As many of you know, from following my other blogs, I am a quote junky. I just absolutely LOVE them! And I have a new favorite..."Your life is an occasion, rise to it!"
We saw the movie Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium this past weekend and I can not say enough about it. I was worried as the critics ripped it to shreds but I found it amazing. Sure, the toy store is cool but the real message about the magic within all of us struck a chord with me. The idea that our lives are something to "rise to."
Many of my readers know me from my daughter's site "Courage 4 Kennedy," and know that I am about quality of life. Her illness was absolutely life changing for all of us. One thing I took away from it and apply to my life daily is the idea that quality of life matters. Knowing how to live in such a way that our life is rich and we are enriching the lives of those around us every single day. You could say it is the belief in paying it forward (great movie by the way). Our lives are valuable and God sent us here to work...we have a reason and we have a purpose and let me say this very clearly...it is not about pursuing possessions. "Things" can enrich our lives and make it comfortable, but despite what this world has told you...possessions and things are NOT why you are here. And guess what? The one with the most toys, does NOT win. Get use to it. He will not care about how much $ you had or what you bought with it...He will care how you chose to live your life so get to it!
True, our salvation is NOT obtained by works. He knows we would NEVER succeed. It is only through the life, death and ressurection of Jesus Christ that any of us are saved but we will be judged by our fruit. What does your tree say about you?
Ok, let's get back to where I was going with this...when Kennedy was sick and in liver failure with major organ failure kept at bay only by prayer and supportive care, they told us she was going to die. Well, they didn't say quite that...what they said was that she had less than a 20% chance of surviving the weekend, which by the way was Christmas weekend in 2005. When a team of doctors comes in with a chaplin...it is never good news. One doctor even said that he had only seen 7 cases of this particular problem in his entire career and they were all fatal. It would seem that her light was dimming. But I knew, hope was not lost.
Before this, my grandmother and another child we knew had passed away within the last 2 months. We had talked alot about death...to put it mildly...Kennedy was obsessed with it. We all came to terms with that possiblity. I'm not going to elaborate here but you can find it on Kennedy's website. Anyway, we had begun to accept that death was a part of life. And me? I began to read.
I read Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet In Heaven...two of the best books ever by the way...and was beginning to see life in a very different way. I was beginning to see death in a very different way. I began to understand that death is not the end and that when we accept the fact that we will all die and come to terms with that...only then can we really live our lives here. Wow...that was huge for me.
I started to look at the quality of life we were giving Kennedy...and Austin...and each other and I began to live my days knowing that we are here...we have a reason for being here...and this is not the end for us. That changes how you manage things. It begins to change how you think, how you feel, how you respond, how you dream, how you talk...it begins to transform you.
I wanted everyone to "get it." Some people thought I was crazy. They thought having almost lost Kennedy finally had me falling of the high wire I was walking. I wanted others to feel the freedom that comes with knowing that this life here is just "passing through." We don't get that. We cling to and hold tight to this life. We fear the end. Now, before I say anything else...I do not want to die any time soon. I am not running to my death and living like I am invincible but I am living...some days it feels like for the first time.
I started thinking about death. How we deal with our own impending death and how we deal with losing loved ones. You can't help but be surrounded by death when a loved one has cancer. Next to losing my husband, the worse thing I could imagine would be losing one of my children. I could NEVER recover from that loss. But I like to think I could be at peace with it...happy? Heck, no! But at peace...they are NOT the same thing.
*disclosure* I do NOT for one minute claim to know what losing a child or spouse would be like. I can only IMAGINE. Facing the possiblity has given me a very slight idea of what it COULD be like. I have learned that we can NEVER put ourselves in someone else's shoes and say "oh, I would do this" or "I would do that." We like to think we can, but let me say that it is impossible. We can say that we would HOPE to respond in a certain way. So, with that, I will discuss my personal observations (which are objective) regarding death, life and living our lives to their full potential.*
This will be a series of entries...there will probably be other unrelated entries in between but I feel compelled (ok, pushed by the Lord) to talk about this issue. So many of us are wasting our time here and not preparing for our time in heaven (which is where we will be for all eternity)...we're just walking through with no direction and no purpose and it is so sad. So sad to see people just sleep walking...or like Auntie Mame would say, "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" Don't Starve!
To talk about life, first, we must talk about death...