Thursday, August 6, 2009

If I had six months to live...

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile, I am now a full time college student and have a part time job as well as a full time mom and often dad, so my dance card has been over filled.

Below you will find my response to an assignment given by my psych professor, entitled "What would you do if you knew you had six months to live". I rehearsed my response then just wrote from the heart. I have to say this was a very difficult question to answer. Do you think you can?

Here goes:

What would I do if I knew I had only six months to live? I find it very difficult to answer this question. In my head I have rehearsed several different version of the answer, yet each time I feel as if I have left something out. I have to wonder, even now, can one truly answer this question? Will we be able to fill in all the blanks, or at least become satisfied before we meet our demise? In my humble opinion I would say no.
I turned forty last year, recently I turned forty-one. I have to admit in this time I have had some great mental discussions with myself about my mortality. I am no spring chicken, more of a late summer one, and I am feeling the effects of growing older. My knees do not spring up from a crouch any more nor can I get through the night without having to pee at least once. I know I am now in the "middle", meaning I am part of the middle generation as my grandparents are gone, my parents are still alive but showing the effects of sixty and seventy plus years of living. I have children old enough to have children, and one already does. I am still someone's child while also being a mother and a grandmother.
If I were to be given final notice, I would probably cry for a day or two. Then I would get up, brush myself off, and love the heck out of everyone within my reach. I would make sure my spouse-elect and children know what they mean to me, and what they have taught and given to me in their lifetime. I would make sure they had something of me, preferably my wisdom and my love to carry them through out their lives. I would tell my mother I forgive her, and my father too. I would look at the sky and the moon and the stars and the clouds and take deep breaths. I would host a drunken party night for myself and my estranged siblings. I would call my two ex-husbands and tell them I still love them and always will and thank them for the things they taught me, good and bad. I would make arrangements for my BFF (Best Feline Friend) Abbie to go with me. I would smile at elderly people and hug children. I would be all the things in that six months that I wanted to be in my forty-one years. I think I would sky dive, rappel (again) and spend a weekend on a beach with my human BFF and let her know that if I were gay I would pick her. I would call my lifelong friend and tell her that I am proud to have grown up with her and happy that I still have her in my life. I would strut my not so taut and firm arse proudly down a nude beach. I would scream at God and rail and pace, cursing his power and begging for forgiveness. I would make up my mind if I really believe in God. I have always considered myself more spiritual than religious.
I would not lament on the unfairness of my impending death nor make everyone sad by living like I was already dead. I would not hold back tears or fears or any honest emotions but I would not make everyone suffer with me. I will not, now, let a day go by without smiling at least twice and telling at least one person I love them.
I would, finally, forgive myself for not being a better wife, a better daughter, a better mother, a better sister and admit to myself that I am a wonderful person. Even when I'm not so wonderful.
While baring my soul in this missive, I have to admit that many things in our textbook have opened my eyes. I intended to pursue my degree to help others but have helped myself a great deal. It is really hard to ignore words when they are written in black and white and put before you. Chapter eight really did a job on my self-denial as well as my self awareness. In nine chapters I've healed so much. However, it is difficult to grow up, even in my forties.
Before I went I would advise those that are listening to love hard, learn as much as you can and teach a child what real love is. Money doesn't make you rich, seeing a stranger smile at you because you smiled at them is better than all the gold, chocolate and great sex in the universe. Hearing a child laugh is worth dying for. To use an over used passage that I have no idea who the author is: "Live every day like you are dying". Don't wait to feel or give or accept advice from a ninety year old lady in the line at the grocery store. Wisdom is learned and earned, so earn and learn, then pass it on.