Are You Living on “Tomorrow Isle?”

Dec 18, 2013

When the phone rang at 1:17pm yesterday, I didn’t recognize the number.  I hesitated to pick up, but for some reason, I did.  A neighbor who knew I served on one of our community committees with Barry was calling to tell me he had died suddenly, of a heart attack, the day before.  Thoughtfully, she thought to reach out before I read it in the paper.

Only seven days before, I spent almost awalden woods meeting housen hour on the phone with Barry, handling some neighborhood issues, joking and commiserating.

“Hey, if I don’t see or talk to you before, have a great holiday,” he said as we hung up the phone.

That was it.

You never do know.

The immense sadness I feel for the loss of his warm, generous spirit is lessened only by my gratitude for having been able to know and serve with him in our community as long as I did.  The example he provided of always leading with sincere respect and consideration for all is something I aspire to…and I am glad to say, I often told him so.

 

As I make the turn now, to the other part of this message, some might read it as opportunistic. Maybe you think I am taking advantage of this tragedy, exploiting it to further my own agenda as a health professional.  I might be accused of trying to profit from this loss.

My answer?

YES!  Yes I am.  If, by reading this, even one person takes action to better their health, no matter what it is, then, yes I have furthered my agenda.  And yes, I AM profiting if any of my friends or family lives longer by making even a small change.  Call me selfish.

 

Walking the line between knowing we have something that could help and being afraid to offer it is something my colleagues and I always struggle with.  I suppose the lesson here is allowing grief & loss to galvanize action. So, here goes.

 

If you were given an 80% chance of surviving a horrific car crash, cancer, natural disaster or any other life threatening situation by doing something small in comparison (like losing just 10 lbs), would you do it?  broken heart

Let me stress that I do not know if my friend’s death could have been prevented or what his health history was.  What I do know is that 80% of cardiac disease is PREVENTABLE.  Not only that, in some cases, it is reversible!  Hello?!

We are talking about the #1 cause of death, which 8 out of 10 times, could be prevented!!  This is nuts.  Even small changes can make a significant impact, according to leading research.

Please let this be a wake-up call for someone!

 

For my friends & family to whom one or more of the following apply (and especially if you have risk factors), I am hereby begging you to please, PLEASE:

  • Lose weight
  • Stop smoking
  • Eat more vegetables & less sugar (including alcohol & refined carbs)
  • Exercise more & worry less
  • Take your vitamins

 

Most importantly, I am asking that you make changes TODAY. What are you waiting for?!    If not for yourself, do it for your loved ones.

Please, stop saying, “Tomorrow, I’ll…..”  Please vote yourself off that island.  “Tomorrow Isle” is a dead end.

 

Last Monday, I hung up the phone with Barry without a clue that one week later, I would be attending his memorial.  I write this in his honor.  I write this in honor of all the ways he contributed to his community, friends & family.  I write this hoping I can do the same.

About Kim Reed

About Kim Reed

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