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Old 12-09-12, 04:24 PM   #1
cranky old dude
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She's gone!

As I was preparing my Tour Easy at 06:00 this morning for a Sunday breakfast run with the guys, the first of several emergency vehicles pulled up to the neighbor lady's house. Though I certainly took notice I had only minimal concern as we've barely been on speaking terms as a result of her late night and all night parties aka. booz fests.

The fire department was first on the scene followed by the ambulance and several police cruisers. The only conversation I overheard while preping for my ride was the fireman telling the ambulance "It looks like it's been a while."

The 59 year old woman is asthmatic, smokes like a chimney and drinks like a fish. So does her live-at-home, barely employed 30+ year old daughter who I noticed through her kitchen window was talking with the police.

Riding off into the darkness I felt a sence of irony as I watched the emergency vehicles disapear in my mirror. I assumed that the older woman had passed away and yet here I was, a relatively healthy man and a good three years older than her riding off on what most would call a considerable journey, and thinking it as just a little ride.

My wife tells me that the Medical Examiner left just before I got home from my 26 mile round trip breakfast ride.

I assume life style differences might account for me outliving my neighbor.

I expect that her daughter will have a very difficult Christmas this year. Though she is not one of my favorite people I do kinda feel a little sorry for her.
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Old 12-09-12, 05:08 PM   #2
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...
I assume life style differences might account for me outliving my neighbor.
...
Indeed, a healthy life-style does not guarantee one a long life -- but it certainly improves one's chances.

But, perhaps more importantly, it also increases the chances of having a quality one as well -- without the burden of things like heart failure, paralysis due to stroke, dementia and so on...

I've often heard the phrase that "we choose our lifestyle" but I have never fully bought into that idea. We all do the best we can with what we have been given. Many people just aren't able to escape the life that your neighbor lived. Perhaps it was all she knew. There are many reasons why somebody would live like that. Please think kindly on her spirit...
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Old 12-09-12, 05:59 PM   #3
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I am sorry about your neighbor. Given all the publicity on TV, radio, the internet, schools, newspapers and other media regarding a "healthy" lifestyle, it is difficult to believe that she was not aware of what a healthy, positive lifestyle is. So, I believe she made a conscious decision not to follow such a way of living, and her decision was purposeful.

A healthy lifestyle in no way guarantees anything, but it sure increases the odds of both a better life and, perhaps, a longer life.

She made her life decisions as we all do.
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Old 12-09-12, 07:46 PM   #4
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Hopefully her daughter will recognize the benefits of a healthier lifestyle. It doesn't sound like she has had any good role models to follow in that regard, except for her neighbor.......
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Old 12-09-12, 08:47 PM   #5
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Wow. Only a few posts and I already had to clean up this thread.

Terex, please leave this thread. Thank you.
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Old 12-10-12, 02:05 PM   #6
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COD,
We can only imagine the shock that your neighbor's daughter is feeling. Maybe you and Mrs COD can invite her over for tea and sandwiches over Christmas time? She might really appreciate the company and a listening ear...

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Old 12-10-12, 03:39 PM   #7
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deaths this time of year are parrticularly sad.
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Old 12-10-12, 05:11 PM   #8
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I have asthma, it is sometimes hard to breathe especially on long or steep climbs. I caanot imagine having asthma AND smoking.

RIP to your neighbor, but it seems as if she made some very bad lifestyle and health choices.
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Old 12-10-12, 10:09 PM   #9
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So, I believe she made a conscious decision not to follow such a way of living, and her decision was purposeful.
Maybe, maybe not. Both alcohol and tobacco are very addictive, substances chosen by people in their youth usually, and we know that most youth believe that they will never get old or sick. And certainly, drinking and smoking make it unlikely that you will be eating properly or exercising enough.

People give these addictions up later with varying degrees of success.

I'm glad the OP is still here, and this incident will make him relish it more. As you said, it's no guarantee. An acquaintance, energetic and an officer of the local bicycle club, was just put in a hospice after her bike was co-located with a car last month. Doctors managed to get her breathing on her own, but she will be in a coma for any forseeable future. (Update, the family has declared a death-watch and will notify us when she passes.) Ironically, she was returning home from an event that demonstrated the need for and value of sharrows and traffic calming.

We can only hope that the neighbor's daughter will take this as a wake up call.
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Old 12-10-12, 10:19 PM   #10
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Wow, I didn't know COD lived up the street from me. I have a neighbor with the exact lifestyle of his late neighbor. Mine has several adult children and her husband living at home with her. I will miss her when her lifestyle choices/addictions claim her. We're opposites, but we find common ground where we can. (She may feel that she'll miss me when some motorist takes me out. We all make choices.)

The suggestion to invite the daughter over for tea/lunch was excellent. I hope you can help ease her pain and build a better relationship with the daughter than existed with her mother.
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Old 12-10-12, 10:28 PM   #11
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Maybe, maybe not. Both alcohol and tobacco are very addictive, substances chosen by people in their youth usually, and we know that most youth believe that they will never get old or sick. And certainly, drinking and smoking make it unlikely that you will be eating properly or exercising enough.

People give these addictions up later with varying degrees of success.
Sorry, I don't buy that one bit. Folks - and yes, even young people - have control over their own behavior and choices. The rest is a copout, unless they were/are forced at gunpoint to smoke and abuse alcohol.

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Old 12-10-12, 11:18 PM   #12
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Sorry, I don't buy that one bit. Folks - and yes, even young people - have control over their own behavior and choices. The rest is a copout, unless they were/are forced at gunpoint to smoke and abuse alcohol.
I don't have the time to dig up the reference, but there is data to support the notion that early exposure to tobacco smoke predisposes people to addictions of various sorts later in life. That's not to say it is destiny, but the playing field may not be entirely level.
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Old 12-11-12, 12:39 AM   #13
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I'm sorry about your neighbor - it sounds like she lived too-short a life based on some unwise choices.

But I dunno. This is a complicated business and in some ways it challenges my values and my humanity. I see people who are smoking or obese or otherwise living unhealthy lives and, yeah, I make judgements . I think they should all jump on a bike and change their lives for the better, like so many here on this forum. I feel a mixture of contempt and pity and frustration and compassion when I see how many people out there are living lifestyles dominated by couches, Big Gulps, and reality television and ....and ...and.

And then I try to remind myself that I have no more business judging them than they have judging me. Some of those people have dimensions I can't see- wit, creativity, humor, empathy....Lots of them think *I'm* nuts for getting out on the road on a bicycle and risking my neck. There's a lot to be said for live and let live. Including when it comes to not living long enough.
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Old 12-11-12, 07:31 AM   #14
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I'm sorry about your neighbor - it sounds like she lived too-short a life based on some unwise choices.

But I dunno. This is a complicated business and in some ways it challenges my values and my humanity. I see people who are smoking or obese or otherwise living unhealthy lives and, yeah, I make judgements . I think they should all jump on a bike and change their lives for the better, like so many here on this forum. I feel a mixture of contempt and pity and frustration and compassion when I see how many people out there are living lifestyles dominated by couches, Big Gulps, and reality television and ....and ...and.

And then I try to remind myself that I have no more business judging them than they have judging me. Some of those people have dimensions I can't see- wit, creativity, humor, empathy....Lots of them think *I'm* nuts for getting out on the road on a bicycle and risking my neck. There's a lot to be said for live and let live. Including when it comes to not living long enough.
Yes, it certainly is complex. But, I believe folks have the right to and should make their own choices. I also believe there are consequences to those choices with which they must live. I don't judge them for their choices, neither do I accept their excuses. "I just can't stop (whatever). "I just can't start doing (whatever)." Yes you can, and the world is replete with stories of folks who have stopped and started (whatever). That doesn't mean that they don't need help stopping and starting (whatever), and offering, seeking and finding help may be critical.

However, there are sometimes - perhaps often - terrible and difficult situations in which folks find themselves through absolutely no fault of their own and that, to me, is a very different story. Yet, some folks manage to find themselves through and out of these situations. And, of course, there are grey areas and shadings of situations.

Last edited by DnvrFox; 12-11-12 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 12-11-12, 08:01 AM   #15
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Really bad time of the year to have this happen. I know as I lost my brother on the 12th of Dec about 5 years ago.

In this case it does get one to thinking about the irony of things. In NY they are worrried about large sodas. Yet nation wide the gov does nothing about smoking a absolute know killer. They should raise the taxes on smokes every year till they are taxed out of existance.
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Old 12-11-12, 09:39 AM   #16
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Yes, it certainly is complex. But, I believe folks have the right to and should make their own choices. I also believe there are consequences to those choices with which they must live. I don't judge them for their choices, neither do I accept their excuses. "I just can't stop (whatever). "I just can't start doing (whatever)." Yes you can, and the world is replete with stories of folks who have stopped and started (whatever). That doesn't mean that they don't need help stopping and starting (whatever), and offering, seeking and finding help may be critical.

However, there are sometimes - perhaps often - terrible and difficult situations in which folks find themselves through absolutely no fault of their own and that, to me, is a very different story. Yet, some folks manage to find themselves through and out of these situations. And, of course, there are grey areas and shadings of situations.
Dnvr, This is isn't directed at you because I know that you have "been there" -- or at least have been exposed to enough "there" to know what you are talking about.

But, while I agree that we have to give our best efforts to lift ourselves above the situation we find ourselves in, at the same time we should refrain from judging those who can't or won't until we have walked in their shoes. Oftentimes the world looks a lot different from the other side.
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Old 12-11-12, 09:45 AM   #17
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Dnvr, This is isn't directed at you because I know that you have "been there" -- or at least have been exposed to enough "there" to know what you are talking about.

But, while I agree that we have to give our best efforts to lift ourselves above the situation we find ourselves in, at the same time we should refrain from judging those who can't or won't until we have walked in their shoes. Oftentimes the world looks a lot different from the other side.
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Old 12-11-12, 10:25 AM   #18
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Several thoughts come to mind as I've read this thread. I think the mark of success or failure in another life is beyond my capacity to judge. That's not to say that there are not those out there whose life I admire. I fully recognize the admiration, admittedly, comes from my personal values which may be quite different than yours. I do believe, however, that each person has a right to define success and failure for themselves. Additionally, people have the right to fail, even when it is based on their own definition of failure. Finally, if I were to live my life based on the definition of success or failure by others, I'm likely to be one unhappy camper.
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Old 12-12-12, 02:22 PM   #19
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This is tragic for everyone involved. I hope COD and family has the opportunity to reach out to the surviving daughter.
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Old 12-13-12, 04:47 AM   #20
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Similar thing happened in my street a few years back. 96 year old woman living with her 60 year old golf & cricket playing daughter. Only this time the daughter had died.

The mother is still going strong at 101.

Life is strange, and not always fair.
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Old 12-15-12, 04:21 PM   #21
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They should raise the taxes on smokes every year till they are taxed out of existance.
Beyond a certain point, all extra taxes do is to encourage a black market.
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Old 12-15-12, 06:46 PM   #22
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I've often heard the phrase that "we choose our lifestyle" but I have never fully bought into that idea. We all do the best we can with what we have been given. Many people just aren't able to escape the life that your neighbor lived. Perhaps it was all she knew. There are many reasons why somebody would live like that. Please think kindly on her spirit...
I agree, but most seem to think we have more control over our choices. When people blame others for their "bad decisions" I sometimes think it is a way to rationalize away the suffering of others. And then we can sleep at night.
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Old 12-15-12, 06:48 PM   #23
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Yes, it certainly is complex. But, I believe folks have the right to and should make their own choices. I also believe there are consequences to those choices with which they must live. I don't judge them for their choices, neither do I accept their excuses. "I just can't stop (whatever). "I just can't start doing (whatever)." Yes you can, and the world is replete with stories of folks who have stopped and started (whatever). That doesn't mean that they don't need help stopping and starting (whatever), and offering, seeking and finding help may be critical.

However, there are sometimes - perhaps often - terrible and difficult situations in which folks find themselves through absolutely no fault of their own and that, to me, is a very different story. Yet, some folks manage to find themselves through and out of these situations. And, of course, there are grey areas and shadings of situations.
You have no idea if people's reasons for doing or not doing things are excuses and that they could do better at that point in time. No idea unless you are living their life. Otherwise, it is a judgment.

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Sorry, I don't buy that one bit. Folks - and yes, even young people - have control over their own behavior and choices. The rest is a copout, unless they were/are forced at gunpoint to smoke and abuse alcohol.
What is your evidence for this?

Last edited by goldfinch; 12-15-12 at 07:19 PM.
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