-Geoffrey F. Abert
Yesterday, I told you about an extraordinary journal post that I found on my pal, Connie's AOL Journal. In that post Connie asked us to consider the question, "What Would You Do If You Only Had 37 Days To Live?" There is a lot to think about, in terms of how I might want to live, but I also wanted to consider if I would share with others that my time on earth was suddenly limited. Connie remembered some really good people, Lahoma, and Pam, who both suddenly had to deal with watching the clock tick their life away. I didn't know Lahoma well, but I do I remember Pam's brave battle with Lung Cancer.
I was lucky enough to have spoken with her on the phone on numerous occassions, we were both Bay Area gals, and it was like speaking to my neighbor next door. She sounded exactly like I heard her in my head. Exactly. I didn't comment much on her journal, most of the time I simply couldn't find the right words, but she knew how much I cared about her, and one of the last conversations we had ended on a fun note, she asked me to have a scoop of peach ice cream for her. Whenever I have peach ice cream now, I always smile and remember my friend Pam. I will never forget her, and I visit her journal from time to time. Thanks Pam.
As I told you about Connie's "37 Days" entry, I forgot to mention that her journal is private. Actually, I am so used to going over there that I completely forgot, but she has given me permission to cut and paste her original entry into this entry, so you can read it. Please do. Please read it and consider how the knowledge that you will only have 37 days left on earth would affect your life. Would you change anything? Would you want to travel? Would you want to be alone? Would you tell someone off? Would you tell someone, who you haven't told before, "I Love You!"
What Would You Do?
There is an author named Patti Digh, who wrote a book called Life Is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally. It's written to enlighten, and build a person up by making you think about what you would do if you knew you only had 37 days left on this planet to live. She also writes a blog entitled 37 days.
I haven't read the book, but I intend to. I did however read an excerpt from the book, and found it uplifting. I realize that a person is only human, and can't possibly live life 100% of the time in pure bliss. Life does tend to get in the way, and there are some things that make us sad, overwhelm us, make us angry, etc. But I really think I can take away a valuable lesson from this book. I encourage you to read an excerpt from the book and decide for yourself if you think it might be beneficial to your life. I'm willing to do just about anything for some clarity, and joy in my life, and if this book can help me do that then I'm going to be a sponge and soak up everything I can from it.
Now the question. What would I do if I knew I only had 37 days left on this earth to live?
I would tell everyone in my life how much I love them, and what their presence in my life has done for me.
I would worry less about what people think about me, and consider more what I think about me.
I would go outside and spend time brushing, petting, and playing with my dogs. I would hug them, and give them each a special chew treat. I would scratch my cats backs, and pet them, and give them each a can of really good cat food...not that hard stuff.
I would call my Aunt who I have hated in some ways for things she did while my Father was alive, and young and dumb, and try to forgive her for all the things she's done.
I would try to see as many beautiful things that I could. The Grand Canyon, Hawaii, The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, Yellowstone. So many places that I've always wanted to behold, and yet never could.
I would see the ocean, and let the sun beam down on my face, and feel the wind in my hair.
I would go to the cemetery and have a talk with my Dad, and forgive him.
I could go on forever, but you get the point. There are so many things in our lives that we think are important, and yet in the grand scheme of things, they are so small in comparison to the big picture.
Pam never thought in a million years that she wouldn't live out all her dreams. She fought cancer to the bitter end...most days thankful, some days beaten down and extremely sad. I still miss her, and I know many of you do also.
Lahoma never got to see her son grow up, get married, and become a Father. She never got to live out her dreams because cancer stole her life as well. I still can't believe she's gone.
We aren't guaranteed tomorrow, all we have is today. Hanging on to hate and resentment only drags us down. Forgiving is so much easier...and it doesn't matter who is wrong, and who is right. Even though we are all human, and we all ask "why me" I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, even if we never find out what that reason is. Always feeling sorry for yourself just keeps us beaten down, and sad.
I'm trying. That's all I can do. And I'm not going to quit trying.
So I ask you...If you knew you only had 37 days left...what would you do?
-Used by Permission Of Connie
"Emerging Water Lily"
San Francisco, California