I’d wage that most people reading this post had heard Tim McGraw’s song, “Live Like You Were Dying.” If not, I would definitely recommend checking it out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiOcW_YR1G8. The mere mention of the Tim McGraw song brings another man to mind, Randy Pausch. If you don’t know his story, then you are truly missing out. Randy’s Last Lecture is now a book and a worldwide phenomenon. Randy gave his last lecture on, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” knowing that he was dying of pancreatic cancer. He died less than a year later, but his impact has been profound and his legacy lives on. http://www.thelastlecture.com/
I’m the morbid one of my friends. I’ll be the one to ask you, “What happens if you get his by a bus tomorrow?” It doesn’t mean I am more prepared for that unlikely occurrence, it just means that I ponder it from time to time. As I matured into adulthood and specifically motherhood I realized that the concept of control was just an illusion. Events like 9/11, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and Tsunami and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti made it crystal clear that I am but a spec of dust on this planet.
I was pregnant with my daughter when the Tsunami hit and she was only a few months old while I watched in horror the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina. As an emergency responder I felt helpless, as a new mother I was horrified and shook to my soul. The images are tattooed on my psyche. I can’t imagine the pain, sorrow and suffering of the people caught up in these events…especially those who were parents.
I’ll never know why I’m here and some other mother and daughter are gone. All I know is that everyday I get a chance to wake up and live like I’m dying. I don’t think there has been a day that I have, and for that I’m ashamed. I complain too much, I waste my days and nights on petty and meaningless stuff. There is plenty that I do that is good, just and loving…but knowing what I know, is it enough?
I hope I have many more chances to passionately embrace life, without the catalyst of a terminal diagnosis.
I hope you do too.