An adult orphan.  I always only thought of orphans as young kids.  But when you think about it, there are probably many more adult orphans. Because as I’ve already noted, people don’t live forever.

Also, as the circle of life goes round and round, we end up taking care of our parents in the end, like they were the babies.  Hey, it’s only fair, right?

Most adults don’t want to end up that way.  I sure don’t.  I envy the people who lead a nice long productive life and then just die in their sleep or quickly (hopefully) of a heart attack.  Unfortunately I watched both my parents die of a protracted illness.  Not fun.

I don’t really consider myself an orphan. I am lucky I had both parents until I was married.