Monday, August 27, 2012
Sometimes life gives you a smack in the face to remind you how important taking care of ourselves really is. I lost a dear cousin this last week -- he died much too soon. Bill was only 56 and struggled with obesity for the last 25 years. He was one of those incredibly loving and giving people who always knew what to say, could make you belly laugh like no other, and had the heart of a saint. Over the last 15 years, I have watched him become a husband and a father of three beautiful children who adored him. He gave his wife and children 100% of himself all the time. The one thing he didn't think of was taking the time to make himself healthy.
His wife, kids, and the rest of the family tried so hard to help him, but no matter how much he said he wanted to lose weight, he always found an excuse to keep eating and not exercise. He could be really stubborn. He would give anything to keep his family safe and happy, but I don't think he really understood that him getting healthy was the most important thing his family needed. I just wish we could have gotten through to him.
We lost Bill last week to a heartattack. Luckily it was fast, but the hole that he leaves in the lives of all who knew him will forever be painful. He ignored the signs, the pleading from all of us, and the doctors, and now he is gone. He used to joke about his weight and being jolly, but in the end we are without him and the laughter has stopped.
I often reflect on Bill's life when I see people struggling with obesity. He has been an example for me to stay healthy even before his death. Now that he is gone, it means even more for me to stay healthy for my daughter and the rest of my family and friends.
Please remember that we are all important to others in our lives and we have an obligation to not only ourselves, but to them to be healthy and happy people.
I know I'll see Bill again someday, but I'll sure miss those big bear hugs until we meet again. Goodbye for now, my cousin. Keep them laughing in Heaven.