In my family we grew up knowing that no male Paulson made it to 68 years old. Most died exactly at 67, with a few who met their demise earlier mostly due to accidents. For this reason, my Dad retired early at 62 so that he could enjoy 5 years of retirement. I don’t know if his early retirement made the difference, but he survived well into his 90’s. The curse was broken – but not forgotten. My brothers and I all felt that our Dad was the exception to the rule, and that the sword of Damocles still hung over us.
I have a few cousins who, if they’re still alive, have recently joined my Dad in the small group that survived past 67, and today I joined the club. Today is my 68th birthday. So, in the immortal words of Rocky Balboa, “Yo Adrian. We did it.” The curse is officially broken, at least as far as I’m concerned. Will I make it to my 90’s like my Dad? I doubt it. I partied a lot harder than he ever did, but then again, I didn’t have the strain he had of raising three hyperactive boys, so maybe I’ve got a shot.
Today I’m going to drink a toast to the two people who provided me with the genes to make it this far. Thanks Mom and Dad. I also have to thank Dr. Barry Kaplan and the staff at Long Island Jewish Hospital especially Janet Hyland for the stents they placed in me back in 2009. I have to thank Dr. Paula Schlossberg at the VA clinic in East Meadow, Dr. Loren at the VA Hospital in Manhattan, who put in another stent. Add the good people at Southeast Lancaster Health Services, Amy Vandergrift and Kathleen Brumbach, the cardiologists at the Heart Group in Lancaster, the doctors and nurses at Lancaster General Hospital, my physical Therapists, Susan Harroun in New York and Brittany in Lancaster, Dr. Jackson at the VA clinic in Lancaster, and my cardiologist at the VA Hospital in Lebanon, PA, Dr. Shankar. They say that it takes a village to raise a child. In my case it took a slew of doctors, nurses, and therapists to get that child to a ripe old age.
Thanks to all for getting me here. Cheers!
Now, I’m counting on my siblings, Brother X and Kevin, to break the curse too. As the Vulcan’s say, “Live long and prosper.”
Peace & Love, and all of the above,