Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Life is so fragile

This week was a tough week.  First off, a friend that we go to church with passed away unexpectedly.  It was such a devasting, shocking, and tragic event.  He left behind a wife and two girls.  I teach his 11 year old in Sunday school.

Another friend passed away tragically in a bike accident a few weeks ago. He was killed by a car riding his bike to work one morning. He left behind 3 children and a wife. His wife is incredibly amazing and strong, and I admire her optimism and courage in moving forward with life.

Then, a fellow melanoma warrior, Steve Hock, passed away from a long, difficult battle with melanoma.  He also left behind a wife and two young children.  I didn't personally know Steve, but I followed his journey on Facebook.  He was incredibly courageous, hopeful, and determined to never give up.  What I admired most though was his openness to share his story and pictures of his journey, as to help spread awareness of melanoma to others.  He touched so many people and left a great legacy behind.  Even though, Steve wasn't a personal friend of mine, his death hit home for me obviously.  It is always so difficult to see fellow warriors not make it.

I remember a couple of years ago during a hypnotherapy session with my hypnotherapist where she told me, "Look you have the same odds of survival as anyone.  You could get a car wreck tomorrow and you're gone.  You could very well not die from melanoma!  You might live to old age, you might not, but NOBODY knows when there time is up."

The thing is, she is so right.  Life can change in the blink of an eye.  I've seen it happen in my life many times.  One day you have a job, the next day you don't...One day you're holding your healthy, newborn infant and the next day, he is fighting to stay alive.  One day you're living a fairly normal life with worries centered on getting your To-Do list accomplished, and the next day, your worries are turned to cancer and "Am I going to die from this disease?".

Life changes so quickly.

If there is one thing I have learned, it is that.  I used to be such a planner, and yes, I still am in a lot of ways.  But not in the big ways, the-planning-out-your-life kind-of way.  Sure, I have dreams.  I have goals.  But I am more flexible now.  I have learned to not plan so much, to enjoy the "now" a bit more, and to worry less about the future.  The future is unknown for nothing is guaranteed.

There is a quote that I read recently, that rings so true to this very thing:

"Life's impermanence, I realized, is what makes every single day so precious. It's what shapes our time here. It's what makes it so important that not a single moment be wasted."

Life is not to be wasted.  Live every day like its your last.  That way, you live with no regrets and are grateful for what you have now, not wishing for a better life.  When you live this way, you are truly happy.

"If you are depressed, you're living in the past.  If you are anxious, you are living in the future.  If you are at peace, you are living in the present."

 As hard as it is to watch friends and comrades leave this life, I am also thankful for the constant reminders as to how fragile life is and to cherish your loved ones each day.  Those reminders keep me grateful and keep me humble.

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