This week’s Woman to Woman topic concerns dealing with health problems or illness. My life has been spent in the presence of two extremes: the extremely healthy and the extremely ill. The women in my family tend to be blessed with health and longevity. This picture below is of the “Golden Girls,” my grandmother and two great-aunts. Aunt Thelma passed away almost four years ago at 96 years-of-age, Grandmother passed away last summer at 90, and Aunt Mayme is still going strong at 95. My dad will be 64 this year and is as handsome, charming, and youthful as ever (yes, I’m still a daddy’s girl).

My mother, on the other hand, was always unhealthy, although the health problems that eventually led to her death at 57 did not have natural causes. My husband’s family is plagued with diabetes and my husband was diagnosed at around 35-years-old. In spite of watching his diet and exercising, he started taking insulin last week. It all really worries me, but his doctor says that this is a really good type of insulin and the best way to handle things. She has been trying to get him to agree to it for a few months, but we’ve been hesitant. His readings have improved, which is a big relief to me.

I don’t take my health for granted, but I seem to be following in the footsteps of many of the women in my family: I really don’t feel any older than I did 20 years ago; I found childbirth in my late 30s no different than in my early 20s; I’ve never had a gray hair; I’ve had enough pregnancies and years of breastfeeding that I’ve greatly reduced the likelihood of many health conditions. Unfortunately, I realize that my mother sits squarely between me and those long-lived healthy women in my family. There’s a part of me that’s waiting for one of those big bad surprises that filled my mother’s life. I’m praying for lots more years ahead with my hubby and all of the grandkids that we’re likely to have!

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