My dad always told me to live each day as if it were my last and one of these days, I’ll be right. While it has wisdom in it, it’s a gloomy way to live when you’re young. As I get older, it seems a better mantra to think about.
Several things in the past couple of weeks have brought this adage to mind. Last week on CBS Sunday Morning, they had a piece about the book Tuesdays with Morrie. It’s about a dying man’s conversations with a younger man and the advice he left behind. A couple of quotes from that program that affected me were “Don’t let go too soon, but don’t hang on too long,” and “When you learn how to die, you learn how to live.” I’m not sure why, but I’ve been thinking about that. I haven’t read the book, but I think I’ll get it.
Hubby and I visited with a friend of his that has stage 4 cancer. While he’s still being treated, his chances for a long life are slim. He seems at peace with it, and I admire that about him. Hubby and I talked later about how we might react with that kind of news.
A neighbor took me to the airport when I flew out to meet my siblings (see last week’s post). A couple of days later, she called our other neighbor early in the morning and asked her to take her to the emergency room. She had stents put in place and open-heart surgery. She’s still in the hospital almost two weeks later. She’s had several more surgeries, and I hope and pray she’ll be okay. I love sitting on her deck and visiting.
This morning’s sermon was about living like we are dying, so you can understand why this topic is on my mind. It reminds me of when I overheard two old men talking and one said, “I remember when only old people were in the obituaries. Now it’s people our age.” That’s how I feel when I peruse the obits in the paper. Some are younger than me and some older. That makes me feel blessed to still be here, alive and healthy.
When I was a teenager, I prayed I would live long enough to find a man who would fall in love with me. God answered my prayer. Hubby and I will be married 46 years as of next week. Then I prayed that I would live long enough to be a mother. I was blessed with two wonderful children. Then I prayed I’d know what it felt like to be a grandma, and now I have two amazing grandsons. God answered my prayers, and I feel contented knowing I experienced the deepest desires of my heart.
Now I hope I finish the books I have started and the other writing projects I hope to get accomplished, but they aren’t things I pray for. They, along with a few other things, are what I hope for. If it doesn’t happen, then it’s okay.
Is that enough? It is for me. I’ve had a lot of bonuses along the way with the many friends and experiences I’ve had. I’ve been to Europe, the British Museum, been on a cruise, and snorkeling in Hawaii. I can’t think of much else on my bucket list. There’s still lots out there, and I don’t aim to stop living before I die. My only wish left for me would be not to suffer long … or at all. That will be the “enough”.
Until “enough” is reached, I hope to live life to the fullest and positively influence others. After that, I hope I’ll go on as a pleasant memory, that someone will say they were glad they knew me. That will be more than enough.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14