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posted: 11/10/2013 5:00 AM

You cannot know when your time will be up

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Recently, I noticed a frightening pattern that caught me off guard. My high school basketball teammate, junior high coach, freshman coach, sophomore coach, varsity coach, English teacher and coaching mentor have all passed away. Every one of them was a suburb athlete, always healthy and primed in life. It's shocking to me that they are all gone, early in life. None of them made to 72.

They say celebrities die in threes. It happens to families, too! The very successful owner of my former company died of a heart attack. His wife took over the company and six months later also died of a heart attack. Her son took over and, yes, six months later he too died of a heart attack.

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Then I look at the number 61. At this age, first my aunt died, then my uncle, then my dad, then my cousin -- all at exactly 61. Well, I'm 61 now! I pray that pattern ceases so I can care for my wife, who has MS, and teen daughter, born in China.

So far I have survived a three-month bout with mononucleosis and a strange rash on my hand that turned out to be a rare form of lymphoma. I was given five years to live in 1997. Last year prostate cancer invaded my body.

You are never prepared enough when your number is called. The numbers fall like on a roulette wheel. I've been there three times, beating the odds. Eventually they'll catch up to me. They catch up to everyone. Let's hope they don't catch up to you before your time.

Randy F. Gollay

Buffalo Grove

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