Nan Reinhardt, Author

Grown-up love stories, because we're never too old for a little sexy romance…

My Birthday and My Heart


Today is my birthday. I’m turning 58. My mother died of a massive and unexpected heart attack at the age of 60. My greatest fear is dying the same way, but covered in spiders. I’m kidding about the spiders, although I do have terrible arachnophobia. I’m not joking about the heart attack fear.

My sensible self smacks me regularly when this fear manifests. My mother was a good woman, but she was overweight, smoked (and not just tobacco), played around with hallucinogens, never exercised, ate whatever she wanted to eat, and was a non-compliant diabetic who hated going to the doctor. I am overweight, but I’ve never smoked anything, I’ve never messed around with drugs, I exercise, I pay attention to what I eat, I’m not a diabetic, and I see my doctor annually.

So why does this fear haunt me? It would probably take several years of therapy to figure it out, but I think mostly, it’s because I see what wondrous things await in the rest of my life and I’m frightened of missing them. Sometimes, I can set it aside, knowing that today is what’s important and the future must take care of itself. I could get hit by a truck tomorrow and I’d be just as dead as I would be having a heart attack. Life doesn’t come with any guarantees. I know all the clichés and I try hard to apply them when appropriate.

This birthday, I’m doing something proactive about the heart attack fear–I’m going to have heart scan. Sister PJ, my friend Mary, and I are going together for a day of heart health checkups. I figure I’ll either find out my plaque ratio is fine for a woman my age or they’ll tell me I need to find a cardiologist. Either way, I’ll have someplace tangible to put the fear and I can be done with it. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life worrying that I’ll die like my mom, that I’ll miss the future. What a terrible way to live.

I love  my life. I’m having a grand time. Lake life is glorious, my family and friends are always a blessing. I believe one day soon, I’ll be published–I certainly don’t want to miss that. Who knows, one day I could even be a grandma–what fun! So, onward…today is my birthday and I’m not afraid of the future–as rom com writer and my fellow Betty,  Jenny Cruisie, says, nothin’ but good times ahead. Words to live by!

posted under This Life...
9 Comments to

“My Birthday and My Heart”

  1. Avatar September 26th, 2011 at 10:14 am Susan Courtney Says:

    Good for you! Monsters hide in the dark.

  2. Avatar September 26th, 2011 at 3:56 pm robena grant Says:

    What a great birthday thing to do. Get rid of the fear of the unknown.

    Happy birthday! And many, many, more!

  3. Avatar September 26th, 2011 at 4:51 pm Sandy James Says:

    Happy birthday, my friend!! 😀

  4. Avatar September 26th, 2011 at 6:52 pm Cynthia Mueller Says:

    You are going to be kicking ass for years to come. Never fear

  5. Avatar September 27th, 2011 at 8:13 am Nan Says:

    Merci, Mes Amies! Hold a good thought that the scan shows a healthy heart and all is well!!

  6. Avatar September 28th, 2011 at 1:55 am Tumbly Tuesday Topics. | Welcome to JulieLand. Says:

    […] Belated: we missed Nan’s birthday!  Happy Happy to you.  And how fab is it that you and Carol share a day?! Share […]

  7. Avatar September 28th, 2011 at 1:59 am Julie Says:

    Damn, sorry I missed it! But I wished you belated greetings of the day over at may place. You and Carol have the same day. Pretty cool. Hope the birthday was too.

  8. Avatar September 28th, 2011 at 8:32 am Nan Says:

    Thanks, Jules!! I’ve never seen the pingback thing–how cool is that? I love Betty stuff–too fun!!!

  9. Avatar September 29th, 2011 at 9:28 pm Carol Says:

    Nan – a happy belated birthday to you. We share the same date and age. Oh my, can’t believe where the years have gone. But, as they say, we are only as old as we feel. I’m feeling young as in 38. Hear you about the fear, my Dad had a fatal heart attack at 53 1/2 years. For two years, I had this anxious feeling and every heart test in the world including an MRI, which was very expensive. That test eased me mind. Hoping I have my mama’s strength and resilience, she is in her 90’s.

    Hope your day was the happiest for you. Happy Birthday.