An old friend called me tonight out of the blue. It’s been at least four years since I had heard from him. I told him it was such a surprise to hear his voice and he responded with “why, did you read about my death in the obituaries?”.. He was being ironic and I’ve always considered him a man with a bit of an edge on life’s viewpoint.
The phone call made me think of my step Dad last summer who would leave the obituaries folded for my Mom every morning beside her morning coffee. He would circle the ones that had passed on that he thought my Mom would be interested in. Mom and I would sit in the kitchen and Dad would jabber from the living room about so and so and he didn’t know he had done “that or this” in his life. Mom would look at me, roll her eyes and finally one morning she lost it. She had just gone through serious heart surgery and she didn’t take too kindly to the notion of death every morning especially as she had fought so hard to stay alive. The verbal exchange between them was heated and at least my Dad never left another obituary in front of my Mom while I was there.
It reminded me though going through this strange ritual every morning with them that reading an obituary actually gave me an excitement for life. It made me want to get out there and do something special today. It also jolted me into thinking about my dead partner who found out he had only six months to live. He said to me just before he died if we all thought of life as a terminal illness, we would live it with more joy and passion as it ought to be lived. He had lots of regrets.
We have no right to take life for granted. This is not a dress rehearsal, and today is the only guarantee we get.
copyright Es-tee Miller
“It’s so easy to exist instead of live. Unless you know there is a clock ticking”…