January 8, 2009
It was with some sadness that I watched actor Patrick Swayze on television discussing his battle with Pancreatic cancer. The interview reminded me of how precious little time we actually have on planet earth. Growing up, life seemed to be something that I was always a part of - and magically would continue to be a part of indefinitely. As I grew older, reality set in and I started to get the “big picture.” A funeral here, a funeral there, and all of the sudden the concept of mortality takes on a whole new meaning. For me, it was the death of my father that shattered my dream state. His death, and that of my mother not long after, were like getting doused with a bucket of icy cold water.
Today, at age 60 I certainly understand with great clarity that as we travel through the forest of life, there’s a bear out there waiting for all of us. We just don’t know when or where that alarm clock in his belly is gonna off and he’ll come looking for his next meal.
But that’s okay. We know he’s on the prowl and every living organism on earth eventually must succumb. Every fish in the sea dies and is eaten by other fish so the the process of life will continue. Every animal in Africa meets the same fate. Life begins - life ends.
Of course, what is significant is what we do in-between those points. Who we met. Who we love. Who we help. What we teach our children. How we treat our friends. I think that given the speed in which life actually roars by, we all should pause every once in while, take a deep breath, and just say “wow!” When is the last time I stood still for 5 minutes and just watched a sunset? (I can tell you exactly when it was for me, it was a few years ago in Hawaii and we were all out on the ocean as part of a dinner cruise.) It was magical. It was also amazing how fast the sun went from a giant red ball balancing on the horizon, to slipping ever so quickly out of sight. My point is that all of us (especially me), should pause more often from our hectic schedules and savor the gift of life.
I figure that I have maybe 15 years left, that is exactly 5,475 days to enjoy the gift. I want to spend that time happy, doing things that I enjoy and especially time with my family and friends. My long-time friend David Gibbs and I often talk about the importance of a single day. I try to call David, or another of my other long-time friends, Mark Kanter, each week if for nothing else than just to say, “Hey, what’s up?” It’ really just my way of saying “I love you” and I miss you. My friends are the fabric of my life, tolerating my bad jokes/ ignorant ways, and also teaching me much.
The bear is out there. But before that day comes that I walk around the corner to find him standing there, I’m going to try to maximize each moment. I am also determine to love more,to be kinder and take every opportunity in doing random acts of kindness for other people (it is always best when they don’t know who did it.) When I’m gone, no one will remember all the ads that I wrote, but maybe, just maybe, they’ll recall the good deeds. That is what watching the king of “Dirty Dancing” made me think about in bed last night and my reality faded to darkness.
Entry Filed under: humor. .