“Let each thing you would do, say or intend be like that of a dying person.” – Marcus Aurelius
I love that quote!
My daughter Kimbo taught a lesson at church a few weeks ago entitled “One Day More.” She posed the question: “What would you do if you only had one day to live?” This hit home because I have been thinking a lot lately about my actions, reactions, and thoughts. After her lesson, I asked myself if my actions are the same now that I have been given more time since my Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) diagnosis in May 2012. TNBC is very aggressive and has a poor prognosis compared to other types of breast cancer. A large percentage of people with TNBC have a re-occurrence within the first three years. I just passed my six year mark of being declared NED (No evidence of disease) and my doctors at Duke consider me one of their success stories. Yes … I have been granted more time for the second time in my life … the first was in 1964 when I had to have an emergency “Venous Cutdown” after after a surgical procedure because I was hemorrhaging and in shock!
We know death is inevitable … we just don’t know when it’s our turn. This is one thing in life that affects each one of us … whether we are rich, poor, gay, straight, Christian, Atheist, black or white … in the end, none of us survive in this life. If we lived everyday with this in mind, I believe it would change our actions, reactions, and thoughts. I know that every moment counts … but I still need to remind myself every once in a while that the small stuff really doesn’t matter.
Let me ask a few questions… If you knew that it was the last time you would ever speak to your friend, relative, or neighbor, would you change the conversation? If you knew you’d be seeing them for the last time, how would you feel? How would you interact with them? Would you grumble, complain, criticize, hold grudges, have a chip on your shoulder? Would you gossip about others? Would a big car, a nice house, a high-paying job, a cool computer, the newest iPhone, or nice clothes really matter? I’m not saying they aren’t important … but just ask yourself if they would matter on your last day on earth.
If you were going to die tomorrow, how would that change things for you? Would you let go of the petty stuff you hold on to? Would your priorities change? Would your thoughts change?
What would matter to you? I know what would matter to me! If I knew it was my last day to be alive (and it could be!) I would cherish every moment. I would love my family and friends and take time to be with them. I would live in the moment and enjoy life to the fullest. I wouldn’t waste a moment worrying about things that are out of my control. I would just appreciate the moments I have been given. That is what I’ve tried my best to do since May 19, 2012.
When was the last time you told your family and friends that you love them, or spent quality time with them? If you are going to die tomorrow and you are given just one phone call, who would you call and what would you say? … What are you waiting for? … Go call them now! (I do not mean text them either!)
I challenge you to live like every second is your last. Life is already too short, there is no need to waste our precious time. Live, love, appreciate, and be in the moment. Let go of all the negative thoughts, grudges, hate, gossip, and worry because after all, if it was your last day, those things would not matter. So… make time for the things that do matter. If you give your best effort to live this way, you will be happy.
This life that you have been granted by a loving Heavenly Father is a gift. A gift to be cherished. Enjoy it now … to the fullest. Do what matters now! Live every day like it will be your very last! Didn’t someone make a hit song about that?
Just saying ….