Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Freedom from Regret

                When I learned that Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old woman in Portland, Oregon, ended her own life, I thought of my friend Janet who also ended her life.  Brittany suffered from a terminal brain cancer and chose to die with “dignity.”  Janet chose to stop take dialysis and let her kidney disease take her.  Brittany apparently died quickly while Janet lived for a couple of weeks after she made her decision.  They both had the opportunity to gather their families around them to say goodbye.

                I do not know how I really feel about what either of them did or what I would do under similar circumstances.  I do know that I am not afraid of death.  I am a little scared of the dying process, but the idea of being dead does not concern me because I know this life is not all there is.  I know there is life after death.  I know that life on the other side will be richer and fuller than this life.  I hope to have no regrets when I reach the other side.

                The following information came to me in an email.  I do not know the author of it, but I agree with most of what is written.  My “winter” is fast approaching, and yet I have feelings of spring and summer.  I have a difficult time grasping that time has flown by so quickly.  It seems that my body is aging, but my spirit remains young.

                I understood more fully last summer at a family reunion that my winter is fast approaching.  Every time my siblings and I were in a group together, there was a photo session.  It seemed that everyone wanted pictures of us together.  I remembered doing the same with my parents and my husband’s parents.  Then I realized that my siblings and I are now the “older generation.”  It is good to reach this age without serious regrets about my life.  Sure there are some things I would have done differently, things I would still like to do, and places I would like to see, but none of them are important in the grand scheme of life. I have no regrets about my life. 

And Then It is Winter

                “And then it is winter you know…. Time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years.  It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my loving and beautiful mate.  Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went.  I know that I lived them all.  I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams.  But, here it is … the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise….  How did I get here so fast?  Where did the years go and where did my youth go?

                “I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like.  But, here it is …. My friends are retired and getting gray….  They move slower, and I see an older person now.  Some are in better and some worse shape than me … but, I see the great change…  Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant … but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we’d be.

                “Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day!  And taking a nap is not a treat anymore … it’s mandatory!  Cause if I don’t on my own free will … I just fall asleep where I sit!

                “And so … now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!

                “But, at least I know, that though the winter has come, and I’m not sure how long it will last … this I know that when it’s over on this earth… it’s NOT over.  A new adventure will begin!

                “Yes, I have regrets.  There are things I wish I hadn’t done… things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I’m happy to have done.  It’s all in a lifetime.

                “So, if you’re not in your winter yet … let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think.  So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life, please do it quickly!  Don’t put things off too long!

                “Life goes by quickly.  So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not!  You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life… so, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember… and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!

                “`Life’ is a gift to you.  The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after.  Make it a fantastic one.  Live it well!  Enjoy today!  Do something fun!  Be happy!  Have a great day!

                “Remember:  `It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.  Live happy in this year and every year!’
                “Lastly, consider the following:  Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, yet the youngest you’ll ever be – so enjoy this day while it lasts.  Your kids are becoming you….  Going out is good…. Coming home is better! 

                “You forget names…. But it’s OK because other people forgot they even knew you!!!  You realize you’re never going to be really good at anything – especially golf.  The things you used to care to do, you no longer care to do, but you really do care that you don’t care to do them anymore.

                “You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV blaring than in bed.  It’s called `pre-sleep.’  You miss the days when everything worked with just an `ON’ and `OFF’ switch.  You tend to use more 4 letter words:  `what?’ … `when?’ … `what?’ …???

                “Now that you can afford expensive jewelry, it’s not safe to wear it anywhere.  You notice everything they sell in stores is `sleeveless’?!!!  What used to be freckles are now liver spots.  Everybody whispers.  You have 3 sizes of clothes in your closet – 2 of which you will never wear. 

                “But Old is good in some things:  Old songs, old movies, and best of all, Old Friends!!  It’s not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.

No comments:

Post a Comment