They say you have nothing if you don’t have your health.
How much we take for granted our ability to wake up and get out of bed and go for a run as the sun goes down. We get to stretch, bend, and eat as we please.
The scary thing is all of this freedom; this ability to move and live can be taken away from us so quickly.
The common cold, flu bug, and sore throat that no amount of lozenges can cure are reminders of just how easily our bodies can be manipulated and overtaken.
These common ailments are small in comparison to cancer and lifelong disease.
A close family friend is in poor health. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor about a year and a half ago and has gone through 4 surgeries and has the scars to prove it. It’s sad and it hurts to think about his kids, wife, parents, and brother. It all is just too much too soon.
Rewind to the days when I would go to the cabin of our close family friends. I wore a hot pink flowered bikini; sporting a lime green life jacket and had barrettes in my hair to keep the bangs out of my eyes. My twig like legs could barely handle the rigor of the lake waves thrashing against my pale Irish skin. I was so scared the first time I skied in the murky waters of “big lake” which, by no means was big, in Osceola, Wisconsin. I remember shivering in the water in fear of the weeds and big fish. Bruce, my dad’s friend (who is now facing the nastiness of brain cancer) shook it off like it was no big deal. Bubba, we called him, was in the water with me and there was nothing to fear. He was with me the first time I skied, and the first time I barefooted off the boom, “just relax and let the boat do the work” I got up on skies my first time.
Fast Forward to a few weeks ago when I spent a Sunday afternoon/evening with Bubba and his family. We reminisced about good times on the lake and about my big move to the west coast. This time, however, was different. I no longer was the little girl with barrettes in my hair and Bubba was no longer early-thirties Bubba, but Bubba much older and changed by cancer. He seemed more laid back, sentimental, and focused on our conversation. Does disease make one a good listener? Does one stop living life for the future and truly embrace the moment? When Bubba spoke I took it all in. I was focused on his words and his presence. My take away was this: live for today and not tomorrow, spend your time with those you love; nothing matters more than family, and if you don’t like something change it.
It can take a significant life event to stop us in our tracks. It asks us to reevaluate where we are headed, what we value, and how we spend our time. Lately I have been really good on putting things off; ignoring conversations that make me squeamish and phone calls to friends/family back home that I have fallen out of touch with. I have become so caught up in the treadmill of life that I have forgot to just be.
There is no better time than the present.