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"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
This author's quote is from Randy Pausch, the computer science professor who wrote the book "The Final Lecture" That was a common theme for lectures at his college, but one that became entirely too personal for Randy. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September of 2006 and last week he died much too soon, leaving his wife and 3 young children without him in their lives. Seizing every moment (because "time is all you have...and you may find one day that you have less than you think") became his message. His final lecture is all about living.
I wonder how people come to terms with their impending death. What gives them the courage to face it with dignity and grace? How do they find that strength within themselves? I am fascinated by these true life stories.
One of my personal favorites is "Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson" by Mitch Albom. Morrie's is a simple message of living life to its fullest. In his last years he suffered from ALS, but with such joy for each day he had. I saw his story presented as a play and was anxious to see how it would transfer to a stage. It was wonderful! And as Morrie danced in the final scene you knew the joy in his spirit transformed those who knew him, personally and through Mitch Albom's presentation of him.
Sometimes there are circumstances that we are given that can be faced easier when there is someone by your side to bear it with you. One amazing story of love and support is related in "Somewhere in Heaven: The Remarkable Love Story of Dana and Christopher Reeve" A true love story, together they faced Christopher's life-changing accident with loyalty and bravery.
"Dana is my life force."
"A terrible thing happened. I wish it hadn't. But would I change who I married? Never."
This one is surely to be inspirational. So, even though these are sad stories, about life's challenges and losses, they can help us deal with issues we inevitably face. What they can do is teach us how to live our lives.
John Lennon said it so well.
"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."
And remember this, too, no one, on their deathbed, ever wishes they'd spent more time at the office.
Don't wait, let someone know you love them today.