Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Three Months To Go

Another late column; this is Monday’s.

I was watching Ted Koppel’s excellent program about cancer on The Discovery Channel last night. The bulk of the produced part of the program, about 50 minutes, concentrated on one of his staff members who was given perhaps twelve months to live. The staffer spoke about what it was like to face that possibility.

We’ve never died before, so we probably don’t think much about the money question: What would we do if we found we had six months to live? Take that cruise we kept putting off . . . clean out the cellar before we check out . . . maybe get a little more religious . . . tie up loose ends.

So the clock ticks and the end of the road comes closer.

Odd thing about life: While we’re waiting for that to happen, we could get hit by a bus, or choke on a lettuce leaf at McDonald’s, or have a heart attack. The physician gives us six months, but life’s great plan might have only a week left for us. In other words, it’s a good idea to always be ready.

Don’t put off that cruise, that volunteer activity, the project you never got around to. Pretend you only have so many months to go, because you just never know. I am convinced that when we leave this planet, we continue on without a pause. Why continue our journey regretting the things we never did because we thought we had decades ahead of us?


Anonymous cold josh vail said...

You're so right! Alabama had a popular song out in which the old man said, ''One of these days I'm going to climb that mountain.....'' and I latched on to it. Many times I told people of the (fictional) guy who would say that one of these days he would like to buy a bicycle and ride across country, but the following year he was hit by a truck and lost a leg and now he is sitting on his porch saying, ''If I only knew....''

You want to do it....DO IT. Time and tide wait for no man.

Today my knees are shot but before today I have bicycled all over New England and Québec, and spent a month cycletouring in France, Belgium and Holland. I have raced internationally on cross country skis, I have worked at a fishing lodge so far outback that you could hear the silence, I was a logger, a maple sugar producer ( for my own needs) and on and on and today my knees keep me pretty tied down, but I can truly say that I did it, I lived out my wishes and life is much more easier than if I had said, ''One of these days.......''

May 08, 2007 10:20 AM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

The words of avoidance, the loss of an opportunity: "Well, I'll have to think about it."

May 08, 2007 10:32 AM  

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