Bro Ken Cur Ses
I just wanted to note for the record that my oldest brother, Gary, had his 60th birthday a few weeks ago.
Why is this particularly notable? Because he reached that milestone without having had a major heart attack, or dying from one.
In my paternal family line, no male has reached the age of 60, going back to at least before WWII (when my dad's father died at the age of 41), without a major heart attack. In fact, only one of my uncles lived to age 61, and that was only after several bypass surgeries.
How did the family curse finally get broken? I think mostly because of 1) recognition among family members that cardiac problems really ARE a chronic and major menace to males in our line, and 2) that medicine has progressed to where early warning signs can be detected and steps taken for prevention and treatment. (I think all four of us brothers are taking Lipitor daily.)
It's nice to think that when I retire (current plans are aiming at early 2010, when I'll be 57), I might actually have more than just a couple of years to enjoy retirement. (Considering how many books I've bought over the years, and never found the time to actually read, I'll need every moment I can get.)