20 February 2006

Live Like You Were Dying

Surely you've heard the song, even if you're not a country music fan.
Sung by Tim McGraw, it's a great one, and should be played at the start of the day for all of us.
I get misty-eyed every time I hear it.
We should all pay close attention to the words.

Regular "Pitchpullers" have heard it before, and I'll say it again and again:
My job reminds me continually that none of us are promised a sunrise in the morning.......


She was the first person Sara Jean met when Sara Jean's parents retired and moved to this town.
When I met Sara Jean several years later, she was still one of her best friends.
She looked like Loretta Young's twin, complete with those huge eyes.
A beauty that needed no makeup.

Shy.....so shy she was uncomfortable with my gregariousness in public.
I embarrassed her more times that I could count.
She tolerated me because of her friendship with Sara Jean.

We heard the news when it was already too late:
Breast cancer.....Bad.
She felt the lump and thought it was nothing. When her nipple inverted and there was a discharge, she finally sought help.
By then the disease had spread to her lymph system and her brain.

But then she fought like a trooper.
With the increasing success in cancer research, I told Sara Jean to encourage her to fight......fight, and maybe a miracle would happen before the disease got the best of her.

She continued to work until she needed so much pain medicine she could no longer think straight and do her job.
Still, she kept her chin up, not wanting to depress those around her.
At that point Sara Jean visited her almost daily, and saw her the day before she died. Although it was obvious she was failing fast, she still tried to keep my wife from being sad.

She was 44.
At the funeral, she was sleeping beauty....
just a thinner Loretta Young,
still one of the prettiest women in the room.


There are all sorts of ways to say it:
"Don't worry, be happy",
"Don't sweat the small stuff.....and it's ALL small stuff"

We do need the reminders.

How odd that for most of us, the problem is not "where is my next meal coming from",
but "how can I develop the discipline to keep from putting that in my mouth?"

And yet, we fret.
Sometimes we make those around us miserable.
Why?
Partly, because we forget how short life can be.

I hope you'll take stock of your life and enjoy the wonderful things we all have, to include easy access to good medical care.

I also hope we all begin to do the things we dream about,
then dream more dreams and act on those too.

Wouldn't it be nice to know that at our funeral our family and friends could laugh out loud, telling stories of our adventures?

So do it!
Live like you were dying.

4 comments:

Ferdyflyer said...

So very well stated! Since my husband died at the early age of 56, I can't agree more. My son is really urging me to do the things I enjoy. I know we don't always have the money to do everything we want; but, we do have the time to do the things we can afford. Yard work, house work and other chores we think we have to do are not nearly as important as spending quality time with the ones we love. The chores will always be there. Our loved ones won't.

Tim McGraw and GB have the right attitude.

THIRDWAVEDAVE said...

Greybeard,

Thanks for the comment at my site. The lesson behind your post goes very well with mine, I thought; you just never know what life has in store for you, so take the time now with your loved ones.

Oleprairiedog said...

I heard someone or read someone that said" I don't want to go to heaven in a well cared for body, I want to slide in there wasted, used up, Scotch and water in one hand, Chocolate cake in the other, yelling at the top of my lungs,...Wooeee, what a ride." That sounds like someone who would live like they were dying. Good post my brother

Infinitegtr said...

One of my favorite blues lyrics is "Everyone wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die."

Sometimes in fearing death, we are afraid to live, and that is the real tragedy of life.