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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Ponderings about life and death and living well

I have begun this blog post  several times, only to  delete everything I've written.  The news this week that  David Bowie, Alan Rickman and now Celine Dion's husband, René Angélil, have all died from Cancer within days of each other  is depressing enough.  But then to read in today' newspaper that a young man, full of hope and promise, from  a town just up the road was shot and killed in a robbery as he waited in line  to buy a hamburger  at a fast food restaurant is almost too much  to process.

When you have  stage IV cancer, you realize that the odds are it is going to kill you, you just don't know when.  It's sort of like waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Meanwhile you go on with life  in as normal a way as possible, because you also realize that   any of us could die  at any time, even  while waiting in line for a hamburger.  So  you   decide that you can either spend your days worrying  about dying or you can get on with the business of living. And you do that in between waiting for the next scan or test to be scheduled, the next  doctor appointment, the next treatment. But in between all those tests, appointments, treatments, some of which  sap your  energy, make you   ill, cause you to have numb  feet and fingers, there are  meals to plan, shop for and cook,   dogs and cats to  feed, walk, take to the vet, bird feeders to refill, gardens to  plant and weed,  and even toilets to scrub.  And there are sunrises and sunsets to marvel at,  birds flitting about, squirrels  scampering up tree trunks, and friends and family to talk to and interact with. 

 And life goes on.  Until it doesn't. And that's OK, because today is all we have, and  the best we can do is  live today in the best way we know how and not take it for granted.  To squeeze every drop of joy and love and life  from every day and  share  that love and  joy as best we can with those around us.  As Francis Bacon said: “We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake...” Let us live that moment well and fully.

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