[I took the image above from the teacher-starter website.]
We all know the joke about the kid who answers only questions 1, 3, 5, and 7 on the math test, and when the teacher asks why, the kid says, "I can't even." Well, I've been feeling that joke has some kind of cosmic connection to me. Here's a brief run down of the last few even-numbered years of my life.
2016: Six years ago this week, I almost died. I'm not exaggerating here, and if you've read this blog for a while or have been my friend/family for a long time, you'll know that on April 5, 2016, a rare form of tumor (GIST) that I didn't know I had ruptured through my esophagus and stomach causing me to lose enough blood that our local hospital ran out of my type (O-negative) after giving me four pints and had to send away to another hospital for a fifth. I got ambulanced to Yale's Smilow Cancer Center, where Dr. Charles Cha did laparoscopic surgery to remove the tumor and repair the damage. Aside from three tiny scars on my abdomen and another scar in my belly button (which is already a scar, right?), there's nothing on my body that would show what I've been through. I'm lucky that the tumor had a very low malignant probability, so I didn't need any other treatments. (This summer, I'll have a follow-up endoscopy to make sure another one's not growing, but I'm not worried about it.)
2018: The only thing I've experienced worse than nearly dying was having two members of my family nearly die. Again, not exaggerating. Without getting into too many details, the Torrington police officer who helped said that in a different car, half my family wouldn't have survived the car accident caused by a drunk driver.
2020: I probably don't have to explain this one. I can't claim that the global pandemic hit me nearly as hard as it hit others, but it's fair to say it took an emotional toll.
2022: At the beginning of 2021, we had the hopeful results of vaccine trials. We saw an end in sight. However, near the end of 2021, the omicron variant found its way past vaccines. While new variants are popping up, people are vaccine-hesitant and mask-fatigued. Around a million Americans (plus more than five million non-Americans) have died from the virus. The devastation to the health care system, economy, and more is staggering. Plus, Russia's waging war on Ukraine. The world is a mess.
So, if I say I'm looking already forward to 2023, not only because it's MJ's number (the GOAT) but simply because it's odd, you can understand why I'd feel that way. Which years do you like better, evens or odd? Why? Please share any thoughts, numerical or otherwise, in the comments.