I have been very lucky in my life. I have always been reasonably healthy. I have had very few illnesses through the last six decades. I've had a couple of broken bones, I think I might have had my tonsils out, I've still got my appendix although I'm not sure what its doing for me, I've never had any major surgery, a few colds, a flu here and there, a couple of whopper sunburns, a recent bout with pneumonia and mononucleosis when I was a second grader. Sorry, I can't kiss and tell about that one. Anyway, the point is I'm healthy. And, believe me, its not like I've worked at this. In fact, a lot of times the exact opposite was true.
In high school, I had my share of drinking parties and foolish pranks and stunts. In my twenties, I took up smoking along with turning drinking into an art form. I experimented with whatever drug was handy at the time, I drove recklessly and I took stupid risks. Through all of this I stayed pretty healthy.
When you have your health, it's very easy to take it for granted. When you come across sick people sometimes you get that little feeling and you say to yourself, "I'm glad I'm not that poor bastard". Of course, as you grow up and hopefully you get more responsible, you try to help others, you give to charities, but there still might be a little of that, "Damn, I'm glad that's not me." feeling.
However, the whole concept of health starts cutting deep when people close to you are on the wrong end. When close friends and relatives start getting sick, seriously sick, attitudes change. When you're faced with the prospect of losing someone you care about then you wish there was a way you could share being healthy.
I've watched parents and in-laws suffer and die. Yeah, it's that circle of life thing that the aged go forth before the young but the loss is still painful. Then, I've had some really tight friends get ill and have to fight like hell, some have lost the fight. I've had my siblings suffer through ailments and sometimes you find yourself giving the only thing you can, comfort.
These things make me appreciate the health I have. I try to take better care of myself these days. I've learned to be thankful for my good luck. I try to help family and friends fight the battles they get stuck with because I can. When you have your health and others don't, I'm finding that maybe the best thing to do is be there.