when you are young, you don’t reflect on birthdays or any day – no need – just live. but as you get older – as the birthdays pile up and the big day approaches each year – you become apprehensive, you get worried, you lose sleep – and each birthday becomes bitter sweet – yes you are still alive and that is good – but you then start to think about the past and you start to think about the future. for the past – you look back and see if you are satisfied with what you have done and where you are at 39,49,59,69. are you happy with where you sit at each birthday – is this what you thought you would be doing. this then brings on visions of the shortening future – it is no longer halfway – it becomes less than half left – time is running out. will you reach all of your goals before you die. you need to use your remaining time wisely – you need finish the job right – you need to get to a point of calmness – you need to stop worrying – you still need so much – but you won’t get it all – you have to start to understand that – you are not exactly where you thought you would be – yes it is good overall – yes it could be better – yes it could be worse – you can reflect too much or too long – no point – time keeps going and so do you. just get up and do what you need to do, what you want to do, what you have to do. be with those that are good to you – get rid of the rest. they are all racing towards the end just like you – not enough room in your mind or their mind for many other thoughts. the only thought is to keep going.
death is everywhere. it is a part of life but not a part of life. it is in the very back of everyone’s mind – but never really thought about. it happens all the time and it happens more around you as you get older. you get the usual deaths with the grandparents, then parents. but you also get random deaths of people dying before they get older. they are living just like you – they don’t think about death, they are too young. then one day they are dead – in 30s, 40s, 50s – thinking they would live to 70s, 80s, 90s – but they didn’t – and they only realize that fact in the last split second of their life – when they know it’s over way too soon and they didn’t do everything that they wanted to do – they ran out of time. it only leaves all of us thinking about death again – but we can’t really comprehend our own death. we think we have more time – and we will think that until the last split second comes. why do some people die younger. when you read their headstone, you will do the quick math and think – they were too young to die. everything they did is soon forgotten. you think about them for awhile but then you shift back to your own life and your own death. we will never be able to articulate death – it is just one of those things. you can talk about it, you can ask why, but you never really understand. all you can do is live.
there is no certainty that you will be alive tomorrow. we all know this, but we don’t think about this concept all the time. we don’t dwell on the fact that we will all die at some point in the future. and why would you dwell on this. you wouldn’t and you shouldn’t. but we are reminded on a regular basis that people die all of the time. and as we grow older and as we know more people directly or indirectly – we will know more and more people who will die. we wake up some days and are slapped in the face with another death of someone we know. it is especially a shock if that person is younger. if that person is a child or teenager or even in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s – it is a grave shock that we can barely comprehend. we don’t know why this would happen or how it could happen – but it happens and it will never stop happening. you might go awhile between deaths, but they will eventually come again. all we can do is pray for the family affected and pray that it will not happen to your family. but we ultimately have no control over when it will happen. this is why we have to live for now. we have to look long and hard at our loved ones. we have to take it all in. we have to try and pause the present. we have to let things go. we have to forgive. we have to stop fighting. we have to enjoy each other. we have to do this and we have to do that. we have to just be. we have to move on and move forward. we have to stop analyzing everything. we have to be thankful for what we have and not be jealous of what others have. we have to be comfortable in our own skin. stop thinking so much and just live. another death will come and you must think about living your life now – because one day someone will hear about your death. live for what you have now. that is all you have or will ever have. now.
such is life, such are the odds and such are the individual destinies of us all. in the past 7 years, i have known 10 couples to divorce and 10 people that have died (in middle age or earlier). we all know that these things happen in life – and early on in life, we see these things happening from afar. but as you get older, as you hit the 40’s, 50’s – it comes crashing closer and closer to home. on the death front, you wonder why they went so early in life and you hold your dear ones closer – praying that you are not next and being more grateful for what you have in life – so stop complaining – you are not dead yet. on the divorce front – it is an even bigger shock sometimes. you see that perfect couple and divorce never even crosses your mind. but then one day you see the wife shoveling the snow or the husband not showing up at social events – and the signals start to mount. it is a shock to think that they went through all those years together, having kids, raising kids, building careers together, going through tough times – and then one day they quit the relationship – they fall out of love almost as quick as when they fell into it. this cannot be explained easily – why did this person wake up one day and say “I’m done”. most likely things were boiling under the surface for years – unknown to other person in the relationship and certainly unknown to the rest of the world. it is a tragedy that will affect many people in their world – especially the kids. and such is one of the big mysteries of life – one day we are happy and one day we are not.
it came to me last night when i pray each night for my loved ones. i go through the names of all my relatives. i then realized that there are only 3 immediate family members left that are in the golden age of life. we need to cherish them in these final years because when they are gone, there won’t be anyone left at that age – only you marching towards that time in your life. it will come quickly – like everything in life. you will one day soon be that older person. you will be the one your younger relatives pray for. keep praying for them while they are alive so you can know that you have a limited time with them – to enjoy now before it is too late. pray for them because you will be them soon. they need you as much as you need them. they were there for you when you were younger – and now you must be there for them. it is the right thing to do. you know it – you just have to do it. cherish them.
you must always be safe. you must always be alert to your safety and the safety of your loved ones. take that extra step and watch out for your loved ones. when a loved one is not able to always be safe, you must keep an eye out for them. one lapse in your safety watch could mean life or death. death can happen at any moment and it is always a surprise. you will not be warned that death is near. you will not have time to think about life or death. you must not hesitate in the moment of life or death. you must let your instinct take over. you must act without thinking to save a life. to avoid more moments like this, raise your alert level to a higher point. make the conscious effort to look again – to watch out for your loved ones. this will help prevent life or death moments. without saying, safety is the key to living longer. be on the lookout for danger at all times and you will be safe most of the time.
with your life. stop thinking about what your life might be in the future. stop wishing away the present. look around at all that you have now. be grateful for what you have now – for who you have now in your life – for the laughs you have now in life – for the moments you have now in life. you will never get what you want in the future until you are happy with what you have now. i don’t know why it is so embedded in human nature – to want what others have, to want more that what you have, to dream of a better life – when the life you have now is the “better life”. in every day that you live now, there are moments of joy and beauty. when you sit at a table with your family and you talk, smile, laugh – you are experiencing the best things that life has to offer –ever. it does not get any better than those moments –moments that you will yearn for in your dying hour. why are there so many cliches about living now, living for the moment, live in the present – it is because they are true. you just have to realize it. you have to flip a switch in your mind to stop wishing and wanting –and start living. because before you know it, your wish will come true – you will be in the future and you will only have regret then, for not stopping in time to flip the switch.
when you reach old age, the world has changed. you yearn for simpler times, you feel out of touch. there are more unfamiliar people around and the crowds seem to go on forever. the quiet moments you once experienced in the past are now replaced with background noise that never dies off. you feel more resigned to leaving this earth. your time has truly past you by and you know it and accept it. this is actually a good thing because it causes you to realize that passing away is part of the cycle of life and that you have lived into a new age that belongs to the new generation. it’s time to let go and say goodbye.
we spend our whole lives preparing for that split-second moment before we take our last breath. for it is at that moment when we realize if we have lived a fulfilling life. we will then know that it is okay to say “goodbye” to this world and “hello” to the next. we will know that we tried to live life to the fullest, to go after every challenge, to take risks to succeed, to set goals and go after them, to be true to one’s self no matter what and to be true to one’s closest companions. every event in our lives is measured in that last moment, when we ultimately discover if we have lived life to the fullest or not. it is at that moment when you will smile or not, when the person who finds you, finds you with a smile or not, when that person will tell others: “At least he died with a smile on his face”–it is all for the smile –for the smile tells it all –one gesture expresses a lifetime of events
you know why we should be remembered –because we go through this whole thing called life and then we just die in the end. i mean what is the point of living if not to be remembered. i guess if we only live for the moment, then that is why we don’t care if people remember us or if history remembers us. i guess if we are not alive to see people remember us, then it doesn’t matter if we are not remembered –what do we care. these are all good points and many can live by them–and die by them. but, what if we want to convey what we learned to our kids and grandkids –and the rest of society –you know–so they can learn from what we learned in life. this could be one very small reason why we should want to leave some things behind besides a will and a corpse. we might also want our relatives, friends, etc to see what we looked like, to hear our words, to know what we thought about things. perhaps this is a better reason to leave your mark behind. the other reason might be to make sure history records your life the way you want it recorded. this could give you some extra peace of mind on the way out. for a few brief minutes of your time, would you do a few steps to be remembered by history? would you take a few more steps beyond that to save things for your family and friends. maybe —and maybe not. after all, what do you care, really? you will be dead and who cares when one is dead. this is the question –do you care enough to care?