The past couple of months have taught me that life is short.
You never know when today is your last day,
never know when the next 6 months are your last,
never know when on this day next year, it’ll be your last,
never know if it’s your last Thanksgiving . . . Christmas . . . birthday.
They didn’t know.
Those people who passed over the recent months. Some tragically. Some in
their sleep, like Betty White.
When she released her last laugh, what inspired her humor in that moment? Was her last breath a laugh?
When that English professor slipped away, was his last thought on the metaphors for death in American literature?
When that music director gave up his last efforts of a built-up diaphragm to the air, was he hearing the melodies and harmonies of life?
When Bob Saget slipped underneath the cool covers of a hotel bed for the last time, did he feel fulfilled by the success of his last comedy show that night?
Who’s to say that I won’t pass in my sleep, pass tragically like them?
Who’s to say that it’ll be sooner than I was expecting . . . whether 55 or 70 or 99?
And the bitterness of death makes life that much more sweeter.
Makes the joys grander,
the memories brighter,
the time with family and friends greater–
even the valleys and sufferings and struggles are easier, knowing that even if I
wonder why I’m here and what I’m doing,
that my purpose is in breathing.
It’s in laughing like Betty White,
discovering the depths of human nature in literature like that English professor,
losing myself in the notes and chords and beauty of music like that music director,
feeling the fulfillment of bringing joy and laughter to others like Bob Saget.
It’s making the most of life
when I do take my last breath,
I can say as my dying words,
not Sinatra’s noted, “I did it my way–“
but that “I did it” . . .