Yesterday, I went to the viewing of a woman who died of cancer at age 65. Ten years ago her family was an important family in my life, and even today, they’re all still one of my favorite families. It’s interesting how death reminds us of life. It spurs our minds to reevaluate. Death yanks our hearts to a screeching halt, and it forces us to peer into a darkness we don’t understand. That darkness causes us refocus on the bigger picture of life.
I began to think about her life, my life, and everyone’s life. I’m not afraid of death anymore, ever since I’ve began to look at death as the reward of life. I am standing here, blood pumping through my veins, warmth in my body, but there will be a day when it all goes cold. I take a deep breath and I wonder if life has become clearer to her now that she’s tasted death. I wonder if she is able to turn around and evaluate her time spent on earth. I take a moment to put myself where she is now.
I step over the threshold. Like a little freshman on the first day of high school, I hug my life’s scrapbook — the only thing I am allowed to bring with me. What are on its pages? Are the pages filled with adventure and love? Or did I spend my life waiting for something better to fill the pages with? Did I paste and stick with wild abandonment? Or did I leave the pages clean, afraid of what other people might think about what I did? Did I spend my whole life trying to earn God’s love, that I never just let myself live?
What will really matter in that moment? What will I remember?
Suddenly, life isn’t that bad. I realize there is nothing to be afraid of, and I wish I had a fuller scrapbook, because I’m not going to have much to share at the eternal show-n-tell. It’s in that moment I realize all the things that could’ve been, but those aren’t the things that make it into my life’s book.
I come back to here and now. I take a deep breath of gratitude, and as I walk into the church, I am overcome with tears, like ugly cry tears. I try my best to get control of myself, because I don’t want my tears to be misunderstood for sadness. My tears are the tears of overwhelming love. That moment was so unexpected. I was sharing the oxygen with everyone around me, connecting us, making us one in the family of humanity. I could feel the cord tie me to everyone in the room, and I was overwhelmed with love for them all. We are all given today, and even though I’m reminded that tomorrow isn’t promised, I — we only have today to live. How will we live it?
hello, today. I choose to live you with wild abandonment.
How about you? How are you going to live today?
Feel free to use this image for yourself, and let’s live today with fearless bravery! #hellotoday